STORY OF TWITTER

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One day in February 2006, Glass, Dorsey, and a German contract developer Florian Weber presented Jack’s idea to the rest of the company.  It was a system where you could send a text to one number and it would be broadcasted out to all of your friends-Twitter.  By March of 2006, Odeo had a working Twitter prototype.  In July, TechCrunch covered Twitter for the first time.  That same summer, Odeo employees obsessed with Twitter were racking up monthly SMS bills totaling hundreds of dollars.  The company agreed to pay those bills for the employees.  In August, a small earthquake shook San Francisco and word quickly spread through Twitter – an early ‘ah-ha!’ moment for users and company-watchers alike.  By that fall, Twitter had thousands of users.

Twitter, founded by Jack DorseyBiz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006 (launched publicly in July 2006), is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to post updates 140 characters long.  Twitter is

“A real-time information network that connects users to the latest stories, ideas, opinions, and news.” 

The service can be accessed through a variety of methods, including Twitter’s website, text messaging, instant messaging, third-party desktop, mobile, and web applications. Twitter is currently available in over 30 languages.

TWITTER STATISTICS

  • Twitter has 645 million active users
  • 27% of Twitter’s user base is active
  • Highest proportion of active users = 33% Netherlands.
  • Users are mostly mobile clients (including iPad software): 61% of all tweets
  • 75 %of activity occurs third-party desktop and mobile applications
  • Top countries: Japan, Netherlands, Spain, U.S., Indonesia, Venezuela, Canada, U.K., Mexico, Colombia, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Argentina, France, South Korea, Chile, Germany, Philippines, and India.

TWITTER BASICS

Etiquette: You should praise people in public, but ask for favors in private. Don’t post blatant commercials for your business or use people’s account names when mentioning them. Don’t post anything on Twitter you wouldn’t want your mother to read, as everything is public and in the Library of Congress.

Read “The 100 Twitter Rules Thttp://www.cnbc.com/id/43759244/The_100_Twitter_Rules_To_Live_Byo Live By” and live by themRespond to questions or points persons to useful information.  Relevant questions about your industry: Develop credibility by answering questions for a product or service they may need.  Tweets are used to connect with consumers in meaningful ways, offering everything from special discounts and exclusive content to new product information.  Share interesting articles by other people. Retweet great articles that they link to on their own Twitter accounts.Why a twitter follower is more important than an email address:

  • Sheer number of people to spread message to all friends instead of 1-1 communication
  • Increased number of brand impressions
  • Ability to tweet more times
  • Tweeting to brand vs. mentioning brand (handle, brand name)

Build lists of sources using Twitter lists. Use this to get ahead of your competition, news breaks on Twitter more often now than it does on mainstream news sources. (How to create Twitter Lists). Follow accounts that help inform you about the topics you cover and retweet important news they share to inform your followers. Retweet your competition, if you’re sharing the best news from everywhere, people will follow you for everything they need to know. But, as important as aggregation is, be sure to post original content as well.

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TWITTER SEARCH

To find photos and video on Twitter, use “filter:photos” “filter:videos” when searching. Another good place to build source lists is with directories that media companies offer: New York Times and Reuters for example. Be careful about the sources you find on Twitter. Consider using a service like Storyful to help verify socially sourced reports. Credit your sources with a hat tip, a retweet, anything. People are appreciative to see their content (or their find) shared. Do Twitter searches (search.twitter.com) and look up the subjects you write about. Respond to people who tweet about things you’re writing about, get their attention. Don’t link them to your articles right away, build a relationship over time and they’ll follow you and get the links by following your feed. Search Research.ly’s PeopleBrowsr for old tweets that you might need. Enter in a keyword or a username, and you can search a number of days back (like 60 days back for 2 months ago) to narrow your search. They go back about 2 years for free right now. Use sites like Klout.com and FindInfluence.com to find sources that are authoritative/influential in your area to help build your list of sources. Sign up for a free @muckrack account and get daily digests of top journalists’ tweets about your subject of interest. Crucial for journos & PR pros. Use MuckRack.com as a way to find journalists by company or by beat and add them to Twitter lists to monitor news that breaks in those topics.

Bio: Use Bing’s Keyword Research Tool to find out keywords associated with your business and it’s products or services.  Then add the ones relevant to your business to your bio.

WHO TO FOLLOW

Create an account and follow companies, individual hiring managers, or other users that you find interesting. While certain companies may tweet job leads, others might use this as a tool to promote their business, inform customers of sales and specials, or simply for leisure use.  Follow all customers or people that might be most receptive to your brand.  Visit wefollow.com or http://twellow.com/ to identify users grouped by industry.

  • Who are the most successful people in your industry?
  • People you admire
  • Business colleagues
  • Customers
  • Vendors you buy from
  • Journalists or authors who cover your industry
  • Business magazines/Newspapers
  • Local businesses
  • Local chamber of commerce/political representatives

IMPRESSIONS

  • Retweeting: The best way to share someone’s content and give them awareness to your followers. You can press the Retweet button, but don’t use unless you don’t have the RT@username.  Why? Because Twitter doesn’t post the RT@username in the new tweet you send, it simply posts a small graphic near it saying you retweeted it.  Not as effective and engaging.
  • Targeted Tweets: Send tailored tweets to specific audience subsets and enables brands to reach specific audiences on Twitter without sending a Tweet to all followers. By targeting users who are most relevant to tweeted content, based on their device of choice, Twitter can focus on those who are most likely to respond and react.
  • TweetsDon’t start tweets with a Twitter handle unless you want that Tweet to be seen by a limited audience (by the person whose handle you’ve started the Tweet with, and only anyone who follows both of you)Requests for support, complaints and feedback, praise (thank you, retweet it and save it to your favorites), & competitor mentions (monitor for information/ data). Try to keep your Tweets under 120 characters so others can add comments to your tweet in a RT. Search Topsy.com to find the most relevant and influential tweets. Use @FEMA format to date/time stamp breaking news, e.g. 6/1 12:32pm EDT, and include ORIGINAL date/time with RTs. Late RTs add to confusion and put lives at risk in a dynamic situation such as dangerous weather. Hand craft your tweets for all your new articles. Ask questions. “Do you agree with my take here?” “Is _______ the next great point guard?” Questions have the highest engagement and will help build your audience. (But if you ask questions, have some intention of using the feedback in some way – otherwise it’s faux engagement). Consider balancing the types of tweets with a ratio of posts addressing: (1) what you do; (2) what you love; and (3) who you are.
  • DM system: This is a great way to connect personally with users that you’ve already had public conversations with.

#HASHTAGS

The ‘#’ is sometimes called a ‘hash,’ and using hashtags is a way for you to insert searchable tags and keywords into your tweets.  People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.  Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.  Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.  Use TagDef to look up hashtags you don’t understand.  Hashtags are most effective when used in the middle of the sentence to differentiate color in the sentence and draw a readers eye’s to click on the hashtagged word. You can follow trends on lists as well as Twitter users. Use hashtags like #wikileaks #syria #ows related to your topic etc so your tweets are seen by a larger audience. Hashtagify.me, a website that lets you search for the most popular hashtags and the influencer in that industry. Use Hashtagify.me to find out popular hashtags related to your industry and start using them in your tweets to widen your audience and gain followers. Check out these hashtags for writers:

  • #amwriting / #amediting – Both #amwriting and #amediting are Twitter “chat” hashtags and you’re welcome to join in at any time. These two tags have grown so popular that there is even a web community over at AmWriting.org#writing / #editing are similar to #amwriting and #amediting. As far as I know, these are the less popular versions of the tag.
  • #wordcount – This tag is used by writers who want to share their up-to-date progress on whatever project they’re working on. Be prepared to see a lot of numbers!
  • #nanowrimo – If you’re a novelist, you’ve probably heard of NaNoWriMo.
  • #ww / #writerwednesday – Every Wednesday, Twitter users use this hashtag as a way of giving shout-outs to other writers, particularly the ones that they enjoy following. At least, that was its original purpose. Nowadays, this tag is used for all manner of writing-related activities on Wednesday.
  • #writetip / #writingtip — If you’re looking for tips and tricks to apply to your writing, this is the hashtag you need. Great for newbies, amateurs, and aspiring writers alike.
  • #askagent / #askauthor / #askeditor — There are times when you have a question for agents, editors, and authors. Unfortunately, you may not know any agents, editors, and authors. Who can you ask? If you ever find yourself in that situation, use these hashtags. Agents, editors, and authors browse these hashtags and will often answer the questions that pop up.
  • #writingprompt — Writing prompts are a great way to jumpstart your creative juices. Search Twitter for this hashtag and you’ll find hundreds and thousands of great writing prompts that you can use.
  • #99c — Nowadays, a lot of products are priced at the $0.99 price point – and e-books are no exception. Many authors sell their stories for $0.99, and many of them use this hashtag to notify potential readers. Use this tag if you’re looking for something at this price, or if you’re looking to sell your own work.

TWITTER LINKS

Use a URL shortening service, like http://bit.ly so you maximize the room you have to share information in your tweets and so you can track how many people are clicking and sharing your tweet. Tweet a link to an article you’ve read and would recommend.  Use a link shortening tool like bit.ly or TinyURL to post a compact link. Use a hashtag to point to the article’s relevance to your industry. Commit to saving links to useful articles and tweeting about them daily. Use the Tweet button included on many blogs, allowing you to recommend the article directly from their site. Use an app allowing you to save an article for later like GetPocket.

TWITTER LISTS

A Twitter list is a way of curating Twitter users and to organize what they have in common. Followers are organized into groups which mean that you can easily read tweets from a specific group without looking at your entire feed. Creating lists saves time and productivity from reading all those tweets from buyers you don’t care about.  So, in a nutshell, by adding a defined audience to a list it gives us a way to send more targeted and relevant tweets for the intended audience (more 1-1) than marketing to the masses as well as easily skim through tweets we may not read and encourage more pro-active following.

A. Public List: Twitter users can follow it without you having to add them. When you add someone to a list you are basically identifying them as someone with a certain expertise. This may make those users more apt to check out your profile, website, blog, and follow you back. Recommending lists is a good way to network on Twitter too.  On the flip side, you can also recommend people by creating a “recommendation” list of experts in a certain field. When creating public lists, or being added to them for that matter, you increase your visibility.  Lists make engagement easier because you’re less likely to get lost between millions of tweets on main feeds. Engaging on lists can easily spark new relationships because everyone on the list has the same thing in common.

B. Private Lists: Only the creator of private lists will be able to see or subscribe to them — not even those on the list can see private lists. That means, for example, you could create a list of your competitors and keep an eye on them without them being any the wiser.  You can also follow other people’s Twitter Lists.

    • Listorious – Listorious is a third-party site that maintains a categorized directory of Twitter lists. You can search or browse through lists by category, and find the most popular lists.
    • TweetMeme Lists – Exposes the most tweeted links on Twitter and powers the “retweet” buttons on all of our articles. Just like it does for links, TweetMeme also finds the most tweeted about Twitter Lists. 

TWITTER CHATS

Twitter chats are a group of people who gather to use Twitter to discuss a particular topic at a specified date and time.  Host a Twitter party: similar to a chat, but a one-time event.  Great for product launches or virtual events.  Participate in a Twitter chat that relates to your business and note its day and time. Make an appointment on your calendar to attend the chat next week and be sure to introduce yourself as a first-time attendee. Focus on listening and getting the feel for the chat culture and etiquette. Contribute more in time. Type in twitter keyword chat or twitter.com keyword chat, replacing keyword with the search term of your choice. Check out the Twitter Chat spreadsheet on Google Docs from Socialmediaonlineclasses.com and find a chat that relates to your business. You can also check this list: http://tweetreports.com/twitter-chat-schedule/. Use paper.li to create a roundup of tweets related to your industry. #FollowFriday/#HIREFRIDAY: A great way to recommend colleagues, clients, and friends to your followers.  #FollowFriday is a tradition in which, only on Fridays, you highlight those Twitter accounts that are outstanding and worth following.  Use a strategy that gives a reason why you should follow those.  Search the Twitter Chat spreadsheet on Google Docs and find the chat that most closely relates to your business.  Set aside time in the next week or two to attend the chat.  Make sure to introduce yourself: chat participants are encouraging and friendly, and will be helpful to you and your business. #B2BChat: Learn from business-to-business experts and network on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.

TWITTER ADVERTISING

Go to the tweet box in ads.twitter.com.  As with all Promoted Tweets, advertisers only pay when users engage with it, and Tweets that generate the most engagement are likely to appear more often.  Best time to tweet is Monday-Thursday 1-3 pm.  Time is on your side!  You can also advertise on business.twitter.com.

MARKET RESEARCH

Ask followers to check out your website and offer feedback. Add a tweet button to your blog or website. You can do quick market research on Twitter to get feedback on new products, ask for client opinions or input on new products, and gauge interest to upcoming events. Use TweetDeck or HootSuite.com to monitor multiple lists on one screen, I prefer the old version of Tweetdeck because it has more options. Ask colleagues for recommendations on vendors.  Use a hashtag for your industry so your tweet will have greater visibility. Take a look at your competition list and see what they’re talking about/customer’s questions? Search for an industry topic and see what people are frustrated with.  How can you use that to your competitive advantage? Create a list of people you follow who post related content or people whose content you want to be able to keep track.

LIVE EVENT TWEETING

You can use Twitter to evaluate interest in an upcoming event you’ll be offering. In an article on Research Access, Angela Lauria reports about two of her clients offering teleseminars and using Twitter to announce the events and link to the registration pages.Article for the Eventbrite blog and shared her Twitter event promotion tips: Post event tweets that are less than 100 characters so people can easily reply to them. Offer good content. Don’t sell the event. Create a hashtag dedicated to the event, declare it publicly on Twitter, and promote it. Create a public Twitter list of all the attendees and promote it on your blog and other social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn.  People like to see themselves mentioned online, and your list provides social proof that your event is valuable and well-attended.  Creating an event list also provides sponsors with confirmation the event is popular. Create a promotion surrounding the events.  Quashie suggests running a simple “Follow Us” promotion and giving away a free pass to every 50th new follower that uses your event hashtag. Cross promote the event on your other online sites and accounts: Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and ask colleagues to do the same.

TWITTER TOOLS & MEASUREMENT

If you haven’t installed Hootsuite or Tweetdeck yet, now’s the time to do it.  If you’re going to use Twitter consistently, put yourself in the place of most potential by spending your time wisely. Who are the people in your industry who you would love to meet? What about in other industries? Who do you admire?  Follow those people on Twitter and reach out to them by retweeting their posts or engaging them in a conversation. Adding your Twitter information to your marketing materials, store signage, and invoices. Food trucks tweet their location each day so customers know where to find them. How can you do something similar?

  • SocialOomph: Social Oomph allows you to automatically follow those who follow you
    and allows you to send direct messages automatically to new followers. Though this is
    essentially a Twitter tool, it works with Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms as well.
  • Backtweets: A tool dedicated solely to Twitter, BackTweets provides reach and impressions stats, alerts you whenever someone tweets a link to your website, identifies influencers and integrates with Google Analytics to see how Twitter activity is affecting your website traffic.
  • BrandChirp: This service makes it easy to find the people you should be following. You can search for new followers by location, who they are following and keywords that
    they have recently tweeted about.
  • Buffer: Have you seen the Buffer sharing tool at the bottom of the 60 Second Marketer blog posts? Their tool allows you to schedule Tweets far out in advance. So, if you do a lot of your reading in the morning, but want to share with your followers throughout the day, you’d schedule your Tweets using Buffer.

TWITTER IN EDUCATION

Niagara University professor Dr. Mustafa Gökçek, @NUHIS199, is teaching history by tweeting 90 major chronological events that happened between 1945 and 2005, including a link for each so students can learn more. Students follow the Twitter account and develop a poster presentation about what they’ve learned from the process.  Students are excited about learning outside of textbooks using technology they’ve already adopted.

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