I have been tweeting and writing about twitter with my Twitter buddy, Sarah Arrow. Instead of writing my own article for you Sarah has agreed to let me share hers. Thanks Sarah.

So here it is – Getting to grips with Twitter AKA Twitter for non geeks ;-)

Heard all about Twitter? Joined up but couldn’t see the point? Hard not to miss it, isn’t it? I took me 6 months to realise power of it.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

The purpose of this blog post is to help you get to grips with twitter and make it work for you. I didn’t learn it all by myself, I was given advice and asked questions and now I have 4,600 tweets under my belt! It really is easy and rather enjoyable too :-)

Twitter is the internet ‘microblogging’ tool (Microblogging, blogging but with much less effort :-) ) that you can use your mobile phone  and the  internet to tweet from. It’s been mentioned in The Times and in The Guardian, and even my gran has heard of it even if she doesn’t have a clue what it is or does.

This guide is tailored to us non geeks, us ordinary people and how we may use twitter for our own ends and aims.

What’s the point? is a frequent question asked. You could ask the same of  clothes, cars, books, films and newspapers. My answer is targeted marketing just like the clothes, car, books and films project who we are, Twitter enables us to reach a group of people with similar things in common. Where else can I talk to customers, potential customers and our companies drivers with out leaving my desk? I can tweet a traffic update to our drivers within seconds and it costs us nothing, but they are completely up to date and can avoid potential jams and accident hotspots.

The trouble with Twitter is some people get it and some don’t. Some people instantly see the potential and others need some help.  I would like to take you through some steps which will help you get more from twitter. I am by no means a twitter expert, just someone who has used it and found it beneficial (and yes, I have had customers from it – in fact I turn down more work than I accept!).

So to start, open your twitter account at www.twitter.com, give yourself a name and add a password and email address and you are done. The registration process is fast and easy – 2 minutes max.  I am Essex_courier – what else could I be? You can follow me if you like and use me to practise on while you are finding your feet.

The next step is to find people to follow. To start I suggest you go and find 50 people to follow. Following them is simply clicking the ‘follow’ button on  their profile. There tweets will now appear in your timeline when you hit the home tab.

Back to finding people to follow…You can find them through twitter itself or use a tool such as Tweet Local or Tweet Scan.

Twitter Local will allow you to find and follow people who are local to your location. Type in Essex and see who comes up. Type in your local town and see who from there is tweeting.

Tweet Scan will allow you to search for people with similar interests, same industry or any other reason that you may choose to follow someone.  Go and try ‘Fake tan’ ‘Hair Extensions’ or ‘Nail Bars’ and see what comes up.

When you have found 50 people to follow, look at their conversations and reply to some by hitting the arrow key in their response box.  The @ symbol and their name will appear in the top box, you can type your reply and click update, and you have tweeted! it’s that easy. Some people reply, some don’t so don’t be put off, spend a few more minutes following conversations and then post up what you are doing.

To find your replies, look on the left hand side of the twitter bar and you will see one tab marked ‘@ replies‘ here the listing will be sorted so that only your replies show.

So try this for a week and see how you go.

You can share with us here if you like, just add a comment and add your Twitter name so we can follow you too.

You will start to find after a while that using the website page to tweet is a bit inconvenient and awkward as you tab between web pages. So I use Twitter Bar and Twitterfox, two applications that become part of Firefox (the browser that I use, I suggest you use it too – it makes life much less hassle). Using these means I can tweet as I work, as I go along.

A lot of people highly recommend the use of TweetDeck, I have not tried it yet but it’s on my ‘to do’ list. It makes the twitter stream more easily managed which is no bad thing, at times it does seem overwhelming!

As you go along, you can tweet pages from the web that interest you (Twit That is a handy tool to do this), your thoughts on a news story or a problem that you are looking to resolve and see what comes back. Conversations will start to flow and you will be tweeting like a professional!

Good luck


PS at some point you will want to make things easier for yourself and automatically tweet your articles from here, your blog and other places of interest. Twitterfeed will help you do that, but how to use that? that’s a whole new article in itself ;-)

A virtual PA can manage your twitter account and set it all up for you, if you want to make the most of this social media just give me a call.


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