Socialeyes: It could be a real tweet

Twitter is a social media platform which continues to gain traction and following at an incredible pace. With recent rumours suggesting Apple is looking to invest heavily in the platform its future as a main player looks certain for come time to come. Do you know how to use it for your business?
The basics of Twitter are simple, users can send messages of no more than 140 characters to a defined or non-defined recipient list. Each user has a username, this is usually not the real name which is only displayed on the users profile page. There are two main elements to twitter, one is messaging, the other is connections. Connections on twitter are formed by following or being followed. Following a user is to essentially subscribe to that users tweetings. So every time they send a non-directed message it will appear in your stream (and the streams of every other follower). To follow someone is very simple and involves a single button press, the same is true of unfollowing.

What this allows is a completely tailored news feed of social media and social news media. This is the key draw of Twitter.

Communications on Twitter are achieved through directed and non-directed messages. Directed messages are sent from one user to a pre-defined group using the @ tag. The @ tag is used to donate a users ID, so techoptom is @techoptom on twitter. This means that if a user sends a message beginning with @techoptom it is only publicised/notified to me, though the message will be displayed on the senders news feed and the recipients news feed.

A message sent without the @ tag will be published to the senders wall, and the feeds of all followers.

The last option when messaging is direct mail, this is the same as a private message that will not appear on any public facing pages. Essentially the same as an email. Many users restrict receiving direct mail (DM on twitter) to only being from people they follow.

One useful business tool is the retweet (RT on twitter). This will allow any message you sent to be replicated and reposted in its entirety by the user who is retweeting. A popular tactic for this is when running a promotion to tie it in to a retweet, thus spreading the reach of your brand/service to more users than those directly associated with yourself. There are obvioulsy many more uses of Twitter in everyday running of an optometric business but these are far beyond the scope of a blog article.

Next time on Socialeyes we will discuss the # tag and what relevance it has.

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