Thursday, July 30, 2009

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The Cloth Diaper Whisperer's Guide to Twitter 101


In the past few months Twitter has really become the "in" way to social network. Personally I have come addicted to Twitter. I first started on My Space and became instantly frustrated (don't use anymore-LOL), then I headed over to Facebook where I connected with some long, lost friends. I like twitter because it is a great way to connect with everyone and in this busy world it is easy to make a "tweet" of 140 characters or less.

So...I have been approached by many of you on Twitter to explain a little bit about how it works.

So what really is Twitter? Simply put it is a short way of communicating with others, in 140 characters or less, what you are currently doing. This is called a "Tweet". If you are familiar with Facebook- you are essentially updating your "status"

So how do I get on Twitter?
1st step: Go to www.twitter.com
2nd step: Sign up for an account with a unique user name and password.

I have signed up for an account on Twitter- now what do I do?
Following or Followers:

Find on Twitter- Now you are ready to find people or companies you like. Click on the "Find People" tab on the upper part of the screen. You can now do a search. If you can't seem to locate a company for example I recommend going the the website of the company. Usually there is a "Follow me on twitter" icon. Click on the icon and then you can follow. You can then "view" other people's account and who they are following. You can then request to follow anyone that they are following.

Find on networks- You can use your contact lists from Yahoo!, AOL, Hot mail, or MSN. Click on the "Find People" tab, then click on "Find on other networks".

Invite by email- You can invite by email! Click on the "Find People" tab, then click on the "Invite by email" tab.

So what's with the @ stuff?
If you want to connect with someone and grab their attention you need to start your "Tweet" with @. For example- You want to connect with us to ask us when we will be restocking FuzziBunz One Size. You can say: @diapershops Can u tell me when you will be restocking FB one size?

Direct Messages (DM)
A Direct Message, or in short- a "DM", is simply a way to connect with someone directly (privately) without updating your status. To send a "Direct Message" go to the "Direct Message" on the right side of www.twitter.com . Then you can send a message directly to someone you are following.

Re-Tweets (RT)
A Re-Tweet, or in short- a "RT" is when you want to repeat a tweet somebody else is doing. For example we post: Did u know you can get on the waiting list to be one of the first to get Smarti Pants #clothdiapers http://bit.ly/dh7mQ

What does the # Hash tag do?
Putting a # (hashtag) in front of a key word (like clothdiapers) is the best way to participate in a discussion about a specific topic area. Here is a good blog post that describes the purpose of the # http://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/archive/2008/03/11/an-introduction-to-twitter-hashtags.aspx

For example- you want to find a source for a company that embroiders cloth diapers. In your status you can write " Looking for a company that embroiders #clothdiapers." Writing your "tweet" this way will get you a lot more responses than if you didn't use the # (hashtag)

So what are the benefits of being on Twitter?
5 reasons I can think of:

1) Connect with friends and family.
2) Connect with a community of people who like the similar things like you do. For example you love clothdiapers and scrap booking. (make sure to use #clothdiapers and #scrapbooking in your "tweets"
3) Giveaways galore- Twitter is now becoming a great way to win free gifts. For example- every Monday we ( @diapershops ) starts "tweeting" about a giveaway and how you can win!
4) Find answers to questions about anything! Find resources to purchase items.
5) Twitter parties- Oh yeah! These are so fun. For example: Every Monday night there is a Cloth Diaper Chat at 8pm est. This is a great way to connect with others, ask questions, and just socialize. Many cloth diaper manufacturer's and retailers are on the chat so if you have specific cloth diaper questions that you need an answer to right away this is the place to ask.

So how do you participate in the Cloth Diaper Chat?
First Step: Go to www.tweetgrid.com
Second Step: Click on the big "Search" button at the top of the page.
Third Step: Type in #clothdiapers

You will then start seeing all the "tweets" about cloth diapers. Remember when you tweet to put #clothdiapers at the end of your tweet so you can remain in the chat.

Stay tuned for a #diapershops Twitter party! We are currently in the initial stages of planning our parties. Please feel free to leave a comment on this post to let us know what evening would work best for you! We will post again on the blog to let you know when we schedule the #diapershops Twitter parties.

P.S. Are you wondering where to find us on Twitter?

Kelly-aka The Cloth Diaper Whisperer, tweets @diapershops

18 comments:

Sarah J. said...

one thing I'd also mention is that you can only DM someone who is also following you! That confused me a lot when I first joined!

Upstatemomof3 said...

Isn't twitter fun? :)

Becky said...

twitter still confuses me, but I think it's because i'm never sure if people see my RTs or if they even get the @whomevers...ahh technology. Thank you for trying to help my confused mind :)

Candice said...

Thanks for this! I had literally just looked up what all of this meant then saw it on your blog :)

Thrifty Mama B said...

To bad this wasnt around when I first joined twitter not to long ago. I was lost when I first started. Now I think I know what Im doing most the time :)

The McDougles said...

I'm on Twitter but I find it overwhelming and confusing a lot. Your post helps a little. I mostly use facebook right now.

Shaking said...

This is helpful because I have yet to venture by way of twitter, so thanks.

Ashley said...

I've wondered how twitter works and have been afraid to sign up. Thanks for the info

Katrina said...

Great info. I haven't used twitter in a while - I just couldn't get the hang of it. I need to give it a try again

MaryAnne said...

I'm on twitter but am still getting the hang of how it works, and I learned a lot from this post - thanks!

Jenney said...

And this is why you are MY "Blog I've Learned The Most From"!

hosiewosie said...

Thanks for the explanation, I've purposely tried to avoid twitter b/c I'm trying to not get addicted to anything else and want to focus on my family, but when time the right time comes, maybe...

Stacy Whalen said...

good info! Can you clarify the twitter giveaway you host? Like how many tweets and if it has to contain some specific info? Or is it just as simple as you say, "tweet @diapershops"?

bethy said...

thanks for the intructions now maybe i can tweet :)

Slee said...

yay twitter. thanks for the brushup tutorial. i wish i'd stumbled on all this info when i first started using twitter. it literally took me YEARS to figure most of this out on my own!

dirtydiaperlaundry.com said...

This is a nice tutorial. I will send people your way when they ask me how to join the #clothdiapers chat. Is it sad that I look forward to Mondays just for that?
-@kdhoney1

TheClothDiaperWhisperer said...

Hi Stacy,
To enter our twitter giveaway's (we run them Mon-Thurs) all you need to make sure you have @diapershops somewhere within your tweet. You can tweet more than once a day but they have to be different tweets but still have the @diapershops somewhere in the tweet.

Andrea said...

Thanks for the information. I've been using Twitter but haven't really gotten into it. I use it a lot of advertisement. THanks for the # hash symbol, I have beena bit confused about it but will be using it now. Thanks.