Do quick straw poll How many people using twitter personally? How many people using twitter for their organisation?
Set up in 2006 Really began to take off in 2008 (after SXSW) Originally intended to allow friends to update each other on what they are doing It’s become much more than this… (despite what MSM want you to believe) It’s become a conversation
So, what is Twitter? Difficult question to answer
When you login, you’re asked ‘What are you doing?’
The question really should be ‘What’s on your mind?’ (Like Facebook)
Sometimes people use it for status updates…
Sometimes people ask questions…
Sometimes people share information…
Sometimes people chat…
Sometimes people pass messages on (known as retweeting)…
Sometimes people post links to their blog posts…
Sometimes people advertise jobs!
There’s even a news service that operates on Twitter
People don’t just use Twitter on their computers, they also use mobile phones…
… and programs, known as ‘clients’. This makes the process much quicker than having to visit a website, and makes everything much more instant.
But what’s all this ‘following’ business about? Hopefully this video will help… (Play video)
That’s all well and good from a personal point of view, but what about if you’re tweeting on behalf of an organisation? What then? This was our first foray into Twitter, where we tweet planning applications that are going on in the district
Some councils use Twitter to advertise their latest site updates (health warning: It’s a converstation – make sure this isn’t the ONLY thing you do)
Sometimes organisations run competitons
Sometimes they chat with other people inamongst advertising their wares
Or sometimes it’s an exercise in brand awareness. Dogs Trust are really popular and very conversational. Often tweets are personal
Warwick Medical School has a lot of medical students following them. They often retweet stories that are of interest to students, as well as sending tweets about cancelled lectures and getting feedback about university services
Some organisations take the ‘What are you doing?’ message literally, but often it can be an interesting insight into the people behind the brand, like with Laphroaig, my favourite whisky.
Soemtimes, brands take their customer service onto Twitter, as I found out when I wrote this tweet…
I didn’t expect anything to happen, but when I got off the plane and checked Twitter, I got this message…
... It turned out I should’ve paid in advance, but I was pleased someone out there was listening to what I was saying
But how do they do this? Do they have a massive radar?
Nope, all you need is this (Do demo)
You can even get searches coming directly to you, I monitor loads of different searches on my Netvibes homepage
You can also get email alerts, using Tweetbeep
Walsall Council set up a Twitter account earlier this month. Within days they got this tweet
Within a couple of hours, Walsall Council got in touch, and the gym club now has a new home
Another example is here, resident shouting into the void about icy pavements
… Leads to a response from a helpful councillor. Frown successfully turned upside down!
I’ve also set up a system called Twitterplan, which sends private messages to Twitter users whenever a planning application is posted in their area. It covers around 300 local authorities and already has almost 200 users.
When a planning application is registered, a user gets a private message (known as a direct message, or DM) giving them a link to the council’s website.
A lot of organistations use Twitterfeed, this sends tweets automatically from your website’s RSS feed. Health warning. Remember, it’s a CONVERSATION.
Following is essential to Twitter, but if you get a lot of followers, it’s difficult to find the time to follow back. Tweetlater automates this for you
Hootsuite is a great way of managing tweets, you can schedule tweets, have multiple users for the same account, and also track how many people have clicked on your links.
Twitter can also change the world, as demonstrated by the plethora of tweets coming from Iran during the recent problems out there. Often this was people’s only connection with the outside world and a lot of stories have been broken on Twitter. There’s been a global outpouring of support, with people turning their avatars green.
But what about the future? How long will Twitter last? Myspace laying off a lot of staff Social media comes in cycle Remains to be seen, but at the moment it’s a key way of keeping in touch with friends, colleagues, potential clients, in fact, everybody!