For people who use twitter frequently, no explanation as to its appeal and benefits are required. Those who are not familiar with it seem to find it a bit mystifying; so I will attempt to demystify it, at least a little.
twitter allows you to enter short, 140 character posts on any topic you wish. It allows you to enter the url of your blog or website in your user profile. It is unlike a chat room in that it is primarily web based and what you post is visible to the public and to search engines. The obvious benefit of this visibility is that it has the potential to increase the number of visitors to your site and exposure of products or services you might offer. Restricting tweets to only 140 characters might be difficult for some, but to others this is a convenience; it is never necessary to spend time creating long messages and abbreviation becomes almost an art form.
Before you gain an appreciable exposure, it is necessary to build up a number of followers, however, you are unlikely to attract many followers if all you post is links promoting your site. It is necessary to engage in meaningful discussions with other users and tweet topics which others are actually interested in. While it is easy to simply follow a great many twitterers, the ideal situation is parity between those that you follow, and those that follow you.
Different people use twitter for different reasons. Some use it primarily as a social outlet, but an increasing number of people (and large companies) in media , marketing and sales use it because of twitters’ searchability and world wide audience. For example, I had a problem with a WordPress plugin and mentioned it in a tweet; within hours I received an email from the company which distributes it offering help. I tweeted my interest in installing a content management system on my site; within minutes I received a message from an associated company offering installation help.
Another reason for the incredible growth in twitter’s popularity is its connectivity. A number of client applications (like twhirl and tweetdeck) are available to allow users additional functions and convenience. An ever increasing number of websites offer a range of services such as statistics, user management and posting options. (check out big tweet) As far as I’m concerned, if you have a website and you want to reach visitors, a twitter presence is essential.
Useful twitter links:
- twitter.com/public timeline
- powertwitter (add on for FireFox)