The following essay on how to get the most out of Twitter was written by Dan Casciato. See the end of the article for more info on Dan.
With all of the attention Google+ and Facebook has been getting recently, many people have asked me if this means the end of Twitter. Certainly not. Twitter is still a valuable social networking tool and should be part of your entire social media strategy. In fact, the San Francisco-based organization has made some minor tweaks over the past several months to improve user experience.
Primer on Twitter
But first, let’s do a quick primer on Twitter. Twitter is a real-time information network connecting you to the latest information about what you find interesting. This could be sports, entertainment, world news, healthcare issues, etc. All you do is find the public streams you find most compelling and follow those conversations. One of the publications I write for, Western PA Hospital News, for example, will report on the latest news and trends around the healthcare and hospital industries across the Western PA region as well as the world. Sometimes, we’ll post about local (non-health related) news that our followers may find interesting.
According to the Twitter site, “at the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called ‘tweets.’ Each Tweet is 140 characters in length.” When written strategically, you can share a lot with that small amount of space. Think of a tweet as your headline to broadcast some information. With each tweet, post a picture, video, your blog post, or website’s URL to direct people for further details.
What’s New on Twitter
Favorites and Retweets
Earlier this month, Twitter introduced two new features that help you discover more on Twitter. You can now see in real-time when someone “Favorites” or “Retweets” one of your tweets. All you need to do is click on the new tab with your @username, and you can immediately see which of your tweets were listed as Favorites, plus the latest Retweets, Tweets directed to you, and your new Followers. Favorites is similar to bookmarking a website in your browser. If you liked a particular tweet, or wanted to review the information mentioned in the tweet, just select it as a Favorite. What’s cool is that now you can see which one of your tweets have been bookmarked by other people.
Another new feature is the Activity tab. This provides a rich new source of discovery by highlighting the latest Favorites, Retweets, and Follows from the people you follow on Twitter – all in one place. If it sounds like your Facebook feed, you’re right. Very similar to how Facebook organizes its information. It’s a very clean interface and just gives you more information at a glance.
Like other social media channels, Twitter has now made it easier for you to share photos and videos on your account. When you click inside the Tweet box on your Twitter landing page or on the New Tweet button, you’ll see two small icons in the lower left hand corner, one for adding your location (a compass), and one for uploading an image (a camera). You can upload photos that are 3MB or smaller.
Finally, you know that Twitter bird icon you see when you log into Twitter -- located on the right side of your screen? You’ve seen him everywhere… well, now he finally has a name. Larry. Yes, like the other Larry Bird. So welcome, Larry!
Dan Casciato is a full-time freelance copywriter, journalist, and social media ghostwriter from Pittsburgh. In addition to copywriting and ghostwriting, he writes health, legal, real estate, and technology-related articles for trade magazines and online publications. For more information, visit www.danielcasciato.com.