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Their have been multiple blogs about how to Twitter.  You have just signed up because it is all the rage and you think it could benefit your brand or your business.  You sign on and then you get confused.  Where do I go from here?

Classic examples of confusion include signing on and then posting once and then disappearing never to be found again? This does nothing for building your reputation or for being apart of a community.

What are the benefits of being on Twitter? You can build relationships,  share ideas, and create something bigger then you could on your own.

Now that I explained why Twitter

Here is what everyone wants to know.   How do I use this once I get there and sign up.

Think of Twitter as your favorite talk radio station.  You have callers that  call in… these are your @ messages.  @ messages are used to talk to a single person over the network.  Everyone can read them and you can use them to build your community based on interests, if you are looking for a job, or to re tweet or (RT) something.  When the talk show host is talking, he/she is talking to the masses all at the same time.  This is why I am using this comparison.

When you Direct Message someone that is like taking a phone call off the air.  You just want the message to between the sender and the receiver.  Everything is limited to 140 characters this feature is also sent to your mobile phone if you have your account set to mobile.

To build a community you need a few things and the best way to build a great network is by participating.  By replying to @ messages and DMs and not by participating in Auto DMs but by being authentic you build a community.  By Re tweeting (copying a message w/senders name and @in front of it) you build up your network and pass on valuable information that you feel should be passed on and shared.

Another way to build your network is to participate in a few chats.  A few popular ones include #journchat and the NEW #blogchat.  You use # hash tag when you want to have something searched and this becomes a chat.  This is where everyone can read your posts if they are in your network or not.  If you are in the journalism realm Monday nights at 8 CST #journchat hosted by Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans) is a great way to share ideas.  To search you go to the main page or go to http://search.twitter.com/ and type in a keyword or phrase.

With all of these features you are probably confused.  There are a few applications to make your life easier.  www.tweetchat.com is a great way to handle the chats.  You don’t have to refresh anything and you can set the delay time to refresh your screen.  I discovered this last Sunday and I love it.

Twitter.com does not refresh.  You miss a lot of things once you get the hang of Twitter by using it.  If you want to look up your new followers and check things of that nature it is ok.  You should really use these two cool apps depending on your memory space.  By downloading Adobe Air and then either using www.tweetdeck.com or www.twhirl.com depending on what you are looking they will make your life easier.

If you wind up with a lot of followers and want to keep up with the people in your field then I suggest tweetdeck.  The downfall is that it eats up about a 1.5 G of memory.  So be prepared for that when it hits your computer.  Twirl is better if you are using multiple accounts.  You can post on all of them at the same time.

I hope this makes Twitter a bit easier to understand.

You can follow me @jfavreau. Thank you for reading.  I hope this helps you in your future Tweets!

If you have any questions you can always ask.

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