What is Twitter? Twitter is an online service that enables you to

What is Twitter? Twitter is an online service that enables you to
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online service that enables you to broadcast short messages to your friends or
“followers.” It also lets you specify which Twitter users you want to follow so you can read their
messages in one place.
Twitter is designed to work on a mobile phone as well as on a computer. All Twitter messages
are limited to 140 characters, so each message can be sent as a single SMS alert. You can‟t say
much in 140 characters. That‟s part of Twitter’s charm.
Twitter is useful for close-knit groups (although there also are some fairly large mobs on
Twitter). If you follow your friends, and they follow each other, you can quickly communicate
group-related items, such as “I‟m going to the pub on Fourth Street, come on along.” Twitter is
conceptually similar to Dodgeball but is simpler to use.
If you enter items into Twitter, they can be private, so only friends you‟ve authorized can see
them. Items can also be made public, which means anyone who knows your Twitter ID can read
and subscribe to them.
Twitter is free.
Twitter is the new big thing. With everybody from Britney Spears to Barack Obama now on
Twitter, it is safe to say the social networking platform has gone mainstream. For many users
worldwide Twitter has become a crucial tool for maintaining contacts, exchanging opinions and
making new connections. But what does this mean for the service, and how can we, business
owners, actually use it for our purposes?
I posted my first tweet in January of this year, just over 3 years after the service launched. I
wanted another way to stay connected with people. It was less intrusive than instant messaging
and less formal than email. I quickly became hooked after I received 2 clients from it. For the
longest time, it was the tool of geeks. Many people as the users talked about how they tweet and
stared blankly as they explained the service. However, that has all changed now.
So how do I use Twitter? I guess the first thing to say is that I am not a huge Twitter success
story. However, Twitter is turning into the third facet of my online presence, alongside my blog
and website. With that in mind, let get into the basics to get you started.
The Benefits of using Twitter
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1. Social assets
From a business point of view, of course you may build up trust and gather more
prospects.
2. Informational benefits
Twitter is good means to keep up-to-date with the latest news. Important news companies like
CNN or BBC use Twitter to post their news.
3. Promotional purposes
Twitter can be employed in order to promote a blog or other resources. The advantage is that
the visitors will be pretty targeted. I read an article in this respect ‘How to Use Twitter – Tips for
Bloggers’ which I warmly recommend.
4. Rapid feedback
If you encounter any problems, you’ll see that irrespective of the field of activity which the
problem corresponds, you will find the answers you need really easily. Twitter is blogger’s
paradise since he can find lots of ideas he can later elaborate on. They just have to follow other
people and they will get the necessary ideas.
5. Mobility and rapidity
Twitter is mobile and fast. It works even on mobile devices and it won’t take long to send your
messages.
6. Competition Analysis
Twitter is a great way to find feedback about the competition through search.twitter.com , you
can see the positive or negative reactions, whether there are any new updates
7. Spreading word of mouth
As previously specified, Twitter could very well work as a viral marketing strategy, spreading
quickly and easily across community.
How to Register for a Twitter Account
Have you been asked to join Twitter or perhaps follow someone on Twitter? Find it all a little
intimidating? Joining Twitter is actually very simple. Just follow these simple steps and you will
be tweeting with the best of them in no time.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 5 minutes
Here's How:
1. Go to the Twitter signup page by clicking this link: https://twitter.com/signup
2. Type in your name, username, password and email address. Need help with a username?
It can't have spaces, so many people just use their real name without the spaces. For
example, my Twitter account is DanielNations. You could also use the first part of your
email address before the @ symbol.
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3. Type in the CAPTCHA words from the image. If you have a hard time
reading them, you can listen to the words by clicking the link just to the
right of the image.
4. Click on the Create My Account button
5. The next step is to see if your friends are on Twitter. This will look through the
address in your email if you use Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or another popular Internet email
service. You can skip this by clicking on the Skip This Step link just below the Continue
button.
6. Twitter may want to brag about the celebrities on Twitter and ask you to follow them.
Feel free to skip this step just like you did above!
7. Congratulations! You are done. The next page that asks how you are doing is your main
Twitter page. Type in something in the text box and click update to send your first 'tweet'
-- which is a Twitter message.
Find your friends and make some new ones
Twitter is more fun with friends. Now that you‟re twittering, find new friends or follow people
you already know to get their twitter updates too. You can find your friends using people search,
Twitter search, address book import, or URL look up.
Find People by name
Use Twitter‟s people search to find people who currently use Twitter. Search for a first, last, or
user name as a starting point, and see what comes up. We use the full name as well as the user
name fields to give you as many relevant results as possible.
To use people search, click on the „Find People‟ link in the top navigation bar,
and select the „Find on Twitter‟ tab. If you don‟t find who you‟re looking for,
dig deeper using some of the options suggested in the sidebar.
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Find people using keywords, location, interests, and
more!
A tiny, hidden gem lies in Twitter‟s footer navigation bar: Twitter Search! Twitter search is an
incredible tool that allows you to find virtually anything and anyone by adding the ability to
search for key words, locations, phrases, and more! Type in any word and you‟re guaranteed to
get real time results.
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Want to know what people think of a new movie? Try searching for it.
Search for any phrase (’I dreamt‘ is an interesting one)
Want to know what people are saying about your company? Try a keyword search.
Wondering who sends tweets from your area? Try searching for ‘location:cityname’ to see a list
of people who are from that city.
The results you get from Twitter show what people are saying and doing right now!
You can translate foreign language updates into English, filter by language, post a Twitter update
linking to interesting search results, and even subscribe to search results (this is like tracking
keywords, but on the web!)
We also keep track of the most popular topics, called “trending topics” so you‟ll always know
what people are excited about.
But that‟s not all: check out Advanced Search to do some truly amazing things, like find people
within 15 miles of a given location, find updates by positive or negative connotation, find
updates to a certain person or from a certain person, or even updates within a specified time
period.
Find people on other networks
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We can check a list of your contacts to see if any of them are currently using
Twitter. You can check address books from Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN, and AOL.
(We‟ll support more networks in the future!) We‟ll show you who is on Twitter and you can
choose to follow them if you want to get their Twitter updates.
To import an address book, visit the Find People link. The tab is already selected for you, just
type in your email address and password. Note: Twitter doesn‟t save your email log in
information, we only use it once to get permission to view your contacts list.
How to follow and send tweet messages
What does it mean to follow someone on Twitter?
Following someone simply means receiving their Twitter updates. When you follow someone,
every time they post a new message, it will appear in your Twitter home page. New messages
are added to your home page as people post them, so you always get the updates in real time.
When you log in, you can see what the latest updates are. Twitter offers other ways to follow
people too: you can get updates from certain people on your phone!
How do I know who I’m following?
After you click the follow button on someone‟s profile, you‟re following them. The follow
button will change to a box that says “Following” with a drop down option to remove a person if
you want to. If you‟ve registered your phone with Twitter, you can set up text preferences for a
person as well. See a list of people you‟re following by clicking on the following link on your
profile or your home page‟s sidebar.
How do I know who is following me?
Twitter sends you an email when someone new follows you. Set up your email
preferences to notify you when you have a new follower. The followers link on
your profile page or home page‟s sidebar will also tell you how many followers you
have.
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What are follow limits?
Twitter recently added follow and update limits for stability and abuse control. You can read
more about this here.
Who reads my updates?
It‟s up to you. Your followers read your updates, and anyone else who comes across them in a
search. All public updates are posted to the public timeline (accessible from your home page in
the Everyone tab.) Your Twitter profile is public by default; if you‟re hesitant to have strangers
read your updates, protect your profile to approve followers and keep your updates out of search.
Can I block people from following me?
Yes, you can. If you block someone, they wont be able to follow you or send you any messages.
If your account is public, they‟ll still be able to view it, but they wont show up on your followers
list, and you wont be on their following list. If it‟s a spammer you‟re blocking, thanks! Twitter
Support keeps an eye on block reports to see who‟s getting in trouble on Twitter.
How can I send updates to Twitter?
Twitter offers many ways to post updates: from the web in the update box, from your phone,
from your mobile web browser using m.twitter.com, or from any third party application made by
the talented folks who‟ve utilized our API.
Why is there a star at the end of updates?
The star is a way for you to mark an update as favorite. People can view your favorites, and you
theirs, by clicking on the Favorites link in the profile page.
Can I put my Twitter updates on my blog?
Yep! Put a Twitter badge on your blog, website, MySpace… anything that accepts Javascript or
HTML. You can even customize your Twitter badge to match!
What are @Replies?
An @reply is a public message sent from one person to another, distinguished from normal
updates by the @username prefix. If a message begins with @username, we collect it as a reply.
Reply publicly to any update on Twitter by using the @username format. Following is not
necessary to reply to someone, and all of your replies are visible in the @username tab in your
home page sidebar. (Tweets with @username elsewhere in the tweet are also collected in your
sidebar tab; tweets starting with @username are replies, and tweets with @username elsewhere
are considered mentions.)
What are Direct Messages?
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Direct messages are private messages sent from one Twitter person to another.
You can only send a direct message to a person who follows you. When you receive
a direct message, we save it in your direct message inbox, accessible from the Direct Message
tab in the sidebar in your home page. Set your email preferences to notify you by mail if you
have a new message.
Can I edit a tweet once I post it?
Nope. Once it‟s out there, you can‟t edit it. You can delete an update by clicking the trash icon
on the right end of the update, but you can‟t make changes.
What is the difference between an @reply and a direct message?
An @reply is a public message sent regardless of follow-ship that anyone can view. A direct
message can only be sent by someone you follow, and is a private message that only the author
and recipient can view.
What does RT, or retweet, mean?
RT is short for retweet, and indicates a re-posting of someone else‟s tweet. This isn‟t an official
Twitter command or feature, but people add RT somewhere in a tweet to indicate that part of
their tweet includes something they‟re re-posting from another person‟s tweet, sometimes with a
comment of their own.Check out this great article on re-tweeting, written by a fellow Twitter
user, @ruhanirabin.
How do I post a picture to Twitter?
Twitter doesn‟t offer an official picture posting feature of its own, however, most people use a
third party application called TwitPic. Just enter your Twitter user name and password to get an
email address you can send pictures to. Or, upload your photos directly to Twitpic from other
apps or from the web, and post them to Twitter that way. Like Twitter, Twitpic has a public
timeline of everyone‟s photos, and you also get your own profile page for pictures you‟ve
posted. (Check out Britt‟s pics as an example.)
Twitter Mobile: Text Messages
One powerful Twitter feature allows you to send and receive tweets as text messages.
One feature that makes Twitter powerful is it‟s reach to mobile devices like notebooks, netbooks,
smart phones, and cell phones. With the correct setup, you can send and receive tweets on any of
these devices.
Twitter Text Messages
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Twitter allows you to use its mobile features from a variety of mobile internet
devices and phones. While many people today have the high end gadgets, you can
also use Twitter through a regular cell phone using text messages.
You can set up Twitter to convert tweets to text messages, and to convert your text
messages to tweets. Twitter does not charge for this service. However, your cell phone carrier
may charge you for each text message that you send and receive. Before you set up your cell
phone with Twitter, check with your cell phone carrier about the charges for text messages on
your current plan. If possible, update your plan to unlimited text messaging to avoid incurring a
large (and unexpected) cell phone bill.
If you live outside of the United States, there are only a few places where you can use this
feature. Check the Twitter help topic to learn more about international text messaging
availability and services.
Cell Phone Setup
Before you can link your cell phone to your Twitter account, you must understand the phone
number format required by Twitter.
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If you have a phone number in the United States, your phone number format is “+” followed by
“1″ followed by your ten digit phone number (area code first). For example, if your phone
number is (888)555-1212, your format would be: +18885551212.
If your phone number is from a country outside of the United States, your phone number
format is “+” followed by your country code followed by your ten digit phone number.
If you have any questions about your phone number format, check the Twitter help topic.
To link link your cell phone to your Twitter account.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Go to the Setting option and select the Devices tab.
Type in your cell phone number in the required format.
Click the checkbox to allow Twitter to send text messages to your phone.
Click Save.
If Twitter accepts your phone number, it displays a message on the screen with two
components. It provides you with the correct text message address (40404=United States) and a
unique confirmation code.
6. Use your cell phone to send the confirmation code to the text message address.
When Twitter receives your confirmation code text message, your cell phone setup is complete.
Receiving Text Messages Setup
Now, you must decide how many tweets you want to receive on your cell phone. You have the
following options for converting tweets to text messages:
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No tweets to text messages.
All tweets from selected people you follow to text messages.
All direct messages to text messages.
Notes
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If you receive text messages on your phone, you can also set up sleep hours to turn off incoming
text messages during a specific time during the day.
After linking your phone to your Twitter account, you can always send text messages to Twitter
no matter what receiving option you select.
You can change your receiving option at any time from Twitter.com or through the Twitter text
message commands.
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After you set up your cell phone to receive tweets as text messages, each time
that Twitter converts a tweet to a text message, it appears on your phone like
any other text message. Check your phone’s user manual if you have any
questions about receiving text messages.
Receive No Text Messages
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To set up with no tweets converted to text messages:
1. Go to the Setting option and select the Devices tab.
2. Under Device Updates, select Off in the list.
3. Click Save.
Receive Only Direct Messages
To set up with all direct messages converted to text messages:
1. Go to the Setting option and select the Devices tab.
2. Under Device Updates, select Direct Messages in the list.
3. Click Save.
Receive Text Messages From Selected People You Follow
To use this feature, you must set up your phone, and then select the people you follow whose
tweets you want to receive.
To set up your phone to receive tweets from selected people you follow converted to text
messages:
1. Go to the Setting option and select the Devices tab.
2. Under Device Updates, select On in the list.
3. Click Save.
To identify the people whose tweets your want to receive as text messages on your cell phone:
1.
2.
3.
4.
From your home page, click the number of people you are Following.
Go through the list until you find a person whose tweets you want converted to text messages.
By the person’s avatar, click device update On.
Continue through the list, clicking device update On for each appropriate person.
Notes:
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To turn off text messages from a person, click device update Off.
You can set the device update option for new people when you follow them using Twitter.com.
You can use text message commands to turn off and on device updates for individual people
from your cell phone.
Sending A Tweet As a Text Message
After linking your cell phone to your Twitter account, you can send tweets through text
messages.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Display the appropriate screen on your cell phone to send a text message.
Use the appropriate Twitter text message address. (In the United States, use 40404.)
Type you tweet using up to 140 characters.
Send your text message.
Notes:
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You can send @replies, and direct messages from your cell phone using the text message
commands from your cell phone.
Check your phone’s user manual if you have any questions about sending text messages.
The Official Twitter Text Commands
Turning Twitter off and on: device notifications
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ON: turns ALL phone notifications on.
OFF: turns ALL phone notifications off.
STOP, QUIT: stops all messages to your phone immediately
ON username: turns on notifications for a specific person on your phone. For example, ON
alissa.
OFF username: turns off notifications for a specific person on your phone. For example, OFF
blaine.
FOLLOW username: this command allows you to start receiving notifications for a specific
person on your phone. Example: follow jeremy
LEAVE username: this command allows you to stop receiving notifications for a specific person
on your phone. Example: leave benfu
Fun Stuff: friends, favorites, and stats!
There’s more to Twitter than OFF and ON! Use the commands below to send private messages, mark
updates as favorites, or even remind someone to update their Twitter page if you’re wondering what
they’re doing!
 @username + message
directs a twitter at another person, and causes your twitter to save in their “replies” tab.
Example: @meangrape I love that song too!
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D username + message
sends a person a private message that goes to their device, and saves in their web archive.
Example: d krissy want to pick a Jamba Juice for me while you‟re there?
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WHOIS username
retrieves the profile information for any public user on Twitter.
Example: whois jack
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GET username
retrieves the latest Twitter update posted by the person.
Example: get goldman
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NUDGE username
reminds a friend to update by asking what they‟re doing on your behalf.
Example: nudge biz
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FAV username
marks a person‟s last twitter as a favorite. (hint: reply to any update with FAV to mark it
as a favorite if you‟re receiving it in real time)
Example: fav al3x
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STATS
this command returns your number of followers, how many people you‟re following, and
your bio information.
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INVITE phone number
will send an SMS invite to a friend‟s mobile phone.
Example: Invite 415 555 1212
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Top 10 Twitter Apps
To make the Twitter experience more enjoyable, a whole new set of applications have cropped
up to be integrated with your Twitter account. Here are my picks for the top 10 best Twitter apps
right now:
1) Twhirl
This free desktop client lets you follow live Twitter updates while you work all day. What makes
Twhirl so awesome is its versatility. It can be used on both Windows and Mac platforms, and it
connects to multiple accounts so that you can use simultaneously monitor your Twitter,
Iaconi.ca, Friendfeed and seesmic accounts.
2) Tweetr
This handy tool allows you to send files to your Twitter friends simply by dragging them on to
the application. Tweetr automatically uploads your file or picture and provides you with a
shortened link that you can send out to your network.
3) Twitsay
Let‟s you record a voice message and broadcast it via your Twitter account. Great for making big
announcements!
4) Twittai
This is a mobile phone client that is compatible with over 200 mobile phone types, making it one
of the most popular of all the Twitter apps.
5) Twits Like Me
Enter your Twitter username on this site and it will analyze your recent tweets and then suggest
other Twitterers that you may be interested in following.
6) Twitterlight
This app lets you highlight text on your screen and automatically submit it to Twitter along with
a shortened copy of the URL of the page where you found it.
7) Twitgraph
Analyze your Twitter usage by simply entering your user name. You‟ll be given graphs that tell
all kinds of valuable information about your tweets, including most commonly used words and
an overview of your daily tweet volume.
Group Tweet
Allows you to make a protected Twitter group so you can discuss private information with
multiple people without anyone else seeing them; useful for co-workers, close friends, or
families.
9) Twitxtr
This handy app lets you take photos on your phone and then automatically post them to Twitter
as well as your other photo sharing accounts like Flickr, Picasa and Facebook.
10) Straw Poll
You can never have enough polls! Actually, this can be a really great way to do quick, informal
market surveys and get feedback from your followers about your site or your business. It‟s easy
to use, and fun for your followers to be able to make their opinions known.
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