What is Twitter?

“Twitter is an instant messaging tool, where users can blast messages to their network, send private messages, or search. When users publish messages they are often called tweets”, says Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research. It’s a popular social networking and short messaging service that allows users to send out real-time snippets of content 140 characters or less to other users. “This represents more than a new technology, it is a powerful disruptive cultural shift in how people, particularly young people stay in contact and disseminate information about what’s happening now,” says Louis Rivera, CEO Collaborative Media Innovation. The New York Times calls Twitter “one of the fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet.” TIME Magazine says, “Twitter is on its way to becoming the next killer app,” and Newsweek noted that “Suddenly, it seems as though all the world’s a-twitter.”

What do you need to get started?

– Twitter account (free)
– Twitter background / icon / bio
– Twitter link from your website and email marketing
– Twitter Plugins

What does it mean to follow on Twitter?

  1. Following someone on twitter simply means getting their updates. You can choose to follow a person or business on Twitter by clicking the Follow button on their profile page
  2. Twitter Link shortening:
    • Real-time Link Tracking: Track the performance of your links in real time. Tracks actions on links you post in tweets and delivers statistics: total clicks, clickers’ geographic distribution, most popular tweets, trends over time, etc.
    • Complete History: Access the complete history of your links
    • Saved Preferences: Store your Twitter account and other preferences
    • Account chooser: If you have more than one account, you can post a particular tweet either to one particular account, a group or all of them. Administrators can also monitor who’s tweeting what from the dashboard at a glance.

What are the key benefits?

  1. Build relationships through conversations. To be successful in Social Media, you need to “join the conversation,” which is the motto of the social-media movement.
  2. One of the key benefits of using Twitter is that you can send and receive updates (also called tweets) via your browser, email, instant messaging clients so you can keep in touch no matter where you are.
  3. Tap into a growing audience: “As of now, less than 10 percent of American Internet users actually Twitter, but it’s growing like crazy: unique visitors to Twitter increased 1,382 percent year-over-year, from 475,000 unique visitors in February 2008 to 7 million in February 2009, making it the fastest growing social media site in the world.” Source
  4. Measurement opportunities include the amount of followers, amount of replies, incoming links, referrals  to your website from Twitter, and use of search tools to gain intelligence.
  5. Keyword benefits for search engine traffic. (Tweets are SEO friendly, especially when integrated into your website)
  6. Ability for users to search through Twitter (similar to Google).
  7. Connect with like minded people, share content and stay informed about current news and any events.
  8. Use Twitter as a force for social change / charity fund raising – ie the recent Twestival, which raised $250,000 for Charity.
  9. Advertising/PR: Letting people know of the existence of a product or service. Circulate promotional coupons, polls, and surveys. Conduct conversations that are interesting and engaging to promote your brand, service or product.
  10. Create a Twitter newspaper

Twitter Insight:

  • “When you engage, comment, retweet and share links you become more memorable than handing out your business card. Unlike other social networking services like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter should NOT be a “who has more friends” contest. The key is to build quality lists of business contacts who are trusted advisors and potentially a source of business referrals.” Twitter Reference Source
  • “By demonstrating complete transparency, companies build trust.”
    • Last week Nielsen released the 2009 Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries….70% trusted opinions from other consumers posted online….consumers’ reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don’t, has increased significantly”
    • “For companies not engaging in the social media marketing conversation with their customers, they miss out on a literal world of opinion, market research, feedback and customer service opportunities.”
  • CRM for social media savvy PR
  • Scheduler: Use it to write tweets in advance, useful for posting product announcements or coupons at a specific time.
  • Click here for tips on using Twitter if you’re a beginner.
  • Understand the psychology of Twitter in the context of Abraham Maslow’s concept of a hierarchy of needs.
  • If you would like a customized little Twitter button created to reflect your company’s brand, contact us.

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