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What the h#ll is Twitter?

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Evan Coulson

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of What the h#ll is Twitter?

What the h#ll is Twitter? What the h#ll is it? Twitter was founded on March 21st, 2006, and to date serves over 500 million users world-wide. Why the h#ll does it Matter? It's an amazing form of distribution, a highly effective way of spreading ideas, information and content. But, why does it matter to me? "Twitter is where the 'kids' are..." How the h#ll do you use it? Twitter Do's & Don'ts Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters known as 'tweets'. Twitter has become one of the top ten most visited websites on the Internet. But, really, what is it? Twitter is:
A free social media and networking service
An information network
A social instant messaging application
A search engine
A TOOL. Twitter is whatever you need it to be. (And, therein lies the magic of Twitter) It's where things happen first. News organizations still break news stories, but increasingly, news happens 1st on Twitter. It changes notions of authority. Instead of waiting to receive the 'expert' opinions of journalists, Twitter shifts the balance to 'peer to peer' authority. As a search engine, it rivals Google. While Google uses algorithms to dig up information from the web, Twitter goes one more step further, harnessing the mass capability of human intelligence by the millions in order to find information that is new, valuable and relevant. It's a series of common conversations. As well as reading information and spreading the word, users can respond and engage in the conversation. A formidable aggregation tool: you set Twitter to search out information on any subject you want and it will often bring you the best information there is out there. It is more diverse. Traditional media allowed few voices in. Twitter allows everyone a voice. It's a great reporting tool. Many of the best reporters are habitually using Twitter to aid in finding information. It is a fantastic form of marketing, it drives traffic to you blogs and websites, and -most importantly- it drives engagement. It's a level playing field. A famous name may get noticed right away, but the content is what generates sustainability. The energy in Twitter gathers around people who can say things crisply and entertainingly. It changes the tone of writing. A good conversation involves listening as well as talking. Twitter provides an opportunity to participate, not just consume. It has different news values. People on Twitter may have an entirely different sense of what is news than may traditional news outlets. It has a long attention span. The opposite is usually argued, that Twitter is simply an instant, highly condensed stream of consciousness. But, set your tweetdeck to follow a particular keyword, issue or subject, and you may well find that Twitter puts newspapers to shame. It creates communities. Or, rather, communities form around particular issues, people, events, artifacts, cultures, ideas, subjects, or geographies. It is an agent of change. Twitter: Benefits for Business Twitter: Benefits for Navigating our World Reach patrons with shared interests
Know more about your patrons
Build relationships with patrons
Open the door word of mouth referrals Twelve ways we can use Twitter: Network with others in our industry
Stay connected with patrons
Monitor what's being said about the Center
Gather valuable feedback
Raise awareness about the Center's programs
Find answers / get feedback Offer proactive customer service
Promote events and services
Drive traffic to the Rec Center's blog and website
Incite word-of-mouth among patrons
Share helpful content
Generate leads People are more likely to follow an organization on Twitter in order to interact with them than they are to become email subscribers or Facebook fans. People want to interact with your 'brand' on a real time basis; to get to know the personalities behind the organization. 69% of users follow others based on recommendations from friends. Over 80% of Twitter users say they have a better impression of companies that use Twitter. 56% of respondents surveyed use Twitter for business purposes. 7 tips on how to use hashtags on Twitter don't get mad and unfollow someone if they don't follow you back immediately.
don't just tweet "hey" or "good morning!" to someone and be mad that it isn't enough to get them to follow you or even respond. Spammers do that.
don't follow a bunch of people just hoping for return follows and then unfollow them all a day or two later. Lame.
don't RT all day long.
Curious to KNOW MORE? (And, yes, there's more...) Keep your hashtags short and take advantage of established tags to join existing conversations. Hashtags containing more than 3 words aren't usually searched for.
Don't overdo it. Most Twitter experts recommend that you stick to between 1-3 hashtags, with 2 being considered the ideal number.
Think like a Dromedary. When using multiple words to create or replicate a hashtag, capitalize the first letter of each word (#UseHashtags). This technique is known as camelcase, and makes hashtags much easier to read.
Keep it Simple. Keep up on Trends. Organize your Social Media Dashboards. Create your own Hashtag. Provide Incentive for using your Hashtag. Start Tweet Chatting. Join and promote Tweet Chats. View hashtags like a news alert or feed.
Pick a few hashtags to follow and keep at it. Once you've identified active hashtags that can provide high-value content in your field, designate columns within your social dashboard and create a column around a Twitter List.
What the h#ll is a Twitter List?
Enjoy looking over the handout next time you're on the John. Hashtags are an awesome way to create buzz, if you can get them to catch on.
Make sure your hashtags are organized or unique enough you aren't accidentally stepping into an existing conversation. Generate buzz, increase social media reach and spark engagement. Tweet chats can help you leverage hashtags to build brand awareness, buzz and engagement.
Want to know more?
Handout. Ball's in your court.
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