How to Use Twitter for Business
Event date: July 29 2009
Posted by: Kristin Vincent
It seems you can’t turn on the TV or open the newspaper recently without someone mentioning that you can follow them on Twitter. And probably several friends and family members are on it too. Maybe you’re left wondering, how can Twitter help me and my business? That is the question Nelly Yusupova, Webgrrls’ CTO and New York City chapter leader, answered last Wednesday night.
 
The room at AXA Advisors was packed with people from all sorts of backgrounds. Small business owners, IT professionals, designers, and several people back in the job market all came to find out if and how to join the “Twitterverse”...the universe of people on Twitter. “Twitterverse” isn’t the only new term the crowd was introduced to. They learned about tweets, retweets, Twitter streams, Twitter handles, and Tweetups.
 
"Nelly delivers time sensitive technology workshops. Her organization of the topics and easy to understand delivery reduces the learning curve and speeds implementation to help all of us grow our businesses, big or small."
Susan Resner
Technology Consultant - Technology Applied

After Nelly walked everyone through the basics of what a microblogging site is, she showed us step by step how to create an account, which she said was our first assignment when we got home so we could reserve our Twitter “handle” (user name). She also stressed the importance of writing a keyword rich bio and posting a headshot photo.
 
Then she told us to join in the conversation. She shared a few tricks about how to get your posts to their shortest possible while staying search engine friendly. She explained that, though Twitter gives you 140 characters per post, you should really stay under 120 so people can “retweet” (forward) your post virally to maximize your exposure.
 
Nelly showed everyone how to not only contribute, but how to also listen. She demonstrated how you can keep tabs on your industry and brand by using search. She also discussed tools that can help you manage your incoming and outgoing “tweets” (posts), and she gave a live demo of Seesmic, her current tool of choice. She also told us about tools, such as Twellow and Wefollow, that help you browse people by category.
 
Nelly gave many tips throughout the evening, such as:
  • How to avoid getting flagged as a spammer
  • How to follow Twitter etiquette
  • How to find people to follow
  • How to build up your followers
  • How to engage with your followers to build loyalty
  • Which words make your post more likely to get retweeted
  • What times of the day are best to post
"Nelly is always savvy and entertaining while instructive, handles questions extremely well, and always covers the territory beyond my expectations."
Robin Horton
Creative Director - Robin Horton Design

We came away with knowledge many Tweeters (those who post on Twitter) have to learn through months of experience. For example, we learned the conventions for using special characters like hashtags (#) and at symbols (@). We also learned how to direct message people.

Armed with all the information, some people were ready to get tweeting, while others wondered how they would find the time. Nelly closed with tips on time management. She also shared additional tools that could help us keep up to date while mobile on our iPhone (Tweetie) or Blackberry (TwitterBerry).
 
By the next day, I was happy to see how many people from the class had already heeded Nelly’s advice and had signed up. I know because within 24 hours, several people from the class started following me. It’s always nice to see the power of networking in action!

"The brainy, generous Webgrrls take the techie world apart piece by piece and put it back together so everyone GETS it. You gotta love this group!"
Clare Ultimo
Designer/Educator - Clare Ultimo Inc.

See you on August 19 at the Getting the interview and Landing that Job Workshop!  Space is limited so RSVP ASAP!