TheWebMarketer - Twitter 101 Guide


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This short guide to the Twitter novice.

It discusses what Twitter is, how it works, key terms to know, benefits of Twitter to a Business or professional, how to get started and some best practices.

Published in: Business, Technology, Design
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TheWebMarketer - Twitter 101 Guide

  1. 1. TheWebMarketer Twitter 101 GuideWhat is Twitter?Twitter is a real-time, social networking website that allows users to send and read messages – knownas tweets – of up to 140 characters. It is also referred to as “micro-blogging”.Millions of people, organizations, and businesses use it to discover and share new information.How Does Twitter Work?Twitter lets you write and read messages of up to 140 characters, or the very length of this sentence,including all punctuation and spaces.The messages are public and viewable from the author’s profile page. Users are able to decide whichaccounts they follow and receive messages from.Users can respond to tweets in the following ways: • Send the author a message back. • Subscribe to receive future tweets from the author by ‘following’ them (if you are not already doing so) • Retweet the message (i.e., send the message in its entirety to your own ‘followers’) • Expand the conversation by sending their own tweet about what the author has written • A combination of the above.Key Terms • A tweet is a message posted on Twitter • Following somebody means subscribing to someone’s tweets • A direct message (or DM) is a private message on Twitter • RT or retweet means reposting someone else’s tweet • Trending topics are the most-discussed subjects on Twitter at any given moment • Including @[username] in a tweet is a way of sending a public message to or about a Twitter user • A hashtag (the # symbol followed by a subject) is included in tweets as a way of categorizing posts by subject. They provide a useful searching tool for finding tweets on topics of interest. Page 1 of 4
  2. 2. TheWebMarketer Twitter 101 Guide • Shortened URLs: to fit links into tweets, URLs are typically shortened using free services such as ( that provide a shorter link which redirects to an existing website. The downside of this is that you cannot tell where the link will take you. To get around this, use Twitter’s internal link- expanding function or free services such as RealURL ( to see what the actual URL is and decide whether it is safe to view. Don’t just click on a shortened URL blindly – you never know what’s on the other side.Business Benefits of TwitterA business can use Twitter to quickly share information, gather market intelligence and insights, andbuild relationships with customer prospects and people who care about the company.Often, there is already a conversation about a business happening on Twitter. It is better for a businessto participate in that conversation.Getting StartedSign Up • Go to Twitter website: • Enter the required information in the sign up form • Click the “Sign Up for Twitter” button Page 2 of 4
  3. 3. TheWebMarketer Twitter 101 GuideFollowing Others‘Following’ somebody means that you have subscribed to their tweets.You can use the Twitter search function to find people you may be interested in following. You can enterany keyword in the search field.Assuming we wanted to connect with physical therapists, we would enter “physical therapist” and get thefollowing Search results page:From this page, • If you select “Tweets”, Twitter will give you a list of all tweets (posts) that contain “physical therapist” • If you select “People”, Twitter will give you a list of all Twitter profiles that contain “physical therapist”Once you have found someone you would like to follow, click on the ‘Follow’ buttonassociated to their profile.It is important to note that on your profile page other Twitter users will be able to see which users youfollow and which users are following you. You should take this into account before following a user orallowing another user to follow you.Note: You do not need to follow someone to send them a tweet. Page 3 of 4
  4. 4. TheWebMarketer Twitter 101 GuideBest PracticesBuild your following, reputation, and customers trust with these simple practices: • Share. Share photos and info related to our business and industry. Even better, share info on upcoming and events. Users come to Twitter to get and share the latest, so give it to them! • Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about our company, brand, and products. • Ask. Ask questions of your followers to glean valuable insights and show that you are listening. • Respond. Respond to compliments and feedback in real time • Reward. Tweet updates on interesting and time-sensitive items. • Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to our business. • Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers. • Establish the right voice. Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine, and of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you Tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community? Page 4 of 4