Image via Wikipedia
As with any buzzwordy new hip trend, the barrier to entry for using Twitter is probably just sitting down and playing with it. If you have ten minutes, scan one of these articles and just give Twitter a try.
Wrapping your head around Twitter
If are looking for some specific uses of what you might do with Twitter, read some of the use case scenarios for Twitter that are available on the Twitter for Business page. Or you could just read this one article over on Mashable that gives a wide variety of little benefits accrued through Twitter use.
Sometimes you just need some ideas and pointers about what a piece of software is. How can use it for marketing? Or other business tasks? Is it like text messaging but not? Here are some articles to help get you started in understanding what Twitter is and how Twitter works.
- The Pioneer Press ran this excellent article about Twitter that includes business use cases in real estate (lead management), retail (customer service), corporate (business intelligence) and television (media/content). Includes actual Twitter content and strategy/tactics.
- Here’s a Wall Street Journal Online article about Twitter.
- Eric Bramlett has a brief post on applying Twitter technology to real estate.
- Geekestate gives a quick overview of what Twitter is and how it works.
- Nik over at MyTechOpinion gives a great, quick rundown of a variety of business and personal uses for Twitter along with some good starter advice. Comes with a podcast even! If you’re in a rush skip down to the bullet lists.
- Champlain College professor Elaine Young describes how she uses both Twitter and another microblogging platform, Plurk.
Twitter: Get Started
If you’re wanting some ideas and help to get going with microblogging and Twitter, you’re on the right page. There are plenty of articles that give you a good “here’s how to start using twitter” overviews. Some in a narrative style, some with bulleted lists. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Daniel Rothamel gives you the nuts and bolts of starting in his post about social media and Twitter.
- Prefer to watch a 4 minute 20 second video on getting started using Twitter? Ryan Martin delivers.
- Laura Fitton has several step by step articles for getting started using Twitter.
- A few thoughts on getting started with Twitter by someone who’s getting started.
Find people to follow
Once you have your account, you’ll want to start using it. It starts with you following (i.e. listening to) other people. Here are some articles with ideas about following and increasing your followers:
- Wondering who to follow on Twitter? Mashable has a rundown of 15 different Twitter directories. (Of course, if you’re in the real estate industry, please check our Twitter for Real Estate article).
- Rands in Repose gives a great explanation on how to get value from the people you follow or follow you on Twitter.
- The Brain Leaders and Learners blog gives a great rundown of things you can do to increase your followership AKA don’t just tell us what you had for lunch.
- One of the bummer realities of the internet is the presence of spam. Spam is also on Twitter. Here’s a method to help reduce your spam content on Twitter.
- It’s not just spammers that are obnoxious, real people can be pretty annoying too! Here’s a top 10 list of types of people to stop following on Twitter. If someone is dragging you down, unfollow them.
Start posting on Twitter
You’ve got your twitter account. You have started following some people. Maybe some people have started following you, even. Now it’s time to start posting on Twitter. Here are some resources to help you get the most out of posting on Twitter.
- How to write kickass Twitter posts gives you a great list of guidelines to give the most with your tweeting and prevents you from being dull.
- Get the most out of 140 characters by following this excellent six point plan.
- Sooner or later you’re going to want to control and manage your usage of Twitter better. Nicole Nikolay gives us a great 5 point tactical plan for using Twitter.
- Wondering what to post? Why not start with a brief statement of purpose, a Twesumé.
Articles to help you navigate etiquette and other social issues on Twitter
Image via Wikipedia
Sometimes you just want to fit in. Is it okay to post every five minutes with your latest and greatest deal? Should you really talk about your cat twice a day? When is it alright to approach someone with an offer? Here are some articles to give you a sense of the kind of communication people are expecting to have via Twitter.
You’ll find that it’s a lot like going to a cocktail party. If you’d feel awkward saying something at a cocktail party hosted by your best friend, then don’t post it on Twitter. Here are some more thoughts on getting along in Twitterland:
- Sarah Evans has created a post of things to Do and a post of things to Don’t to help you grow your Twitter-based community.
- Dooley, a social media-ist, gives an overview of what she thinks Twitter is great for, what stuff you should put in your profile along with some great tips on Twitter etiquette.
- Not understanding the strange lingo that is sometimes used on Twitter? Shannon Yelland has made an excellent dictionary of Twitter jargon and slang.
- Still need a little help figuring out how to maintain your sincerity and play nice in Twitter? AgentGenius gives you some great social media etiquette and business tips
Twitter: Cautionary Tales
We can probably all remember the first time we sent a “reply all” email when we really didn’t mean to send a message to everyone. If not, we know someone who has. These are the sorts of gaffes that scare us and prevent us from using a new technology. No one wants to look foolish. Below are some posts that help you avoid blunders and other cautionary tales as you use Twitter. But also remember, you still use email even though you sent that embarrassing message that one time.
- A must read, by Peter Shankman, for anyone who uses Twitter, highlighting the importance of always remembering that Twitter is a public forum and sometimes seemingly simple things can be taken very seriously… by your clients.
- A cautionary tale of poor use of Twitter by real estate agents is found at Real Central VA.
- A list of some actual “tweets,” most of them embarassing for the Twit. Consider it a list of cautionary twitter tales.
- How not to use Twitter, via Brad Coy.
- More of the cautionary tales, in the form of 20 Commandments of Social Media. Not Twitter specific but very much related. If you’re just starting out, give this a quick review and think of it when you interact with someone who is obnoxious in their use of social media.
Alright. You’re ready to start using Twitter for your business. Head on over to the Twitter for Lead Generation page or go to the main Twitter for Business page and find a use case that’s relevant for your business. In real estate and not sure who to follow? Try the Twitter for Real Estate: Who to Follow? article.
Feel free to use the comments to let me know about other good articles for beginning Twitter use.