I often get into discussions with friends who have not taken the plunge yet about what exactly Twitter is and why they should want to join. Most of them are just starting a website, or just getting into blogging, or starting a business venture and asking about promoting themselves. So, I thought  I would throw the usual conversation into a post. This will be part 1 in a series of about 5 (I think).

 

What is Twitter?

Tweeternet is an awesome small site that explains this very well. It also links you to other sites full of great info on Twitter. Basically Twitter is a short messaging service that gives real times updates. Updates are limited to 140 characters each. This can sometimes make for very interesting conversation.

Why should I use it?

Folks use Twitter for a variety of different reasons. It started as a place to give short updates on what was going on at the moment to family and friends. I believe it has evolved into much much more. Now Twitter is a wealth of information that any person trying to make a dent in the web for business or promotion should definitely check out.

Where should I start?

Well, if you don’t already have an account, head on over to the main Twitter page and sign up. Once you have an account, you probably want to find some folks to follow. There are several ways to do this. You might have been invited to Twitter by a friend, in which case when you accept their invitation you will be following them. If they have been using Twitter for while, ask them who you should follow. If you are interested in a specific subject, search it out by using #hashtags (a post that you should read). This way you can find folks in your niche and lurk for a while to get a feel before jumping in.

What should I tweet?

This depends on your audience. If you joined Twitter just to communicate with friends and family, then feel free to post that you are about to go to the store, or that you are making spaghetti. But when your audience grows and you get more followers, nothing but these types of tweets may prove annoying. A good mix is important. But like I said, get a feel for how you want to use Twitter before “labeling” yourself.

What next?

Don’t get too addicted. Once you are drawn in, this is easy! Of course, if Twitter is going to be a big part of your social media promotion, then you will want to set aside time for this each day.

And have fun! Oh, and please follow me on Twitter! 🙂 I’m always looking for new folks to talk tech stuff to!

Up next: 5 Twitter Tips for Newbies.