Understanding Twitter…

Hi all, I am starting on Twitter; it turns out that after Justin’s class on Saturday and Ruby’s post, I finally got really curious about it. Yes, I resisted against it for a while, I didn’t like the idea of sharing lunch scoops. But, there are obviously other ways to use it.

Most of you are already familiar with Twitter. So, I am playing the role of the “apprentice” by wraping up what I learnt and please feel free, as experts, to correct me and contribute (thanks Lauren for the metaphor, I like it).

Here are the basic ideas and steps that I understood by looking at tutorials and articles on the web.

So, once you get an account :

1. Fill in your profile so people can find you more easily:

  • add a photo
  • put your real name in your settings so you can refer people to your url: www.twitter.com/juliamoisand

2. Decide what you want to say as long as your messages are no more than 140 characters. You can write:

  • questions
  • opinions
  • tasks

Alternate messages where you write content (tweets) and messages where you forward content (retweets). Be generous, write information, don’t only forward it.

3. Build your network by choosing et finding the right people.

You can look for :

  • individuals
  • groups
  • organizations

People that you follow will start following you.

4. Tweet. Real-time et frequency are important because Twitter is all about:

  • sharing information in real-time
  • building anticipation
  • making you a reference in a topic
  • dragging traffic

The more you are feeding the system, the more you will take advantage of it.

5. Search. Twitter gives you the opportunity to search in your network and to give you appropriate search results

  • type a topic in the big Search box on your right
  • browse in trending topics

Twitter is all about language and links so there are basic rules:

5. If you tweet is intending to one one user in particular, type the @symbol followed by the username, for example: “@rubyku, what do you think of..?”

Or you can just hit “reply” to a tweet and your message will start with “@rubyku”

6. Use and make #tags

A #tag is a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic. For example, if you search on #LOST (or #lost or #Lost, because it’s not case-sensitive), you’ll get a list of tweets related to the TV show. What you won’t get are tweets that say “I lost my wallet yesterday” because “lost” isn’t preceded by the hash tag.

Before you create your own tag, search for a few variations to make sure they don’t already exist. Since the tag will use up some of your 140-character limit, you want to keep it fairly short, while still making it precise.

What is the best tag for Social Entrepreuneurship ? “SocEntr” ? I think Ryan had some ideas about that.

2 thoughts on “Understanding Twitter…”

Hi Julia – great steps for someone who is just starting out on twitter! I admit it’s not the easier tool to understand. I have a couple tips to add that might be helpful too:

For #1, I would make sure to add a descriptive bio as well as a link to your website/blog. When you follow someone, they will look at your bio to decide if you have similar interests as they do, and thus determine if they will follow you back.

For #4 – sharing real information in real time is a great point. Live tweeting during events and conferences is very common. And #hashtag will be what people use to let others know they’re quoting someone who’s speaking and etc.

I personally hardly go to the actual twitter website. I use the apps such as tweetdeck, tweetie and seesmic. They all kinda do the same thing slight differently – so it’s a personal preference thing.

And yes, as Saranyan already mention, Social entreprise related topics use #SocEnt. There’s also one out there for #designthinking.

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