Twitter is a micro-blogging platform accessible via the Web and mobile phones. In just 140 characters or less, users can share thoughts, ideas, news, feedback, images, video and more. Twitter is also a searchable database of shared content and user generated ideas. It is a primary source for many realtime search engines and is useful for tracking trends and measuring sentiment about brands, events and topical issues as they occur.
A public message sent via twitter is called a tweet. If you have never sent a tweet before and don’t have a Twitter account, your first step is to create an account at twitter.com. Once you have created and verified your account, sending your first tweet is easy – just go to twitter.com, sign in, and type your message below the question “What’s happening?” and then click “Tweet”. In just those four steps your message is instantly broadcast to the network – and if it is interesting you might get a follower or two. A follower is someone that subscribes to your messages or tweets – and yes, you may do the same for others.
Tweeting (sending tweets) is a great way share and promote ideas. Twitter users can also reply to tweets and have open conversations about anything. If someone tweets an idea or link to a great article, you can also re-post (or retweet) that idea or article so that your followers may enjoy and share it too.
My favorite way to use twitter is to check out what people are saying in realtime about my favorite TV shows – yes, while I’m watching it. To do this I search for the name of the TV show and once the search results load, it’s as if I am watching the show with thousands of viewers by reading their comments and sharing my own.
I also use hashtags to quickly find information or track sentiments about events on Twitter. Hashtags are user generated keywords preceded by a # – some examples of hashtags are #modernfamily and #nascar (click to see what happens). When you place a number or pound-sign before a word in your tweet, you are creating a hashtag. Once you tweet a message with a hashtag, your tweet will be linked to tweets from other users with the same hashtag. If someone clicks on a hashtag that you have included in your tweet, they will see your tweet grouped with other tweets under the same hashtag. In short, hashtags help aggregate ideas.
Visit us again for tips on how to use Twitter for promotions – happy tweeting.