Evangelizing Twitter on FoxNews.com

22Sep08

Today @waynesutton tweeted that FoxNews.com was encouraging people to sign up for Twitter. It looks like the people behind “Greta Wire,” the blog for Fox News’ “On The Record with Greta Van Susteren,” were encouraging their readers to join Twitter.

A quick read through the comments reveled that many people had no idea what Twitter was, what Twitter does or why they should sign up for it. It seems like the people behind the blog could have made a stronger case for their readers to join Twitter; they even neglected to mention that people should follow the Twitter account @GretaWire.

Here’s a repost of what I contributed to help FoxNews.com readers understand and use Twitter.

TWITTER EXPLAINED

Twitter is a service you use to post status updates (or other information) for people to see. In order for it to be useful, you have to FOLLOW some people/organizations, and have some people FOLLOW you back.

How do you follow someone? Well you need to know their username (mine’s @93octane).

1 – Login to (or setup) your Twitter account at http://twitter.com

2 – Once you are logged in (signed up) you can go directly to anyone’s twitter page by typing twitter.com/USERNAME (http://twitter.com/93octane is my page).

3 – Under the little square picture (avatar) at the top left of the twitter page, you will see a “Follow” button. Click that button to get that person’s updates on your twitter page.

The GretaWire Twitter page is http://twitter.com/gretawire

http://twitter.com/Gretawire seems to be posting links back to Greta’s blog everytime a new blog post appears.

So if you don’t like having to go look and see if there is a new post, following twitter.com/gretawire would let you know when there is a new post.

Here’s a link explaining how some reporters use twitter:
http://nowpublic.com/heres-how-reporters-use-twitter-0

In my opinion, this is NOT a good use of Twitter. You’ve already figured out how to tell when the blog is updated. A better use of Twitter by Greta would be to use it in more of a conversational manner with you, her audience. She could solicit ideas for new posts, “take the temperature” of her audience on certain topics, and *gasp* even engage in 1-on-1 dialogue with you.

The twitter.com/gretawire account is not following anyone, so don’t expect them to follow you back. If you want to get their attention through Twitter, try an “@ reply” like this:

@GretaWire Did you see the latest story about Palin and the Alaska state legislature?

Prefacing your post (or “tweet”) with the @ sign and the user’s name (no spaces) there is a chance that your tweet will appear in their “Replies” tab if they check it.

Here’s more helpful and explanatory links about Twitter:

Twitter 101 by Charlotte-Anne Lucas (@CharlotteAnn on twitter)
http://charlotteanne.wordpress.com/2008/03/03/twitter-101/

Top 10 Twitter Hacks by Strategic Public Relations Hosted by Kevin Dugan (@prblog on twitter)
http://prblog.typepad.com/strategic_public_relation/2008/02/top-10-twitter.html

Interesting people to follow:
@BarackObama
@JohnCulberson
@GuyKawasaki
@ShashiB
@WayneSutton
@93octane (of course) 😉

Companies on Twitter:
@thehomedepot
@CarnivalCruise
@WholeFoods
@Zappos
@ATTNews
@JetBlue
and a ton more here: http://blog.fluentsimplicity.com/twitter-brand-index/

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