How To Tweet…

22Oct08

Originally published October 7, 2008

Ok, I’ll admit it. I didn’t get it either at first. I wondered what the hell was so fascinating about Twitter anyways? Why would anyone want to know something about me that only takes 140 characters to write? Can posts that small really be that engaging?

Well the answer is Yes! They can!

Here is how I came to believe in Twitter…

A couple of months ago I signed up for Facebook. I’ve been doing this personal experiment and signing up for a ton of Social Media platforms and seeing which are actually viable to me. Well if you are unfamiliar with Facebook, it has what it calls “status updates” (Myspace ripped this off as well). Status updates are just that, and update about what you are doing or how you are feeling, told in as few characters as possible. When I first started using Facebook I would update my status at least every day, sometimes multiple times over the course of a day.

Well that is a lot like Twitter. I started by signing up for Twitter (@MissLynn13) and following people from the SNAP network that I know and respect. The first thing I did on Twitter was to LISTEN. Yep, that’s right. I listened first to find out how to “tweet”. Sure I threw out a few random tweets that weren’t very engaging, but I like to experiment so it didn’t bother me to play around a bit.

NOTE: To tweet means to post to Twitter, A tweet is a post on Twitter.

There are a lot of different styles of Tweets. For example:

Tweets for Promotion
maddiegrant: On Object-centered Sociality http://twurl.nl/6vguhv

Tweets for Sharing
chrisbrogan: I’d never seen this video montage about Sarah Palin: http://tinyurl.com/4veugq

Tweets About Yourself
pistachio: Without even having seen this tweet http://twurl.nl/yo0par last night a dear friend dreamt that I, um, *met* Bono at a party. Ha. Spooky.

Tweets for Information
briansolis: Looking for ur input. Which arts organizations are using social media well today & which are struggling b/c they don’t get it?

Tweets About What You’re Doing
kanter: tweaking e-metrics presentation for later this month, slides due on wed ..

Tweets for Social Change
pistachio: RT @canterucci DV Awareness Month: Of female murder victims, 33% were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. Support your shelter.

Tweets about Politics
chrisheuer: really concerned about what McCain’s divisive, acrimonious, bitter, untrue and desperate campaign strategy is doing to this country

Tweets with Tidbits
kidtechguru: Bill Gates’ quote is very funny – Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.

Tweets to Express Yourself
pistachio: the joy of sorting through ideas & possibilities with smart people all over the world or in a nearby town. that is why i LOVE these tools.

And that’s not even all of them! With so many different types of Tweets, Twitter is an explosion of personality.

I didn’t get it at first either though. It took awhile and a lot of listening to see what Twitter was all about.

If you want to start by listening, follow these simple steps…

1. Sign up at Twitter.com for a Twitter account. Remember, grab your brand before someone else does!

2. Search for Association or ASAE or something similar. Search for things that interest you. Like me, I searched for theatres and found a bunch of well known theatres out there Tweeting! Follow those who come up in your searches.

3. I also use the program Twhirl to post to Twitter. Since Twitter has become more popular, a plethora of add-on applications have become available. I use Twhirl because it sends my tweets directly to my desktop and will post my messages directly to Twitter. I liken it to AOL Instant Messenger, but for Twitter.

4. Once you are all set-up, start listening. Like I said before, listening is the most important part.

5. Let the twitter world consume you!

Are you ready to start tweeting? Here are a few people I would recommend following/listening to:

@maddiegrant – Maddie Grant* of SocialFish, LLC
@lindydreyer – Lindy Dreyer* of SocialFish, LLC
@kanter – Beth Kanter of Beth’s Blog
@peggyhoffman – Peggy Hoffman* of Mariner Management & Marketing, LLC
@jfouts – Janet Fouts, Social Media Consultant
@chrisbrogan – Chris Brogan, all-around marketing man

Let me know how it goes! Follow me @MissLynn13. Yes I know my twitter name is a little less formal, but that’s alright sometimes. 🙂

~Lynn

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