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A Short How To for Twitter

November 14, 2011
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Twitter is one of the most widely used social media platforms. Most people know that they should be on it. Most people know that they should be tweeting. But a lot of people, including small businesses, aren’t sure how.  Here is a very quick overview on how to use Twitter.

About Twitter

Twitter is one of the biggest social networks. It works as a world conversation. Anything you write on twitter can be seen by anybody, there is no privacy (unless you do a direct message, or DM). You follow anybody you want to more quickly see what they “tweet”. You can organize your follows into lists. And you can create topics with a #. A tweet, or message, on twitter consists of only 140 characters. Because of this messages can be shortened. And links should be shortened as well.

Tweets

Some things to keep in mind when using twitter.

  1. hash tags (#) are a way people keep track of conversations on twitter. You can search a keyword on twitter, or, if it has a # you can click it immediately. For general words such as #bonus, etc, I’d recommend using hash tags. Look at what competitors are doing and copy them! (Looks like you guys are already using this to an extent, good job!)
  2. url shorteners are used on twitter because you only have 140 characters for your tweet. When I see a normal URL in twitter, it looks, well, like someone who doesn’t use twitter is using twitter. Also, shorteners like bitly keep track of clicks.  I highly recommend you use url shortners on ALL links. I will show you how you can set up a free twitter program that uses your bit.ly automatically at the end of this document.
  3. Twitter is about conversation. Try engaging in your followers. Ask them questions, look at replies, and when they reply to you, reply back! If you put some interesting people in a list, it may be easier to have a conversation with them.

ReTweets (RT)

If a person on twitter says something you agree with, you think is cool, or shares a link you like, feel free to RT it. Its very easy to do on Seesmic, and it is good twitter etiquette to RT messages you like. However, don’t just RT everything.

Twitter Lingo

Here are some common word abbreviations for twitter. Feel free to use them anytime in twitter:

ttyl talk to you later
wb welcome back
wfm works for me
b4 before
w/ with
thx thanks
pw password
rotfl rolling on the floor laughing
gtg got to go
j/k just kidding
k okay
lol laugh out loud
l8r later
msg message
n/m never mind
n/p no problem
*g* grin
gf girlfriend
imho in my humble opinion
imo in my opinion
fyi for your information
cya see ya
btw by the way
brb be right back
bf boyfriend
b/c because
bbl be back later
bbs be back soon

Seesmic for Twitter

Seesmic is a great free program that you can download or use on the web in order to access your twitter. I made a very quick video on how to use it.

For the bitly API key you will go to http://bitly.com/a/your_api_key.

That is about twitter in a gist! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment!

Hilary St Jonn

Hilary is your for-hire Online Marketing Manager. She has an extensive background in helping start ups grow their business through online marketing and has been working with businesses since 2008.

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