Archive | March, 2009

The ultimate goal when using Twitter is to network, and to do that, you have to begin by finding people to follow. It’s a good idea to build a list of followers that are within your industry’s target audience, it is beneficial to add Twitter users with outside interests to your list as well who might add some variety to your network.

Twitter isn’t just a place to update what time you brushed your teeth or what you thought of today’s cloudy weather. It is much more powerful than that, especially when you’re following a network of people in your industry.  Twitter allows you to connect with your peers and get new ideas, start joint ventures, and other deals that may not have been able to materialize in other typical business activities.

Aside from the amazing business opportunites that often arise, Twitter also allows you to simply “vibe” with your peers and those in the same industry that understand everything you’re passionate about as well as the trouble you may be having. What would once be limited to a very small network of people “at the office”, can now virtually be thousands of people who connect with you on several levels. The support that you can get out of that connection is priceless.

Sounds, good, right? But how do you go about finding these people to connect with?

Well, there is more than one way to find followers on Twitter. Here are a few:

  • Choose from “Everyone”
    When you’re on your main home page, you can click the link on the right column that reads "Everyone". This will literally show you tweets from everyone on Twitter. Grab yourself a cup of joe and scroll through until you see something that catches your attention. Click their name to see more of their tweets, and if you like them, follow!
  • Find People!
    There’s actually a button at the top of the twitter home page that allows you to search by people’s name. This is great for whipping through a list of people you already know to see if their on twitter, either by their real name, or by a username you know they typically use.
  • Other Networks
    If you have email contact lists on any of the major accounts online (Gmail, MSN, etc.) then you can choose “Find On Other Networks” on your twitter home page as well, and it will allow you to import any contacts you may have that are in the Twitter system.
  • Suggested Users
    Twitter has a “suggested users” link as well, but all too often it’ll just show you celebrity names and other people that won’t actually do much for your business. However, if you’re a huge fan of Brad and Angelina, then you might still want to check out this feature.

There are still a few other obvious ways such as using the Search function that will show you results based on name ot topic that you enter.

You can find someone with a list of the same type of people you’re looking to follow. On their home page, you’ll see a link on the right that reads “following”. Click that and you’ll see their whole list. Start browsing!

Of course, you will also be following people who have chosen to follow you. It’s a good idea to take a look at their latest 10-20 tweets before you actually click the follow button though, because you do want to have at least something in common. Some people choose to simply make it a rule to follow whoever follows them. It’s up to you. Either way, start building your followers!

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The Twitter Global Mind

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The best way to get started harnessing the power of Twitter is to just jump in with both feet by creating an account and starting to tweet!  A twitter account will only take you a few minutes to create and you’ll be addicted in about 15 minutes afterward.

The main Twitter page is certainly not confusing or difficult to navigate. Simply go to Twitter.com and you will see a page that looks like this:

twitter-homepage

Click the green button that reads “Get Started – Join”, and you will be taken to very basic registration form that looks like this:

create-twitter-account

Choosing your username:

Give some thought to your username if you’re using it to represent yourself as a person, or a marketer, and not just your website. This is the name people will know you by, so try to find an available name that suits you, and not just a name like “twit579J” that would look like a spammer’s account.

You are able to choose a name that i a maximum of 15 characters (without spaces) so you need to use that limit wisely. If you want to choose a name that directly promotes your business, that’s acceptable, but having a sort of personal touch seems to work better on the big scheme of things.  The key to all this is the “being social” part, and in most cases, a more personal name will seem more genuine.

Other Settings:

Once you’re finished creating a username for your account, you’ll be taken to a screen that auto-suggests some followers for you. You can quickly glance through these or you can simply skip this step and be taken right to your new account home page.

That was basically it. No sweat, right?

Now, you’ll have a page that asks you the infamous “What are you doing?”.

twitter-settings

However, don’t forget that, unless someone happens to stumble across your account, nobody is going to see you until you have followers so you might want to add a tweet or two and then head off to find some people you’d be interested in and choose to follow them by clicking the “follow button” at the top of their page.

Customize And Personalize Your Account:

You still have some settings in the backend of your Twitter account that looks like this:

twitter-account-page

From here, you can choose to set a couple notification preferences (such as mobile communication via Twitter), add a short bio, and customize your Twitter page a little bit visually (which is highly recommended).

Twitter has some built-in designs for the background of your page under the “design” tab, but you also have the option of uploading your own custom image to be used as a background as well!

That’s it! Now that you have an account, start tweeting and networking in!

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what-the-tweet-is-twitter

What’s up tweeples? Anyone who wants to follow me, please do so, and send me a quick tweet on Twitter.

If that makes absolutely no sense to you, then read on, because you need to get involved and grasp the power of  one of the hottest (if not THE hottest!) marketing tools available on the Internet right now!  That tool is known as Twitter.

Twitter is a website that allows you to keep in contact with people in an ultra-compact way known as micro-blogging.  The term fits Twitter perfectly as each post made from a user is limited to a maximum of only 140 characters. Now, when you first get a glimpse of the size of a 140 character message, the first thing that comes to mind is probably something like “what could I possibly say of any value that would fit into that amount of space?”.  However, once you start particpating and get the hang of things, you’ll quickly be amazed at how informational a “tweet” can be.

A “tweet” is the user’s term that replaces what you would typicall refer to as a “post”, or a “message”. In fact, many Twitter users also refer to themselves and others as tweeples.

The Basics Of Twitter

Twitter is a social platform that allows users to share their tweets with each other in real time similar to a chat program. There are millions of people currently signed up with profiles on Twitter and the messages range from every end of the spectrum from life’s little chit chats, to marketing tips and business deals.

When you create a profile on twitter, you get to choose a unique user name, and your page has a bio section that also allows you to upload a photo, create a short bio, and link to a url of your choosing.

This same profile page has a link that reads “follow”.  This is where the magic happens. When you’re using Twitter, you only see updates (tweets) from people that you choose to “follow”.

As your list of followers grow, so does your network capabilities as you can reach all those people who have chosen to follow you, instantly. The power lies in your network. As you begin to capture the interest of your followers,  you have the potential to reach their network of followers as well…and so on…and so on.

Twitter is free, it’s fun, it’s great for business networking. The only possible bad side is that it takes discipline to not get addicted and spend too much time on it when you should be working on other things, so maybe you better stick to a rigid schedule with your “tweet blogging”!

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Although you may have heard strong opinions on how to use Twitter properly, there really is no right way. There are people who use Twitter purely for the social aspect and chat about their day, their relationship, gossip, etc. There are other people who use it strictly for business and branding.

You are free to use Twitter for whatever purpose you choose. However, if you are marketing your website, products, and/or services, then there are things you’ll want to avoid if you plan on your efforts being effective.

  • Self-Promo Overload
    It’s important to remember that Twitter is ultimately a social platform, not a sales platform. Although there’s no harm in dropping a promotional tweet here and there, you’ll need to mix it into regular tweets that offer something a little more than only your latest sale. Share articles you read and other interesting stuff you find online, but don’t simply push your own promo, or else you’ll lose credibility quick.
  • What Are You Doing? (No! not literally!)
    The Twitter home page famously reads “What Are You Doing?” just above the field where you type in your 140 character tweet update. However, that doesn’t mean that you add an update every 5 minutes with messages like “I’m peeling potatoes”, “starting the car”, or “havin’ a smoke”.  Of course, it’s fine to send a few really personal or even mundane tweets throughout the day, but don’t lose sight of Twitter’s primary function which is to socialize, network and connect. You need to be somewhat engaging.
  • Don’t Be Auto-Social
    There are extra tools that you can use now to automate some of your Twitter tasks. While some people swear by them, many Twitter users despise them. It takes away from the very essence of connecting and networking when you have everything automated.  Many feel like it’s a bit spammy as well when you choose to follow someone and receive a DM (direct message) from them seconds later with  link promoting their website.  If you are sending out automated messages, why not just a “hi” and a “thank you for following me”?
    Whether or not to use automation is up to you, but maybe wait until you get a taste of it yourself  and also get a feel of how other people are talking about it on twitter before making a decision.

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If you haven’t actually used Twitter and only heard about the basics of  it being a micro-blogging method that allows you to spurt small messages with a maximum of 140 characters, you may roll your eyes with a response along the lines of “what’s the point?”.  However, it’s exremely common for that mindset to quickly turn around once a person actually utilizes Twitter to it’s fullest capabilites.

The number one reason that Twitter is a great tool for marketers is that it separates itself from all the other techniques, making it’s only function to be a ultra fast connection to create and build relationships.

The real-time interaction is simply unbeatable and the although it initially sounds like it would be a waste of time to some, the 140 character message limit actually seems to be a major benefit. Maybe that’s because with only 140 characters, you are forced to choose every word very carefully to ensure that the message is effective?

Another reason that twitter works well for marketers is that you have a network base of readers who chose to follow you and read your messages because they are interested in what you have to say.  There are those who abuse the system ad follow mass amounts of people in bulk just with the hopes that those people will feel obligated to follow them back, but for the most part, people follow you out of interest or recommendation from another user they respect.

Ultimately, Twitter has several reasons that it works well for marketers and it’s increasingly becoming the must-use networking tool for Internet marketers.

If you haven’t already, try create a Twitter profile today and start tweeting your way to new followers, customers, joint ventures, and just plain addictive fun!

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With over 6 million users and counting, there’s no debate as to whether or not Twitter is popular. At present time, Twitter is estimated to be growing at a rate of 8000 new users daily.

Twitter’s attracts all kinds. You’ll find famous actors as well as your average citizen in small town USA. There’s writers, designers, small business owners, big corporations , and even the leader of the free world had a team of Internet savvy supporters that used Twitter as part of the massive campaign that led him to win the 2008 election.  If Barack Obama encourages Twitter, then you might want to check it out.

So, What Makes twitter So Popular?

The funny thing about twitter is, at least at this point, it’s popularity is a huge part of what makes it popular!  When you have a social site with over 6 million users, including large TV networks, the President Of The United States (indirectly), you know it’s beywond “catching on”.

When something is this viral already and then gets major mainstream attention, then it becomes THE place to connect with people, and like it or not, that’s what it is fast becoming.

Before the current hype though, Twitter gained it’s initial popularity from solid features that were new, exciting, and worked well in today’s fast forward digital lifestyle.  Everything constantly needs to be faster and easier, and Twitter delivered that with micro-blogging.

Humans thrive on relationships and interaction with each other, and Twitter created the ability to do that in real time at an extremely fast pace. In addition to the speed, Twitter also makes it possible to make the connection with your friends and followers at any given time. It’s not just for marketing either. Let’s say you’re working late and you  have trouble with an application you are using. Jump on Twitter and post for help. Often, depending on your number of followers, you can have a solution to your problem from a friendly follower in a matter of minutes.

Twitter is also extremely addictive which adds to it’s popularity and viral movement. If everyone you know is “on Twitter” whenever you asked them what they’re doing, then you feel obligated to try it out. Just don’t let yourself get too addicted!

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Twitter Marketing 101

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Anything that makes life easier, or is deemed a “time-saver”, is a popular commodity online, so it’s not surprising to see several applications being developed that add a little extra functionality to Twitter for it’s users.

There have been several application released that allow you to schedule your tweets for a later time and date. many of Twitter’s users feel that this takes something away from the heart and soul of Twitter, which is the whole idea of being social, and connecting , often in real time. However, there are also a group of users who embrace the convenience and automation that many of the add-ons bring.

To help you get an idea of what’s available out there, here are a few of the popular ones right now, and what they can do to add a little convenience to your twitter experience:

Tweet Later
This is probably the most popular service right now for scheduling your tweets. If you want to schedule one, or a series of messages to be broadcaster at a later time or date, then you can do that easily with Tweet Later. This handy little ap also allows you to follow anyone who follows you automatically, as well as send them an automated message when they follow you.

Social Too
This Twitter helper lets you automate the following of new followers as well. It also gives you the option of having lists sent to your email of people who both follow and un-follow you. Now, most people advise to not put any weight in who unfollows you, but others like to keep tabs in case there is a pattern of un-follows that match up with types of messages that they are tweeting.

Tweet My Blog
A pretty popular trend is to tweet your latest blog post (if you have one). If your blog is built on WordPress, then you can use Tweet My Blog to automatcially Tweet your latest post.

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