Whether we understand it or not, Twitter is here for the immediate future. In my professional workflow, I use Twitter constantly. Much of my professional communication has moved out of my email inbox to Twitter. It is quick, easy, and immediate.
Though Twitter launched in 2006, it’s true awakening was at SXSW in March 2007. In the month of SXSW, approximately 1 million tweets were sent. In January 2010, 1.2 billion tweets were sent.
Read this entire Guidebook on Twitter (follow all the links to the chapters)
In summary, what’s important to know?
- Maintain a current and complete profile, including bio, image and custom background. Before you start following people. Many people who use Twitter will simply ignore you if this data is not complete (including me!).
- Keep your Follow/Follower counts in relative balance. Not always a great rule, but many still use this as an indicator of a real person versus a bot (computer based Twitter account).
- Generally, you don’t need to tell us what you had for dinner.
- Use a third party application to keep up or to schedule tweets. I recommend:
- Tweetdeck (cross platform)
- TweetCaster (iPhone)
- HootSuite (web-based)
- Write for retweeting; substract the length of your username + 4 from the total of 140 characters. New retweet function eliminates this need but many still use the old retweet format.
- Understand short URLs — don’t send full URLs in a tweet. If it isn’t shortened automatically, go do it yourself on j.mp
- Know and understand the function of hashtags.
- Use Twitter Lists to manage large numbers of followers or to group you audience
Advanced Twitter Tips
- Push RSS to Twitter — Feedburner
- Twitter RSS — How to Create RSS for Twitter
Additional reading materials:
Just look for this on the left side of the page…