The Future of Communications – Twitter
By Ashley Babb
Twitter is nothing short of a phenomenon. It's an exchange of thoughts, ideas and observations. So many people have become addicted to this global environment. About 2.5 million people visit Twitter a month. That's why it is a great tool for marketing and communications. It's a great way to announce special events, deals, company announcements, webinars, interesting news and more.
Twitter is a tool for "micro-blogging." In fact, since Twitter was designed to be very compatible with cell phones through text messages, each update is limited to 140 characters. Another way to think of Twitter is like a cross between instant messaging (IM) and a chat room, because it is an open forum, but you restrict it to the people with which you connect.
Here is how it works:
Visit Twitter and click on the "Getting Started" Button.
1. Write some updates. Post a link to a news article you liked with a one line comment, mention an interesting thought you had, or tell everyone what you are cooking for dinner. Just write something.
2. Make friends. Making friends on Twitter is pretty easy. Just surf around the web on your favorite blogs, people's Facebook profiles etc, and when you see a Twitter box that tells you what they are doing click on it. That will bring you to their profile and then you just click on the "Follow" button on the top left and you are now following them. Most of the time they will then follow you back, and your audience will grow. You can also click on the people that other people are following,
3. How to post URLs. Twitter is based on 140 character updates. If you have a really long URL, that doesn't leave much room so make the URL short.
4. Monitor conversations about your company. Even if you don't join Twitter yourself you can monitor what people are saying. Twitter has a search engine that lets you do just this. You can subscribe to these searches by RSS to keep yourself updated. Another tip is that you can "follow" all the people you find talking about your company (just click on their username to go to their profile). If they are talking about your company, they would probably be pretty happy that someone from the company wants to follow them.
5. How to "chat". Using the @ symbol before someone's Twitter username is how people have "conversations" in Twitter. This makes their usernane a link to their profile so other people can follow the conversation . Try it out. It's not IM (instant messaging), but it is sort of like a public broadcast IM service.
The way we communicate changes everyday. Videos and the web are becoming the easiest way we get our news and communicate business. It's how we stay in touch with people. Learning the newest technologies and how they can help in your business should be a goal for your company. In our next newsletter we will explore the phenomenon of Facebook and you can utilize it for your business.