Become a Tweeter. Twitter 101

Twitter can be a little intimidating.  It takes some getting used to.  Maybe the best way to explain what Twitter is. . . is to explain how it is NOT like Facebook.

  1. Instead of posting a status, you “Tweet”. . . which is only 140 characters.  These tweets can be sent to your “followers”, i.e. people who choose to follow your tweets.  Or to the general public.  Unlike Facebook, you can schedule a tweet for future deliver using an application like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.  Many tweeters use this option for contests, etc.
  2. You need to pick a Twitter “handle”. . . this is your name and/or an identity you choose.  It will look like this @sterndmb (feel free to follow me now!) Try to keep it short! Because it will count towards your 140 characters.
  3. You’ll have to learn some new acronyms.  RT is a retweet.  It is when you repeat someone’s message.  It is a public message that is broadcast to whomever is following you.
  4. Instead of Messaging someone, you direct message them . . . or DM.  This can only happen when you are following each other.  This is where the networking kicks in.  It is best to follow your followers right back.
  5. HASHTAGS or (#) before a keyword for a topic or event spreads your tweets to a broader audience searching for those keywords and/or abbreviations.  Two popular hashtags are #SocialMedia and #sm.  Again. . . the shorter the better as they will allow for more room in a message.
  6. It would be in your best interest to find a URL Shortener.  URL Shortener is a web service that condenses a long URL to the fewest amount of characters so you can say more about your link in your tweets.  These shortened URLS also have the advantage of tracking tweets and view.

What to keep in mind:  Advertising your business through tweets is not a widely smiled upon practice, BUT posting daily thoughts, contests, retweets, comments on pop culture, etc. . . will keep your followers and get your URLs out there.

Need help getting started on Twitter?  Let our wizards at Stern get you started!