For the Professional: How to Get Started On Twitter

I still get questions from clients saying they don’t get Twitter, and after the Presidential election the use of the tool has gone up, in fact I’m hearing many radio talk shows mention they now have a Twitter account –it’s growing.

Computerworld interviewed me (jowyang) on how business folks should use Twitter, as well as Laura Fitton (twitter) and Stowe Boyd (twitter). This is one of those articles that is a great primer for those who are hearing a lot about Twitter, but just don’t ‘get it’. So use this article, the practical steps listed, and the suggestions to learn how to best use the tool to meet your needs. I try to remind my friends don’t answer “what are you doing” but instead “What’s important to me, or you”. As you get more advanced, you may try some of the desktop clients –that can either increase your productivity –or suck you in completely.

Read ComputerWorld’s (CIO magazine) Twitter: The how to get started guide for businesspeople. Want to learn more? read all my posts on Micromedia.

In fact, a few weeks ago I visited the founders Ev and Biz in their shiny SF office overlooking the skyline. We talked about how their service is going to meet the needs for business’s, media, and users. It’s very clear to me that they’ve many options to monetize from corporate services, contextual/location based advertising, services to developers, or premium features to media companies. They expressed to me that their main focus is to build a great service for users first, then work on the monetization plans –and in that order. Given that it would be easy for them to get additional funding –or even acquired (Facebook had talks with them late last year) they’re in a comfortable place over the next few years.

19 Replies to “For the Professional: How to Get Started On Twitter”

  1. I use twitter everyday just like my email. I’s a great tool to drive traffic where ever you want, your website, news story, etc… And people do respond and act.

    In the beginning of my twitter use I also was a little frazzled but learned quickly how to manage it. Keep an open window or tab and when something pops up in your head, just tweet it.

  2. Jeremiah:

    Well said. Having gone through the acclimation process fairly recently, I agree that Twitter can be a bit overhwelming at first. It takes a bit of work to weed through the noise and chatter, but once you do, you reap the rewards. I find that Twitter gets me to relevant, interesting info and blogs faster than I would’ve via other means.

    Agree on the value to the business person, but I also think that it can be of significant value in a personal sense. Here again, by using the tools available to do some filtering and focussing, Twitter can open up a wide variety of interesting content, conversations and relationships on a personal front.

  3. I’d been more active on Pownce than Twitter until the former shut-down. I’d found the noise on Twitter to be a bit hard to manage. But the desktop clients (I use Tweetdeck) have made this far more manageable. I’ve now sorted the people I follow into manageable topical categories which makes it easier to follow the conversations.

    Now that I have things more organized, Twitter has become a vastly more usable resource. The Tweets I read are chock full of useful tips I bookmark on, blogs I add to Google Reader, etc. There’s a wealth of information that helps me in my quest to keep up with trends in Web design, mktg, social media, life in Cleveland, cooking, etc. And while it can take some time, it doesn’t have to take all my time.

    The Twitter stream will constantly flow with useful and/or amusing information, whether I’m watching it or not. I’ll only see the Tweets that come through in the time I allot to the service.

    But as long as I follow the right people, those with common or related interests who think before they Tweet, then the Tweets that I do manage to read will be of value. As with everything else, it’s a matter of quality over quantity. – @hacool

  4. Twitter is past being ‘just a fad’, and enterprises should pay the it the attention it deserves – at least to ‘block’ their real-estate on the platform. I have been working on putting a structure to the use of microblogging (especially twitter) as a marketing communication platform. And @brandingyp – like any other social media exercise, twitter needs commitment and long-term objective in mind and yes, patience too. So, hang in there! I’m sure you agree Jeremiah!

    ‘An evaluation of microblogging as a marketing communication platform’ –

  5. we use twitter in various ways within my organization:
    some people use it as a “reader” following companies, others as a Q&A machine, myself as a communication tool indeed for faster responses than blogs. Also in fysical locations (meeting centers) we use twitter fountains so the staff can see in real time what people are saying about our services…

  6. i find twitter to be an excellent resource on several levels. it does have its drawbacks, like noise and limited functionality, but the opportunity to directly interact with subject matter experts and the ability connect with those in your community far outweigh the difficulties.

    i credit twitter w/ my crash-course social media education more than any other resource.


  7. Thanks Jeremiah. Pete Blackshaw, EVP Digital Strategic Services, Nielsen Online and Diane Hessan, CEO, Communispace did this fun little (4 min.) video prior to an industry event (ARF 2009 Industry Leader Forum)to introduce twitter to the conference participants and give them some ideas of how to use it at conferences. The last minute and 1/2 detail first steps. While it’s specific to that event, it does provide the “basics” to start. Thought it might be helpful to your some of your readers wanting to get started with twitter.


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