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.)