Twitter Twaining

I delivered some rather impromptu and unprepared training last week for some colleagues on their use of Twitter in the Enterprise. Amongst the millions of training threads, I found a very good (but also a very customer specific) Tweetcamp presentation.

So using this slide deck as a guide, I delivered the following training points:

Twitter vs Facebook

  • Facebook is primarily about connections with your friends and your social connections (photos, walls, games, applications, gifts)
  • Facebook has become more like Twitter in recent releases by asking the question “what is on your mind”?
  • Twitter can be viewed more about your connection with people who have common interests (although many of them are your friends)
  • Twitter is less rich out of the box
  • Following somebody on Twitter you are following the thoughts of the whole person, not just the ideas you might best know them for

Twitter vs Blogs

  • Twitter is what is referred to as micro-blogging
  • Twitter is limited to 140 characters, so is a snapshot of the authors thoughts
  • Blogs provide a facility for more in-depth thoughts, analysis and reporting
  • If summarising an event, use Twitter to throw out live snippets, thoughts and quotes and blog after the event to review and synthesise in greater detail
  • Twitter is a good way to advertise new posts to your blog

Twitter vs Email

  • There is no expectation to read and/or respond to everything on Twitter. You dive in and out of the stream as it suits you and take notice of as much or as little as makes sense
  • Twitter conversations are open and discoverable to all
  • Direct messages can be used somewhat like email for a point to point conversation
  • Twitter allows you to unfollow or block “spammers”
  • Email is still much better for more “personal” messages

Why Do I Care?

  • Twitter usage is growing exponentially, on the back of big celebrity support of people such as Oprah and Ellen as well as traditional media such as CNN and 60 Minutes
  • Twitter is still has a much smaller user base than Facebook
  • Social media like Twitter is here to stay, but you need to be ready for the next thing if and when it comes along.

Going Viral

  • Using these tools may make you go viral. Many traditional media outlets have attempted this, very few are successful, but those that are successful are extremely successful.
  • You Tube is currently the platform that is feeding virality

Twitter vs Yammer

  • Yammer is Twitter for the enterprise, posts are blocked to those that can sign up with an email on your domain
  • Can dual post to Yammer and Twitter by setting up your Twitter account in the Yammer settings and adding the #yam tag to the end of your posts
  • Many other services allow you to dual tweet. Facebook has a similar #fb plugin or the ability to import all of your tweets automatically

Conventions

  • #hashtags allow people to tweet on a common searchable topic, especially useful for conferences for combining posts. There is nothing to setup, just announce your hash tag to the attendees.
  • @replies allows you to reply to someone and get their attention (and tell others your message is directed at them more specifically)
  • RT @re-tweets allow you to re-tweet someones idea but you wish to credit them for it as well as highlight to them you like their idea

Twitter API

Twitter Ettiquette & Ideas

  • In general, for business, follow legitimate users that follow you (ignore spam followers). This is less so for personal users, follow who you have interest in
  • Following somebody does not mean you endorse them
  • Auto replies to new users is not recommended, it is just useless spam
  • Locking updates is not recommended, if you want to lock your ideas write a journal in a pad with a lock
  • Replying and retweeting is recommended when it makes sense
  • Retweeting introduces your followers to new followers as well as crediting the original source
  • Clients make it much easier to manage Twitter over the basic website by automating functions and managing searches

I then followed up with a few real examples. The key takeaway is that the attendees need to get in and try out using the tool on their own accounts before tweeting on behalf of the organisation. It is much easier to understand Twitter just by using it.

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