Twitter - who should use Twitter and what comprises a good tweet?
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Twitter - who should use Twitter and what comprises a good tweet?

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If you haven't heard of Twitter yet, you've probably been enjoying life under some sort of igneous rock formation on a deserted island.

So, seeing as how that probably isn't true, there is no need to explain what it is - except only briefly.

In June 2009, Twitter, the latest social media phenomenon, recorded a massive 44.5 million visitors worldwide. You might say many people are "twitterpated" with Twitter.

Twitter Think SMS for the web. A network of people, most of whom you have never met, and may (or may not) share similar interests, typing up a storm (as long as its 140 characters or less) about their lives, loves, interests, what annoys them, and what they think others may be interested in.

That last one is often over estimated in many "tweets". Most people probably don't care what you had for breakfast, if the sun is shining over your swimming pool, or if you have been delayed getting to work due to a recalcitrant starter motor.

So what DO we look for in a tweet? What would possibly prompt us to "re-tweet" someone else's tweet?

In my opinion, there are reasons a tweet may be good or interesting (keep in mind: there are no uninteresting things; there are only uninterested people):

Inform and educate us

Twitter informative tweets Tell us something interesting we don't already know, or something that may help us in our job or personal life. Link to something of note in a website you have found, or share your knowledge on a particular subject you are well versed in. The web is overloaded with information, so Twitter is very useful as it provides you a very brief description, with the ability to shorten URLs to fit within the allowed 140 characters.

Make us laugh

Funny tweets keep us amused This is a good one, because we all need to have a good laugh at one time or another. However, bear in mind that sometimes what makes you laugh, may not be what makes the next person laugh. Keep it clean (at least reasonably - I guess), because your tweet is out there for the whole world to see - if you are being followed, or re-tweeted that is. Don't forget Google can crawl Twitter too.

Inspire us with words of wisdom

Inspirational tweets can be uplifting You know the sort of thing - those inspirational words of wisdom you may think of yourself from time to time, drawing on your own life experience, or simply sharing quotes by philosophers and wordsmiths from days gone by - or maybe even the present. For example: "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again."

Shock us

Some tweets are shockers This is another one you have to be careful with. Some people can walk a very fine line between shocking and disgusting. This could be a news item you've found, something from your own experience, or perhaps a video or photo that you simply must share for "shock value".

Let us know who you are

This is a bit personal. Often people will want to know a little (but not TOO much) about who they are following. Sort of like an "about us" page in a business website. People will probably get to know you through the stuff you find interesting, amusing, or you think is worth re-tweeting anyway - but it helps to give them a little at first hand information in your own words.

So how can you, as a business, use Twitter?

It appears to be simple, but some business simply can't get the hang of it.

Two businesses who use Twitter successfully (in my opinion) are Dick Smith Electronics (@dicksmith) and Big Pond (@BigPondTeam). These companies use Twitter to keep in touch with their customers, updating them almost instantly, and allowing questions and feedback. My experience with @BigPondTeam has been it is better than their phone support - and easier to understand too! The Big Pond Twitter channel has been so successful, as of late August, Telstra have started their own channel - @Telstra - so lets hope it is as successful as BPT.

A celebrity who uses Twitter successfully and with great skill, even though she is relatively new to it, is Ellen DeGeneres (@theEllenShow). Ellen updates her fans with what is happening on the show, gives away prizes, and generally extends her fun persona to the web (in 140 characters or less of course).

A media outlet who I think uses Twitter, not just for social networking, but for search engine optimisation, is Newsmaker (@newsmaker2). All the media releases are automatically Tweeted (Twittered? Twatted?), so not only do followers of Newsmaker get the press releases in brief, the Newsmaker website gets a benefit from Twitter's SEO friendly build and popularity.

On that note, if you are looking for an inexpensive, but effective way to get your press release out there, try Newsmaker. Online only press releases are free, but if you want to go beyond the realm of online, their prices are very reasonable. To sign up for your free account, and to start publishing your press releases, simply follow this link.

Press Realease Distribution

Our client, Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (@DennisRutzouPR ) also uses Twitter to their advantage. Each of the staff have their own Twitter account, but the company has one as well where each staff member contributes. Consequently, a good portion of their website and blog traffic originates from Twitter.

Click here to make an enquiry   Follow JustWeb on Twitter


Rob - JustWeb

18.08.2009
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