Twitter tweets or not?

Twitter tweets or not? Different social media sites have different uses, strengths, and advantages. Twitter could be called a ‘real time social networking’ site, a place for sharing information as it happens, and for connecting with others in real time, often resulting in lasting friendships and contacts. Learning how to use this fun, free, and useful tool can be a bit intimidating for the beginner, but don’t be put off – with a little effort and a lot of intuitive “feeling your way through”, you’ll soon be able to use Twitter well–and you might even become ‘digitally’ famous!

You have to humanize your social channel to make it seem more human, personal, like you’re having a conversation with a friend or someone you know. On Twitter, this can be achieved by sharing content that describes the values of your brands, photos and videos from behind-the-scenes, quote cards to motivate, or questions that generate conversations. The more often people see personal commentary in the Twitter stream, the more likely you’ll be able to get more Twitter followers.

Learn the Twitter lingo and use it appropriately.

  • Tweet – a Twitter single update of 140 or fewer characters, which can include @Mentions to other users, hashtags, external links, or simply regular text.
  • Retweet or “RT” – taking a tweet from one user and posting it yourself, automatically crediting the source, so that all of your followers can see the tweet. The original retweeting style would take a tweet and re-post it via your own account in the following format: ‘RT @(username of person who originally tweeted the tweet you’re retweeting): (contents of tweet)’. The current system does away with this format, and instead directly re-posts the tweet, crediting the origin underneath. For example, ‘retweeted from @username’.
  • TweetUps – Using Twitter to meet with other Twitter folks.
  • Trending Topics (TTs) – “Trending Topics” lists a range of subjects which many users across Twitter are talking about simultaneously. When Twitter first got started, “Trending Topics” were those which were most popular during the span of the entire previous week. But new, more advanced algorithms have now made it easier to detect recent trends, and cite the very latest most-talked-about subjects. These days, the “Trending Topics” list contains things that thousands of people across the whole of Twitter are discussing at any one time. When you click on a Trending Topic in the list, it will bring up a range of tweets, mentioning each matter of interest, and for each Trending Topic there will be up to three ‘Top Tweets’ highlighted–Those are the tweets in each topic which have been retweeted more than 150 times. You can view a list of trends in your area in the right-hand column of the homepage.
  • Lists – Users can organize the people they follow into lists of businesses or personalities which are related in some way. For example, a user could list all of the NPOs and charities they follow into a single list, for easy reference.
  • Promoted Tweets – A single trending topic which a company or organization can pay to ‘trend’, as to gain attention and traffic from Twitter users worldwide.

The key to success with Twitter chats is to be more than a spectator. You have to add value to the conversation and differentiate yourself.

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