Why you should be using Twitter

When Twitter first started getting popular, it was primarily used by people wanting to update their friends on one of the following:

  • what they are doing: “watching Lost 2night”
  • where they are going “going 2 the gym”
  • what they are eating “going to pinkberry.. mmmmz!”
  • what they are thinking. “i need to get out more”

Sound interesting?  Probably not.  Many people are not interested in this kind of information sharing, and who can blame them?  It’s hard enough to manage what’s going on in your own head sometimes, let alone thinking about why someone is “tweeting” at 4am about how Americone Dream is the best Ben & Jerry’s flavor.

Twitter has recently grown into something much bigger.  No longer is it just for 20-somethings talking about their favorite chai teas.  Twitter now has CEOs of major corporations, feeds from websites like Amazon, and plenty of celebrities using it as a promotional tool to build their brand.

What are a few simple reasons to be “tweeting?”:

  • Free promotional tool for your business
  • Ability to send relevant updates about yourself to many people at one time
  • Express yourself, or your business

What re a few simple reasons to read “tweets?”:

  • Instant updates about people you are interested in
  • Important information about web sites you visit
  • Interesting tidbits and deals from companies that you are interested in

So what’s the quickest way to get your feet wet with Twitter?  Simple:

Next, start “following” a few interesting people or websites on Twitter.  To follow someone, log into your twitter account and visit any of the links below.  Click the “Follow” button at the top left of their twitter page.  Here are some of my favorite twitterers:

  • @zappos – CEO of Zappos.com
  • @kevinrose – Founder of Digg
  • @starbucks – Starbucks coffee, over 17k followers!
  • @guykawasaki – Famous entrepreneur, author, former evangelist for Apple Inc.
  • @woot – Get an update every time a deal is posted on Woot.com
  • @amazondeals – Amazon.com’s goldbox deals
  • @mattsilv – Shameless plug for myself.
  • @justsalad – The company I work for.

Quick Intro to using Twitter

To use Twitter, you only need to know what the three types of “updates” are.

  • Regular updates: In TwitterFox, or on your Twitter page, any text you type and submit will be broadcast as a “tweet” or update, to all of your followers.  Example: Hey followers!
  • @replies: You can send a public reply to anyone on Twitter.  This reply will show up as an update on your Twitter profile.  These are generally used to send friendly questions and comments to people whom you follow.  To send an @reply, simply start your twitter message with an @ symbol followed by their username.  For example, to @reply to me, you would type: @mattsilv Hey, this is fun!
  • Direct message: Otherwise known as a “private” message, direct messages (DMs) are only viewable by yourself, and the recipient.  DMs are a way of messaging your friends without broadcasting the message on your profile.  Simply type the letter d, then a space, then the username of the recipient.  To send me a direct message, you would type in: d mattsilv Hey, this is a secret!

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