Build your Brand and Spread Ideas Using @Twitter

Twitter is a great social networking site for people and brands to spread ideas quickly.  Twitter is also a great marketing tool for brands to promote products and services. Twitter has a few hundred million users worldwide. Getting started with Twitter is quick and easy. To get started using Twitter you need to do the following:

1 Click on the join link.

2 Provide your first and last name.

3 Provide a valid email address.

Once you join, you will need to choose a name for your account. I would recommend using your name or your business name. You can also choose a name that relates to what you do. I have two Twitter accounts @DanGalante and @TrendSettingSM. The former is my name and the latter is an abbreviation of my company name Trend Setting Sales and Marketing.

Now that you have an account, you should fill in the bio section. Twitter gives you 160 characters to describe yourself. I would suggest using the space to briefly sell who you are and what you do. Make sure to leave space to include a link to your website or blog. Although Twitter provides a place for a web link, two links are better than one.

The next step is to upload a photo of you. Make sure that the photo that you choose is professional and clearly visible to members. Remember, this is your image that you are sharing. Twitter provides users with an option of uploading a custom background. To do this, click on the settings button and click design. Here you can upload a picture from your computer or view different Twitter backgrounds.

Now you are ready to tweet. However before you start tweeting away, you need know the following:

1 Tweets are limited to 140 characters. At first, this may seem annoying, but this is a great exercise for your creativity.

2 Make sure you have something of value to say, nothing will turn people off faster than nonsense.

3 Make sure to share articles and content that you create in your Tweets by including links. Doing this will help you gain followers. Twitter also allows you to share videos and photos in tweets. This can be a great way to share experiences, ideas and to promote a business or a brand.

4 Do not be afraid to make a mistake. Twitter provides a delete button with an icon that is a trash can. This is great if you make a typographical error.

5 Make sure to change-up your message. No one likes the same message over and over.

6 Leave 10 to 20 characters for your tweets to be retweeted.

Once you start tweeting, your goals are to:

1 Get other users to share your content.

2 Build a following

3 Follow other users who interest you.

The Retweet and The Mention

When a Twitter user shares a message from another user, this is called a Retweet. Retweets are sought after because the more your content is shared, the higher your influence is perceived.

Mentions are when a Twitter user references or quotes you in on of their tweets. Some users may use this instead of simply retweeting because a mention shows up quicker than a retweet does in a users timeline.

Retweets and mentions show up in the interactions and mentions section of the Twitter account.

The Direct Message or DM

The Direct Message or DM as it is referred to, allows Twitter users to send messages to other users. I waited to mention this feature until now because Twitter only allows users to send messages to users who follow them. This is a great way to send a private message to users on the site.

Sharing Tweets with More than Just Twitter Followers

In order for users to share tweets with more than a their followers, users need to use hash-tags. Hash-tags are a number bracket next to a word. For example, #business is a hash-tag. Hash-tags create an index of information on a specific topic. A hash-tag reaches more people than a regular tweet or just getting a few retweets. Hash-tags are a great way for users to earn new followers. Follow Friday (better known as #FF or #FollowFriday on Twitter), is a way  for Twitter users to promote other users they like. Job searchers also use #hire #hireme or #hirefriday to try to get their resume in front of potential employers.

Integrating Twitter with other Social Networks

Various third-party applications exist that allow users to share their Tweets on LinkedIn, Facebook, a website and a blog. Users will need to click on the application settings tab to do this. Twitter members will have to authorize these applications on LinkedIn as Facebook as well. I have included a link to my website to show you how I integrate twitter with my site. http://www.dangalante.com/. (You will need to log in to see my tweets on LinkedIn and Facebook.) Integrating Twitter with other social networks can give users a larger reach than using Twitter alone. Users will also get more followers from Facebook and LinkedIn. This has worked for me.

Twitter has unveiled company branded pages to certain companies. This is similar to what Google+ and Facebook are doing.

As you can see, Twitter is a great way for people and brands to share ideas quickly. Brands can influence a large audience all around the world.

This is how people and brands can use Twitter.

Update:  Since I wrote this article, LinkedIn has made some changes. LinkedIn no longer allow users to integrate their Tweets in LinkedIn updates. However, users can still share their LinkedIn updates on Twitter by clicking the Twitter Icon.

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