Facebook, Feeds & MicroBlogging Part One: Twitter

twitter session

Twitter, Tweets, Twits, Twats? Facebook apps? You’ve heard about Twitter, Facebook and Microblogging in the blogosphere, find out whether it’s worth your time as a business tool, or just a way to bug your friends.

Moderated by Kevin Ryan, the esteemed panel was composed of: Andy Beal, Consultant, Blogger & Author, Marketing Pilgrim LLC, David Snyder, Search Specialist, JRDunn.com, Neil Patel, Co-founder, ACS & Brian Morrissey, Digital Editor, AdWeek

Twitter: with Andy Beal
Andy jumped right into the meat, but I’m going to stick in a briefer:
Twitter is a short messaging service (limited to 140 characters per message) with both a web and mobile interface.
Once you sign up for Twitter, your updates are shown on a “public timeline.” But, this is inefficient. What you want, is for people to notice your tweets and to “follow” you. When someone follows you, your tweets are shown on their twitter page.
Andy Beal’s Twitter Tips
  • Jump in! Using Twitter regularly gets you lots of Google-juice pretty quickly.
  • Even if you’re not ready to jump into “tweeting,” sign up to secure your brand anyway.
  • Make yourself stand out from other tweeters on your twitter page by at LEAST updating the background colors. If you really want to go nuts, check out Twitterbacks.
  • Don’t just sit there, tweet! the basic twitter vernacular:
  • @andybeal : goes directly to someone (but still seen by the public. it’s kind of like addressing someone across a small circle of people talking, “hey andy!”)
  • d andybeal: direct private message (like IM) – only works if you are mutually following each other.
  • #olympics: put at end of their update, tags it for everyone, so search engines can pick up as tags
  • Favorite (not a big user of favorites) click on star to favorite it
  • Delete, but might not delete from everywhere (they might end up in RSS feed, or was fed into Facebook, etc.

  • Go into settings and change the setting for “@ replies” to “Show me all @replies” That way, you can see alerts from everyone who sends message to you.
  • Don’t use protection!!
  • Learn the Pigdin: common terms:
  • Tweet: an update
  • Tweeple/Tweeps (not twits): people you tweet with
  • Follow/followers: people whose updates you view, and who view yours
  • ReTweet: someone tweets something you find interesting, you so copy and paste it and resend it as a tweet of your own. Be sure to attribute it  (be careful)
  • Check twictionary
  • Follow the leader: be careful. Don’t follow everyone. You’ll get updates from 5000, and you can’t keep up. Might get tagged a spammer. Follow: peers, press, employees, influencers, important customers.

Twitter is like One Big Cocktail party of dynamic conversations: Here are some tips:

  • Don’t go back ten hour conversations. Keep up.
  • Don’t send Twitter spam.
  • @conversations to build followers: you might start a conversation directly with someone, but THEIR followers might be interested in what you have to say, and start following YOU.
  • Don’t always expect a reply (may not be in contact)
  • Sometimes direct messages fall on deaf ears – it will only get thru if person is following you.

Start Sharing!!

  • Why should someone follow you on Twitter?
  • Do you break news?
  • Live-tweet events/conferences
  • Good ratio for Tweeting is 80% social/20% business

Cross-Promote Carefully!

  • Use Twitterfeed.com – twitter will check your blog, let someone know if your blog updates
  • company updates
  • trackur –
  • if biz heavy, set up profile purely for biz. Updates, announcements, etc.

Tools of the Trade

Online Reputation Management (ORM) Meets Twitter: even if aren’t personally tweeting, use tools to monitor what OTHER PEOPLE are tweeting about your brand.

Some help from Andy’s peeps

Charlene would like to add:

  • You can add links to your tweets, but they need to be SHORT. So use tinyurl to transform a long URL to a short one.
  • Remember: Twitter archives conversations.
  • Privacy issues: don’t say anything in Twitter that you shouldn’t.
Panel Comments:
  • Useful as a form of communication, but it shouldn’t be one you fully rely upon. Great for casual conversation.
  • Twitter goes down a lot.
  • Twitter a mixture of things: social things, links, ideas, thought
  • Brian Morrissey – as a reporter, it’s a way for me to develop sources, it’s like a cocktail party conversation with over a 1000 people. Would not be possible without these tools. Even e-mail is inefficient now. Lots of people don’t check their voice mails. But at the end of hte day, they are still just tools.

Be sure to continue to Facebook, Feeds and MicroBlogging Part II: The Angry Facebook Guy.

Charlene Jaszewski is head honcho over at Smartypants Group, where consultants help small businesses and technology play nicely together. You can follow her on twitter @smartypantsgrp.

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