Twitter
People are using Twitter as an effective way to market and personalise their businesses. All size businesses can communicate quickly and easily to let the world know what they are doing in their business. Twitter is a platform for posting very short messages (called “tweets”) of 140 characters or less.

Click here for a step-by-step guide to setting up a Twitter account

Following and Followers

The great thing about Twitter is you can create your own Twittersphere by choosing to follow certain people. Simply navigate to a user’s Twitter homepage (eg., Ours is at https://twitter.com/all_aboutbiz, and click on the “Follow” button in the top right hand corner. Now you are able to see that user’s tweets whenever you’re logged in to Twitter. It’s that easy!

@username

Putting the @ symbol in front of a persons username when you are writing or replying to a tweet then allows that person to see your message on their homepage. They will be notified and it’s a great way to share interesting business ideas personally.

For example, our Twitter username is “all_aboutbiz”. Simply type “@all_aboutbiz” in your message somewhere and we’ll be notified and the message will appear on our home page.

RT or “retweet”

Retweeting is when you want to repost the same message someone has tweeted but still credit them for the original tweet. All you need to do is put “RT @theirusername” in front of the tweet you are retweeting or use the “retweet” button under the message. This is handy when you see relevant business tips and information/links you’d like to share with your customers and followers.

For example, if I posted this tweet:

Great advice! http://moneysavvymums.com.au/

…and you wanted to share that message with your followers, you simply retweet it like this:

RT @all_aboutbiz  Great advice! http://moneysavvymums.com.au/

DM or “direct message”

DM or “direct message” is the way you can communicate with others who follow you on Twitter privately. When you DM someone they are the only ones who see the tweet.

How to send a direct message via the web

  1. Log in to your Twitter account.
  2. Click on the person icon in the top right and select Direct messages from the drop down menu.
  3. You’ll see a pop up showing your direct message history. Click the New message button, highlighted below.
  4. In the address box, type the name or username of the person you wish to send a message to.
    Tip: Make sure that user follows you. You can only send a direct message to your followers even though you can receive messages from all users you follow. 
  5. Enter your message and click Send message.
    (from the Twitter Help Centre)

URL Shorteners

Tweets are limited to 140 characters so most people use URL shortening services to save space.

The more popular URL shorteners are: tinyurl.com and bit.ly.

Apps and Tools

Refollow
Manage your Twitter account. Find out who is following you, who you are following or not following etc.

TwitterFeed
TwitterFeed updates your social networks automatically every time you post a new entry on your blog. A great time saver and very practical and easy to use.

Hootsuite
Hootsuite will automate your tweets but it will also manage multiple social media accounts which is a great feature. You can create a dashboard that lets you monitor not only your Twitter accounts but your Facebook (this includes Facebook pages), LinkedIn, WordPress blog, MySpace and FourSquare accounts. This is so integrated that you can write one update that goes to any and all of those social media sources/pages.

Automation for Twitter

Twitter to your Facebook Profile Wall
Facebook have an app called Twitter, developed from Twitter.com and is the official app for the purpose of posting from Twitter to Facebook.
SNS Analytics is another service that offers the integration from Twitter to Facebook. SNS Analytics offers a complete media management solution and you can track your clicks from Facebook as a separate channel. Tracking separately lets you know your readership breakdown numbers. You can find out if your fans are reading more of your Twiiter or Facebook content.

Twitter to Facebook Page/Group Walls
SNS Analytics helps you manage and automate posts to your Facebook pages and groups and also to those you DON’T even own. This gives you a powerful marketing tool that can be utilised to target your competitors followers.

Twitter to your LinkedIn Profile
Log in to your LinkedIn account, then click on the ‘more’ option in the menu and then ‘Application Directory’ to preview the LinkedIn tweets application. Once you have setup Tweets, the application automatically grabs your tweets from Twitter and uploads them to your LinkedIn Profile.