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Tips, Steps and Strategies for Using Twitter

Have you tweeted lately?  Tweets are posts on the popular social networking site, Twitter.  If you’re not familiar with Twitter, it’s time to take a look at the newest social marketing sensation.  Twitter is a social networking site which enables people to post via instant message and asks one simple question – What are you doing?”

Originally designed to help people stay connected it’s quickly becoming a tool used by businesses around the world and offers a number of business building features.

Step One:  Signup and Create Your Twitter Profile

Your first step is to signup and create a username and password.  Your username will be the name people search for you with so it should be familiar to your friends and family.  Additionally, you can change your username without losing your connections and settings.

Once you’ve signed in your next step is to create your profile.  Do this by clicking on the Settings tab in the top right hand corner. 

 

Once in settings you’ll see a variety of tabs to customize and personalize your profile.  These options include being able to design the background of your page.  You can use the templates provided by twitter or upload your own.

Step Two:  Find Friends

Like Facebook, Twitter enables you to upload friends from your email and contact lists.  You can also search for friends using their search feature.

 

Step Three:  Twitter Applications

You can access and post to Twitter online and you can have them forward tweets (posts on twitter) to your phone however there are also a large number of widgets and plug-ins which make Twitter accessible from just about anywhere including your Blackberry, iPhone, Gmail, post them on your blog for cross promotion and so on.  You can find a number of these applications by linking on the apps button at the bottom of each page or you can simply visit https://twitter.com/downloads

Step Four:  Begin Interacting

Twitter asks one question, “What are you doing?”  The trick is to make it relevant to your business, and interesting.  You can use Twitter to:

Drive Traffic To Your Blog – Post a question or a statement with a link to your blog.  Tim Ferris has conducted some research on most popular Tweets and found that posts which contain “how to…, best, most, worst, and great” are found in the most popular posts.  Additionally, questions often trigger a click through or a response.

Announce Contests and Promotions - Post and link to your website where the contest details are offered OR post a question and challenge someone to be the first response. Give them something related to your business for answering the question correctly.

Provide Valuable Information – Twitter gives you the opportunity to post information as it relates to your business and your industry.  Posting this information helps you become a credible authority in your industry.  For example, if you own a crafting store then you can post valuable crafting tips to share with your audience.

Engage Your Audience – Some of the most popular posts are posts which ask a question and engage your followers.  Using the crafting store owner example above, you could post a question asking followers about their favorite crafting hobbies. People love to share their experiences, advice, and opinions. 

Share Pictures or Videos – Twitpic and Twiddio offer users to post pictures and videos to connect personally with their audience.  Video marketing is a great way to build a brand and provide beneficial information. 

Twitpic.com allows you to upload your pics, attach a message, and they’re instantly uploaded to your twitter page as a post.

Twiddio, http://beta.twiddeo.com/, is the video sharing application and like Twitpic, enables users to upload video to share with their audience and post on Twitter.

 

Other Popular and Useful Twitter Applications:

  • Hashtags, #, are commonly used add context and metadata to your tweets. They're added inline to your post and created simply by adding a # before the keywords example, #hashtag.

  • Twitter Groups, http://twittgroups.com/index.php, gives you the ability to join and create groups to motivate a following for a specific niche.

  • Twitter Grader, http://twitter.grader.com/, tells you how you’re doing in comparison to other twitter folk and also offers following suggestions. 

  • Social Too, http://socialtoo.com/, is a great site which automates following those who follow you and can send you a daily report of who has followed or unfollowed you on Twitter.  It also filters spammers and has a survey function.

Because Twitter is growing in popularity each and every day, new applications, widgets and plug-ins are being created constantly.  By simply joining Twitter, you’ll be able to keep in touch with new tools and resources.

In order to use social networking sites optimally, it’s important to follow a few basic guidelines.  The next lesson takes a look at social networking etiquette.

 === > Lesson #5  Social Networking Etiquette

 

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