Twitter 101 – Time to “Get It” by Scott Fresener

As more and more people use Twitter in their business and more and more people are confused by it…..I thought I would post an excellent link to Twitter 101 (about using Twitter in business) – direct from the Twitter.com website. As many readers can tell, I am trying to “tweet” every day. I am also working to increase my number of “followers” and also to follow more people. I will say that for those who have been on Twitter since the beginning – you probably “get it.” I have been a little slow to adopt but now I get it and find it very refreshing.

Note: If you don’t know the terms I am using here then take five minutes and read Twitter 101….. :)

What I “get” is that Twitter is becoming the new news source. I “follow” CNN, ABC News and other outlets on Twitter – along with hundreds of companies I have an interest in. I also follow industry sources like Impressions Magazine, Printwear Magazine, SGIA, FESPA, and others.

Twitter is changing how we get information. I was watching the news last night with my wife and they were talking about the new hurricane gaining momentum in the Atlantic Ocean. I told Pat – I already knew that – from Twitter (my CNN following).

While many of you anxiously wait for your monthly trade magazine or online version of the trades to see what is new, chances are most of the companies in there have already tweeted about their latest special, new products, and more. If they didn’t tweet about it then the trade magazines did.

Whether you like it or not, Twitter is here to stay and if you watch TV you now see more and more ads with the Twitter logo. I remember how in the mid-90’s you started to see companies using their web address in the advertising and I vividly remember thinking about those who DID NOT do this for a long time – they didn’t “get” it.

If you are a company doing business in 2010 with a website, you need to show you are on the cutting edge and show not only your Twitter link but also that of your Facebook Fan Page and your YouTube Channel (topics for another blog).

Once you signup for a Twitter account (free), you need a way to manage the account. You can use your Twitter page or you can use third party software to follow people, see if you get mentioned, tweet, and more. I use TweetDeck and I LOVE it! When someone I follow sends out a tweet it shows up in the upper right of my computer screen for three seconds and then goes away. I can ignore it or simply open my TweetDeck application (which I leave open all day long), and see the latest tweets. Yes, you get a lot but you can hide the people who drive you nuts with “just had breakfast.”

Like it or not….services like Twitter are here to stay. Check it out. Sign up for an account. Start to follow people. The more you follow the more they will follow you (good Twitter etiquette). Download TweetDeck. Set up a search for topics you like AND your name and your company name. See who is “mentioning” you in their tweets. Get involved.

OK, while you are at it – start to follow me, too. What the heck. It might be interesting.  www.twitter.com/tbiznetwork

The only problem is you now have to schedule your day around reading tweets and tweeting, managing your Facebook page, and – oh yes – running your business.

AND…. I don’t profess to be an expert on Twitter. I would love to have comments on this article/blog.

UPDATE: About six hours after I posted this Twitter announced the “new” Twitter with new features to be rolled out over the next few weeks.  Check it out here.

Have fun!   Scott Fresener   @tbiznetwork

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