Key Facts - Twitter is a “micro-blog” tool and platform. It works by allowing users to send a text-based message, known as a “tweet”, up to 140 characters in length, to other users who have requested to receive updates from that user.
Platform combination: Twitter is a combination of blogging, emailing, social networking and texting that allows you to cast your views to people you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. You can stay on top of industry trends and news at the same time as you build your network.
Credible traffic funnel : Twitter is fast becoming a top referrer of traffic to blogs, news sites, and company websites. It accelerates and amplifies business, politics, and entertainment news and provides a new way to place stories with key players.
Instant: People go to Twitter to find what others are talking about in that very moment with the ability to examine the profile (name, biography, location), followers, and previous posts to Twitter of those doing the talking.
Sign up at Twitter.com: Choose a user name that is logical enough for easy recognition by users yet flexible enough to encompass all of your interests. For many people, using your first and last name or the name of your company makes the most sense. E.G tcburnell, moodywill, simonsanders.
Find People: Using Twitter’s “Find People” search function in the menu bar at the top of your Twitter page when logged in. Upload your personal and professional email contacts through the “Find on Other Networks” option. Following Lansons colleagues is a great place to start – not only can you learn from more advanced users, but it helps establish a network of people who can be mobilized in the future. Follow accounts owned by people with whom you want to connect . One of the best ways to engage with individuals on Twitter is to follow them, then start conversations through @ messages and, in the event that they follow you back, through direct messages (DMs) as well. Also don’t forget to follow accounts that you find interesting .
Following : To receive messages on Twitter, you follow other people and companies you’re interested in. Their messages appear in your incoming timeline on your Twitter home page and your followers get your messages. In my opinion, this is a way easier way to connect with influential people in the media rather than calling and emailing them.
Tweet: Answers the question “What are you doing?” or “What has your attention”. You are allowed 140 characters maximum for each tweet, but 100-120 characters is recommended to leave room to be retweeted (RT).
Direct Message (DM): DMs are a way for Twitter users to privately to connect. You can only DM people who are following you, and, conversely, you can only receive DMs from people you are following. To do so, put the letter ‘D’ before your tweet.
Twitter (10) Shortening Use services to shrink text to keep in line with Twitter’s 140 character limit. Example of this is bit.ly
Look for virtual-only conversations that crop up around ideas, issues or current events and participate where relevant and appropriate to your company’s goals. Your organization should also be sure to comment on industry-related topics, but everyone is also encouraged to discuss whatever topics interest them - TV shows (#familyguy), a movie you saw (#ironman), news stories (#haiti). You are free to express your personal interests, everything from #lunch to the #weather. When thousands of users all tweet using the same term and/or hashtag, the topic becomes an official “Trending Topic.” You can view what is trending on the right hand side of your Twitter account..
Twitter (12) Photos Because Twitter doesn’t directly support image attachments, a large number of third-party services have sprung up to fill that need. There are a lot of these, and new ones seem to appear almost daily. Here is an example of Twitpic. Twitpic is the largest and most popular image sharing service in part due to all the attention it got in January when the first pictures of the Hudson River plane crash were shared on the site. Adding photos is a simple task and I will run through this now. Also by a dding photos to your tweets, you can add an extra dimension to your profile, giving your followers images to view and enjoy. To add photos you ->
There are tons of great people to follow on Twitter. As mentioned before you should start by following your colleagues as not only can you learn from more advanced users + see what they tweet about and who they connect with. I would suggest to follow relevant journalists, clients, contacts, friends and most importantly people that interest you. Don’t forget that Twitter is a very useful resource for personal use as well.
A great place to start is to follow the Lansons list (everyone at Lansons) - http://twitter.com/simonsanders/lansonslist
Here are some more links to useful lists of people I suggest to follow. I will send these around after:
The top 100 twitter users by amount of followers all time - http://bit.ly/9sqQpX
Top 100 UK tech people to follow - http://bit.ly/vWKeH
50 PR professionals to follow - http://bit.ly/19CZ1e
Top 100 personal finance bloggers to follow - http://bit.ly/93kpnL
Journalism is one profession that has a massive representation on Twitter and you should tap in to this to build relationships with the people who are most likely to cover the story in your niche. Do some research and you will easily find the journalists that are most relevant to you. Don’t just follow them and start bombarding them with links but simply start a conversation and share useful information. Deal with journalists as you would offline so no “off the record”. Keeping client confidentiality is key along with not posting opposing views to your client.
Twitter has firmly established itself as not only one of the largest online hubs of social activity, but also as a fairly ripe vehicle for media pitches.
According to Twitter, there are more than 65 million tweets per day . If you hope for getting your message out, you have to distinguish yourself from the pack. To do this, try thinking like a journalist. By understanding the journalist’s mindset, you gain a better idea of how and why they are using social media. If you can fit your pitches into that, you can better get the media on your side. Just like traditional media , you’ll have to get on their radar before you ever try to pitch anything.
You need to become intimately familiar with the content journalists consistently post about, so that you can join their blog’s community of people who discuss what they post. Read their stuff, give your opinion, start and contribute to relevant, interesting discussions on a regular basis. This will help you to get on their radar.
You definitely want to cultivate a relationship with prominent journalists. You can follow someone on Twitter for ages, but it’s useless if they don’t know that you exist . So, you must engage them. An occasional thoughtful “@ mention” can do wonders. Take a genuine interest in them as people, and show you have something to offer, and naturally they will take an interest in you and care about what you have to offer. After you’ve gotten on their radar, continue to stay in contact when they post new content, and hopefully by this point, they’re also following you and your content. strategic media relations can require a good deal of patience and tact.
Realize that you are dealing with people. Send them a thoughtful direct message occasionally, when you’ve got news of your own to share. But the key is to keep in mind the quantity of information coming their way on a daily basis. Remember DM press releases are seen as spam. Journalists receive a vast amount of emails during the day and see twitter as a break away from that so its key to engage but not bombard. Finding the right balance is crucial.
TweetDeck is a desktop application for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, Foursquare, and MySpace. Like other Twitter applications it interfaces with the Twitter API to allow users to send and receive tweets and view profiles Users can split the program into columns which show different things, for instance tweets from friends. TweetDeck interfaces with Twitscoop, 12seconds and Stocktwits, all of which can appear in separate columns. It also allows users to split the people they follow into groups, a very useful feature to many users. The client supports URL shortening which can be done instantly.
Be yourself, be original : It’s meant to be human, so don’t be afraid to share about your hobbies, travels and even weekend adventures.
Disclose in your Twitter bio the who you work for.
Participate regularly : Almost all sites that assign account holders a Twitter score place a high value on activity level.
Report events with behind the scenes coverage.
Share jokes, puns and quirky things that happen to you.
Give credit to others for the information you found and “name-check” people you want to reach with your tweet. The more you give, the more you get.
While pure text tweets are appropriate when you have an original thought to share or when you want to start a conversation, make sure to mix in rich media (links, photos, videos) to keep your tweets dynamic and inviting.
Be unprofessional: When it comes to company clients, partners, colleagues, and even competitors do not share confidential information, criticize, or spread false information.
MeTweet all the time. Too much corporate-promotion can lead followers to tune you out. Make sure to contribute to existing conversations, retweet smart links/ statements and ask your follower base:" what are you doing?” and “how are you doing?” The ideal balance is 90% about others, big ideas, and resources with just 10% about you.
RT with abandon. Make sure you click through and read the resources you are retweeting. People often interpret a RT as an endorsement of the content. Be sure that you have read all of the tweet and subsequent links before you RT content.
Too much. You want to avoid filling your followers’ home screen with nothing but tweets from you and/or a company-related account.
Not enough. Try to tweet at least several times a week, if not daily. This is key to creating a follower base, media attention, and a deeper level of engagement that advances your goals.