Bite-sized social strategy: Twitter

This is the first in a series of posts of super-condensed social media strategy. Don't have time to read volumes of posts or books on how to do something? Here are the high points.

(Like the Teeny Little Super Guy, these posts are short, but - we hope - helpful.)

Twitter

Twitter

What is Twitter?

  • Twitter is a website which lets you send and read messages called tweets.
  • Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters.
  • Users “follow,” or subscribe, to various people’s tweets so they can read their updates online or on their mobile phone, either through text messaging or apps.

Why bother using Twitter?

  • Twitter has plenty of time for your business/cause. People on Twitter are already talking about your cause, so shouldn't you be part of the conversation?
  • Twitter makes it easy to find conversations already occurring around your cause.
  • Do you want to create an account when times are good, or when a crisis hits? Know how to use the tool before you have to.

General Twitter strategy: Relationship cultivation

  • Twitter is the best platform for cultivating relationships with people, because it's easy to reach out to folks who haven't followed you back yet.
  • Inspire people and expand your network by being proactive and reactive: Share helpful information, even if it's not from your organization, and be transparent and quick to respond to questions and concerns.
  • Share other people's stuff related to your cause and respond to questions a lot more frequently than you post your own news and calls for donations.
  • Bottom line: Work toward getting more passionate supporters (not just more followers).

What questions do you have about Twitter?

Update 6/5/12: Mashable just published a comprehensive Twitter guide for beginners.

(Up next: Facebook.)