Twitter Tutorial: Basics and Best Practices


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Twitter terminology and best practices for using Twitter.

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Twitter Tutorial: Basics and Best Practices

  1. 1. Twitter Tutorial<br />Allison Barker<br />Manager – Documentation, Training, and Support<br />nGenera Corporation<br />7April 2010<br />
  2. 2. About Me<br />10+ years of experience in knowledge management<br />Cisco Systems – networking equipment (hardware and software)<br />SolarWinds – network management software<br />nGenera – collaboration software for the enterprise<br />Over a year (gasp) using Twitter for personal and professional purposes<br />AGGIE<br />
  3. 3. Twitter: What You Need to Know<br />Origin and Terminology<br />Best Practices<br />Suggestions for Whom to Follow<br />How to Use It (Get Out Your Laptop)<br />
  4. 4. What We’re Not Going to Cover<br />Other Third-Party Twitter Clients<br />Strategies for Social Media Campaigns Using Twitter<br />
  5. 5. Origin and Growth<br />Created in 2006 as a real-time “microblogging” site used to publish short messages<br />Tipping point for popularity: SXSW 2007, where daily usage went from 20K messages (“tweets”) to 60K messages<br />75M unique visitors (23.5M in the US) in Jan 2010<br />50M tweets are every day<br />Growth of 1400% in 2009<br />
  6. 6. Stated Purpose<br /> What we have to do is deliver to people the best and freshest most relevant information possible. We think of Twitter as it's not a social network, but it's an information network. It tells people what they care about as it is happening in the world.<br /> - Twitter CEO Evan Williams<br />
  7. 7. Terminology<br />Tweet: Message sent through Twitter. 140-character limit, which was derived from the same SMS character limit<br />Username: Account user’s “handle.” (Examples: @abwonderland, @BarackObama, @MyStarbucksIdea). The @ symbol denotes that this is a Twitter user, not a tag<br />Follow: Adds a user account to your list of users whose tweets you want to watch. They might or might not follow you. Updates for everyone you follow appear in reverse chronological order.<br />Retweet (RT): Rebroadcast someone’s tweet to your followers. Example: <br /> RT @MyStarbucksIdea: win $10,000 for your idea to develop a more recyclable coffee cup. Join the Beta Cup Challenge:<br />
  8. 8. Terminology (cont’d)<br />TweetDeck: the third-party Twitter client we’ll use to explore Twitter. It’s the most popular desktop application, and has an iPhone app also.<br />Tag or hashtag: helps spread information while organizing it. Use the # symbol to label a tweet with a particular subject. Also makes tweets more findable. (Example: search for #DallasCowboys) Helpful site:, which helps you determine what tags people are already using<br />Twitpic: Twitter’s default image hosting service.<br /> Twitter’s default URL shortener. Shortens a URL of ANY length to a max of 13 or so characters, by redirecting it.<br />DM: A Direct Message is a private tweet from one Twitter user to another. You can only DM Twitter users that are following you.<br />Anything else?<br />
  9. 9. Twitter Best Practices<br />Make sure what you say has value and is relevant<br />Remember that Twitter is real time, so subjects can become irrelevant quickly.<br />Make sure links work.<br />Spam is not tolerated, and the definition of spam keeps expanding, so carefully consider what you tweet to ensure that you maintain your credibility.<br />Self- and corporate-promotion are expected, but don’t be obnoxious.<br />Give credit to authors (use RT).<br />Respond quickly to questions or interactions from other users.<br />Tweets are forever<br />Check spelling and grammar. (There’s no spell check!)<br />Be careful about what you say and how you say it. <br />
  10. 10. Never say anything on Twitter that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to read!<br />
  11. 11. Getting Started - Suggestions on Whom to Follow<br />Guy Kawasaki, Silicon Valley VC – www.twitter.comGuyKawasaki<br />Mashable, an online social media guide – www.twitter.commashable<br />Bryan Person, social media “evangelist” – www.twitter.comBryanPerson<br />Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) – ainnwilson<br />Austin American Statesman – www.twitter.comstatesman<br />Chris Brogan, marketer – www.twitter.comChrisBrogan<br />Wall Street Journal – www.twitter.comWSJ<br />Dave Neff, local PR guy and blogger – www.twitter.comdaveiam<br />Elise Hu, local journalist – www.twitter.comelisewho<br />IEEE US – www.twitter.comieeeusa<br />
  12. 12. Whom to Follow<br />Do a search for any person or company you find interesting or want to know more about.<br />Also follow people whom you want to follow YOU. It’s not guaranteed, but it gets their attention<br />
  13. 13. How to Use Twitter through TweetDeck<br />Log in<br />Add Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts<br />Tweet<br />Retweet<br />Include links and select Autoshorten<br />Make tweet our Facebook or LinkedIn status also<br />Search<br />Follow people<br />
  14. 14. Questions?<br />My contact infoabarker@ngenera.com512-656-1225 mbl<br />