Social Media: Twitter

I bet you thought it was going to be Facebook.

Twitter’s been around since March of 2006 and has since grown into one of the largest microblogging communication services available. With a market evaluation of $15.7 billion, Twitter stands to make a pretty penny if it was ever to sell.

Twitter’s inception first started as a way for groups of coworkers to keep tabs on each other through a series of status updates, “Like texting but not,”  however it was soon realised they were racking up rather large SMS charges.

The event that really set the tone for Twitter’s jump into virality was the South by Southwest interactive conference in 2007 which saw a massive 60 thousand tweets sent that day. Twitter dominated the event with its presence and promoted the nature of Twitter through this. Time goes on and Twitter is adopted by celebrities to share their inane thoughts; by journalists to release headlines and news leads; by politicians to share their inane thoughts; the list goes on. So what does Twitter offer the regular person? What does it do better than other Social platforms? Let’s see if I can lay it all out for you, as best I can anyway:

Twitter as a microblogging site limits its users to 140 characters. Why? Well, like I mentioned before, it was originally designed to be SMS based, and when it came to be 140 characters was the limit for text messaging. So why keep it like that? Creative direction is what probably drove that decision, but I think it keeps us humble in our tweeting.

Should you use Twitter?

That depends, how weird are your daydreams? Twitter can be used by anyone who has something to say. Today it’s used as a way for sharing content or driving discussion around specific topics, usually in the form of a hashtag, and these discussions form communities. It’s used to connect with colleagues or tweet to your celebrity idols. From marketing your latest E-book to letting people know where you’re playing your next secret gig.

Twitter is a tool used for broadcasting information and facilitating two-way conversations between a public body and their/its followers. It’s a great tool in getting information out there  and involving the people who care about the brand.

How can I make the most of Twitter?lure.PNG

Like with all the other platforms I’m going to talk about in coming weeks, it’s important to complete your profile to the fullest. Make sure you have a distinguishable profile picture and a strategic cover photo; include in your bio any information you want people to either know about you or pick you as a person they want to follow. In my experience, if you include a hashtag in your bio you might even appear in searches for that hashtag, increasing your visibility.
What’s more, is that Twitter gives us something pretty nifty, and that’s the ability to put a website into your bio as well. Why is this important? because we can use it as a tool to do, well whatever we want. Remember that E-book I was talking about? Make it a link to the download. Have a band page you post to? Great! Use the space you’re given to place a link to drive traffic to the place you want people to go. I’ve changed mine a couple of times, but right now I have it set to my blog. I want people to go read my blog! So I make it easily available for people to click it and continue reading the other content I have to offer.

Okay, so I have a profile now, what do I do next?

I highly recommend you start following people. Anyone & everyone. Okay, no, don’t do that – follow the people who you admire. The people who you think have something valuable to say and the people who replicate some of your own thoughts. After you’ve followed some people you might see that you yourself have garnered a few followers! That’s great!

So when you think you’ve followed who you’ve wanted to follow start sharing your thoughts. You’ve got 140 characters so use them wisely. I don’t want to see any fart jokes.

OK?

Okay, okay, fine. So what do I tweet about?

I dunno. That’s not for me to tell you. You’re your own person, with your own thoughts, however…

You’re able to do a couple of things with your tweets. You can include hashtags, you can upload videos and pictures, you can share links and you can retweet another people’s tweets, you can even add your own comments! I recommend you take some time to just get used to tweeting some of your own thoughts. Get used to the character limit and experiment with some hashtags. But most importantly get involved. Twitter is about being involved and getting amongst the conversation. Like, reply, retweet and make yourself known. Just avoid becoming a viral trend…

Did you find any of this useful? Are you interested in starting a Twitter profile? There’s always more to learn with Social Media so what’s important is that we start learning now. I can only give you the basics of how to succeed online, the rest is up to you.

Have fun tweeting!

ben-mahoney

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