Twitter: What is it?<br />And what can we really do with it?<br />
The Basics<br />The basics of the Twitter Platform<br />
Twitter:<br />At it’s most basic, Twitter is a website that allows you to write 140 characters about any topic, and send it out into the Internet.<br />
Twitter:<br />A user creates an account on Twitter from which they send their tweets.<br />People can subscribe to see the Tweets of other people, which is called ‘following’.<br />Anyone can follow anyone else’s tweets. There is no need to accept or approve of another person viewing your tweets*.<br />*Private accounts are available – but you’ll see why they have only limited use for general Twitter use.<br />
Twitter Account<br />An example of an active Twitter account.<br /><ul><li>Real-Time Twitter Feed
Direct Message capability of Twitter</li></li></ul><li>A Tweet<br />Tweets can be as basic as a user wants. <br />Above is an example of someone using Twitter like a blog, writing about what’s happening in their life (after, we can surmise, a big night out.) ;)<br />
@reply<br />Tweets can be directed at a certain person by adding an @ in front of their username.<br />These are public.<br />Here, @Johan_Vonshag tweets @leoh1llary asking if he lost his car in the torrential downpour from the previous night.<br />
Retweet: RT<br />A retweet means that you’re sending someone else’s tweet out in your own network, <br />like a forward in email:<br />This original tweet by @warlach was retweeted by @genrobey and @tali3sin.<br />@warlach’s tweet will end up in @genrobey and @tali3sin’s twitter streams, magnifying the amount of people who would see this tweet.<br />
Retweets<br />It’s polite to show where you got your tweet from – and sometimes as far back as you can; as tweets can be retweeted and retweeted and…<br />Retweets can also be written “via”. <br />
@Replies and Retweets<br />When you @reply someone, they are notified as someone ‘replying’ to them.<br />If you talk about multiple people in a tweet, they are all notified.<br />This is also the case in Retweets, where everyone you mention in a retweet is also notified.<br />
Summary<br />A tweet is 140 characters sent out into the internet.<br />Users can subscribe to, or follow, each other’s tweets.<br />Users can direct a tweet at an individual by @replying.<br />Users can forward the tweet to their own network of followers, by using a retweet.<br />
The Deets<br />How users have extended the Twitter Platform<br />
URLs<br />Twitter is the perfect medium for sharing information quickly. In emergencies, breaking news and sharing information, short, succinct messages are perfect.<br />But what about those long URLs?<br />
URLs<br />URLs shorteners are used in conjunction with Twitter, to shorten long URLs to 25 characters.<br />TinyURL.com and Bit.ly are popular services to shorten URLs for Twitter.<br />
URLs<br />You can shorten any website URL into a Tiny URL to be used for tweeting.<br />
URLs<br />Good URL shorteners will not only track where the tweet was retweeted, but how many clicks the link has had.<br />
Hashtags<br />Users can also tag tweets to link it to general conversation happening around the same topic.<br />This is useful when people search all Tweets related to the topic, they can get a holistic view of the issue.<br />Hashtags are commonly used at conferences so that all the tweets about the conference are together.<br />A Hashtag can be a word or code, defined by users.<br />Eg. #earthhour<br />Eg. #iranelection<br />
Hashtags<br />These are unrelated tweets, but about the same topic, Earth Hour.<br />
Hashtags<br />The recent Barcamp Conference in Canberra used the #bcc2010 tag to link tweets.<br />(BarCamp Canberra 2010)<br />
Hashtags<br />#followfriday is a hashtag developed by the Twitter community where users recommend other people to follow about certain topics, every Friday.<br />
Summary<br />URL Shorteners condense URLs to 25 characters.<br />URL Shorteners can also track retweets and clicks.<br />Hashtags track conversations with a common theme, as defined by users.<br />
The Strategy<br />Using Twitter For NFPs and Business<br />
Strategy For Twitter<br />Twitter is used by business for: <br />sharing information about community/industry<br />sharing info about your business/NFP.<br />creating community in Twitter (RTing people following you and responding to users daily) <br />hashtags for events or competitions.<br />It’s about giving your NFP a face, name and voice; it’s a customer support line, it’s the friendly receptionist, it’s the advice the savvy CEO gives: all in one.<br />The best Twitter accounts will be all these things at once.<br />
Strategy For Twitter<br />Quality not quantity: retweets can be more effective than followers, because twitter is about reputation, community and culture not numbers.<br />Your account could have 1000 followers, but no retweets. Your content would only reach 1000 people.<br />Your account could have 300 followers, but a tweet is retweeted three times, by people with 400 followers. That tweet would reach 1,500 people.<br />Having quality tweets and a more engaged audience is worth more than numbers.<br />(…even though it pays off in the end in terms of numbers.)<br />
Strategy For Twitter<br />Noticing trends: pay attention to topics people RT and click on: provide more of that content or what it means if they click on that content.<br />Hashtags for your industry. eg. #socent for social entrepreneurs.<br />How to find people to follow for your industry: use Twitter search to see people discussing topics about your industry and follow those individuals. Also pay attention to #followfriday mentions.<br />Following users creates loyalty, and they often follow back. But the only true way to build followers to to tweet awesome, relevant and non-spammy content.<br />Ultimately, your aim is to become a source of knowledge people refer to on Twitter; that is how you will gain followers and retweets.<br />
Other ways to use Twitter<br />A desktop client, downloaded on your computer, means you can monitor many things at once.<br />
Other ways to use Twitter<br />Some web-based clients mean you can assign Tweets to different members of your team to respond to, or schedule tweets.<br />
On The Go<br />Services like Twitpic and Qik mean you can take pictures or video and post them directly to Twitter.<br />Foursquare is a geo-locative game where you can check in and tag where you are at any point in time.<br />
Summary<br />Think of how to provide your twitter followers the maximum amount of value for following you. <br />Provide regular, relevant, quality information for them.<br />Keep your twitter followers up to date with information about the industry and your business, but also respond to individual users and their needs.<br />Desktop Clients like TweetDeck mean you can follow multiple searches, topics or people.<br />Web-based clients like CoTweet mean you can assign tweets to different departments in your organisation or schedule tweets for the future.<br />Twitter can incorporate live video streaming, images, RSS feeds and link to Facebook. You can update pretty much anything on the internet and sync it to be announced on Twitter.<br />
Social Networking is Big<br />People spend more time on social networking sites in Australia, than in any other country in the world. <br />From: http://bit.ly/aVZg9D<br />
Twitter is Personal<br />Keep it real. People tweet about themselves, have conversations with community and link to stuff that’s interesting to them.<br />A brand working on Twitter should work the same way. When in Rome, and all that jazz…<br />Source: http://bit.ly/bw7etg<br />
Case Studies<br /><ul><li>This was retweeted once or twice.
Had 88 clickthroughs within an hour of two of retweeting.
Not only increases people’s knowledge of Project Australia, but their chances of heading to the exhibition.
That’s 88 people who would not have known about the exhibition wanting to know more.</li></li></ul><li>Case Studies<br />x 24<br /><ul><li>@Warlach has 30000 followers.
This was retweeted several times (est. 24) by people with large digital footprints.
It’s likely that @WarlachDM’ed people with a large number of followers or influence to retweet.
Had at least 1000 clickthroughs within first hour.
@Telstra responded within the hour to this.</li></li></ul><li>Case Studies<br />Eunmac has over 6,000 followers.<br />The potential traffic for not only @warlach’s blog, but good promotion for @telstra is massive.<br />This was just a single person’s retweet.<br />
Resources:<br />Twitter For Business: http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/<br />
Questions?<br />Questions You Don’t Want to Ask In Public?<br />Rachel Beaney<br />@beaney<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />