Social Media and the A to Z of Twitter
I have had quite a few conversations about Twitter lately that forced me to reflect on my own perspective– a year ago. The general theme of these conversations were 1) "I have a Twitter account but do not use it" and 2) "There is "too much noise " on Twitter- I cannot see the value and don't have the time".
A year ago I would have said exactly the same thing. The analogy I like to use is that a year ago I use to look through the window of the "Twitter House" and all I saw were fragmented sentences (or at least what looked like sentences) being hurled around in an internal whirl-wind of nonsense! However, so many people were raving about this 140-character "mumbo jumbo" capability I had to take a closer look. As a result, I decided to enter the "Twitter House" to see what all the fuss was about. As I entered, I was given also sorts of tools (like l"ists") so that I could personalize the experience. Lists gave me the capability of customizing the rooms in the house where I could assign people by categories for those members I was interested in i.e. people who I wanted to follow more closely. This immediately reduced the "noise" and my tweets began to make sense. It was like magic! I have since found that the more I used it, the more I saw the value. How does the song goes? " I am a believer!"
There is so much weight in this 140-character platform and the fact that you have to get your point out within this limitation makes it efficient. Thereby saving time to connect on social media. Because I do have a lot of Twitter information to share, I want to do this post in the spirit of Twitterland. I am going to describe my version of the A to Z of Twitter with succinct sentences,which will hopefully describe Twitter as a valuable social site. Here goes...
Followers that connect with you because they believe you do interesting things and/or have interesting things to say.
Twitter is often used to broadcast information such as blog posts, links, deals, events, news.
Twitter is all about conversations & chats that continues over time. It is like talking to an old friend - you essentially pick up the conversation where you left off. The time-lapse is of no consequence. (you should also take a look at my post on Power of Twitterchats
Many use Twitter to search for conversations on a particular topic; or to find people; or to find references and posts; or to find events and increasingly more are using it to find jobs.
In two words- be social (see my post on social).
You can bookmark your favorite tweets so that you can reference it at a later time.
You can mark the location of your tweets. You can also search by location –this is very powerful for tracking leads, deals and people.
What would twitter be without this glorious tag? Read my post on the 13 uses of the hashtag
Twitter interactions are all the mentions and follows that you get. It is like your own micro-reviews.This is captured in a stream for easy viewing.
The Twitter jargon is in a continuous evolution due to the 140- character limitation. It is an acceptable form of communication in Twitterland. It is amazing how creative you can get in order to get your point across :)
Klout started measuring the interaction on Twitter and as a result there is a very integrated relationship that exists between the two platforms. Tools exist that you can view Klout scores of Twitter members
Twitter gives you the ability to develop lists (categories) for your followers to ease your own interaction and viewing of your followers. You can make your list private (only you see it) or public (everyone sees it). You can also subscribe to other people’s public lists.
Highlights who is talking about you on Twitter
You can manage how you want to be notified of new tweets, favorites etc. This can be managed under settings.
Your tweets (message) can be open (public) or closed (protected). Again you can set the level of privacy in settings. For protected tweets you select which followers can see your tweets.
Similar to other social sites, you have a profile page but in true Twitter fashion you are limited to 160 characters for your bio! You do have the option of customizing your background where you can add additional information.
Twitter is an excellent platform to ask questions formally (eg while attending a conference) or informally ( eg to your followers to learn a tip or two).
Last week I heard Scooter Braun say "When you follow-back on Twitter, it is like giving a handshake to your connection". Twitter is a great vehicle for recognition. Recognition can be given a number of ways 1) by a retweet, 2) by making a tweet a favorite 3) Using the Follow Friday (FF) for your worthy followers 4) By a sentence just saying Thank you (TY, TU. Thks).
Another form of recognition is the shout-out (SO). It is a broadcast recognition with many followers' names in a tweet.
The most talked/tweeted about topic at a given time and given location is highlighted in "Trends".
Your user-name is often referred to as your Twitter-handle For example my Twitter-handle is @willimpearl
To protect yourself against spammers, you can sign up to services that will validate accounts.
At the end of the day, Twitter simplifies word-of-mouth connection and networking to its most basic form. It is the equivalent of saying "Lets have quick chat" which the techies call micro-blogging.
It is all about the eXchange of information with your followers that can easily be amplified with a retweet. Today it is one of the fastest moving broadcasting machine to get your news out there.
YOU make the Twitter experience as valuable as you want it to be. I have found the more you invest the more you get out of it.
Finally the Twitter Red/Zed Carpet Rockers. Listerious is a great site to get acquainted with the Who's who of Twitter by all kinds of categories.
That’s a crash course on Twitter. Feel free to leave your feedback, questions or other.