I thought I’d write a quick blog about using twitter and some of the sites I use to manage it. This one is a bit of an introduction because so many of my friends are still a bit unsure of what its all about. Check here for an initial blog I wrote about it last year.
1. Setting up twitter - So if you are absolutely new to twitter the first tip would be to sign yourself up for a twitter account. Choose a name that your friends will recognize. And if you want to keep business separate from work I would recommend starting up a second account for business.
Twitter is a mircroblogging platform. So think of it as writing 160 character blogs about life, tips you learn, things your interested in… interesting pages…etc. Remember if you’re not interested in knowing every little detail about someone else… they might not want the same from you. So keep it real and interesting. We don’t need to know EVERY time you go to the ‘loo’!
You also can link to your twitter to your facebook, blog, myspace so its updating your status or feed. You can set this up by going to the ‘settings’ page. I was going to go into great detail about how to set up twitter but Michael Hyatt from Thomas Nelson Publishing has already done it for us in his blog ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter’
You can get twitters to come to or from you phone. My recommendation… DON’T get everyone to your phone. The first night I set it up not really understanding it all… my phone vibrated all night because I had followed an Australian ABC News… who happened to be awake while I was trying to sleep!!! Not a good nights sleep that one! I’d also recommend if it’s possible, assign a ‘silent’ ring tone just to twitters so you read them when you want too rather then having it beeping at you all day demanding immediate attention.
2. Managing Twitter – So there are literally millions of people on twitter chatting about random things… some of interest others totally not. How do you even think of managing all this information… and is there really any point? There are are a number of different platforms you can use to manage your twitter account. One I use is Tweetdeck. It can take the twitter feed and break it down into nice bite sized chunks and arrange them into columns.
Below is a pic of my ‘tweetdeck’. My first column is people I like to watch closely, then I have all my @aussiejoy replies then direct messages. I also have set up columns to watch who’s mentioning the band I work with @alabasterbox in another or any other topic of interest in others. A great read on this on Chris Spagnuolo’s EdgeHopper’s blog
3.Shortening URL’s As you go through your day you might find you want to share great URL via your twitter account. A great way to shorten a URL is by signing up for and using http://bit.ly/. If you’re promoting your great smoothie shop add your URL so people following you actually know where to get it! I’ve used TinyURL before but I really like bit.ly because you can track who actually follows the link to the page you are recommending.
4. Searching Twitter – one of my most favourite twitter applications I am currently using is Tweetgrid. I recommend checking out tweetgrid’s blog page for lots of tips and all the how-to’s. The main thing I like though, is its ability to search a topic of interest within a city. Ie. I could search smoothie near:Franklin TN within:35mi and it will bring up every twitter that mentioned that word within the vicinity. Get your mind around that and the opportunities it brings! See the pic below.
These are just four tips I can get out tonight… before Twursday is over I’ll be back next week with some more. What sites do you find helpful to manage twitter or use it to its potential? Share some here and I may make mention of them next week!