After a recent presentation on using social media to promote event attendance, I received some questions from folks who were mystified by Twitter. At first, I, too, was stymied by Twitter and none of my friends or colleagues were into it.
I tucked into a couple of books and online resources that were most helpful to me. I’m sharing them here in hopes that they’ll be helpful to you as well. Remember: you only have 140 characters to convey your message! Get to the point!
1) Twitter Glossary: The glossary is a great reference tool for Twitter-speak, especially for those who are new to the platform.
2) Hashtag Directory: While a number of these are available, I like tagdef. This, too, is a great resource for newbies who aren’t sure what different hashtags mean. Remember, a hashtag helps group content under a certain name or topic; another way to think of hashtags is as keywords. Hashtags are always followed by the “#” sign. Users can make up and add their own hashtags to the directory as well.
3) Reposting Links: Since web links can be lengthy, it’s wise to shorten them to save on characters since you only have 140 to convey your message. I like TinyURL.
4) Twitter Search: Need a quick overview of what’s trending or being tweeted on a specific topic? Try Twitter Search. Not only does it list popular trending topics, but it also offers a search bar so that you can search on your topic of choice.
5) Read Twitterville, by Shel Israel: This is one of the first Twitter-related books I read and it was extremely helpful.
My best advice? Start by following some people, industry publications and even your competitors to get a vibe for how they post. If you like what they’re doing, emulate their style. When posting, remember that what you’re posting is public unless you send a direct message so practice the same care as you would with an email!