Marketing on twitter: how to get noticed

In this article we will discuss various different ways of using Twitter and how to make use of it as a small business. The advice contained here is aimed at the very small business, as well as individuals who are their own brand such as authors, journalists and artists.

Types of Twitter user

There are several kinds of Twitter user, they are not mutually exclusive.

The first kind is the social user. The social twitter user enjoys friendly banter with others, engages in random conversations, and plays #hashtag games. (Witty comments all posted using the same keyword prefixed with a # so that others can see and join in.)  They may well present information or a persona that they would not want to be linked with their professional life. This kind of tweeter generally follows and engages with most of the people that follow them. This is the average twitter user.

The second kind is the reporter. The reporter actively seeks out news stories and items of interest and then retweets them to their followers. The reporter is often also a social user.

The third kind is company announcements. This is what it sounds like; a business that uses twitter purely to announce products, articles, press releases, or other commercial events.

The fourth kind is the damage limitation account. Typical of very large business such as BT or the Royal Mail, these exist purely to sweep twitter for negative information and respond to it in as low profile a way as possible, and fix the problem as quickly as possible to make it go away. This kind of user may even delete tweets once a problem is dealt with.

A final, rare kind, is the spoof account. Two popular ones are @Queen_UK and @DMReporter, spoofing the queen and the Daily Mail respectively.

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An explanation of twitter

This is a description of how twitter works. It is very hard to see the point of twitter unless you try it, but this should help those of you trying to understand the references to it in the news.

Twitter lets its users post a public message (tweet) of 140 characters in length. Those messages are automatically seen by their followers. Anyone can follow any other Twitter user and their tweets will be displayed in their “Twitter stream.” A tweet can also be aimed at or mention a person by including their name prefixed with an @ symbol. For example “@Refreshtech Hello Steve!”

In addition, tweets can contain a subject prefixed with a # (a hash) and that is called a hashtag. Clicking on a hashtag brings up a list of all the other tweets containing the same hashtag. In this way it is possible to see a stream of tweets on a given topic. The most popular hashtags at any one time are called Trending Topics. Twitter shows a list of these on the front page. Finally, if a person likes a tweet they can “retweet” it which will send it out to all of their followers.

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