Beginner's Guide to Twitter

BusinessMarketing & Advertising

  • Author Lindsay Heidbrink
  • Published November 15, 2011
  • Word count 501

There are literally thousands of guides with this selfsame title out there today. Why? Because Twitter is popular. It’s social media’s biggest fad. It’s also a great marketing tool that has proven successful for many online businesses.

What’s the point?

The main point of Twitter is to get more followers. When someone "follows" you, your updates will appear in their home stream, like the "News feed" feature on Facebook. The main point of having lots of followers, of course, is to get them to click on your stuff. The more followers you have, the greater exposure you can generate.

What to tweet?

So, what are you supposed to tweet about, anyway? The basic rule of thumb here is: Don’t be an idiot. If you think what you are about to post may be inappropriate, don’t post it!

Keep in mind that you are to be identified by Twitter users as an official employee (or employer) in your company. This doesn’t mean you need to tweet only about things related to your job, you can tweet about anything as long as it does not fall into the "STUPID" category. Tweet news, interesting activities you might be doing, promotions from your company, and so on. You don’t need to let people know that you’re running errands or having waffles for breakfast.

Okay, now that we’ve covered the most basic information about Twitter, it’s time to talk about the best practices that will help you be successful.

  1.  Frequency
    

Make sure that your Twitter account is updated at least once a day. This will make sure that people will not "unfollow" you! I would recommend tweeting more than once a day! In fact, you should tweet whenever you want to whomever you want. However, just be aware that you can overdo it. Think: how often would I like to get updates from someone I’m following?

  1.  Interaction
    

The more you interact with others on Twitter, the better. You can do this by "replying" to tweets, "retweeting," and sending "direct messages."

Reply

Placing an "@" sign in front of someone’s username is how you can "reply" to or "mention" someone in your tweets. This makes the person’s username a link that your followers can click on. The more people mention you, the more likely people are to follow you.

Once some mentions you using an @ reply, the tweet will appear on your Twitter home screen. On the right hand side, there are filters for "@(your username)" and "Direct Messages." Click on these periodically to see who is trying to connect with you.

Retweet

A "retweet" is like a forwarded email, with "RT" at the beginning of the message. For example, if @johnsmith sayes "Look, #giantiphone is trending and #ipad isn't", you could resend or retweet the message as "RT @johnsmith: Look, #giantiphone is trending and #ipad isn't". You could even add a little something, like "RT @johnsmith: Look, #giantiphone is trending and #ipad isn't

Lindsay Heidbrink is attending Brigham Young University and will receive a BA in Communications: Public Relations in April 2012. She currently works for Marketecture, a company that provides website construction/hosting. Visit http://www.Marketecture.com/ for more information. These articles are part of Marketecture’s continued efforts to help SMBs build a better business online. Lindsay likes reading, writing, painting, and scuba diving.

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