Script for Teaching Twitter


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This script accompanies the slide presentation, Teaching Twitter.

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Script for Teaching Twitter

  1. 1. 1This script accompanies the slide presentation, Teaching Twitter.Slide 1Welcome everyone to Teaching Twitter.Slide 2First, what is Twitter? It’s a free service that allows anyone to sayalmost anything to anybody in a text-based post, called a tweet. Atweet must be 140 characters or less and is displayed on the author’sTwitter profile page. With the click of a button, a tweet is thendelivered to the author’s subscribers, who in Twitter parlance are calledfollowers.Senders can restrict delivery to just friends or, by default, allow openaccess. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, byway of text messages on a mobile phone, or external applications.Technically, Twitter is called a microblogging platform, because it’s aplatform for writing short posts.But Twitter isn’t the only microblogging platform. More than 15 othersexist, some designed specifically for tweeting within business, butTwitter is by far the largest, with more than 10 billion tweets sent sinceit began.Slide 3Who Is Using Twitter?
  2. 2. 2Users are about evenly split between genders (male 47% - female 53%)In terms of age: • median age of a Twitter user is 31 compared to the • media age of a Facebook user who is is 26 and the • media age of a Linkedin user who is is 4068% make $60,000 or more a year52% update their status every dayAbout 55 million tweets are sent each day.Twitter has 106 million users. This number increases by 300,000 everyday.Users make about one billion queries on Twitter’s search engine eachday25% of Twitter users are using the service in order to get informationabout a specific brand rather than a specific person.Slide 4Why Are People Using Twitter? 1. To let people who are following them know about their status— about what they’re doing and what they’re thinking (30%) 2. To have a private conversation (30%) 3. To provide links to news and blog articles to their followers (10%) 4. To discuss politics, sports, or current events (6%)
  3. 3. 3 5. To give a product recommendation or to make a product complaint (6%) 6. To provide links to images and videos (3%) 7. To provide links to other web content (3%) 8. Other -- to develop a personal brand, to learn new things, or to discover reading materials (12%)Slide 5What Twitter Terminology Should You Know?Tweet – When you write and post your 140 characters on Twitter andhit the “Send” button, it’s called a tweet. You can tell people, “I’m goingto tweet,” so “Tweet” can be used as a noun or a verb.Handle – This is your Twitter @username, such as @BoveeThill_Blog isone of my Twitter handles. It can be an individual’s name, a companyname, or anything you want to make up that isn’t currently in use bysomeone else using Twitter.Follow – Adding a person to your list of people you are following, whichenables their tweets to show up on your Twitter homepage.Slide 6Replies – When a person writes a tweet directly to your handle --@samjones -- This is usually considered an invitation to engage withthe follower who sent it to you. All of your followers will see yourresponse when you send a reply. If you want to send a private message,send a direct message, or DM in Twitter vernacular.
  4. 4. 4DM – direct message – A message that is sent directly to another user.Note: You can only send direct messages to people who are followingyou. This is the best way to have a private conversation with someoneelse.RT – retweet – When you republish someone else’s tweet, it’s calledretweeting. The original tweet along with the author’s name remainintact. Retweeting is a great way to pass along content to your ownfollowers which you discovered among the people you’re following.Slide 7Hasttag – A hashtag is used to categorize posts (tweets) on Twitteraccording to topics. It’s a way to keep track of multi-partyconversations or posts from an event. To add a hashtag to a tweet, youjust preface the relevant term with the hash symbol (#), such as#buscommconf. This will allow people to search for tweets on this topicand to see them all.Timeline – The “timeline” page is the homepage which displays tweetsfrom all the people you are following.Twitterverse – The “universe” of TwitterSlide 8What Is a Twitter Timeline
  5. 5. 5When you log in to Twitter, youll land on the timeline view of yourhomepage. • This is your "Home Timeline," because it appears on your homepage. • Your home timeline is a list showing all tweets from those you have chosen to follow on Twitter. • Newest tweets are at the top. You can interact with tweets from within the timeline by hovering your mouse over reply or retweet. • Clicking anywhere on a tweet in your timeline pulls open a sidebar, where you can see photos, videos, and profile information related to that tweet. • Timelines can also consist of collected tweets from users in lists that youve created or as a result of searches that you’ve done. • When you click on a list, you will see a list of tweets (a timeline) posted by the users included in that list. • Similarly, when you perform a search, youll see a timeline of messages that all match your search terms.Slide 9How Do You Get Started? 1. First, go to 2. Then, sign up for an accountSlide 10List your name, username you’ve decided on using, password, and e-mail address.
  6. 6. 6Slide 11Go to Settings. Note the seven tabs – Account, Password, Mobile, andso forth. Here is where you’ll be asked for personal information, thetype of background you want to show on your Twitter page, and yourbrief biography. Once you create a biography and upload your picture,you can select a background from the choices provided. If you wish, youcan add a custom background, such as my coauthor and I have donethat you’ll see shortly.After you written some tweets and posted them, start following people.Slide 12You can use Twitter with your mobile phone and post tweets withoutever being at your computer.Slide 13This is the page where you indicate where you want notices sent toyou.E-mail telling you about new followersE-mail containing direct messagesSlide 14This is the page where you fill out your profile information. You should
  7. 7. 7list your name, location, web address, and bio.Slide 15This is the design page where you indicate what background you wouldlike on your Twitter homepage.Slide 16Here is Bovee & Thill’s Blog Twitter “Profile” page, which we justrecently started. On the left-handside of the page is the “Timeline,”which we described earlier. On the right-hand side, you see the totalnumber of people we’re following, and on the right-side of that, thetotal number of followers, who are people following us.Slide 17On the left-hand side of the page, by clicking on the “Following” tab,there’s a list of the people we’re following.Slide 18On the left-hand side of this page, by clicking on the “Follower” tab,there’s a list of the people following us.Slide 19What happens if you click on one of the individuals who is a follower.As you can see here, on the right-hand side of the page, the followersTwitter profile appears, so you can find out more about person.Slide 20
  8. 8. 8By clicking the “List” tab shown here, you’ll be given two options: (1) Tosee the lists of other people who include your name, or (2) to create alist of your own.Slide 21This is the page that shows people who are both followers and arebeing followed, which is a requirement in order for you to send them adirect message. And this is the page for sending direct messages, asnoted from the box on the upper right-hand side of the page.Side 22If someone mentioned you in a tweet, here is where you’ll see a list ofthose tweets – called “Mentions”Slide 23If you click the “Who to Follow” tab at the top of the page, Twitter willprovide you with a list of people who they have determined might be ofinterest to you in following.Slide 24What Is the Best Way to Use Twitter Effectively? 1. Focus on quality, not quantity, when you tweet
  9. 9. 9 2. Make connections with people in your field 3. Show that you are knowledgeable and demonstrate your thought leadership. 4. Use Twitter to get real-time information about an organization, people, products, or a brand. Companies often use Twitter to monitor their products and brands to try and protect them.Slide 25 5. Promote your ideas and your blog posts, if any. 6. Interact with people. 7. Proofread. Once a tweet is posted, it cannot be edited. 8. Learn to use URL shortening tools like and TinyURL, so when you use a URL in your tweet, it takes up a minimal amount of space. For example, if you go to, and you enter a URL, it will give you a shortened version that you can use in your tweet. Then you can go back to to see how many people actually clicked on the shortened URL that appeared in your tweet. A couple of other items not on the slide include these: Mesh Twitter with other applications, including Facebook and LinkedIn, but note, do NOT link to your Facebook profile unless there is nothing on it you wouldn’t show to the public. And, remember to include your handle in your business cards, e-mail signature, and website, if you have one.
  10. 10. 10Slide 26What Should You Tweet About? a. Answer the question, “What has your attention.” This will usually provide the basis for a good tweet. b. Share links to articles, videos, and websites c. Ask questions to stimulate a discussion. Twitter is great for getting opinions.Slide 27 d. Tweet about other people’s material that you see on Twitter – another person’s comments, blog post, video, or website e. Retweet other people’s useful tweets f. Read news tweetsSlide 28 g. Read or give event updates h. Provide live coverage to an event i. Crowd-source questions and answers—Twitter is excellent for getting feedbackThe bottom line is to provide value to your follows as often as possible.
  11. 11. 11Slide 29Are There Any Twitter Apps?Yes, there are literally several hundred.There are desktop apps, web apps, and mobile apps.Slide 30Let’s look at just a few: Tweetdeck acts as your desktop dashboard to help you organize yourincoming and outgoing tweets.Twitter Grader is a tool that checks the power of your Twitter profile,and your Twitter influence, compared to millions of other users whohave been graded.Twitlonger is a way to let you post to Twitter when 140 characters justisnt enough. With Twitlonger, you can write what you need and a linkto what you said will automatically be posted to your Twitter account.You can find more Twitter apps by Googling “Twitter apps.”Slide 31How Do You Know Who to Follow? 1. Use the Twitter search engine to find names and brands
  12. 12. 12 2. Use directories like to find people with interests and hobbies similar to yoursSlide 32What Five Tips Will Help You Get More Using Twitter? 1. Tweet excellent content as often as possible. (Some people tweet several times day.) Your follows will appreciate the material you provide in the form of new content and retweets. 2. Reply to conversations. One of the best ways to get engaged with those you follow is to join conversations, where appropriate, and to offer answers and suggestions. Many tweets are questions from people looking for help. When you answer these questions and provide solutions to the questions and problems posed in the tweets, you automatically become engaged and demonstrate your own knowledge, expertise, and willingness to help. When you answer questions, you should focus on conversations that are related to your industry and field of expertise. This way you can build a reputation around topics that matter to your objectives. 3. Retweet other people’s content. This is a way to acknowledge other people’s good content and at the same time do your followers a favor by sharing good content with them. However, don’t use this as a crutch. Be sure you are publishing your own content as well.
  13. 13. 13 4. Use Twitter search. You can use the advanced search features to create very elaborate searches that can filter out only the tweets that address a specific industry or specific geography. Through search you can also locate people talking about your tweets, or whining about a problem you can help with, or providing a solution you need.Slide 33 1. Do not use “&” in your Twitter profile. Twitter and ampersands do NOT get along for some reason in the bio, so avoid them. 2. 125 is the new 140. Twitter allows you 140 characters, but if you use them all, you cannot be retweeted easily. After all, when someone retweets your tweet, they automatically need to add the characters RT@smith (or whatever your name is), which adds anywhere between 14-30 characters depending on your name. If you are sharing useful information on Twitter, leave room for a RT. 3. Add a period before a tweet. Twitter allows users to see a reply only if they are following both sides of the conversation. Some people might like this, as it reduces the noise, others, myself included, like to see who my friends are talking to. If you add a period before each reply, the tweet will not start with a @ but rather a period and will therefore not be considered a reply. If it is not a reply, all your
  14. 14. 14 followers can see it, enabling them to be introduced to the person you are talking to. 4. Use lists. This gives you the ability to organize the people you follow. This is the “groups” feature for Twitter. To create a list, do the following: a. Click on a new list link b. Name the list. The name is also used for your list’s URL, which will be “” c. Make it public or private d. Add a list description e. Each list is currently limited to 500 people. f. Users may create a maximum of 20 lists. g. Add users to your lists by going to their profile page, or from the page that lists your follows h. Manage your lists in the right-hand navigation bar of Twitter 5. Set up groups. A common question asked of many people is “how do you follow so many tweets?” The one way to handle numerous tweets is to create groups in a Twitter platform such as Tweetdeck that allows you to create a column with only certain people’s tweets, which is Group C. Then there’s an “All Tweets” column, which you may only occasionally look at, which is Group B, a “Primary” column, which you might watch closely, which is Group A, a “Search” column containing your RSS feeds of search you’re using to keep up to date, which you might watch the closest, and a DM (direct message) column as well.Slide 34What Are the Most Common Mistakes Twitter Users Make?
  15. 15. 15 1. Choosing inappropriate usernames: This is the first mistake many people make. Your username on Twitter should identify you as you would want to be known on the Twitter. A nice nickname is appropriate for a person who intends to use Twitter to socialize but not for a company or business. 2. Not completing a bio: your bio will help potential followers get to know a little bit about you. A bio can be a great conversation starter, which can lead to more followers. 3. No photo: Upload an image for your Twitter account shortly after you register. Default images are for amateurs; you are an experienced social media guru, or at least you should appear so. 4. Protecting your updates: If you keep your updates private, new follower requests will be few and far between. Keeping your tweets private will discourage new followers, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. 5. Carrying on long conversations between two users: Your followers don’t want to be looped into a long conversation between you and a friend. Use direct messaging for long conversations to avoid upsetting your followers. 6. Using one account for both personal and business tweets: If users on Twitter follow you because they like your product or business, then they probably would not want to read tweets about your latest quarrel with your friend, about your political views, and so on. People who follow you because they are interested in you might not enjoy the fact that you only consider them as potential customers when you tweet about a new product. Create separate Twitter accounts for personal and business use. It is fine, though, to add a personal side to your business so as to connect better with customers; we are all humans, after all. 7. Posting too many tweets in a short period of time: When you do this, you probably prevent people who follow you from reading tweets from other people that they follow. This can be extremely
  16. 16. 16 frustrating for a lot of your followers. Do this only when necessary such as giving a minute-by-minute account of an important happening. 8. Not tweeting regularly: Nobody wants to follow a Twitter user who does not post any updates or does not post updates in a long time. Other Twitter users who might want to follow you won’t do so when they see that your last tweet was a long time ago. 9. Posting the same updates repeatedly or tweeting about inane things: This is self-explanatory. Nobody can bear reading the same things over and over or reading gossip and pointless tweets forever. 10. I’ll give you a bonus item here, and that involves what is called the Twitter ratio. And what this means is that the ratio is the number of people you follow vs. the number of people following you. It should be about 1.1 – in other words about equal. Why? Because you may come across as a spammer (which could get you banned from the site) if you follow a lot more people than are following you. You should be contributing enough so that an equal number of people want to follow you as you are following.Slide 35Why Should You Be Teaching Twitter in Your Business CommunicationClass? 1. Twitter can help business people organize meet-ups at a physical location. 2. Twitter can work well for opinion polling. 3. Twitter can direct people’s attention to help other people.Slide 36
  17. 17. 17 4. Twitter can be used at events to build an instant backchannel (having a ackchannel is the practice of usingTwitter to maintain a real-time online conversation while a speaker is giving a presentation.) 5. Twitter breaks news faster than other sources. 6. Twitter can bring great minds together and provides daily opportunities to learn.Slide 37 7. Twitter can give critics a forum, but that means you can study them. 8. Twitter can help with business development, if the prospects are online. 9. Twitter can augment customer service.Slide 38 10.Twitter can be used to save money, because many companies make special offers via Twitter. 11. Twitter can be used for finding a job. Job hunters can tweet about searching for a job and include a link to their resume in their bio on the site or in a tweet. Twitter provides people with an opportunity to showcase their expertise, to gain credibility, and to enhance their personal brand.
  18. 18. 18 12. Twitter provides instant access to what is being said about the Twitter user and the Twitter’s user’s company and brand.Slide 39What Businesses Are Using Twitter?Amazon uses Twitter to keep their customers up-to-date on new bookreleases and on news related to authors and books.Slide 40Feverish Ice Cream, which sells ice cream and popsicles in Miami, tellscustomers about their products, special events, and the latest newsrelated to their products.Slide 41American Idol uses Twitter to create excitement about their program,which elevates their ratings. Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez, RandyJackson, and Steven Tyler all contribute tweets for followers.Slide 42Fine Maine Lobster, with its very enticing graphics, uses Twitter to stirup appetites for lobster with its tweets that focus on the many uses oflobster – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.Slide 43
  19. 19. 19Home Depot uses Twitter for customer relations and solving customers’problems. Note the nature of the tweets on this page.Slide 44Jack’s Bar-B-Que in Nashville, Tennessee, uses Twitter to promote itsproducts by writing interesting tweets about its products and companyactivities.Slide 45JetBlue Airways constantly monitors any mention of JetBlue on Twitterso if there’s a problem or if something negative is said about thecompany, it can respond quickly to defuse the situation.I’m going to share with you the experience of one JetBlue customer to show youhow effective Twitter can be. Here’s what the customer said about his JetBlueexperience.“The morning of my flight, an automated text message to my mobile phone fromJetBlue confirmed that my flight was unexpectantly canceled. So, like most people,my first instinct was to take to the phones. When I called JetBlue’s customerservice 800-number, a warm-toned prerecorded message greeted me only to informme that due to high call volume, it was unable to keep me on hold and asked me tocall back at a later time.I took the situation in stride knowing full well what it’s like to get jammed withcalls on a busy day at work. So, I figured I could Tweet about it – mostly with theintention to whine about my dire luck and wondering what would happen next.What happened is that on Twitter, a JetBlue rep asked me to Direct Message (DM)them my confirmation number. Once I did, 18 minutes later they had not onlyreplied via DM that the flight had been re-booked to my new specifications, theconfirmation email had already hit my email inbox. In less than 140 characters –the easiest flight rebooking ever!”
  20. 20. 20If you Google “JetBlue and Twitter” you’ll find many other interesting storiesabout how JetBlue uses Twitter to its advantage.
  21. 21. 21Slide 46NBC Nightly News uses Twitter to keep people informed about whatBrian Williams, the news anchor, is doing that might be of interest. Itgives readers a behind-the-scenes feel to NBC news.Slide 47Richard Branson is a fascinating personality who is involved in manyactivities and who loves to tweet about them. Some tweets promotehis companies; other tweets give his observations and opinions aboutthings going on in the world.Slide 48Sprinkles Cupbakes in Beverly Hills uses Twitter to drive customers toits store. Note the first tweet that says the first 40 people to whisper“sticky sweet” at Sprinkles Beverly Hills will receive a free Germanchocolate cupcake.Slide 49This page is from Starbucks Seattle with tweets from Brad. He answerscustomers’ questions and talks about Starbucks’ products.Slide 50The creative ways Twitter users have incorporated microblogging hasbecome inspirational, so the recent trend of using Twitter at college issure to keep evolving into an ever more impressive tool. Make sure youdon’t get left behind by not incorporating some of these educationaland enjoyable ways that Twitter can be used in the college classroom.
  22. 22. 22 1. Send a direct tweet so a student. Instructors and students can contact each other through direct tweets without having to share cell phone numbers. 2. Help classmates get to know each other. A class Twitter group will help facilitate instructors and students getting to know each other, especially if the class is part of a more intimate setting, such as a seminar. 3. Collaborate on projects. When working together on projects, set up a group using an app like Tweetworks to facilitate communication between everyone working together. 4. Make announcements. Instructors can send out reminders about upcoming tests, project due dates, or any news that needs to be shared via Twitter. 5. Brainstorm. The ability to share ideas as the occur anytime and anywhere creates an excellent opportunity for brainstorming on class topics. 6. Take a poll. Ask students their opinions or get feedback on future projects or topics by using an app like PollDaddy. 7. Share interesting websites. Both instructors and students can post interesting websites that are relevant to their class, as well as videos, and other materials. 8. Instructors can encourage collaboration and peer feedback. Instructors can post a link or a question for students to respond to together using the reply feature on a tweet or a hashtag. This will capitalize on the things learned in the classroom and will promote active learning beyond the classroom. Encourage students to sign up for Twitter accounts and to follow your feed, turning on mobile phone updates (Twitter will send a text message when a person they follow updates) or, if they have Smartphones, they can get an alert when you send an update. This will ensure messages get to them without necessarily keeping an
  23. 23. 23 email contact list or having to individually remind each student. Every student that follows you will get the message.From learning how to use Twitter to finding useful information for class,Twitter provides creative opportunities for learning. 1. Twitter-specific projects. Help students learn how to use Twitter by offering assignments, such as ones I’ll soon describe. 2. Give assignments that must be tweeted within the 140 character limit to practice writing with succinctness. 3. Follow mentors. If key figures in your field of study are on Twitter, suggest that students follow them to keep up with their research and activities. 4. Follow news stories. From sources such as Business Communication Headline News, students and instructors can follow news that will pertain to their class, because Business Communication Headline News is on Twitter. 5. Twitter search. The search tool on Twitter will immediately provide you with any tweets that include your keyword. Give it a try to see what you may discover.Another way instructors are using Twitter is as a backchannel for theirclasses, and here is how that would work. Let’s say you’re discussingbusiness communication ethics, and you’ve described a scenario inclass and ask for student feedback as to whether what’s described inthe scenario is ethical or unethical. Students could be asked to expresstheir views using Twitter. A projector at the front of the room couldshow students’ tweets, and you could use these tweets as a basis forfurthering the discussion. This technique is especially useful for largeclasses where a lot of students might be intimidated to contributeorally but have no hesitation in doing so using Twitter.
  24. 24. 24 Slide 51 So now let’s discuss how Twitter should be integrated into a textbook. Note that all of the pages I’m going to show you now were taken from Bovee & Thill texts. Also, the word “Twitter” is highlighted on many of these pages in these slides for illustrative purposes so you can quickly see where the word is used, but it’s not highlighted in the actual textbooks. In this first example from our texts, which is a blog post, note that Twitter is mentioned on the upper right in the marginal annotation. It says, “Fast access to reader comments and a retweet button that makes it easy for readers to share this post via Twitter help Freshbooks build a sense of community.Slide 52Here, note the caption: “Olivia Hayes, a copywriter with the socialmedia marketing agency Ignite, demonstrates several aspects ofeffective writing in this blog post about the Twitter-based socialcontribution network, Twitcause.Slide 53The illustration here shows the elements of an effective blog postwritten by Amy Reed, owner of Chickdowntown clothing store. Lookingat the left-hand side of the blog post, third comment from the top,refers to the writer, Amy Reed, and says, “Posts comments from someof her Twitter followers , which helps to build the sense of communityamong her fans.”
  25. 25. 25Slide 54Looking at the marginal note, it says, “Twitter and other social mediaare dramatically changing business presentations by making it easy forall audience members to participate in the backchannel,” a backchannelbeing a conversation among audience members via Twitter while thepresenter is giving the presentation.Slide 55On the right side, under “Highlights,” second item down, says “Thelargest Twitter job board, with thousands of channels segmented bygeography, job type, and industry.”Slide 56In the chapter on negative messages, we include a paragraph aboutresponding to negative information in a social media environment, andin this section we discuss how Twitter can be an effective tool forcommunicating with customers and other stakeholders when there’snegative situations that need to be resolved.Slide 57So what types of assignments will you see in a Bovee and Thill textbookthat relate specifically to Twitter.(Read the assignment.”Please note the Bovee and Thill interactive media icon at the bottom ofthis assignment. We offer a screencast on our website that helps
  26. 26. 26students learn about Twitter. In this particular screencast, students willlearn how to do a Twitter search.Slide 58Here’s an example of a microblogging skills case. (Read assignmentfrom screen.)Slide 59We have a feature we call “Learn More” that appears more than 50times throughout each of our textbooks. It could be an article, which isthe case here, or more often it’s a video, PowerPoint presentation, or apodcast. This “Learn More” feature directs students to an article abouthow CEOs are putting microblogging to work for their companies.Slide 60In this examples we talk about how the outdoor clothing andequipment supplier, Patagonia, uses Twitter as a communication tooland as a way to interact with individual customers to answer questionsand solve problems.Slide 61(Read first two sentences ONLY.)Slide 62This is another Learn More feature. This one describes 100 Twitter toolsfor job searches.Slide 63
  27. 27. 27This Learn More feature, “Tweet Your Way to a Sweet Job,” consists ofa video that students can watch about career networking on Twitter.Slide 64This Learn More feature, “Follow These People to a New Career,”directs students to a terrific list of career experts who they can followon Twitter.Slide 65Slide 67Slide 68Slide 69