As some of you know, I have recently been trying to get into Twitter. It has been a very interesting ride. I have met many incredible people, and learned much about a variety of business models and ideas. The Twitter community is growing rapidly with Mashable reporting an astounding 752% increase in 2008. Many project 2009 will be even higher.
Who uses Twitter is a question I had in my mind when I first dove in. The best explanation of Twitter I have ever heard, was from twitter user @wisekaren who tweeted to me the following:
“FB (Facebook) is for people you used to know; Twitter is for people you’d like to know.”
Which is a comment I have learned to be absolutely true.
As I see it now, Twitter is a social media platform that provides opportunity for real business growth, understanding, learning, and networking. In social media realm Twitter is like the infamous lunch date tactic all we young executive types use(d) when we were expanding our careers, working 80 hours a week, but still wanted to meet someone worthwhile, without blowing a whole evening and serious $$ on someone who was not quite right. Twitter gives everyone the opportunity to sample ideas, musings and knowledge of others, not only in your same area of expertise, but in areas of expertise where you have great interest, but lack knowledge.
There are some great Twitter help aides out there, that assist in getting the most out of Twitter data. Some of the Twitter tools I am now using include: TweetBeep, created by my biz partner Michael Jensen. TweetBeep allows you to save keywords and keyword phrases, then the TweetBeep service will email you tweets containing your keywords at predetermined times. Imagine putting in some important keywords for your business and receiving the resulting tweets with those keywords every morning. You can easily see emerging trends, and pick up other related keywords that should probably be considered in your SEO keyword strategies. It is a marvelous SEO tool.
I have also been using TweetGrid. This is a web based tool/system, which allows the selection of 6 topic keywords, and then streams all tweets containing these keywords. If you want to learn about a topic quickly, pick a keyword you are interested in and watch the data fly by. This is also a great way to find and engage Twitter users directly who have similar interests, and perhaps strike up a relationship for future work together, or at least someone we can bounce ideas off. It is an excellent tool to leverage Twitter.
For folks on the go, there are many amazing Twitter tools that provide the benefits of Twitter on the road. I personally use Tweetie on my iPhone to tweet, but there are many others, including: Twittelator, Twitterrific which offers all of Twitter’s functionality and TwitterFon, which is a free, but very basic iPhone Twitter client.
Some other cool Twitter tools for the iPhone include Fastweet, which allows for quick reading of many tweets. GeoTweeter which adds GPS coordinates to your tweets, GPSed, lets you share maps of your travels to Twitter and Twitter Trend which gives you a snapshot of what topics are really hot on twitter for the last 24 hours. Very cool.
I know many of those that use SoloSEO are small business owners, and are working diligently to get their online business screaming. We can see how much work is being done through the use of the SoloSEO SEO tools. Please also consider using Twitter to bolster your online exposure, and knowledge about your online market, it will make a difference.
Just a quick note on some Twitter rules of engagement (suggestions really). When someone “follows” you on Twitter, it is a good idea to follow them back. How many followers you have is a big deal to many. It doesn’t indicate exactly if you are a good Tweeple, but does show how popular you are on Twitter. Following people who show interest in you makes good sense, as many will have something in them you will be interested in. I have learned this tidbit over time, and am now in the process of ditching those I follow that don’t follow me, and following my followers. Its just good Karma. Also, on Fridays there is a custom of recommending good Twitter users others should follow. You simply list the user’s usernames with a hashtag (def. a keyword with # at the beginning of the word, which allows organization a group of tweets) of #FollowFriday somewhere in your tweet. For example, I tweeted earlier today the following:
Which essentially tells those that read my tweet that I recommending these 7 users as worthy to follow.
Those are just a few things on Twitter. The best way to learn and love Twitter is to just jump in and get going. Sign up for Twitter here. At anytime, if you have a questions about how to use Twitter, just tweet about it, and you will find just how helpful and responsive the Twitter Nation can be. Hope to see (follow) you soon.