New To Tweeting? 12 Useful (And Not So Obvious) Tips For Business Newcomers

February 18, 2009 at 12:48 am 1 comment

First, here’s a good article introducing you to Twitter Marketing – Harness The Power of Social Networks by @daivrawks.

Second – a great screencast demo to introduce you to the fundamentals of Twittering:
Basic Intro to Twitter (Screencast Demo) By @smallbiztrends

Then here are a 10 12 tips that a small business just starting to use Twitter will find handy and can get you off to a fast start (but might not be immediately obvious):

  1. http://search.twitter.com – Useful for searching for topics and other Tweeple with similar interests.  If this is accessible through a button on the home or profile page, it’s not anywhere obvious (or so obvious we can’t see it).  Soon this will be changing when Twitter does it’s next updates and you will be able to search right from your page: http://www.twittertruth.com/
  2. Retweet, retweet, retweet – if you come across a tweet that is useful for your followers, especially if it comes from someone that might not be in their network – someone who is new or only has a few hundred followers – retweet it.  Here’s a good HowTo.  And if you use one of the applications mentioned in #6 they make it easy to retweet with a click of a button.  When you retweet you are spreading the word by sharing it with your network.  Successful Twitterers don’t just “dump” (as it is termed) their own promotional information onto the line, but help connect their followers with useful information from all types of sources.
  3. Follow how many people retweet your posts by searching at the link in #1 above with the following….  rt @yourname
  4. If you see a # before keywords, groups and locations – that is known as a hashtag and here’s a great overview of what they are, how they work, how to track them, and more. Additionally here is a good site to bookmark that is collecting and describing the hashtags currently in use. Although we did not find #followfriday (or #fridayfollow – have seen both) which is a way of recognizing, on Friday of course, tweets which contain other users you want to recommend to your follows.  A tweet might go like this…Site Ducky recommends @ellenmcneill @mashable @zindella #followfriday #fridayfollow
  5. Mr. Tweet is a useful Twitter “personal assistanthttp://mrtweet.net/ that has an interesting feature allowing you to recommend and be recommended by others. Most usefully, though, it can help you evaluate who to follow and how to intelligently expand your network.  This is my favorite feature – it will DM you once in awhile to let you know it’s found some folks you might be interested in following.  the interface is one of the more useful I’ve seen.  Once you join (again not so obvious if you were in a hurry and didn’t bookmark) you find your page at http://www.mrtweet.net/home/yourtweetusername
  6. There are many, many, many applications and browser plugins to help you stay on top of twittering, and filter tweets, with varying degrees of functionality, without having to log into your tweet home page….here are a few: Twhirl, TwitBin, AlertThingy and TweetDeck. In our next post Advanced Twitter Tips, For Week Old Twitterers, we’ll discuss support applications more in depth.
  7. Your @replies are public and are viewable on your home page – direct messages are private – you would be well-advised not to learn the hard way (How Twitter Stopped A Coup/The Economist).
  8. Official Twitter CommandsFun Guide To Twitter Lingo.
  9. Use TinyURL to shorten long links (this has a host of other good uses too since you can make custom TinyURLs, too) or try Tweetburner which will also track click-thrus.  Handy way to track interest in your Tweets.
  10. Yes, Virginia – you can delete a Tweet.  And No. Accidently hit the enter button too soon?  Maybe meant to send a DM with your email address and sent it out to the public instead?  Just log into your Twitter home page, find the tweet and select the trash icon over on the right.  It will be deleted from your home page, but unfortunately it remains in searches.  Guess we can’t have everything!
  11. If you follow someone and receive a Direct Message (DM for short) 99.5% of the time it is auto-generated. Like getting an answering machine.  Some auto-generating apps are even clever enough to insert your first name!  So don’t be fooled.  If you find you are getting a lot of these and find them annoying (because how do you tell the “real” ones from the auto generateds?) try the optout services provided by @socialtoo and @optmeout.
  12. Twittering can be addictive. Formal or informal, a strategic game plan defining your goals is just as essential here as anywhere in your marketing plan.  More on that in the next post!

Advanced Twitter Tips For Week Old Twitterers Posting Soon. Please comment and add your own Not So Obvious Tips to help out Twitter Newcomers. Share the love!



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Entry filed under: Social Media, Twitter, Twitter Applications. Tags: , , , , .

Why Twittering Is Essential For Small Business Success Social Bookmarking Buttons: Free & Essential For Your Website and Blog

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ellen McNeill  |  February 25, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks Dawn for a VERY informative post on Twitter. I knew a little about it (and tweet every day) but you really went into detail and provided a lot of info I had no idea about.

    Ellen McNeill
    America’s Productivity Coach

    Reply

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