I’m not a Twitter guru or social media maven, but I have found myself giving impromptu Twitter lessons to the travel industry while on press trips and fam tours. A colleague or PR person will notice that I take pictures with my crackberry of food or nice scenery and then they’ll ask what I’m doing. I answer that I’m sharing the moment on Twitter. This leads into questions like, “What is Twitter?” or comments such as, “I signed up for Twitter, but I don’t know how to use it.”
Twitter is a micro-blogging service with messages in 140 characters or less.
Watch Twitter in Plain English for a brief introduction:
If you can’t watch the video in this window, the direct link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddO9idmax0o
RT or Retweet – This is when someone is repeating an interesting tweet they’ve read. It is a forward of a tweet.
Tweet – A message on Twitter. Can only use up to 140 characters. Short and sweet.
Following – These are the users that you’ve chosen to follow. It means that you get to see what they have to say on a regular basis.
Follower – This term sounds cultish, but a follower is someone who has subscribed to your Twitter feed or username. It is not require to follow them back.
DM – Direct Message. This is a private message sent between users. It can only be sent if the user is following you. No follow, no DM
@ Replies – This is where you will find Tweets that are direct responses to you, or include your username.
Hashtag – This is the # followed my letters or words. This is used in Tweets to track events, seminars, and trends. (ex: #bwe09 stands for BlogWorldExpo 2009)
Don’t be shy. Most people are very helpful on Twitter. If someone Tweets something and you want to comment, be sure to click that swooshy little arrow to reply to them. Social Media is about being social, and Twitter is a great way to interact.
Post a Bio Picture. Twitter peeps want to see who you are or what you represent. Most people will pass you over if you don’t have a picture. I know I do.
Fill out your information: In Settings, there is a tab to fill out your bio. Go ahead. Fill it out. I want to get to know you a little better and I’d love to look at your website or blog.
Live links: If you include a website in your Tweet, be sure to include the http:// because people want an easy click and aren’t apt to copy and past into their browser window. Also, when referring to a user, include the @ symbol, which makes their username live and also goes into their @ Replies box.
Now, get out there and start by following me, @Cajun_Mama and tell me what YOU are doing.