Twitter Made Easy

What Is Twitter and How Do I Use It?

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Twittering is simply a very easy method of communication in which you can interact with thousands of people in just a few seconds. You can share information, ask questions, network, receive live up to the minute breaking news, gain valuable business contacts, and personal connect to a community of like-minded people.

Twitter gives you 140 characters to send out a very short message into the twitter stream. Your standard tweets are displayed on your profile page, on the home page of each of your followers, and in the Twitter public timeline. These messages are viewed by those following you or by those visiting your profile.

You can communicate with someone directly by using the @ symbol before their user name (do not include a space) and that message will be displayed to that user indicating that you are communicating with them.

You can also communicate via direct message (DM) as well in which your tweet is kept private and is only seen by you and your recipient. In order to send someone a DM you must be following one another, you cannot send a direct message to some not following you, you can only send an @ to them. You can send @’s to anyone as well, they do not need to be following you.

You can manually change the options and disable certain features in your account settings.

Tweets can be sent out via the web or a Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, or through applications such asTweetdeck, Twhirl,  or one of the many other widgets or tools.

Great Twitter Video For Learning About Twitter:


“Twitter In Plain English”



Tips to Getting you Started:

Visit the Twitter website and click “Get Started-Join” to create your account. Fill in the information and you ready to go. You can use your real name, a company name, or any name really to identify you as your username. Your username is not set in stone either and can be changed at anytime.

Once your account is created, login and click “Settings.” From here, you can setup your account details, manage your password, register your mobile phone and IM account, configure how you receive notices, upload your photo/avatar/logo and customize your account’s design.

Your Twitter home page is located at twitter.com/your-username. Mine is www.twitter.com/twittonary

Once you have your settings to your liking its time to meet some fellow tweeple in the twitterverse.

To Follow or Not to Follow:

There are TONS of people on Twitter… it is NOT a competition about who can get the most followers in the shortest amount of time, it’s about quality of people and conversation. Those with large following will even tell how difficult it is to manage such a large Twitter Stream.

Imagine having 3000 instant messages sent to you each and every day! Its impossible to be able and respond to each one properly. Start with a few people that you either know or you have an interest in (you can search for other people with your interests a few ways as well) http://search.twitter.com/ is a great place to start.

Once you have had some communication, you will quickly discover if they are people you have an interest in or with, and if so you might enjoy following some of their friends, or you may discover other people who have taken an interest in you. Is a gradual process and takes time. Imagine it as a large social gathering with a bunch of people. Would you prefer to get to know a few well and make a lasting impression, or would you prefer to run around the room and tag everyone yet barely get a chance to even say hello?

Right or Wrong Way to Manage Twitter:

In all honesty, there is no wrong way of managing Twitter (even spammers know what they are trying to accomplish with it.) Just work it the same way you would in real life- it’s a social tool, so be social, engage others, and use it the best way you see fit. The lack of a right or wrong way is truly the genius behind Twitter and its all subjective as to how you choose to manage it.

Twitter For Businesses:

My two cents…businesses need to be on Twitter, period. Twitter can be used to broadcast your company’s latest news and blog posts, interact with your customers, or to enable easy internal collaboration and group communication.

I often hear, “HOW DO I MAKE MONEY WITH TWITTER” and its simple really. If you are a business owner of any type (and this includes bloggers, website owners, designers, lawyers, real estate agents, etc) You make money by gaining customers, friends, and associates with Twitter! It’s just as simple as that. You use Twitter as a tool to engage and interact with those looking for your services, yourself, or your business.

A Few Standard Questions I Get Often:

Whats a Retweet (RT) or a Via?
A retweet is when one individual republishes a tweet from someone in their network and shares it with their network. Usually when someone retweets the information discovered it’s because it adds value to their network. Most take it as a compliment that you are retweeting their information. To retweet someone you simple add RT and then their message and @user-name- be sure to give proper credit.

A via is basically the same thing as a retweet however instead of using the RT in front of the republished information, you use the via @your-name at the end and often times include your perspective or add a bit of value to the retweet itself.

What is a #(hastag)?
Hashtags are used to create real time track records of creating groups on twitter. Placing the # sign in front of keywords or targeted groups, makes it easier to track all conversations in the twitter timeline via search.


Fantastic Blogs/Articles and Guides To Help You Survive in the Twitterverse:

Twitter’s Own Blog
Twitter Support and Help Resources
Twitter Fan Wiki
Twitter TOS
17 Ways You Can Use Twitter: A Guide for Beginners, Marketers and Business Owners, by Dosh Dosh.
Twitter Tips by Problogger
Twitterhandbook.comWarren Whitlock & Deborah Micek

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17 Comments Posted in Funny Twitter Phrases, Twitter Games, Twitter Tips, Twitter Tools, Twitter Videos
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17 Comments

  1. Brilliant! I’ve already re-tweeted for some of my more “tweet-challenged” friends!

  2. Hey twittonary, love your stuff! I have a twitter ‘how to’ website that I thought would be a great addition to the bottom of this post under the ‘Fantastic Blogs/Articles and Guides To Help You Survive in the Twitterverse:’ and anywhere else on your site -http://tweeterland.com. Tweeterland.com is a website dedicated to everything twitter, helping twitter users learn and make the most of twitter.

    It’s great to see you and other websits getting on the twitter bandwagon! I’m obessed (hence the website!)

    Cheers,
    Mel
    Tweeterland
    http://tweeterland.com

  3. Twitter is very addictive. I like Twitter more than blogging. the messages are short and straight to the point.

  4. i love to Twitter my day to day activities to my friends and followers. Twitter is much better than blogging because it is direct to the point and does not require you to type so many unnecessary words.

  5. i just love to Twitter everyday with my friends. Twitter is much better than blogging in my opinion and it is very addictive too.
    . ..,

  6. Twitter is some ways is much better than blogging. I love to Twitter my everyday activities on my friends and relatives.
    ***

  7. i always update my Twitter and i love to twitter my daily activities to my friends and loved ones. i also maintain a personal blog for entries which requires more detail.

  8. Frankly, I don’t see the value of twitter. I read one market research report that revealed that nearly half of all tweets was “pointless babble.” Only 9% had “pass-along value.” Perhaps only 4% was “news.” Okay, I’m a senior citizen, but I get Instant Messaging. I get MySpace, FaceBook and Friendster. Heck, I even get an occasional rap song, if the beat and melody are just right. But this SMS for the internet seems a bit too thinly clever — a bit too much fad and flash in the pan, for my tastes. Maybe there’s a Zen side to this. Anyone care to Enlighten me?

  9. I think there can be a lot of flash with twitter but if you know exactly what you are looking for it can provide a tremendous amount of value- searching twitter as a marketer can help you to understand your customers and what they want from a service, a product, etc. It can also allow you to freely speak your mind in regards to a product or a service in hopes of improvement. Twitter is just a platform to be used as seen fit and many uses can apply- its up to you to find a use for it that is acceptable otherwise, you are right… its just noise.

  10. Starting new to twitter can be intimidating but when you genuinely utilize it as the powerful marketing tool it can be it will certainly pay off in the long run. I think twitter is a exceptional way to drive traffic to your site.

  11. i might not have figured this had been impressive two or three years ago yet somehow its surprising how age adjusts the way you perceive contrasting ideas, thanks regarding the post it is actually good to browse something smart now and then in lieu of the normal garbage mascarading as blogs on the net, i’m off to have fun with a couple of hands of zynga poker, take care

  12. I love to use Twitter whenever i want to know the latest buzz about my friends. I also use Twitter to know the latest buzz from famous persons `

  13. Folk underestimate the use of twitter while doing marketing. Twitter marketing is great for SEO and more people need to realise this. Twitter is a free tool, so why done people use it?

  14. Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

  15. I’m glad I found your site through google , really enjoyed it. Thank you..

  16. Great information- thanks for sharing!

  17. Check out Twitter Follower Widget – Shows Number Of Twitter Followers Pure HTML

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