Twitter 101

Nowadays when people hear the words “social media” they often think of Facebook automatically. But it’s important for businesses to remember that Facebook isn’t the only game in town when it comes to marketing your company online. Twitter is an equally important but very different form of communicating with your customers that has benefits that Facebook doesn’t. But believe or not, there are still a lot of companies that don’t utilize Twitter because they’re not exactly sure what it is or how it works. Here is a step-by-step guide to Twitter and how to use it for your business.

What are “tweets?”

Tweets are 140 character “blasts” of information that are instantly sent out to anyone who is “following” your company. Because many people receive their Twitter feeds on their smart phones, this is a quick and efficient way of reaching your target market. It also goes with the notion that people have short attention spans, so shoving the most amount of information into the littlest space possible will get you the biggest results.

What does following mean?

A person who is interested in your company will “follow” you on Twitter. This means that they will get instant updates from your company every time you post. By doing this, all of their followers will be able to see you in their list of who they are following. Similarly, you can also follow other people and companies who you like. Your followers will see these companies on your page and so on and so forth.

What are hash tags?

Whenever a “#” sign is placed in front of a word in a tweet, it tags that word as part of a topic. That way, anyone who searches for that topic on Twitter will be faced with a variety of Tweets using that word. (For example, if instead of the word “Cars” you type in “#Cars,” anyone who searches for cars will potentially see your Tweet.

What are lists?

Twitter users can create “lists,” or groups, of people and companies that they like. Much like you would bookmark favorite places, users can create and manage different lists to follow. The benefit of this is that the user receives a quick and efficient way to see all of the posts they are interested in for a particular topic. Also, if a user is listed on someone’s list, it will show on their Twitter profile page.

When is the best time to tweet?

Some people argue that that tweeting around the clock is the best way to reach potential customers. Others say that certain times of day are best for some and not others. Consider your target market. What time are they arriving at work? When are they at home? Are they receiving alerts on their cell phones or on the computer? Do they have access to a computer at work? All of these things will determine the best time for your company to tweet.

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