In late February, Twitter began recruiting small businesses for a new advertising service by offering credits of up to $100 for those who signed up to help it beta-test its ideas. The service was supposed to go into testing during March (the recruitment site is still live if you want to participate), and the social networking technology company hopes to sign up people for real starting in late 2012.
Meanwhile, the social networking company has released a guide to help small-business ownersget started as tweeps (see below). Some of the ideas are very rudimentary and intended for neophytes, focused on explaining how to use hashtags or retweets to reach different or broader audiences.
For example, here are some terms you’ll need to know, if you don’t know them already:
- Tweet – The term describing a 140-word-limit comment sent out over Twitter. (Can also be a verb!)
- Tweep – Someone who uses Twitter.
- Hashtag – Twits rely on a hashtag, aka the # symbol, to reach certain audiences. For example, there may be a community that likes reading all tweets about #greentech. You can set up a custom search and follow all comments related to a certain hashtag.
- Retweet – This is a noun or verb to describe when someone passes one of your tweets along to his or her followers in its entirety.
- Mention – When someone mentions and comments on something you’ve broadcast without necessarily retweeting the whole tweet.
- Links – To get around the 140-character limit for tweets, you can add a link (which WILL take up space). So, you might comment on a new promotion and include a link that can be visited for more information.
- Meetup – When tweeps who converse regularly over Twitter get together “live” to continue a conversation or attend an event of mutual interest.
- Direct message – When you follow one of your followers, you open the door to receiving direct messages from that individual.
Aside from these basic things, here are some best-practice suggestions that bear reporting for those of you who haven’t lived in Twitterdom as long as I have (working on my fifth year).