Getting started with twitter may 2010

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an instruction for people who want to start with twitter


Getting started with Twitter a guide for beginners Huib Koeleman, May2010 Negative views on twitter It takes time You cant twitter at work Twitter contributes to information overload Twitter is a techno nerds hobby. Twitter cannot be controlled Twitter doesnt replace email Twitter makes the organisation vulnerable Positive views on twitter Twitter makes interesting items visible Twitter helps to get feed-back after a meeting Twitter is faster than any other channel Twitter makes it easy to organise meetings Twitter is great for polls and surveys Twitter unites people who want to share knowledge Twitter offers a forum What is your aim with twitter? Contact friends and family? Know whats going on in the world? Share knowledge and keep in touch with colleagues? Tips In the case of 1 and 2 you can use a fun name and an avatar In the case of 3 you better use your real name, so people can find you. It makes you more trustworthy (and it prevents other people from using your name) Dont use dots, spaces or commas . The shorter the name the better How to start a twitter account Full Name: use your full name. (Search machines can find you now) Username: The name that pops up at the twitter screen Tip: keep it short and simple Web: your website, or your LinkedIn web address Make it easy to be found! Use settings & profile Use a recognizable picture with a smile (max 700k). It makes you reliable (cartoons can be fun, but not for business purposes, logos make it impersonal) Bio: the more words/tags you write down, the easier you can be found. Use words like project manager, communication, infrastructure, (check the examples on the tweepguide), Location: the place where you live or work How do I find friends and interesting people to follow? Type at Find People the name of a person you know. If the right person appears, follow that person by clicking the follow-button (the +) Google can help too; just search for a name, in combination with twitter Other sources: Search the twitter web with # (hashtag) on keywords. Thats a great way to find people with the same interests. Look at . It searches biographies on key words Or follow the original source of a retweeted message By clicking the word profile you can see your own tweets In the field what s happening you can leave your tweet in 140 characters (and click on tweet) And if you want to reply.... Click on reply and write your answer. If you want to share a message click on retweet (you can also copy and paste, and add your own comment) The twitter language Follower: someone who follows you and gets all your messages on screen Reply: reply on an older message D (or direct message) a reply on an older message thats not public. Only the other respondent can read it. (Direct messages are only possible when you follow a person) RT: retweet, to copy that interesting message youve received to your own followers #: hashtag. You use it for a key word. When other tweeters click the hashtag, they can see all the messages using that same key word. Listed: you can list the people you follow (work, friends, et cetera). NB you can choose to follow lists of other tweeters , and they can follow your lists. Hashtag # A label you use to tag a topic, some examples #ashtag: everything about the ashcloud #internalcomms: internal communication If you want to follow a discussion on hastags? Use Dont invent your own hashtag. Check first. It prevents twitter space from having different hastags for the same item Twitterfall helps you to get recent information on a hashtag, it will show every new tweet that is posted If the topic doesnt have a hashtag, try, Twazzup or Tweetgrid to find tweets on a certain topic When you click @name (mentions) you can see all messages that mention your twitter name (repl ie s on one of your tweets, but also other discussions) You can also find one-on-one messages clicking direct messages. What kind of messages should you tweet? Basic questions What are you doing?, What are you working on?, What strikes you? But also: Links to interesting documents, blogs or sites (also your own blog or site) Opinions on (work related) topics, dont forget to use the #hashtag, if you do, so other people can find your opinion when they dont follow you yet Ask your followers questions (or ask the whole world question s , using #daretoask) Codes Twitter is a friendly environment Your followers dont like negativism. If they dont like what you write they will unfollow. And if you dont like what you read, you can do the same When you retweet, or quote somebody, let him or her know by using @with the name of the person helps you to have an overview of your tweets Some suggestions Your tweets are visible for everybody in the whole world, EVERYBODY. Even when you retweet to a message. Thats a big difference to email. The group of people you choose to follow, doesnt have to be exactly the same group of people that follows you. Check mentions on a regular base, otherwise you dont see the messages from people who are not on your list of people you follow Following famous people can be fun, but dont expect them to react on your messages. Real communication takes place between you and your friends/colleagues Some suggestions (2) Links to articles, blogs and sites are great for sharing knowledge Attach pictures or videos. They draw a lot of attention You only have 140 characters. Use TinyURL to make links tiny Dont expect to have 100 followers in two weeks time. It takes more time for the right people to find you. Using twitter costs time and energy. If you dont want to spend that time, dont start twitter. Some suggestions (3) 5 to 5 rule. To be of any interest to others you should post at least 5 messages a week. To prevent overload, you shouldnt tweet more than five messages a day Reply on tweets of others And if it s a private matter: use direct message And you dont have to read everything. Monitoring Monitor if other tweeters use your name (@name), or use, or to discover how they talk about you or your company Or use Twanalyst, Twitalyzer or Twittergrader to find out what kind of tweeter you are. And if you are an organisation Find out if your target group uses twitter. Start monitoring, organise a web care team Whats your PR- or marketing-strategy? What role can twitter play in that strategy? Start one or more accounts to tweet Use your website and blogs to mention your twitter address and the other way around And keep tweeting An astonishing amount of time is being wasted on investigating the amount of time being wasted on social networks. Sources Blogs and articles on my website (some in English, some in Dutch) My followers and all the people who joined me in discussions Follow me at In Dutch: Aan de slag met twitter, Paulus Veltman Strategisch Twitter & Yammer, Savitri Changoe, Furoz Ramanand, Christel van Capelleveen, Christel van Capelleveen Zakelijk Twitteren, Saskia de Laat