Using Twitter in Your Web Marketing Campaign - dummies

Using Twitter in Your Web Marketing Campaign

By Jan Zimmerman

Twitter is a microblogging service — as well as a social network — because its tweets (short messages sent by way of Twitter) started out as short journal entries about life to be shared with friends and business contacts.

Soon, however, tweets about what people were drinking during happy hour expanded to tweets about where to find low-price gas, commercial messages about special sales and discounts, breaking news about wildfires or traffic jams, and revolution in the streets of the Middle East.

Businesses can use Twitter to share time-dependent information with customers and prospects, factors to help you decide whether this social media channel has potential for your company, and tips for getting started.

Twitter is hard to imagine without seeing it. Take a look at the stream of tweets as seen on a computer screen for Olo Yogurt Studio in the following illustration. The left pane shows these elements:

  • Twitter handle: Also called the username and designated as @address (in this case, @oloyogurt).

  • Stream of tweets: Short posts displayed in reverse chronological order.

  • Shortened URLs: Shortened links, which sometimes look like gibberish, are needed because of the limited number of characters in a tweet; Twitter and third-party sites, such as Bitly, generate shortened URLs for you.

  • Hashtags: Starting with a #, hashtags enable users to sort and find tweets on a specific topic.

In the upper-right corner of the right pane, you see

  • Profile: A short description of the company, followed by the domain name for its website

  • Tweets: Number of tweets sent by this account

  • Following: Number of people this account receives tweets from

  • Followers: Number of people receiving tweets from this account

  • Listed: Number of lists on which this account appears

    Olo Yogurt’s twitter feed displays a typical stream of tweets. [Credit: Used with permission
    Credit: Used with permission by Olo Yogurt Studio, Albuquerque, NM
    Olo Yogurt’s twitter feed displays a typical stream of tweets.