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Twitter Tutorial: Basics and Best Practices
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Twitter Tutorial: Basics and Best Practices


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Twitter terminology and best practices for using Twitter.

Twitter terminology and best practices for using Twitter.

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