Getting Started on Twitter. What is Twitter? A social networking site that started by letting people answer the question, “What are you doing?” Microblogging in 140 characters or fewer Online relationship-building and relationship-maintenance tool
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What is Twitter? • A social networking site that started by letting people answer the question, “What are you doing?” • Microblogging in 140 characters or fewer • Online relationship-building and relationship-maintenance tool Twit tip:Why 140 characters? The limit was originally set to make Twitter compatible with mobile phones and text messaging.
How can your chapter use it? • Develop and promote your brand • Interact with members • Update members on what you’re working on • Share tidbits about you • Track what people are saying about your chapter • Create buzz around AIA issues, programs, products, and upcoming events
Getting Started: Learn TwitterSpeak It’s useful to first grasp an understanding of terms associated with using Twitter: Direct Message (DM): a private message sent from one Twitter user to another; it’s Twitter’s version of e-mail Follow: to subscribe to someone’s updates; when you follow someone, their updates appear in your timeline Follow Back: to subscribe to someone’s updates who is following you already Follower: someone who has subscribed to your updates
Getting Started: Learn TwitterSpeak Hashtag (#): a tagging system that forms a conversation around an event, topic, or theme (e.g., follow #aiachat to take part in AIA National’s monthly twitter chats) Promoted Tweet: tweets promoted by paid marketing efforts Reply (@): a message sent to one Twitter user from another by putting @ in front of the user’s name Retweet (RT): to repeat someone else’s tweet Trending Topic: words, phrases, or hashtags that are popular on Twitter at a given time
Getting Started: Learn TwitterSpeak Tweet Up: an event specially organized for Twitter users to meet and network with each other Twitter Handle: the name you use to represent yourself; also known as your user name Twitter List: a public list that any Twitter user can create Twitter Stream: a list of your real-time updates that appears on your Twitter homepage
Getting Started: Create an Account Sign up for a Twitter account: • Go to http://twitter.com • Enter your name and e-mail address and a password of your choice • Click the Sign up button
Getting Started: Create an Account • Enter your user name; it should be your chapter name, e.g., AIAWinchester • Your user name is how people will refer to you on Twitter • Making your user name close to your real name will make it easier for people to find you on Twitter • Click the Create my account button Twit tip: Your user name can contain up to 15 characters, no spaces. Twit tip: Once you create your account, Twitter will recommend people to follow. You can skip this step. Complete your profile and start tweeting before following anyone.
Getting Started: Personalize Your Profile Your profile is where you can tell followers who you are. • Request the avatar template customized with your chapter name to upload (your profile photo) • Add your location so followers know where you’re based • Include a link to your chapter’s web site • Be descriptive as possible in the Bio section (this is your “elevator pitch”) Twit tip: Don’t select Protect my tweets. If you’re worried about strangers seeing your updates, remember you are in complete control of all your updates posted. Don’t post an update you’ll regret later.
Getting Started: Personalize Your Profile A customized background bolsters your credibility and educates potential followers about you. • Customize your background under Settings in the drop down menu in the upper right corner (see Design tab) • Leave room for Twitter’s top toolbar • Design for smaller monitor sizes to keep all of your design elements in full view • Don’t tile your background; instead use one core image Twit tip: Several web sites, e.g., Themeleon and TwitBacks, offer free background images you can upload to your account.
Getting Started: Personalize Your Profile Connecting your mobile device enables you to use Twitter while on the go. • From the Mobile tab, enter your mobile phone number as requested, including your country code • Twitter will send you a text message with a computer-generated code to confirm your mobile number
Getting Started: Start Tweeting Your most valuable asset is the information you provide; it’s often the deciding factor for whether someone follows you. What can you tweet about? • Tweet your chapter events and activities • Link to something interesting you’ve read • Retweet what someone else has tweeted (begin your tweet with RT or click Twitter’s Retweet button) Twit tip: To save characters in your tweet, use a link shortening site such as Bit.ly.
Getting Started: Start Tweeting Twit tip: An introduction is okay for your first tweet, e.g., “Checking out Twitter for the first time. I’ll be tweeting about the latest news from AIA Winchester.”
Getting Started: Find People to Follow By following people, you’ll be able to view their updates in your Twitter timeline. Where can you find people to follow? • Begin collecting your members’ Twitter user names • Use Twitter’s Who to Follow recommendations in the right side bar on your homepage • Use Twitter Search to find people talking about a topic you want to follow • Use third-party sites such as WeFollow.com and Twello for leads • Follow your AIA colleagues, thought leaders, and bloggers you discover Twit tip: When you find someone’s Twitter page you want to follow, click the green Follow button. It will say “Following” if successful.
Getting Started: Find People to Follow Sample search using Search Twitter for people talking about Architect Barbie Twit tip: Start off slowly; don’t follow too many people at once.
Getting Started: Engage with Your Followers You can talk with your followers via tweets, retweets, and direct messages. • To send a tweet to a specific person, use an @ before the person’s user nameExample of a tweet sent to AIA National:Recommended: How can I vote in the Barbie competition? @aianational (viewable to everyone)Not recommended: @aianational How can I vote in the Barbie competition? (viewable only to those who follow you and AIA National) Twit tip: Anytime you put an @ in front of a user’s name, it automatically becomes a link to that person’s profile.
Getting Started: Engage with Your Followers When your follower sends you a tweet, it will appear in your @Mentions tab on your Twitter homepage.
Getting Started: Engage with Your Followers You can also send someone a private message, known as a Direct Message (DM) • Visit that person’s profile and click the Message link on the right side of the user’s profile or • Begin your tweet with D <user name> Example: d aianational Did you get my convention proposal? Twit tip: Direct messages are not viewable in the public Twitter stream. Twit tip: Don’t set up auto direct messages; instead use direct messages to connect with people on a personal, conversational level.
Getting Started: Engage with Your Followers If a follower sends you a direct message, it will appear in the Messages tab in the Twitter toolbar. Twit tip: You can only DM people if you follow them and they follow you.
Getting Started: Engage with Your Followers Share someone else’s interesting content with your followers via retweets (RTs). • Copy and paste their tweet and enter @<user’s name> either at the beginning or end of the tweet or • Click on Twitter’s retweet symbol, which appears next to the time stamp Twit tip: Click on any links in the tweet to ensure the link works and the content is suitable before retweeting.
Getting Started: Final Words • Find your voice • Develop a strategy for how and when you’ll tweet • Have fun tweeting! Got questions? Contact Sybil Walker Barnes at AIA National, 202.626.7331