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Do You Tweet? Here are the basics…

How (and why) to Tweet 

If you think (like I have been thinking) that Twitter’s tweeting is a fun but kind of silly exercise meant for someone else but not you for business, then I found out at the social media conference last week that we may have to consider changing our tunes.  DARN.  Like we don’t have enough to do all day.

Jack Dorsey's first conception of how a SMS (short message system) --- would work - circa 2006

Jack Dorsey’s first conception of how a SMS (short message system) for social networking could would work – circa 2006

With 500 million people using it, Twitter has enormous power – it has even set revolutions into motion in the middle east!  It is an incredibly fast way to communicate with a bunch of people publicly or to just one person privately.  You have to say your piece in 140 characters (made that way for mobile phones and texting).

Companies are using it to increase their brand reach and get more people’s attention, and the citizens of countries that have slow or poor internet coverage are using it to communicate important plans in their war for independence.  And some people just use it for fun.

Your HANDLE?  That’s the username that you choose to represent yourself or your company, so when someone wants to TWEET (write) to you, they put an @ in front of your handle (username) so that Twitter knows where to direct the message.

And that pound sign (#) that Twitter calls a HASHTAG? (I have no idea why.)  It goes somewhere  into your message to tell Twitter that you want to participate with a particular group’s chat –usually about a special topic or event.  For example, I was at the huge Social Media Marketing World Conference last week, and when we wanted to tweet to each other, we put #SMMW13 (the 13 is for 2013) into our tweets, and we could all be “chatting” to each other in one area in our Twitter accounts.  (Of course, we could have turned around and just shaken hands with someone and started talking, but oh well – what do I know?)

So here’s an example. I really need to send a message to a guy with a name that makes a pig like me, AdHelper Bizpig, shiver: Kevin Bacon.  So I go to Twitter.com and look him up and find out I can write him a tweet if I use his username: @kevinbacon.  So here goes:

@kevinbacon  You need to change your name – it is upsetting to pigs!  I protest!

When Mr. Bacon logs into his Twitter account, he can see my tweet, and he knows it is from me because Twitter tells him that, and he’ll even get my photo, and he could tweet me back if he wanted to.  I sure hope he does.  Or maybe I should just DM him (send him a Direct Message).

When you decide you want to give tweeting a try, open an account with Twitter (see video below for exactly how to do this), and then you search for people you might like to FOLLOW (which means that you’ll subscribe to read anything that they tweet), and they may choose to FOLLOW BACK because they want to see what you have to say, too.

Lots of big brands pay people to watch Twitter all day, seeking any mention of their brand and reacting to it positively so that their customers feel that the brand cares.  But maybe you’ll just want to tweet to your kids:

@surferkid Where R U? im w8g by frnt dor n car. b@car n 5. 143 303

Translation:  (@surferkid=my fake child’s username) Where are you? I am waiting by the front door in the car.  Be at the car in 5 minutes. I love you, Mom

You can just type it in regular words, but shortening words for texting is fun to think about – to see all the abbreviations click here.

Twitter has videos and help for you to get started; go to https://support.twitter.com/groups/50-welcome-to-twitter. Or you can watch this video on how to sign up and get ready:

Hope this helps!   Tweet someone you know — you might be very surprised because Twitter wasn’t started as a kid thing — Jack Dorsey (that clever man who invented the Square [scroll down to see previous post below this one]) used it at some adult conferences to get it going.    Hey, send me your tweet handle and I’ll tweet you back!   My email is adhelperbiz@gmail.com  Or click on the little bird button below, and it will automatically take you to Twitter so you can tweet away.  So tweet to me at @adhelpercom. I’ll tweet you back.

AND ALSO…..A Word About Personal Branding:

Our expert contributor on Personal Branding, Katy Goshtasbi, has just notified me that she has some important new thoughts on personal branding, plus she has a free ebook about the importance of personal branding.  If you have would like to get her free ebook, click here to go to her Puris Image website. 

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