Twitter.com, How to use it?
300 million people all around the world currently use Twitter, 500 million tweets fly through this social network every day and about 80% of the people use it through their cellphone. It’s most popular in the USA, but it is getting more and more followers in other parts of the world and in our country.
Just like Facebook or any other social network, which is daily visited by millions of people and where news is spread really fast, Twitter can be except for communication with friends suitable as a marketing tool for your business as well.
What is Twitter and how does it work?
If you haven’t encountered it yet, imagine it as a river of short text messages (a little shorter than a SMS), which are written daily by the media, institutions, celebrities, but mainly other users. Out of it you select those users, which you consider interesting - media, experts and friends - and you create your personalized subscription from them.
Thanks to limiting one message (tweet) to 140 characters, you can follow hundreds of sources and pay attention only to the information, which captures your interest. Currently you can insert pictures and videos in the tweets.
No one is limiting you from adding any Twitter user - from president Obama to Robert Fico, your favorite athlete, friend or business partner. As opposed to Facebook, nothing needs to be approved here, and it’s only up to you whom you want to read or follow. Of course you can contribute in the same way to the information river and wait for someone to read your tweets.
Everyone who starts to follow your account is your follower from this moment one and your importance on Twitter depends on the number of followers. The greater the number of followers you will have, the more popular you are on the network and the more people see your tweet once you send it.
The world media, influential bloggers, celebrities, institutions, etc. use it as the fastest communication channel. In Slovakia the selection of interesting accounts is significantly smaller, but it’s getting better and Twitter gains popularity.
- As opposed to the diverse Facebook, Twitter is a simpler service, in which you can model your tool to your linking.
- Twitter can be used essentially in three ways:
- You can create a social platform similar to Facebook, through which you will be in contact with your friends.
- You can use it as a variation of the RSS information and newsreader, if you will follow the media, blogs (or mix the first and the second method, which is quite common).
- You can use it as a marketing tool for the promotion of your business and contact with your customers.
How to start using Twitter?
Begin by creating an account on the Twitter homepage. Until you become a full part of this social network and you get your first followers, the Twitter might look like an inhospitable place. However this will change very quickly once you start to use it.
Before you start looking for contacts worthy of following, I recommend starting with your own profile and info about yourself. It is important so as to let everyone know what you pursue, what interests you, what you do, etc., so that other users could easily find you, if they have the same interests you do.
You can find the first people and sources to follow easily directly through Twitter, using the search by name or keywords. You can find catalogues like Twellow to look for Twitter users. At the same time Twitter will automatically and purposefully display and recommend various other sources and users based on the data in your profile and also based on what you tweet about and whom you follow.
Subsequently you will take on other accounts while surfing on the web. The majority of webpages all around the world, which publish original information, use twitter and steadily it’s becoming a standard also in our country. Typically you can find the link to their Twitter account on the homepage of their webpage in the form of a turquoise T or similarly colored bird.
By following your sources you will quickly discover the uses of Twitter (addressing others through @, use of hashtags, marking a topic using #, retweet, i.e. republishing the tweets of others) and trick, how to use only 140 characters (shortening of links like bit.ly or t.co).
When you get familiar with Twitter and you start following some people or organizations, you will start tweeting yourself. The topic, style, frequency, everything is up to you. If you want to be a respected expert in your field, which can enrich others, or an inspirational ideas maker, entertainer, writer of ultra-short fairytales, photograph, etc. You will be limited only by your time and desire to write.
As soon as you successfully take part in the communication, it might happen that the Twitter webpage will be limiting. Why not use Twitter in your cellphone, or why not download an app to your notebook, which you can tweak to your liking?
You can use e.g. the TweetDeck app for publishing on Twitter, or following other. Whether it’s for the notebook, iPhone or Android, you have a transparent, elegant, comfortable and especially customizable environment. The app is split into several comments with the content you chose. You can find all kinds of conveniences, which will simply your life on Twitter.
Twiter has also a big potential in the field of business on the Internet and Internet marketing especially because it can focus on a very specific field, topic and interest of users and create a high quality focused audience. So if you send a good offer to people with similar interests, there is a big chance it will interest them and you will get new clients.
Of course the active use of Twitter requires more time, regular sending of tweets has to be secured, adding of new followers, communication with the users, maintaining the followers and their database in good condition, etc. Especially to simplify certain activities and the highest possible automation there are various external applications, which can do this and can save you a lot of time and effort.
I will mention at least 3 of these application, which I tried myself and each has functions, which can be used for free. Automate all your social media tasks
We will talk some other time a little more about these applications, how to use them and why are they useful, because it would be too much for now…
Tip: If you will use Twitter as a marketing tool for your business, do not mix your business account with your private life. Don’t tweet in your business account what you had for lunch and similar things If you want to use Twitter for your business, but also as a tool for communication with your friends, it’s better to create two separate account.
If you have own experience and tips for the use of Twitter, you can share them in the comments section of this article below.
About the Author
I have working experience ranging from start ups to corporate fortune 500 companies (CBRE) I combine an analytical mindset with a creative, out-of-the box way of thinking. I have worked for Lion&Lion (major digital agency in southeast Asia) where I was part of the Marketing and Facebook Advertisment teams. Helped a lot of start ups for fun mainly with business and marketing plans, market research and branding.