I remember when Twitter first started in 2006. I clicked to someone’s “tweet.” It was a single sentence on a single page. There were no links to their main profile, nothing. I didn’t get it. In fact, I didn’t register my first account until 2007.

Despite Twitter’s rapid growth, some marketers still don’t quite get what it is for. I understand. It took me a year.

Twitter 101

For you rookies, here is some Twitter 101.

Twitter is a strange cross between an instant message and a blog. People are short and to the point. Some get creative and post haiku-like messages.  Have you ever emailed someone and instantly received an email back saying, “I’m away from the office right now, but…?”

It’s kind of like that – only this time, everyone sees what you’re doing right now and you develop followers similar to the friends on Facebook or other social sites.  You and your friends can turn Twitter on and off so that you’re not notified of every move your friends make.

Note: Twitter found there was confusion about having both “friends” and “followers” on the site, so they got rid of the friends and left followers intact.  I use the term interchangeably here because people are so used to friends lists – just know that it means the same.

Think of it as active Post-It™ notes from one friend or business associate to another online.  If you don’t have time to crank out paragraph after paragraph of witty writing on a full blog, you can dash off notes to all of your friends, business partners, and customers on Twitter.

Connection is only a click away.

The thing that makes Twitter so appealing is how easy it is. You can write your Twitter notes from your computer using their online form, your mobile phone or an instant message program.

By making it easy, Twitter is making it fun.

Personal Profile

Even better, Twitter offers a personal profile page for each user that’s like an online collage of your Twitter activity.  It creates this collage out of your Twitter friends and contacts, messages you’ve sent and received, links, a photo of you, a brief bio and favorites.

Then people viewing your profile can see this collage of your activity on Twitter and decide if they want to be your friend.  Twitter has turned into more than just a tool for sending your quick thoughts to people you know online.

Because it allows links and can be integrated into your other blogs and websites, it can work as a great socialization marketing tool as well.  Like other tools for marketing, it’s easy to be considered spam, so the key to being Twitteriffic is to be friendly and unobtrusive.

Joe Ditzel is a copywriter, marketing consultant and award-winning public speaker. He is the founder of Vast Media Empire, a network of technology, business, information and entertainment websites. Contact Joe at joe@ditzelandco.com or connect on: LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Google+

Social Media Marketing: Twitter For Beginners
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