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How To Twitter 101

So, you’re thinking of joining the Twitterverse.

Wikipedia defines Twitter as: A website, owned and operated by Twitter Inc., which offers a social networking and microblogging service, enabling its users to send and read other users’ messages called tweets.

Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page.
Tweets are publicly visible by default, however senders can restrict message delivery to their friends list.
Users may subscribe to other users’ tweets-this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers.

Now that the formalities are taken care of, let’s dive into the Twitterverse and find out how to Twitter!

What is Twitter?

Beyond the text book definitions of a micro-blogging social networking phenomenon, Twitter is used and thought of differently by many different people. Twitter is a way to connect with friends and family, a source of news, trends and gossip but most of all Twitter is THE most influential and important marketing tools of the 21st century. It doesn’t matter what you are marketing, whether it’s a multibillion dollar corporation, a local flower shop, start up band or yourself, Twitter will get your voice and opinions heard.

Why is it called a micro-blog?

Blogs are places to voice opinions, thoughts and share ideas. This is exactly what twitter does, yet it does it in short bursts of 140 characters called Tweets.

First time using Twitter

I won’t waste your time explaining the basics of setting up a twitter account. I will assume you can find your way to Twitter.com and follow the simple step by step process to set up your own account (if you don’t already have an @ccount).

That being said, setting up a Twitter account is a little different in the sense that you have to be real concise and short with your words. Take a look through these helpful videos if you are having trouble with the Twitter sign up process.

First time users can learn how to use twitter in a very short time. The best way to learn how to Twitter is to spend some time looking around the site. Spend a little time looking around before you worry about gaining any followers or filling out your full bio. This way there is no pressure. Check out peoples tweet and what they do, not so much what they say. Don’t worry about their message, just what they are doing with it, since it will most likely not be relevant to you but it will be relevant to someone else. Click on their links, pay attention to how they are using twitter and after a few mins each day looking around, it will all make sense.

Most first time Twits have the same thought pattern…. “What is twitter and why is this pointless site so popular?”

That is a great question.

8 Reasons Why is Twitter so popular:

1. Simplicity –

Twitter is simple. Simple as that.

2. Get your opinions heard –

Acceptance. Everyone wants to feel part of something bigger and greater. Getting your opinions heard by others makes people feel part of the online blogging phenomenon. It is also a great place to pitch your favourite ideas or post comments about products or services.

3. Communication –

It’s frowned upon in our culture to call someone up just to let them know we are having a shower, or just drank the most amazing cup of coffee, yet Twitter makes this acceptable.

4. Connect –

Not only can you connect, talk and share ideas with anyone in the world (who uses Twitter) you can also connect to twitter almost anywhere. With the latest smart phones and app worlds, there are more and more places you can log onto Twitter and check the latest trends.

5. Voyeurism –

People love to ease drop on conversations and know what is going on in the community. With twitter, a whole new world of gossip has opened up. Find out what the latest celebrities or even your neighbours are up to.

6. Popularity –

Want more friends? Now it is easier than ever! Sit in your chair, start following some people and chances are they will follow you back! All of a sudden you have turned from Joe Nobody, to being friends with top A-Lister like Barrack Obama and Justin Bieber! Now all you have to do is sit back and bask in the glory of popularity.

7. Marketing –

As I mentioned before, Twitter is one of the greatest marketing tools. Used correctly you can increase brand recognition, sell products or gain additional followers on your blog. Also known as backdoor marketing.

8. Slang –

Since there is a 140 character limit, people get away with bad grammar, spelling and sentence structure. PRT Thx 4 that, just fab, now ever1 is going 2b even worse spellers than we woz b4. cr8tivity at its finest. BFN

How To Gain More Followers

1. Write short, provocative, creative tweets with big impact.

Write about your passions. It will show. Questions work great to make people think and perhaps even click on a link. Share useful info and links that you yourself find interesting and you think others might as well.

2. Start following people you are interested in.

There is a good chance they will then be interested in what you have to say and follow back. If you start following multiple random people, this is a great way to get a large amount of followers at one time yet the quality of the followers will be very low. They may not care about what you have to say or what you stand for. The followers at that point are just for show and not to “sell” them on anything, be it your product or opinion.

3. Create a Bio.

Your bio is what people first read when they check out your profile. You have limited space here so make sure it is to the point, explains who you are and what you will be tweeting about.

4. Get a background.

People have been known to start following someone just because they like the background they used or preferably made. This can be a difficult step since Twitter has recently changed it background format. How much of your background people see depends on the size and quality of each individuals monitor. Free Twitter Background Designer

5. Money.

Money can buy you anything, including more followers. There are sites that will (for a nominal fee) add followers to your account. I do not recommend this since it is a sleaze copout and can be easily done free of charge. It just might take a little bit more effort.

6. Retweet.

7. Be active.

Be part of the conversation. Talk to people following you and more importantly, people who aren’t following you.

8. Add your twitter URL and @ccount name everywhere you can.

Email signatures, business cards, websites, car window, anywhere your tweets collide with the real world. The more links to your profile, the more chances of gaining additional followers.

9. Don’t over tweet.

I can’t tell you the number of people I have added only seconds later to realize it was a horrible mistake. My Twitter stream was blanketed with one person’s tweets. It becomes hard to read the tweets you care about if you can’t find them in a cluster of annoying Twitterrhea.

About the Author: Dave R F is an expert in Internet and Business online.  To read more on What Is A Retweet, Twitter Tips and Tricks, How To Use Twitter Like A Pro, 8 Twitterquette Tips and Twitter definitions, Please visit http://www.squidoo.com/howtotwitter.

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