Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Twitter Basics

What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media network that millions of people are on. It’s a short-form of communication.

What is a tweet?
A tweet is what you send out on Twitter. Just like Facebook has “status updates”, tweets serve the same purpose. However, it’s really important to note that tweets have a 140 character limit!

Why do they limit the character count?
Twitter was created as a means of communicating information, but not too much information. Capping the number of characters per tweet ensures that Twitter has a certain uniformity and avoid total information overload!

What does “follow” mean?
To follow someone on Twitter means that their tweets will show up in your Twitter stream. The Twitter stream will show up when you log into your account, and will show the tweets of the people you follow in reverse chronological order (the newest tweets at the top). When you go to anyone’s Twitter page there will be a “follow” button.

What is with people using the @ symbol?
In Twitter, the @ symbol is how you communicate with other users. For example, if you want to reach out to Postling you can tweet: “Hey @postling, thanks for all the boot camp help!”. This is called “@ replying”someone on Twitter. By adding the @symbol before any Twitter username the tweetwill show up in their account. People are pretty unlikely to see your tweets ifyou don’t have that @ symbol before their username. 

What should I talk about on Twitter?
We’ve seen a few comments in the forums that it seems a bit overwhelming thinking about what to tweet. Here’s the catch about Twitter… try not to overthink it. Twitter should be more natural than Facebook, and involve less prep. Where as you may post much more about your work and your progress on projects, Twitter should be your chance to really connect on a personal level with your customers. That’s just it — it’s about your personality. Share a few quotes you like, maybe blog posts that you find interesting, or even just talk about what you’re doing over the weekend.

How do I get more Twitter followers?
First off, be sure to use the email sync option when you sign up for Twitter so you can sure that the people you’re already emailing know about you on Twitter! It can’t be easier than that. Next up — try posting on your Facebook Page and telling your followers they can also find you on Twitter (you could even tie in a contest to this, offering 10% off to a random new follower). Maybe give them some incentive? An example may be that maybe you tell Facebook fans that you will post new styles on Twitter first. It’s totally up to you! You can also mention it in your email newsletter if you send one out…. And you can also add it to your email signature along with your Facebook Page!

I seem to be missing some of my @ replies.
If you aren't following someone who @ replies you, the comment won't show up in your stream. This means it's incredibly easy to miss @ replies... and you don't want that! We highly recommend signing up for Postlinghttp://cl.ly/1i090U0y1Z3P0r0M3y2a. With the click of a button you can easily respond to all of your comments without having to go to Twitter. This way you save time and make sure that you catch all of your @ replies! 

How do I get people to click on my links?
If you describe in your tweets what the link actually is, the likelihood of that link being clicked is going to be much higher. For example, if you’re tweeting a link out to a blog post about new necklace styles maybe your tweet will read, “Jackie’s blog covers the newest necklace styles… from gems to wires. Check it out! [LINK]”. People are wary to click on links that they don’t know where they’re going. Help them out a bit!

What about these spammers that are following me?
If they’re following you, you absolutely don’t need to follow them back. Be smart about the people you follow back since you’ll see their tweets in your stream all the time. Similarly, if you are following someone and they tweet way too much you can unfollow them. It's your stream, you should decide what you see in it!

Should I auto-post my blog posts to Twitter and Facebook?
This is something we’ll cover more in-depth later in bootcamp, but here is an initial answer. Now, some blogging websites send links toTwitter and Facebook that look spammy. If this is the case, then I would say no and recommend you either do this through Postling or manually. After all, you want your followers to click on those links! In Postling we have a smart work flow, so once you publish your blog post we automatically ask if you want to post a link to your blog on Twitter and Facebook. We let you easily drop in a shortened bit.ly link as well so it’s really easy.

How can I tell if sales come from Twitter or Facebook?
We recommend using unique coupon codes for each social networking site. Maybe you offer your followers on Twitter 25% off with the code “tweetapril” and 25% off for followers on Facebook with the code“facebookapril”. This way you can accurately track just how much business is coming from which site.