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Twitter 101

April 8, 2009

Our company has something called a “Lunch and Learn” every once in a while.  It’s like a town meeting crossed with a geek lab.  Essentially it’s a way for us to get together and share information about new hot trends online.

We’re having our next one at our sales meeting. It won’t technically be at lunchtime, but I am assured there will be snacks.  Because snacks are oh so important.  The format will be a little different, based on participant feedback.  We’re going to structure it more hands on, with people at different tables doing different things.  You can “vote with your feet” – listen to something at one table, and move on when you are done.

I’ve volunteered to talk about Twitter, which in our survey of participants was the #1 topic people wanted to know more about. Huh.  Go figure!

I’ve read Twitter Power, along with early chapters of  our soon-to-be-released  Twitter tips book.  So I think I have a good framework of how to present Twitter.

What I’d love to hear from you is what you would say to a Twitter newbie.  For instance, my best piece of advice to a newbie is  to just be yourself.  Don’t panic about gaining followers, just take it one day at a time.  But what would your advice be?  Do share in the comments field, along with anything else you think I should be covering.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2009 6:58 pm

    I’m surprised no one has commented b/c I have a lot to say! 🙂 1) I think marketers get fooled into thinking that this is a marketing plan by itself, like a facebook page. It’s a support tool. You won’t be able to run metrics or determine its worth or the audience you’re reaching. It’s just a fun tool. 2) If you aren’t comfortable with it, that’s okay. I see people dawdling on it, too scared to dip a toe in and become fully engaged in it. That’s fine, but don’t get expectations too high. Once again, it’s a fun tool, but you have to use it in order to gain from it. 3) Lastly, you have to be able to laugh it off. So much happens on twitter in the span of a day, it’s easy to get insulted or fall into a pit of despair over mistakes (bad tweets). At the pace things trend on twitter, you have to be able to laugh it off and keep going forward. Cisco Fatty was a top story for all of a week and then we all learned from it and moved on (and I certainly hope she moved on too.) My favorite blog for social media stuff is Gwenbell.com (you know Gwen!), she has a lot of good tips for engaging in social media. That’s it from me, I know other people have stuff to say, I hope they speak up!

  2. Jeanenne Ray permalink
    April 9, 2009 1:18 am

    I jotted these basics down earlier for something else and most of them with what Alison says above… we must work in the same meeting or something. She makes a good point that I didn’t cover: don’t take everything you see too seriously… I’d also add: if you don’t like what someone is tweeting, stop following them. No big deal.

    Anyway, I’ll just paste this into the conversation:

    1) you have to use it to “get it”
    2) yes, you have to have a photo and a bio in your profile
    3) use search to find people who are talking about the this you’re interested in and then look at who they’re following to find more people to follow (people will find you the same way)
    4) don’t pretend you’re a product even if that’s why (you think) you’re on Twitter. you are a person with a personality. let it show.
    5) engage/participate, don’t just sell/promote
    6) Twitter is a tool, not an entire strategy

    I’m sure you’ll get great feedback. I hope the cookies aren’t hard.

  3. April 9, 2009 1:34 am

    Well Alison is correct, most people get it wrong at first or get to caught up in “doing it right”or not at all. Fun tools are scary things at first to everyone but after time and a little daring with a dash of tolerance all good tools lead to the universal delight experienced in true synergy.
    My take on all social nets is that no matter the perceived or stated rules, the only thing that counts in the end is not the audience but you. People are naturally curious creatures and will follow anything so you might as well make whatever you do anywhere online, your own. If it’s not working for you, your lurkers will feel that and react accordingly. There are no Bad tweets just twits twittering badly!
    Like common sense, today’s social network protical is tomorrow’s Pig Latin. Change is the only constant, roll with it and make it yours and show us your tweets!

  4. Alissa Lavrakas permalink
    April 9, 2009 3:43 pm

    Are you prepared for the inevitable question..how is twitter different from a blog or a RSS feed?

    I’ve found that twitter is easier for me to keep on market news and trends then RSS feeds since I don’t make time to read lots of blogs 🙂

    I think something to keep in mind is, it might not always be twitter or fb, but social media isn’t going away. Better to stay ahead of the curve.

  5. April 9, 2009 7:13 pm

    Just have them remember that Twitter is a conversation. Two way, they can’t just “talk at the world.”

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