Whenever I talk about Twitter at an event, if the conference is one of the many dedicated to social media people are chomping at the bit to tell me, even with their body language, what I should know and do on Twitter.
If the conference is one of the many attended by people other than the few of us on Twitter and social media, then all I get is blank stares. Yes, believe it or not, there are conferences left out there that are not about social media.
No, I don't think you need a Twitter degree [hat tip Mark Earls]. While the famous blue bird on Twitter is very nice, there is another blue bird you should pay more attention to - that of Marketing Profs. Read all about the genesis of that logo here (scroll down to Ann Handley's answer). Let's see if you guess what some of the differences are (in the image).
Twitter may be moving into business mainstream, but you need to have something to integrate it with to make it work for your organization and that something is still called marketing. In some cases it shows us as public relations, in others as communications - with customers, employees, partners - never it shows up as just "Twitter".
And, yeah, spammers are still spammers everywhere. As I said at a recent event where I talked about exploring social media as tools for planning career development and transition, if you're a jerk, online will amplify that. In order for you to know what makes Twitter chirp, you'll need to know what makes your customers answer the song.
You should read the Twitter Blog in either case and learn more about the tool, or you could explore Twitter to learn how to get more out of being on Twitter. Tip - it also depends on who you represent. For all the talk of being personal, if you represent a corporate account, you'll probably be much more deliberate in what you share and how you do it.
Look, there's even a dictionary, aptly called Twictionary, to help you with terms you may see there. Being from Italy, I'm still having trouble with acronyms myself.
What are some of the other Twitter resources out there? From who you should follow, to figuring out what your stats are, start by getting organized and then take a look around, make some friends, and even lead chats using hashtags.
To subscribe to Twitter feeds around a certain geographical location, go to Twitter where.
Read updates using Twitter digest - pick the user names you'd like to generate a digest for, and you will see all updates made by them during the past full day (GMT).
Twitter has a customized search engine, called Twitter search. The feedback from users was such that Twitter integrated that with its service and you can now search without leaving your account. The other search engine, Summize, was acquired by Twitter in July 2008.
To run batch people searches use TwitterWho.
If you're looking to put Twitter status on Google maps, use YouTwit and you can even see live tweets from all over the world with TwittEarth. The first one I saw was from someone who was worried because all their bananas were browning. Calling someone a twit seems to have become popular.
Using desktop and cell phone tools
We'll go through this list quickly with Twhirl and Tweetdeck (now also on iPhone), two desktop clients, Snitter for Mac and Windows, Twitterific for Mac, Witty for Vista, TwitterPod for Mac, Twitteroo for PCs, and gTwitter for Linux. Who knew there were so many?
Making friends and figuring out who does what
Want to see your followers at a glance? Enter your Twitter ID at Twitter 100 and you'll be able to check them out. Or you could be curious about group messages broadcasting. In that case, check out GroupTweet.
You can create a crowd with CrowdStatus and manage who you follow and your followers with My Tweeple. And talking about crowds, you should check out Twitter memes at Twemes. And for crying out loud, not everything that gets optimized gets you a sale. Relationships will more likely take you farther down that path.
Appealing to the left brainers
Did you know there was a tool to help you track what happens with the links you share? TweetBurner does that. I wonder how they came up with the name. Or maybe you'd like to take a look at what people are linking to with TwitterBuzz.
If you want to graph your stats, use TweetStats, or you could view the number of tweets by a user according to time of day and day of the week with Twitter Chart. Why you would want to do that... hey, it's your time. For a real-time geographic visualization of posts to Twitter, use Twitter Vision.
To track what URLs Twitter users are talking about, use Twitt(url)y. Monitor word frequency with Tmitter and you can see popular Twitter feeds with Twitterholic. I don't know about you. but I'm often curious to see which words and phrases appear on Twitter most often by using Tweet Volume.
To share your blog feed, use Twitter feed, to share files, use TweetCube. Share photos with TwitPic and Twitxr, or you can send Flickr photos to Twitter with SnapTweet or TwitterGram. Use email to update your Twitter account with TwitterMail or OutTwit from Outlook.
Sprinkling some widgets
I'm sure there are many more, in fact I know there are. I wanted to give you a sense of what's happening with the tool so that we could take a step back and talk about what needs to happen with us. Twitter is a vehicle - a fun one, a time consuming one, one that can help you communicate with the rest of the world on important occasions.
Everything in business comes down to getting someone to do something - you might inspire, attract, engage, empower, there are many really good terms out there. It's the "to do" part that counts - that's where the measurement is, in case you were wondering.
© 2006-2009 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.