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Twitter 101

October 2, 2009

About
Twitter is a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices.

Interactivity Etiquette
Twitter is multiple times a day tool. You need to be communicating when other people check-in to read what is in their feed. You want to stay visible in your follower’s feeds. I use a lot of scheduled tweets to try to reach as many followers as possible.

Capabilities

  • Send quick updates to a mass of people on multiple devices – i.e. cell phones, email, etc.
  • Fundraise and take payments through TwitPay application
  • Update your Twitter status via Facebook
  • Share links with a wide audience
  • Encourage people who are using your product or talking about your cause
  • Live customer service – see an example
  • Correct misinformation about your product or cause – use monitoring applications like TweetDeck
  • Builds Google ratings by increasing visits by interested customers
  • Friends invite friends to build your reach virally
  • Social networking tool to find people you won’t find on other mediums
  • Schedule tweets with third party tools like HootSuite

Drawbacks

  • Only handles short (140 characters) messages
  • Needs to work with another platform to convey information – i.e. links
  • Up to the minute updates are only useful if you have a smart phone (iPhone, Blackberry, etc)
  • Hard to keep information private – unless you protect your tweets and not really the point of Twitter
  • TERRIBLE search function – I advise using Google to find users

Great Uses for Twitter

  • Tweet as a mascot or character – it can be mind numbing to try to tweet in character or a long period of time, but worth a try
  • Quick updates about an event –  create buzz with updates and reveals on event plans — This could even work on a personal level for family reunions or weddings – create a protected twitter account which protects your updates and only follow people who are involved in the event
  • Offer Twitter only deals – tweet coupon codes and more fun stuff for your followers
  • Add humor to your feed – you need to be entertaining and informative – Portland Red Cross does a great job of this!
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