Last week someone said to me, “I don’t want to feel like a twit when I tweet”. We laughed and it gave me an idea. She’s not the only one who feels this way.
If you’re used to Facebook, Twitter may may seem odd. The messages are shorter, there are no lengthy threads with everyone’s pictures and commentary. In fact, there are fewer pictures and videos overall at first glance. It may look less visual and more text heavy.
The best reason to tweet is there are few gatekeepers on Twitter.
Here’s an example, a friend of mine had a business developing digital books for children. Through Twitter, he connected with Dr. Alice Wilder. Dr. Wilder happens to be the creator of the hit kids’ show, Blue’s Clues. They struck up a friendship through Twitter and she was able to open doors for him at Nickelodeon, the children’s TV network.
This is just one example.
One small business woman built her business on tweeting 3 times a day. Now, she writes a column on small business for the New York Times.
Ok, so a few fundamentals.
What’s a Tweet?
The message you post is called a “tweet”. On Facebook it’s a status update or a post.
What’s a “Handle”?
Not everyone uses their own name on Twitter. You can call yourself your business name, or a nickname. Whatever you call yourself, it’s known as your “handle” like in the days of CB radio. Don’t stress over this, you can change it.
For awhile, I was @phillysocial, now I’m @jenphillipsapri (no “l”, not enough room. I may modify it.)
What’s a RT?
RT stands for ReTweet. It means you like something enough to share it with your followers. It’s similar to the “share” button on Facebook.
Your tweets are public to your followers. If you have 3 followers and you send a tweet, those 3 people will see it IF they’re on Twitter right then. If they’re not on Twitter until later or tomorrow, they won’t see it.
Likewise, if you follow 50 people, you have the possibility of seeing 50 tweets in a row from each of the people you follow. IF they’re all on Twitter at the same time posting.
What to Tweet?
It’s appropriate to:
- tweet about a interesting article you just read and share the link
- ask a question and see who answers
- start a conversation with someone — to do this, you can reply to one of their tweets
- find someone you met at a networking function and send them a tweet, “Hey, @networkingperson! Great meeting you at the card exchange!”
The @before the name is the address of the person you want to reach. Using it will ensure they see your tweet even if they don’t look at Twitter until tomorrow.
Earlier tonight I was watching Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter give a TED talk on the beginnings and the evolution of Twitter. He tweeted he was about to speak at the conference and that tweet went to his 60,000 followers. Just think what is possible for your business if you had 60,000 followers!
In the next post, I’ll share how to find people to follow–community leaders and reporters are just a few of the folks you may be interested in connecting with. I’ll also show you how to tweet like a pro!
To get this and other practical blog posts, please sign up below so you won’t miss a thing!