Twitter describes itself as a “real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting.” Many people shy away from using Twitter because of the personal and quick-fire nature of this social media outlet, but it can be just as effectively utilized for accessing that same quick-fire information from people and businesses that interest you.
With a Twitter account, you follow those people and businesses, and receive constant updates of their activity. Then, as you develop your own account and activity, others can follow you.
These people and businesses (and you) share information via ≤140 character ‘tweets’, which can obtain references to other people’s/business’s Twitter accounts, keyword tags (called hash tags, since you reference them with a “#keyword”), and links. A key tool in keeping your tweets short is bit.ly. Bit.ly allows you to shorten your links to keep your tweets short & under the 140 character maximum.
Twitter can be especially useful for businesses, and Twitter even offers a special guide for business users: business.twitter.com/twitter101/
A few other handy tools for Twitter users include:
- Follow Buttons
- Add a button to your website that links directly to your Twitter account: support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/112-linking-to-your-blog-or-website/articles/81218-how-to-link-from-your-website-to-your-twitter-account
- Twitter Widgets
- Create a customizable profile widget for your website or profile page that lists a feed of your most recent tweets: support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/112-linking-to-your-blog-or-website/articles/15354-about-twitter-badges-and-widgets
- Twitter Facebook Application
- Link your Twitter & Facebook accounts so that your tweets show up in your Facebook feeds: support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/112-linking-to-your-blog-or-website/articles/15354-about-twitter-badges-and-widgets
- You can alternately set this up so that your Twitter account pulls in your Facebook posts: www.facebook.com/twitter/
Twitter Support has a whole section dedicated to getting started & Twitter basics. Check it out for more Twitter Tidbits: support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics