Twitter is a website which offers social media networking and microblogging. Twitter users send out "tweets" which is basically a 140 character response to "what are you doing?" Tweeters can also attach pictures and videos to their tweets, making them much more personal. According to Computerworld, as of July 2010, there were 75 million twitter users with a growth rate of 7.8 million new users per month.
There is some etiquette associated with the twitter microblogging platform.
- Whenever you acquire a new follower, it is customary to follow them back.
- It is also customary to send them a direct message thanking them for following you. One of the biggest "twitter taboos" is to send your new follower a direct message with an affiliate link or a link to your website. If they are interested in you, trust me, they with click on your website in your profile to find out more about you. Adding a link to your thank you DM is like shoving your information down their throat...and may be considered Spam.
- If a fellow tweeter retweets your tweet, it is respectful to send them a simple thank you. A little courtesy goes a long way, and to tweeters, it is very much appreciated.
Twitter is a relationship building and marketing tool just like Face book is. It's not a platform to Spam folks with your business opportunity, but rather a place to provide value to folks who may be interested in what you have to offer. It all comes down to attraction marketing. Provide value to people...and in turn, if folks are interested in what you have to offer...they will seek you out. It works.
There are many applications out there that can make your twitter experience more effective. I'll list some of the most common used twitter applications available:
Tweetdeck: TweetDeck is an Adobe AIR desktop Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Buzz and MySpace application. Like other Twitter applications it interfaces with the Twitter API to allow users to send and receive tweets and view profiles from one application. You can also make lists and view DM'S @ responses, favorite tweeter lists or groups all from one application.
Socialoomph: Socialoomph is a free application (there is also a paid service), that allows you to send your welcome DM on autopilot. I don't know about you, but I am continuously inundated with e-mails everyday saying "such and such is now following you on twitter." To cut down on the "thanks for following me e-mails," I use Socialoomph to send it for me. You can also set it to automatically follow any new followers..."easy peasy." You can also schedule updates from your blog through socialoomph, so your tweets can go out when you are too busy to send them yourself.
Untweeps: Untweeps is an application that allows you to unfollow "stale followers." These are the folks who don't tweet enough. It will list your followers who haven't tweeted in the last 30 days and then you can unfollow them...who wants to follow a tweeter who doesn't tweet? Not me.
Twitpic & YFrog: These two applications allow you to upload pics, whether it be from your mobile phone or PC, and attach them to your tweets.
In a nutshell, Twitter is a wonderful relationship building and marketing tool. If used effectively, you will develop new friendships, learn many new things from the folks who provide value to you, and essentially build your business through the biggest "cocktail party" on the Internet.
To Your Tweeting Success, Anne Theriault
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