January 24, 2010

What is Twitter? Consumer Marketing Tool

Okay, so you are hearing about Twitter and how it can help you with consumers, growing your business, and helping support your brand and site.  If you notice, I have a link to follow at the end of each article and you can get all of my site updates at Twitter. Hope these resources and information help you get started with Twitter for your business.

What is it?

Twitter is a service for friends, family, customers, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People write short updates, often called "tweets" of 140 characters or fewer. These messages are posted to your profile or your blog, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search.  Twitter is near 100 Million users as of January 2010.
You do not need anything special to use Twitter and it does not cost to register and use.  All you need to use Twitter is an internet connection or a mobile phone. Once you're in, type your first update into the web box. To get an idea of what other people are saying or doing on Twitter, check out Twitter search to see what Twitter's all about. You can search by keyword or just check out the trending topics to see what's hot on Twitter right now.  I had no idea how important the search feature is on Twitter until I started posting 'tweets' in my topic and folks found me and my site - www.timforrest.com  ...continued by clicking READ MORE.

Finding Friends
When you create an account, you can search for people by name or user name, import friends from other networks, or invite friends via email. If you don't want to do that, follow some of the people we've suggested. Once you've found your friends, follow them to start getting their updates.

Following someone on Twitter
Following someone simply means receiving their Twitter updates. When you follow someone, every time they post a new message, it will appear on your Twitter home page. New messages are added to your home page as people post them, so you always get the updates in real time. When you log in, you can see what the latest updates are. Twitter offers other ways to follow people too: you can get updates from certain people on your phone!

What is 'Following?'
After you click the follow button on someone's profile, you're following them. The follow button will change to a green check mark next to the word "Following" with an actions button on the right to remove a person if you want to. If you've registered your phone with Twitter, you can set up text preferences for a person as well. See a list of people you're following by clicking on the following link on your profile or your home page's sidebar.

People will Follow You
Twitter sends you an email when someone new follows you. Set up your email preferences to notify you when you have a new follower. The followers link on your profile page or home page's sidebar will also tell you how many followers you have.

People will read your Updates
It's up to you. Your followers read your updates, and anyone else who comes across them in a keyword search. Your Twitter profile is public by default; if you're hesitant to have strangers read your updates, protect your profile to approve followers and keep your updates out of search.

Twitter can be used in your Business
Consumer Relations
Crisis Management
Pitch a Story
Event Management
Sales Leads
Competitive Intelligence

Also, here are some other Twitter recognized resources that will assist.

Blog posts

So Should a Business Be on Twitter?, by Frank Eliason.

Zappos Blog. How Twitter can make you a better (and happier) person from Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com

10 Twitter Tips for Nonprofit Organizations (but great advice for any business), by Heather Mansfield.

50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business, by Chris Brogan.

Articles and Sites
The Boston Globe. Restaurants using Twitter for cheap, effective marketing.

New York Times. Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media.

Mashable. Tweetable eats, what street vendors can teach businesses about Twitter.

BusinessWeek. Why Jack & Suzy Welch are now big fans of Twitter. To those with eyebrows aloft, read on to find out how it happened

CNN Money. 5 Twitter tips for your company


The Twitter Book $, by Tim O’Reilly & Sarah Milstein. A full-color guide to effective twittering for businesses and individuals. Includes lots of examples and advice.

Twitter Tips, Tricks, and Tweets $, by Paul McFedries. Step-by-step instructions and advice for smooth twittering.

Also, much information came from other sources including the Twitter website.

What actions are you taking to grow your business? Send a note or comments to Tim also, follow him on Twitter  I want to hear about your success!

© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
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