Everyone online seems to be talking about Twitter these days! But what exactly is Twitter?
This is Twitter.com’s official definition:
“Twitter is a service for friends, family, 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.”
It’s pretty simple really. Twitter is a site where you toss out short notes on the web that tell people what you are doing, feeling, thinking right now. It’s a great way for busy people to keep in touch with friends and quickly broadcast information about where you are and what you’re up to. Twitter is like an instant messaging blog that posts your conversations to the world (although you can also have private conversations.) You only have 140 spaces to write something– so you have to keep it short.
With Twitter you have the option to link it to your mobile phone or to your instant messenger. This turns Twitter into a powerful mobile communication tool, since you can both send and receive updates on your phone, and stay in touch wherever you are.
What is the point? Well, if you’ve ever been hooked on Facebook, MySpace, email, blogging, one of the instant messaging clients, or even just spent a lot of time texting on your cell phone, you probably get the idea. It is a quick way to stay in touch, meet new people, and have some fun. It is like a mini blog.
Twitter isn’t just for personal use, it also has many applications for business use. It can be used to broadcast your company’s latest news and blog posts. Twitter is good for interacting with your customers and employees. It can also enable easy internal group communication, feedback and collaboration.
For the entrepreneur and home worker, Twitter is becoming an important part of business promotion, web marketing, personal branding, and the social networking scene. It can be a great tool to get your messages out to a targeted audience and find new business leads.
There are some great twitter resources and tool out there on the web. One of my favorites is Tweetdeck.com. It organizes your Twitter information and gives your Twitter account an instant messenger style format. Firefox has some great Twitter add-ons. Another good Twitter tool is Tweetlater.com. You can send postdated tweets and auto reply tweets with this. There is also a Twitter download that you can add to your Apple/Mac Dashboard. You can also add twitter feed and wigets to your Facebook, WordPress and Blogger blogs.
If you are going to be using Twitter to promote your business, here are a few important Twitter Business Tips:
1. Don’t blatantly promote. This is more of a passive promotion media. Blatant promotions turn your audience off.
2. Don’t let it take over and distract you from other important tasks. It’s easy to get too caught up in Twittering and lose track of time.
3. Don’t let it take the place of real communication in your life. Twitter is a communication tool not a communication replacement.
4. Do have fun! Share interesting non-business as well as business related tidbits of information that others might enjoy learning.
So, are you ready? Let’s Twitter!
— Dianne Ronnow