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Today, Twitter is a social website used by absolutely millions of people to send messages to groups and friends every day. It has become one of the hottest social networks on the Internet today with thousand of new people signing up on a daily basis. This new phenomenon, ranks right up there with Facebook and LinkedIn for social contact and social media marketing. Today, companies are using this information to keep their friends, families, and customer base up to date on what is happening in their lives, families, and business ventures.
Twitter has long since considered itself to be one of the top communication systems for exchanging quick little “blurbs” of infor-mation with those you wish to keep in touch with. This short and direct communication has become known as “Tweets”, or short form messaging system, that allows a connected individual to share and listen to what is happening to and with the people their surround themselves with.
As Twitter has evolved it has become a communication device that provides many platforms for communication, but mainly communication on Twitter is done through posts, or “tweets”, which are restricted to less than approximately 140 characters in length.
Using Twitter, members can keep people updated, as well as follow updates from other members. Today, tweets are used for more than just updates; they are also used to discuss hot topics, videos, music, and events happening in the daily news.
One of the bonus features of Twitter is the ability to “Retweet”. This enables users to share things like tweets, links, and other little gems that they pick up from others who also use Twitter. New users often do not understand the benefit of retweets, but after a little time on Twitter they soon learn the value of retweets and set out to share as much as possible.
To retweet the user has a special set of tools available that make it easier to do. Some of those tools include copy and paste so you can share tweets themselves with others. When users do this, because they are using someone else’s information, the retweet is usually followed by an “RT”, short for retweet, as well as the original creator’s name. So, if you were to retweet the following sentence from “Sue-Smith”, your retweet would look like this:
The ipod I bought was great and I would recommend it RT@SueSmith AS A RULE PEOPLE TRACK, or follow, the most popular retweets on Twitter by using one of the following methods:
RETWEETRADAR – a tool for tracking and bringing to the forefront the most popular content on Twitter – right now, today, or yesterday. RETWEETLIST – this tool lets you track the most popular links that are being retweeted by other users on Twitter. You will note that it also keeps track of the accounts that are retweeted the most. TWEETNMEME – this is a tool that records and keeps score on the number of retweeted Urls and stories on Twitter and then places the ones that receive the most retweets on the front page of Tweetmeme, which if selected can be broken down into categories – i.e.: business, sports, etc.
ANOTHER GREAT THING about Twitter is that all your friends and tweets can appear on your desktop and retweets only take two simple clicks – one to create the retweet and one to post it.
HOW TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR TWITTER EXPERIENCE
As a Twitter member you will notice that the site has some great user friendly tools that will help in making your experience on Twitter a completely customized one.
However there are some steps you should initially take when creating your profile that will further enhance your customized experience.
First to ensure that you get the best possible results on the site, starting by creating your Twitter log in using your real name or company name this makes it easier for people to search for and find you. Also, using your real name makes it easier for fellow tweeters to follow and recognize you or your brand.
Including a personal photo or company logo on your profile page is always the best way to give your customized notability.
Your photo should be a good quality one; the picture should be clear, well lighted and you should have a friendly appearance the more approachable you appear the more people will follow you. If you are using a company logo make sure it is professional looking and represents your company’s brand you will want a pleasing image that people will remember and associate with your specific product or service.
Next you should work on customizing the settings on your profile page using the settings tool. Twitter does have built in themes that have predesigned backgrounds that use preset color schemes which is fine if you prefer it but you can also use the theming tools offered on the site to create your own theme and use your own personally designed color schemes.
Another customization tool available is language preference you can customize your profile to appear in your preferred language; there are several global languages to choose from. You can also change your privacy settings from public where anyone can view your tweets to private where only your followers can share your tweets.
Another way to customize your Twitter page is to share your personal media whether it is photos, videos, music or documents there is a tool available to help share your personal media. Groove-shark seems to be the most popular and user friendly music sharing application. You can tweet about a song you are listening to it.
Feature wise the most popular, free and easy to use file sharing application for sharing documents and videos is FileTwt.
If interested you can find out more about this application by visiting http://mash-able.com/2009/05/25/filetwt/.
A newer file sharing application available is Twitgram; It is a file sharing application that offers some great features such as : file send-ing, sending and sharing messages over Twitter in complete privacy, create chat rooms, organize your chats and the 140 character limit for tweets is not an issue with this application. This application however, costs to use. To find out more about Twitgram you can visit http://techcocktail.com/twitgram-share-files-sendprivate- messages-http://techcocktail.com/twitgram-share-files-sendprivate- messages-Twitter-2011-08#.TkbuGWvlx5w Also, Tweeters now have mobile access to Twitter. Now you can Twitter using most currently used mobile devices. Now Twitter is a mobile companion for the tweeters.
HOW TO BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND ON TWITTER
On Twitter the Twitter handles have become an important aspect of being a part of the community. Your handle represents you who you are and what you represent. As a matter of fact the Twitter handles have actually become a commodity on the site; there has been a need for an aftermarket to be created for the handles. The aftermarket is where Twitter handles are constantly bought and sold.
It has become a necessity for any member of the community whether business related or otherwise to claim their Twitter handle for their full name or full business name. If another member claims the name first it could lead to confusion when people are looking to contact you or your business on the site. It is very advisable to also employ this action for future business or personal prospects.
To gain followers a good way to attract people to you is to have your profile completely filled out and do so accurately. A word of warning, don’t claim expertise at something when you are not - create your brand based on your interests and your skills.
Your Twitter profile page should have a background that is related to your particular brand. When someone looks at your profile they should see an extension of who you are and what your brand repre sents. You should use the same logos, themes and color schemes as on your company website.
Furthermore, there are three different methods that can be used to brand you or your business on Twitter:
Leading with your company - Use your company as the beginning part of your account name and use your personal picture as your avatar.
Mutual branding – using your employees to subtly advertise by having their photos accompanied by the business logo as their profile avatar.
Personal branding- create everything completely about you. Using Twitter to establish that you are an expert in a particular field works very well to create an expert image for your brand and garner followers by constantly tweeting about the subject. Also, If you have a blog you can use Twitterfeed to create an affiliation between your blog and Twitter. You can also host question and answer f orums on Twitter with your followers about your field of expertise. By creating a marketing scheme you can also build up your brand.