2008 Twitter Training

*** The following protocol was written in 2008 for a membership only site. It was formatted differently (frankly more artistically, but is currently for content review only.

Case Study/ Twitter
What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social networking site allowing users to chat in real time.
What do people use Twitter for?  Twitter is used for a variety of reasons.
Some use Twitter to chat and make friends outside of their own circles,
some use Twitter to direct traffic to their websites and blogs and
others use Twitter for promotional and business networking.
The best way to look at Twitter is as “group texting”. You sign up for an
account and “follow” people with the same interests and businesses. As
you begin to follow people they in turn will follow you back. What does
this do for you? Well it provides you with a social network of people
who want to hear what you have to say. The number one pointer when using
Twitter for marketing is to make sure that you have a balance of
personal information to business information so that people feel a
personal connection to you and your company.

Do’s and Don’ts of Twitter.   

AGAIN.  Once you join Twitter, don’t immediately start
pushing your site, product or agenda.  Followers  is the name of the
game. The more followers you have the bigger network you have to tap
into. Let’s put it this way. When you answer the phone and realize that
rather than your friend on the other end, it is a salesman.  Some of us
are kind and give them time to speak, but never intend to buy, some of
us say no thank you and hang up, and then most of us immediately hang up
the phone.  Instead, when a friend calls, you want to hear what they
have to say, talk a while and ask for help or suggestions. This is the
value of a friend.
There is wisdom in spending a good week or two
with 3 or 4 tweets a day before you link your tweets to your blog,
website, or promotions.
Never be afraid to start chatting or
replying to a total stranger.  That is the point of Twitter. If someone
doesn’t reply to you, just start talking with someone else. There is no
reason to include emotion or have attitude on Twitter, you are trying to
get friends, not lose them.

Get  to know Twitter better.

When you sign up for Twitter,  you will then be taken to your home page. At
the top of the page you can click Profile. This is where you would
upload your photo and any other information needed. The Settings tab is
where you can set your passwords, on the Notices tab  Twitter can notify
you when someone replies or direct messages you, Devices provides a
ways where you can enter your mobile phone so you can tweet from your
mobile phone and you can receive tweets (this is how people can
instantly tweet as they go through the day, the more you tweet, the more
followers you will have), to give your Twitter page personality the
Design tab is where you can pick a background for your Twitter home page
or install your own background, click on the Find People tab and you
can search for twitter names, find people on other networks, invite
people to Twitter and get suggestions for people to follow.
www.search.twitter.com is where you can see the most popular Twitter topics and has a more
general search box that is not as temperamental as the “Find People”
search box.

For an interesting experiment, we compiled a social network through Ning.
This network had a common theme for it’s members
and offered information on that theme. That was a start, but all we have
is a network platform,  no members, this doesn’t do us any good. So, we
started tweeting. There are many crazy tweeters that tweet 40-100 times
a day and there are others that tweet a couple of times a week. So,  in
our 2 month experiment we “tweeted” or updated our status 240 times
which  averages to around 3 times per day (we suggest you do more). In
that 2.5 months we gained 60 members, approx 25%.  That means for every 4
updates we had a person sign up for our social network.  How did they
sign up or why? Well, if you use an application like Tweetgrid,
Tweetdeck, Twhirl, Hootsuite, etc. you can include a link to whatever
site you want to drive traffic to.  The advantage of this social network
is to #1 deepen our “friendship” with our target audience. #2 Now we
have their attention and can lead these prospective customers to
different offers.  But, the most important thing to remember is our
Twitter updates included funny family stories, business ideas, current
events, whatever was on our mind at the time, and then a link was
inserted to our social network.
So back to that sales call, did we pitch our business first? No, we made friends,
shared experiences, and  the prospective customers started coming our way. Now, lets imagine for a
second that if we had doubled our per day average? Would our membership
double as well? Probably not, nothing is that perfect. But it would
grow at a higher rate than currently. In addition, once our membership
numbers started to get higher, members joined at a faster pace. The
power of suggestion worked well for us, “If these people think our
network is a good site, then I will try it.”
As for any business, networking endeavor, consistency is the key. You cannot post once a
week, or even 5 times in one week, then forget to update for a few
weeks. Out of sight, out of mind, so they say.  Stick yourself out
there, try to be interesting, and get started.
There are a number of applications that you can use with Twitter, Social media is the new
frontier to marketing and advertising products…with this new
phenomenon comes MANY applications. One of the most used and successful
tools which help you to micro blog and “feed” your many other social
networks is Twitter. So if you hear things like “I tweeted it” or
“retweet” rest assured that these things do exist. And, yes you heard
them correctly.

Although there are dozens of applications to use
with Twitter, the following list contains the applications we have found
helpful to network your business on Twitter.
Hashtags – You can add
tags to your Twitter posts with this service. Usually for those  that
want to chat with each other over a main topic.
LiveTwitting – Helps you cover a conference live on Twitter. Similar to live blogging, only cooler.
Twhirl
– Twhirl is a popular desktop client based on Adobe AIR. It has a lot
of impressive features including multiple Twitter accounts, connect to
Friendfeed, post image to Twitpic, post to Pownce and Jaiku
simultaneously, and search using Tweetscan.
Twits Like Me – You can use this service to find people on Twitter who share your interests.
Twibs-
is an index of businesses on twitter. You can search and browse
businesses on twitter, both by alphabetical and tags for businesses
using twitter.
TweetDeck- A simple and easy way to improve the
functionality of Twitter by breaking down Twitter feeds into more
manageable bite sized pieces.
HootSuite- you can manage multiple Twitter profiles, pre-schedule tweets, and measure your success.

How to make Twitter work for you.
Most  people new to Twitter will use the original Twitter.com platform. This
will work for your basic chat, but to effectively market, the proper use
of applications and timing is everything.

Get your network started:
After you have signed up to Twitter, practice chatting. Spend 20 minutes or
more a day chatting. If you need someone to follow you can follow us at
http://www.Twitter.com/wahm_chatter. Check out our followers and who we follow
and start your own network.
Go to http://www.chrisfinke.com/twitslikeme/, Twits like me to search for
those Tweeple that will have similar interests to yours to enhance the
individuals in your network. But to find those that have similar
interests you need to fill out your Twitter profile and settings
completely because this is where twits like me will pull your interests
from . Also if you have those in your network that share your interests,
it allows you to enhance the quality of your updates, replies, and your
audience. All of which is what every business is fighting for, quality
leads, customers, and visibility.
After spending a few days fully building your network with steps one and two, then you need to attract
businesses. The best application to use for that would be Twibs. First
you need to add your business to Twibs so people can find you too. Then
search for the keywords that would be included for the businesses you
want to contact on Twitter.

Tweet Effectively:
You will need to download the Twhirl or Tweet Deck application. Twhirl will allow you to
tweet from a variety of Twitter identities at a time. Both Twhirl and
Tweet Deck will allow you to insert a link and shorten the link for you
without using all your characters that are allowed in a tweet. An
effective tweet would be something like this:
“Great information on multitasking. Click here, I need all the help I can get. http://bit.ly/NkxFB”
The highlighted text is the shortened URL to our blog.  Our tweet contained
a hook that pertained to the blog. Those who are interested then can
visit our blog and your visibility has now expanded.
Remember that with all online marketing you need to tell your network what to do,
(nicely of course.) If you want more followers, ask people to follow, if
you want an individual to click on a link, tell them to click, etc.
After you are familiar with the interface of either Twhirl or Tweedeck, you
can sign up for HootSuite. This application is a real timesaver. After
signing in you can enter a tweet that you would like to post now or at a
later time. For instance you have a busy week and are afraid you won’t
be able to tweet, in HootSuite you can schedule 15 tweets to be posted
at chosen times in the next week. Now, the only downside is those that
schedule tweets tend to neglect their followers by personal responses.
So, you may schedule generic tweets through the week, but try to
remember to reply to those in your network a few times a week. This will
make you appear to be approachable and that have you friends on
Twitter, even if you don’t know those individuals from Adam.

Don’t forget to link:
With  every website, blog, video, comment you put on the web, you need to
interlinks each of those sites. So, your tweets need to include links, as
does your bio and profile.
If you are using Blogger or another blog
platform, they usually have an option to add an html code to your blog.
The following code will allow your tweets to post onto your blogger
blog. If you would like more code to post Twitter elsewhere you can find
directions at RemySharp
<div id=”twitter_div”>
<ul id=”twitter_update_list”>
<a
id=”twitter-link” style=”display:block;text-align:right;”
href=”http://twitter.com/wahm_chatter”>follow me on Twitter</a>
</div>
// <![CDATA[
src=”http://twitter.com/javascripts/blogger.js&#8221; type=”text/javascript”>
// ]]>
<script

src=”http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/wahm_chatter.json?callback=twitterCallback2&count=3&#8243;
type=”text/javascript”></script>

The important thing to remember is that in the code the section that is highlighted is our
user name. So, you will have to replace that section with your own user
name.

Conferencing
Hashtags: As you network on Twitter you
will see tweets with a hashtag followed by letters or numbers i.e. #gno,
#dwts. If you have a lot of contacts, friends, etc. that want to
schedule a time to get together to talk about a topic, chat at the same
time etc. Notify those that you would like to participate and let them
know about when and why you want to chat. Then assign a hashtag for
those followers to use after their posts. For example “I can’t wait to
see the teleseminar. #wahm” . All of those that use the assigned hashtag
accounts will be updated. You can also go to http://www.search.twitter.com to
view all of those posting tweets with the same hashtag. You just need to
enter the hashtag in this case #wahm into the search box to view all
the tweets from each account.

Monetizing Twitter
In addition to developing, friends, customers and a network, you can also advertise on
Twitter or be an advertising affiliate. Magpie is the place to be for
monetization. Like any other web advertising you can pay for those that
tweet to have an attached link to your site inserted at the end of your
tweet. You can also tweet and get paid for linking businesses to your
tweets. Magpie is where it is at.

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