"Twittorial" For Beginners - By Personal Brand Strategist, Michelle Villalobos
TUTORIAL April 2009
VILLALOBOS Twitter Icons from:
It’s Official: Oprah’s Twittering. The Little Bird Has Hit The Big Time.
1. Follow the leaders. They’re clearly doing it 8. Follow people. Notwithstanding #6 & #7,
Top 10 Twitter Tips right: a few to look at: @mashable, When you follow people you’re truly
@cracked, @ijustine, @dooce. interested in, you expose yourself to a
Twitter hit some big milestones this month: 2. Learn the lingo. You only have 140 whole new group of potential followers.
Oprah’s twittering, Larry King challenged characters, so twitter shorthand is essential. 9. Jump in! Go ahead and jump into
Ashton Kutcher to a twitter duel, and Kutcher See page 2 for some basics. conversations if and when it makes sense. If
himself (@aplusk) twitpic’d his wife’s 3. Deliver value. Educate, entertain or inform. you contribute value, others will appreciate
(ridiculously perfect - ugh) derriere to the Answering the question, “what are you it and may follow you.
universe. Oh yes, he also hit and passed doing right now” (the Twitter catch-phrase) 10.Feed it. To keep your relationships alive,
1,000,000 followers – more than anyone else is usually NOT all that compelling. you’ve got to be consistent. Tweeting 5, 10
on Twitter. 4. Start tweeting! The more you tweet (good or 15 times a day is just fine... as long as
stuff, of course) the more followers you’ll people want to read what you’re posting.
If you’re not using Twitter, then you might not get. Trust me, it happens. Focus on posts
get what all the fuss is about. I didn’t really that people will SHARE... That’s a great
either at first (like 2 months ago). Like most way to build your following.
people, I signed up because “everyone was 5. Be authentic. Even if you’re tweeting for
What IS Twitter?
doing it.” business, be a human being. Don’t promote
Twitter is a cross between Facebook
yourself or your business in every tweet.
Now I’m hooked. status updates, blogging & IM.
Provide value in your field of expertise.
6. No quid pro quo. Just because someone Posts or “tweets” must be 140
If you want to start using Twitter, especially follows you doesn’t mean you have to characters or fewer.
for business, but you’re not sure HOW, follow them. How many conversations can
perhaps the next few pages can help. you realistically follow at once? When you follow someone, their
7. No shortcuts. Corollary to #6: Following posts appear on your Twitter home
First up: 10 tips to get you started (assuming random people so they’ll follow you page. When someone follows you,
you’re already signed up). Questions? doesn’t work in the long run (people who your posts appear on their page.
Comments? Post them on my blog: follow thousands of people are probably
http://email@example.com. not really reading those tweets).
First Phase 1- Phase 2 - Phase 3 -
Things Setup Manage Grow
First 1. Choose a Name 4. Get An App 7. Tweet More
Try to get your full name. Even Now’s the time to download Now that you’re monitoring
if you’re posting as a an application that will make topics of interest, you’re
company, it is good to “own managing Twitter easier. I following some people, and
your name” wherever you suggest starting with you’ve tweeted a few times,
can. I made a mistake on this TweetDeck or Twhirl. Go to chances are you’ve got a few
one... I’m posting as @mivi, http://tweetdeck.com or followers. Try to tweet more
Are you really really just which is a nickname. http://twhirl.org to download. often.
getting started? Step 1: Go to
sign up! Then keep reading... 2. Pimp Your Page 5. Send Tweets! 8. What to Tweet?
Visit some people’s Twitter Though few will likely see Tweet things of VALUE to your
pages and you’ll see some them, having some tweets audience. Rule of thumb:
interesting designs. You can early on will give people entertain, educate or inform.
get creative too... or at the something to look at when you Try sending links (use
very least, upload your photo. follow them and they want to TweetDeck or Twhirl’s
Just click “Settings” in the see who you are. Make sure integrated URL shortener to
upper right and play around. your tweets are consistent with make those long web
your “brand.” addresses shorter).
3. Follow People 6. Set Up Alerts 9. Grow Your List
In the upper right corner of One great way to stay on top One great way to get followed
your personal Twitter home of specific topics or trends is to is to jump into conversations
page, click “Find People.” set up alerts. For example, I that you can add value to.
Look for me (@mivi) and other get an email alert whenever How? In TweetDeck or Twhirl,
people you know who are my name or company name is scroll over the person’s icon
twittering... or pick a few well- mentioned in a tweet. Visit and click on the “reply”
known people. http://tweetbeep.com to set button. Type your message
this up. It’s very simple. after the @username. Send!
What to Post On Twitter
I’ve asked people and dug around for a
How Much Is Too Much? better answer to this questions. But opinions • Links to great content
on “acceptable” tweeting levels ranged from
If you’re sending valuable information, there’s • Retweets of other people’s
“Once a day” to “15 to 30 times a day.”
(almost) no such thing as too often. But it posts (giving credit, of course)
depends on your goals. There really is no consensus on this one.
• Tweets that are questions
Ultimately, how much you tweet really
Look at @mashable, he sends hundreds, if not
depends on what you’re sending, and how • Entertaining thoughts &
thousands, of tweets a week. That said, he’s
probably not writing all of them himself (he’s
much people want to read it. musings
way too cute to spend all that time in front of Remember the mantra: “If they don’t LOVE it, • Links to your blog posts
a computer... I think.) It’s just SPAM” (@LisaDSparks).
• Mentions of other great
Twitterers (use the @-sign)
• Industry-specific knowledge
• Breaking news in your field
• Unique observations
• Twit-pics of interesting things
• Important, useful info
Some DAVE MATTHEWS
LISA D. SPARKS
Musician Email Marketing & 81 following Author of The Four-
of 3 following Small Business Guru 1,216,787 followers Hour Workweek
458,002 followers 34 following Diciest tweet: “shhh 173 following
my Weirdest tweet: “I know
chimps should not be
Most interesting tweet:
don't tell wifey http://
Fave tweet: “Some
pets. I know I like cows “my latest addiction: products/companies
faves and steak. I know that I www.marketingprofs.com” launched during
will die. I know I love my recessions: Monopoly,
to family. I know You are
Apple, Facebook, Clif Bar,
Scrabble, KFC, Domino's
Pizza, FedEx, Microsoft...”
On Twitter, following strangers is cool, not creepy Twitter Shorthand
- Use “4” instead of “for”
- Replace two, to or too with “2”
Basic Twitter Commands Twitter Lingo
- Cut vowels & spaces wherever
(adapted from help.twitter.com)
Tweets — When you post to your Twitter you can, i.e., cu2mrrw (see you
account, what you wrote is a “Tweet” (not a tomorrow)
@username + message: Directs a tweet at that Twitter.” So you say, “I just tweeted that.”
- Use & instead of “and”
user, also your tweet is saved in their replies
tab. Example: @aplusk: Thanks for the info! DM — Means “direct message.” To interact
- B/c = because
with someone privately, you can DM them by
D username + message: Sends user a private simply placing a “d” at the beginning of the - BTW = by the way
message that goes to their device, and saves message, plus their username (no @-sign).
in their web archive. Example: d mivi will you People use DM as a verb, i.e., “DM me for - IMHO = In my humble opinion
grab me a coffee while you’re there? This more info.” - W or w/ = with
only works if they’re following you.
RT — Means “ReTweet.” When you RT, make - Tweetup = in-person meet up of
WHOIS + username: Retrieves profile sure you give credit (it’s proper Twitter members
information for any public user on Twitter. “twittiquette.”) How? First, copy the tweet.
Example: whois mivi. Then in a new message or “tweetbox” type - Ttyl = talk to you later
“RT” then type the original poster’s @name,
GET + username: Retrieves the latest Twitter - Peeps = people
then paste the tweet. Voila!!
update posted by the person. Example: get
- Tweeps = Twitter people
mivi. @ – The @-sign goes in front of every user’s
name, whether you’re writing to them or
NUDGE + username: Reminds someone to writing about them.
update. Example: nudge mivi.
STATS: Returns your number of followers, how Why & How I Use Twitter
many people you're following, and which
I use Twitter to drive traffic to my blog
words you're tracking. Following Strangers and my website. Ultimately my goal is
INVITE + phone number: Sends an text just to add to my audience since that’s
Unlike Facebook where it’s creepy when
message (SMS) to someone’s mobile phone. how word spreads of my workshops
random strangers try to friend you, on Twitter,
Example: Invite 3055551212. and seminars. Then I use the content I
that’s kind of the whole point. If you like what
develop in those workshops and give it
someone’s saying, follow them. And if you
back to my audience through special
decide they’re no longer your cup of tea, just
reports (like this one), newsletters and
quietly drop them (no need for fanfare, which
“how-to’s.” I post to Twitter to let
people know when they can come and
download something new. It’s a
Essential Twitter Tools
1. TweetDeck (or Twhirl)
These are free programs that you
download and install on your
computer to monitor Twitter more
easily and effectively than you could
from the web. I use TweetDeck. It
allows me to search Twitter for specific
keywords and get updates in real time.
It’s also a great way to monitor
specific topics or even your own name
or brand. However, if you don’t want
to be constantly interrupted turn off
the alerts! http://tweetdeck.com.
Another option is Twhirl: http://
2. Twitter Mobile App
Twitterriffic is a great mobile app for
the iPhone. Simple, clean interface &
free. No iPhone? No problem. If you
use a BlackBerry, try TinyTwitter or
TwitterBerry. Above are the three main columns of my TweetDeck. From left to right: All incoming tweets,
all replies, and direct messages. If I were to keep scrolling to the right using the scrollbar at the
3. URL Shorteners bottom, you’d see several more search columns for search strings I want to keep track of, like my
name, my company name or specific conversations like “killerkaraoke” or “dblstandard.” This
With only 140 characters, you want to would be a lot harder to do if I were just using the web Twitter interface.
be as economical as you can with your
characters. To get rid of long URLs that
just eat up space, use tinyurl.com or
An example. Let’s say someone @replies to
bit.ly. How? Visit http://tinyurl.com or @-Replies CONFUSION? you by starting a message with
http://bit.ly.com and paste in the long
URL, the rest is self-explanatory. Then @yourusername. If you follow that person, that
copy and paste the shortened URL into Probably one of the most confusing things on message will show up in your main messages
your message. If you use TweetDeck or Twitter when you get started is the barrage of window AND in your replies window. If you
Twhirl, you don’t need this, it’s messages riddled with @somethings. don’t follow that person, it will only show up in
integrated. your replies window.
First: an @reply is a public message sent from
one person to another. It’s different from Now, if what’s annoying you is that you have
4. TweetBeep regular updates because it has the @username to see a million replies between other people,
at the beginning of the tweet. who you don’t follow, and it’s confusing (like
TweetBeep lets you track specific reading the answer to a question you never
words and topics on Twitter. It notifies If a message begins with @yourusername, knew about), then you may need to make a
you by email whenever a specific word Twitter collects it as a reply and posts it in your quick change in your settings.
or phrase pops up in a Tweet. replies tab in the Twitter sidebar, or in the
replies column on TweetDeck. What you’ll do in your web-based Twitter
For example, I’m notified whenever my page (http://twitter.com/yourusername) is
name or company name is mentioned. You can reply publicly to any update on simply click settings, click “notices” and make
You can set up alerts that let you know Twitter by using @username at the start of the sure you’re not set to “all @ replies.”
hourly or daily about specific topics, in post. You don’t have to be following someone
specific geographic areas... even the to reply to them, and they don’t have to be I’ve got mine set to “@ replies to the people
attitude they’re sent in (positive, following you to see the reply. I’m following” (which sometimes gets a little
negative, or asking a question). annoying too).
You can see all of your replies in the “replies”
tab of your Twitter home page. I didn’t know If you change the setting to “no @ replies,”
Visit http://tweetbeep.com and sign
about this tab for a couple of weeks, and you’ll stop seeing them altogether. That said,
up. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
when I went in there, I found a host of some people don’t do this because they feel
unanswered messages to me! like they’re missing out. Test for yourself.
Why Use Twitter?
doing it” – what are
some good reasons to
Connect & Network
Share knowledge, follow trends &
connect with people in your industry.
Follow people of note, then jump into
conversations when you have
something of value to add. Visit http://
www.twellow.com for a directory of
people on Twitter, by industry.
An example of a “hashtag.” #killerkaraoke will now be a tracked conversation
Stay apprised of what’s going on in
your industry. You can use twitter
search (http://search.twitter.com) to
conversation, they should include the hashtag
Advanced Twitter: Hashtags #killerkaraoke, so that their response will be
follow specific topics, or use http://
tweetbeep.com to set up alerts for
tracked as part of the thread. when a specific word of phrase is
Getting annoyed trying to read tweets riddled
with “#” signs? Those are hashtags.
(Please feel free to tweet in on this one... As
mentioned in my tweet, I’m still stuck in a Get Ideas
Whenever you see a # followed by a word,
Total Eclipse of the Heart/Love Is A Battleﬁeld By following the “gurus” in your
that means there is a thread that’s being
karaoke rut and could use some new songs – industry, you’ll probably get great
tracked on Twitter about that topic.
but please no I Will Survive, thank you.) links to new, cutting edge ideas.
For example, I recently introduced a subject
Extend Your Reach
about the best karaoke songs. I tweeted a
If you truly deliver value, chances are
request for suggestions, and called the
conversation #killerkaraoke. From now on, How To Use Hashtags people will link to you and RT you. The
scope of your reach will be broader.
whenever anyone wants to get in on the In order to create a hashtag like I did, ﬁrst
ﬁnd the user @hashtag and follow him (or Promote Yourself To A Narrow Target
her, or “it,” I guess). Once you’ve got a following of people
who trust you, you can (with restraint)
Want More? @hashtag will automatically follow you back, promote products or services to them.
and then every time it sees a “#” in front of But bait-and-switch is no good... you
I give away lots more great, free
any word that you write, it will either start must continue to deliver value, or
info and resources. Sign up at:
tracking that conversation if it’s new, or add people will unfollow you.
that tweet to the existing tagged conversation.
Looking for a fun, educational
Hashtags have been how many people have
workshop, seminar or speaker? Let
spread the word about disasters and dangers.
me know! Topics include:
Promoting events and launches is another
networking (online & off) sales, speciﬁc phrases, and limit the search to your
great use for hashtags. You can ﬁnd other
marketing & social media. geographic area.
uses and hashtag trends at http://
twitter.pbwiki.com/Hashtags Any tweets that reference that subject will
pop up. You can read them, and @reply with
advice for someone who
you have good
Generate Leads on Twitter
Imagine if you could know, in real time, when Just be careful to provide
someone out there in your area needed your value. Otherwise, you’re
Michelle Villalobos services. Well of course you can! Using just spamming people!
Mivista Consulting, Inc. Advanced Twitter Search, you can search for
Coral Gables, FL 33134