Getting Started With Twitter

This post is published on behalf of Aaron Strout at Mzinga. It is also published at Mzinga blogs.
After sending an e-mail to a friend today on how to get started on Twitter, I thought it might not hurt to provide a few tips for anyone who’s looking to get started (or has started but can’t quite figure out what to do next.) I’m by no means an expert — look to people like Chris Brogan or Jeremiah Owyang if you want folks that are the true gurus – but I’ve been at this for several months and have learned a few things along the way.
First, I’ll give you the first WIIFM or “what’s in it for me” assuming you are following the right people (and at least a few are following your back):
–Updates on tons of helpful information (industry research, relevant blog posts, breaking news) all at your finger tips
–An instant polling device
–Great network builder
–Good way to share your latest blog posts/podcasts.
Note: it’s important to remember that like with community, it’s a two way street. People are more inclined to pay attention to your message if you share other people’s posts and reciprocate when they post.
–Potential for recruiting or being recruited
–Thought leadership builder
Now, how do you get started:
–Sign up at Twitter.com
–Make sure you update your profile with a pic (any pic) and a URL where people can find out more about you or your company. For most people, they point directly to their blog.
–Post several times (even if nobody is following you yet) about interesting posts you’ve read recently, good research, etc. – people are more inclined to follow if you’ve said something first.
–Start by following people friends or co-workers (I started with my friend Francois.) Just click on the links of who they are following and then select the “follow” button on under their picture.
–To direct a comment at someone, use the “@” symbol before their name e.g. “@astrout, thanks for the helpful post on how to use Twitter”
–If you want to reference a URL, be sure to shorten it first using Tinyurl.com (like text messaging on your phone, you only get 140 characters so shorter is better.)
NOTE: Apparently, Twitter now automatically converts URLs to the tinyurl format so ignore this bullet.
–When I post on my blog (or even comment on others’ blogs), I try and always leave my Twitter name “@astrout” so if people like what I’ve said, they can continue the conversation on Twitter. I also include my Twitter name in my e-mail auto-signature.
Put any questions your have (or DM/e-mail me) in the comments. Chances are if you don’t know the answer, others are wondering too.

Welcome to the Community 2.0 Blog

This post was published on behalf of Kristin Paulick. You may contact her at kpaulick@iirusa.com.

Welcome to the Community 2.0 Conference Blog. Here, in support of the Community 2.0 Conference, we will be providing you with up-to-date information and opinions on the interactive online community world. We look to foster a community for all things social media by hearing from some of the industry’s leaders, as well as you.
So what can the Community 2.0 Conference do for you?

REVOLUTIONIZE Your Perception of Community.
‘If you build it they will come.’ With today’s countless choices for media engagement, organizations must move beyond this philosophy by creating a social media strategy that gives customers a reason to come’and to come back.

DRIVE Community Involvement & Create CONSUMER ADVOCATES.
Successful companies effectively converse with their community through blogs, social networks, forums, and countless other forms of media. Microsoft and Lego teach you to inspire and encourage consumer dialogue while adapting business strategies to meet evolving customer needs.

Leverage Community for BUSINESS GAINS.
Consumers are both the message and the medium. It is critical to understand the conversations that are happening about your company, your products and your brand. Dell, eBay, and Yahoo! share with you how they leverage this feedback to improve upon current practices and make smarter, more profitable business decisions.

RETHINK Traditional Corporate STRUCTURE & CULTURE
You cannot have an effective community strategy if you’re working with an inflexible corporate structure. For a community to thrive, companies must throw traditional business models out the window. Charlene Li at Forrester Research and Chris Leonard of Global Spec, Inc. show you how to make communities work for your organization, without cultivating internal chaos.

Remember, It’s a TEAM EFFORT & It ALL STARTS HERE
An effective community should enhance ALL business functions- from sales and marketing, to product innovation, to technology, to customer service.

We look forward to your interaction with us!

Kristin Paulick
Conference Producer