Things I Love – Day 4: Twitter

In honor of Valentine’s Day being this week, I thought I’d spend some time talking about things I love. It might be a person one day, a thing the next, a place another day. I hope you spend some time this week thinking about the ones that mean the most to you. It doesn’t have to be your partner – it can be the BFFs you’ve had forever.

If you know me, you know I’m an avid, voracious and passionate Twitter user. After a pretty funny exchange with one of my new-found blogger friends Suzanne (aka @tangledlou) over at Periphery where she and others expressed some “uncertainty” about Twitter, I promised to do a 101 on it.

So, gather up your notebooks, kids.. here we go. I’m going to give you the basic info you need to make Twitter your friend. I’ll agree that Twitter can be a little daunting, so I’ll break it into smaller pieces. Next week, I’ll be a little more detailed about one area and continue from there.

Twitter Terms:

  • Retweet (RT) – When someone “repeats” your tweet. Get it? Retweet.. Repeat… If someone RTs your stuff, thank them!! This is the ultimate goal of Twitter.. to get your stuff retweeted. It’s like a megaphone. You tweet your stuff to your followers but they retweet it to THEIR followers. And they told 2 friends, and they told 2 friends…
  • Direct Message (DM) – This is a private message between 2 tweeters. The only 2 people who can see it are the sender and the recipient. In order to exchange DMs, the twitter relationship must be mutual. Meaning, you can’t send a DM to someone who isn’t following you and vice versa.
  • Hashtags (#) – This is to track a trending topic. Sometimes they’re legit – #POTUS (President of the United States) and sometimes they’re silly – #IToldYouNotToo
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Twitter Etiquette:

  • Follow back – For the most part, if someone follows you – follow them back. If someone walked up to you at a party and introduced themselves, you wouldn’t ignore them woud you? I draw the line on this one at blatant spammers, skanks and MLM-ers.
  • If someone “talks” to you, “talk” back to them. This is what Twitter is all about. Engagement. Think of it this way – if you were at a party and someone walked up to you and started talking, you wouldn’t just stare at them or walk away would you? No. Ignoring a tweet directed at you is exactly the same thing. I’ve unfollowed many a tweeter for that. Some of them are considered “a-listers” in the blog world.  I don’t care. It’s rude and why should I give you my audience if that’s the way you’re going to be?
  • Don’t just push out links to your posts. <<Yawn>> While Twitter is a GREAT way to get traffic to your blog, if that’s the only thing you’re tweeting, you’re not going to win any friends or gain many followers. Did I mention the word engagement yet?
  • Don’t protect your tweets. What’s the sense in it? If you don’t want people to follow you then don’t be on Twitter.  If there’s a little “lock” on your profile, that means your tweets are protected. Go into setting and un-protect them.
  • Using an auto-DM is not encouraged. This is something you set up that automatically sends a DM when someone follows you.  While it may seen like a “nice” thing to do, the person on the other end will look pretty foolish if they respond to your (seemingly) personal DM and it won’t go thru because you’re not following them back.
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Okay.. I think that’s enough for today… in my next post, I’ll go into using services like HootSuite, TweetDeck, etc to make Twitter much easier to manage.  I’ll also cover more detailed ways to make Twitter work for you such as searches, lists, etc.

The most important thing about Twitter is to not give up. Get in there and just do it. I promise, within a few weeks you’ll wonder how you ever blogged or lived without it!

If you have specific questions you’d like me to answer, leave a comment and I’ll either answer them with a reply or roll them into the next Twitter post!

Hey! If you leave me a comment (and why wouldn’t you??) PLEASE make sure you include your website/blog so I can come and visit!

Kristen
Are you raising a teen or a tween? Join the conversation over at Ten to Twenty Parenting!
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