Twitter.com • Twitter.com is a unique social site where people update their friends about what’s happening in short (140 character) “tweets”. • Searches on Twitter are becoming more popular as fewer people trust the way Google ranks websites. • Twitter users want to know what’s happening RIGHT NOW!
How does Twitter benefit you? • First, Twitter is a real time snapshot of what people are interested in talking about. Being involved in Twitter means you are on the cutting edge! • Next, having a presence on Twitter can place you as a knowledgeable and approachable pet expert. • Finally, Twitter can bring you breaking news faster than email or through website updates.
Twitter accounts • The first step into this fast paced world of information, searches and referrals is to set up a Twitter account. • You can set one up for your hospital, yourself, or both. • Go to www.Twitter.com
Setting up the account • First, you will need to input your name or your hospital’s name. • Next, find a good username for your Twitter account • Get creative, many “common” pet related names are already taken • Try to keep your username reasonably short 8-12 characters, 15 is the maximum • Twitter will let you know if the name is already taken.
Step 2 • Now, Twitter will want you to find friends to connect with, but we DON’T want to do this step yet. Trust me, it will work better later! • So click “Skip” • Now, find the Settings Tab on the upper right hand side.
Settings Tab • Here we have a chance to personalize our profile and let people know that we are real. • Fill out your name, user name, and the URL for your hospital. You also have a place to add a “bio” of 160 characters or less. • Click “Save” when you are finished.
Picture and Designs • Now, click on the Picture tab within Settings. You can upload a picture of your, an avatar, a picture of your hospital or logo or even a cute pet picture. • Don’t upload complex, busy pictures. A nice head shot or logo works better. • Click “Save” • If you see the comment “Nice picture” or something similar, your picture has been uploaded and saved.
Designs • Adding a different, unique design or wallpaper to your profile can help set you apart from others. It is also another way to highlight your website and/or mission statement. • Creating a custom background is possible, but is often confusing and frustrating within Twitter’s framework. • We will have a separate document for teaching you about custom backgrounds.
Add some content • Now, click back to your home page and create 5-8 “tweets” so that people can get an idea of who you are and what you do. • Tweet about upcoming hospital specials, interesting cases, important wellness care (fleas, HW, vaccines, etc). • Eventually, you can add pictures, weblinks and other helpful additions.
Find friends, follow friends • Now that there is something for people to see, it’s time to find your friends on Twitter and follow those friends. • Click on the Find People link at the top right of the page. • If you have G-mail, Yahoo, or AOL, you can have Twitter search your contact list for people you know on Twitter • Click the Find on Other Networks Tab
Finding people • After you input you’re your Gmail, Yahoo or AOL email address and password, a list will be generated from your contact list of people you know with Twitter accounts. • You will have the opportunity to choose which of these people to “follow”. • People you follow will be notified via email and, in most cases, will follow you in return.
You are ready to go! • Now you are ready to interact within Twitterworld! • Remember, Twitter is a HUGE cocktail party. Find people who are interesting and tweet information that you find relevant and/or fun. • Follow a few simple guidelines and you will find that people from across the country and the world will soon want to hear more from you.
Tweeting • Think brief. You only have 140 characters to get your point across. • Shorter is better, if you want people to re-tweet your comments, it needs to be short! • Be relevant…don’t share your breakfast menu unless you are a restaurant! • Engage others…be responsive, re-tweet others when appropriate. • Don’t be completely focused on your practice or your site. Share other fun sites or other info that your followers will enjoy!
Twitter tools • There are many applications that work with Twitter and can make your experience more fun and efficient. • Tweetdeck • Hootsuite • Twitpic • These are just a few examples. We will create a second training document to focus on those helpful tools.
Who to follow? • After finding your friends and co-workers on Twitter, consider following these users: • @Petdocsoncall @TVMA • @Petdocsoncall09 @ASVJ • @VetNewsNetwork @drbhurley • @MeyerlandaC @Azzore • @UHillsVet @CDCemergency • @snoopydoc @Orthopets • And these a just a few….