Twitter does NOT have to be STUPID: Twitter 101 – Lesson ONE

Filed in Twitter 39 comments

Stupid is such a loaded word: you never know how someone else will react if they hear the word

It's all in how you look at it

It's all in how you look at it

So let’s begin TWITTER WEEK 101 with an agreement that 10 million+ users can’t be All Wrong. They’ve learned it’s all about How You Choose To Use The Power of Twitter. [BTW, as of Dec 2009, the total Tweeple is now at 68 million!!]

Start by acknowledging that as “simple” as Twitter is to use, to really understand its power will take time and participation. I recently read a post on the Four Stages of the Average Twitter User:

(1) Confusion — and the feelings that it is “stupid” to read about someone going to get a pizza;

(2) The first “AHA moment” when you realize there’s more to this than first meets the eye, e.g., for me, it was when I thought about using the technology to have my English students write something of substance to me in 140 characters AND THEN when I found out how easy it was to gather tons of information on the future of marketing;

(3) Remembering to Tweet was listed as a stage when users simply keep reading and reading without adding their own content. Actually this didn’t happen to me exactly. Rather, I was so excited about the things I was reading, that I immediately “RETWEETED” — in other words, copied the link and broadcast it to my followers.

. . . which reminds me that these “Stages” did not include the All Important Terms: Update, Followers, and Following:

UPDATE: Your Home page begins with the question: “What are you doing?” When new [and old] users simply answer that question, you do find out personal info that may or most probably won’t be the “Best of Twitter.” However, most people do NOT answer that question; they simply disregard it and write about an interesting discovery online, in the news, OR BEST . . . to my mind . . . is a personal insight they want to share.

FOLLOWING: These are the Tweeple [i.e. people who use Twitter] you will choose to follow because you either know them, know of them, or have found out that they like to talk about things of interest to you. More about Who To Follow in next post.

FOLLOWERS: This is “cute.” Either you can invite people you know to receive your Tweets [that was how I first got on Twitter] or people will simply find you in cyberspace, and that can be Really Cool — when absolute strangers all of a sudden start following you, it’s a real charge! You’ll learn that there are myriads of ways to collect 1000’s of followers — but the jury is out on whether that is a good or bad thing.

4) Final of Four Stages: You’re hooked. And I was — to the point that I could barely pull myself away from my Twitter Page, to the point where my husband called me Tweetie Bird.

. . . two more points in Stage Four:

Tweetdeck – an application that you can download to help you categorize your actions on Twitter [more about this only after you’ve had some initial experience.[ See my Tweetdeck post]

The power of – where you can look up just about anything whether it is “future of advertising” or “Adam Lambert” or “dog grooming” and find out what people are saying about that subject Right Now — it’s also a good way to find people to follow who like the subjects you like.

5) My Stage Five: I learned that I can still get a lot out of Twitter even if I happen to miss an “important” Tweet. Most of the good ones are Re-Tweeted. And I, personally, am ready to find out how to Use Twitter for Business.

So, if you are a budding Social Media Marketer like me, stay tuned for reports on Hints, Tips,  Tools, and Strategies for using Twitter for Business.

In the meantime, you can check out Novice Primer for getting started in Twitter and  Top Ten Twitter Tips

The REAL SECRET is Just DO it! And if you have any questions and/or good tips for beginners and/or your own great Beginner’s Stories, please add them to this post.

Next post: Whom to Follow

Print Friendly
Be Sociable, Share!
Enjoyed reading this post?
Subscribe to the RSS feed or Email and have all new posts delivered straight to you.
Posted by Shari Weiss   @   17 May 2009
Tags : , , , , , , , ,
May 18, 2009
5:15 pm
#1 rosiered1225 :

As Jack said its in how you use it. He tweets what he eats so that his mom knows he is eating a healthy meal. He talks about business so those who follow his business can stay up to date. Everyone has someone in mind when they tweet that’s why they say what they say.

May 18, 2009
10:08 pm
#2 Zahid :

If I remember correctly, the first time you asked me in class about Twitter, I used the word “stupid” in describing it and you corrected me by saying it can be effective. Needless to say, I was dead wrong and you were absolutely right.

What I have personally discovered with twitter is I don’t have to post something just so that I can tell others I am alive and well. My purpose on twitter has always been to inform.

May 21, 2009
12:18 am
#3 Ayaka Mizutani :

I still remember when I was first introduced to Twitter how “stupid” I thought the concept was. But then a couple of days later on CNN, a panel was discussing about some conspiracy (I forgot what it was) and on the big screen was Twitter Search looking for what other people out there thought about the issues. This is when I thought “maybe this is something I should consider getting into”. And after going through all those sessions in your class and having Jack Dorsey coming in to talk to us… It definitely is something people would not want to miss out on!!!

May 21, 2009
7:33 am
#4 sharisax :

You know, Ayaka, there are “only” 10 million [give or take] people who have discovered Twitter, so we still have a way to go before it is as common as email — as Jack Dorsey has predicted. If I’ve learned one thing [because I, too, thought Twitter and Facebook were “stupid” only four months ago], it’s that the only way for any of us to grow and learn is to keep an open mind and look more deeply and deliberately at things — especially those that we may first deem “stupid.”

Personally, I believe that we have only touched the surface on what we will be able to do with this technology platform we call Twitter.

I’m so happy that you, too, “get it”!

Jun 9, 2009
4:07 pm
#5 Avo :

Can you provide more information on this?

Jun 9, 2009
8:50 pm
#6 sharisax :

Love to help. What would you like to know?

Jun 26, 2009
11:49 am
#7 bilikis sabo :

I would also like to know more about business and fun. Twitter seems a good way to start.

Jul 15, 2009
4:28 pm
#8 Jessica Bux :

Hi. I never heard of twitter before taking your class. This is such a new technology for me. You are right, stupid is a loaded word. I believe nothing is stupid in this world — just depends on how we see it.

If people think Twitter is stupid, why do they become one of their members? They just don’t know how to use it well and said this is “stupid.” In this case, who is stupid? You are right. I like your article.

Jul 25, 2009
2:48 pm

I really enjoyed reading this blog! Glad I stumbled upon it today…

Jul 25, 2009
3:26 pm
#10 sharisax :

Hi Heather,
AWESOME to have you stumble upon me.
Just curious: (1) How did you find me? AND (2) did you get a chance to see what I posted today re: Managing my Online Presence?

How do you manage yours?

Jul 28, 2009
11:05 am
#11 Sarah Awang :

The first time i heard about Twitter was when celebs were using it. I was quick to dismiss Twitter as another tool for teens and celebs to talk about their feelings and daily activities. Truthfully, i wasn’t really interested in what was going on with their lives-grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks or who’s hooking up with who. In my opinion, because of this, many people have stamped Twitter as being “irrelevant” or just similar to writing your status on Facebook-why bother signing up for Twitter then?

It was only when i took this class did i start opening up and changing my bias views towards Twitter. For example, i’m an avid reader of the online local newspaper in my country, following them on Twitter has made my life easier. Everyday when i wake up, i go on Twitter and i can read the headlines(updated frequently) and the links to the specific story on their website. I think Twitter has found the perfect formula for us people who like to read something short and quick.

I have started following a lot of people with the same interests as me and now i’m on a mission to convince my friends that Twitter can be a very useful social media tool too.

Jul 28, 2009
3:54 pm
#12 Alisa :

Non-twitter people/companies are totally missing out!

Twitter can provide so much up-to-date information that plays a important role for businesses and for students who are majoring in business.

For example, after I joined Twitter, I was delighted to find major local newspapers and other companies that I am interested in had accounts on Twitter. The amount of free information from media such as CNN, New York Times, exclusive offers and deals are useful to us business majors.

In fact, many of my teachers encourage students to keep up with daily news and corporate news in order to keep up with the market today. With a busy schedule/lifestyle as a student, I find it really hard for me to keep up with local news and what is currently going on with the world simply because I do not have time to scan through news paper and T.V based on my interest.

Twitter is the solution to my problems. Twitter also helps me save money because companies offer exclusive promotions and deals only for Twitter followers. Now, Twitter will be one of my main sources to find cool deals on brands and products that I like to buy.

As for all those non-Twitter companies, they are missing out on a lot of free information from their consumers/target audiences. Perhaps, these companies need to step out of their shells soon or later. I have a feeling non-Twitter companies are going to lose a major share of their customers because there are more and more giant corporations getting into the social media networking.

I agree with what Ms. Weiss said “Stupid is such a loaded word.” Sure, people are entitled to their own opinion but I still feel that people should give Twitter a chance before saying it is “stupid.”

Jun 21, 2010
2:43 pm
#13 Anthony :

Doesn’t forcing people to cut short their words to 140 characters create the beginning of devolution for language as we know it?

Author Jun 21, 2010
11:43 pm
#14 Shari Weiss :

Some people may believe that, but I do not.
Have you thought about poetry, i.e., people are “forced” to put words into certain frameworks.
Language is useful in many formats.

Jun 21, 2010
8:11 pm
#15 Joel Casey :

I have to say I am rather amazed after reading this post am excited to read more. I am amazed because I was in your class today and when I left I was laughing to myself about my new professor’s odd teaching methods, amazed that we were all required to create a Twitter account.

After reading this post, as a person familiar with Twitter I’m excited to read more. I have a rather skewed opinion of Twitter due to the work I do, but after scanning your website I’m exciting to read about another ‘budding social media marketer.”

Jun 21, 2010
8:11 pm
#16 Ernesto Alonso :

I’m glad that you wrote an article about the proper uses of twitter since most people don’t see a need for it other than an extension of “Facebook Status.”

I always defended twitter for its potential of being able to interact with whatever news, advice, insight given to you, rather than simply reading about someone “shoe shopping.”

Jun 21, 2010
8:17 pm
#17 Kirill :

Before taking this class the only thing I knew about Twitter is that it is a social network that is getting popular very rapidly. Even though I knew that more and more people were getting into it, I didn’t have that much interest in doing the same thing. The main problem was that I didn’t really know why people like it so much and I had no clue how to use it. After reading some twitter basics and making my own research, I can tell that this social network got my attention. I personally consider it very useful and interesting.

Jun 21, 2010
9:42 pm
#18 TJ.... ENG1A :

I agree with you on its how you use it.

But twitter was mainly for teens who have no life as well as for up coming partnerships, but the majority of people feel it’s “stupid” because in the tweet word, its overpowered by the teens with no life. so when we log on as teens, all there is to read about is about that person eating pizza, or using the bathroom, or even ” arguin wit momz… SHE BE TRIPPIN BLUD “

Jun 22, 2010
12:59 am

I agree, once I heard the word Twitter I thought it was “stupid”. I love the fact that it helps companies advertise themseleves on a daily basis.Will Twiter help a new business owner?

Jun 22, 2010
1:36 am
#20 Myalisha Dessman :

I find this post pretty funny because I am guilty of claiming twitter was stupid once upon a time. I felt this way for the simple fact that I just didnt understand how to use the site. Although I am more comfortable with the way it works, I wouldnt say i’m addicted to it yet. I’m sure with some more practice that may eventually come though.

Jun 22, 2010
11:03 am

Wow, this is really insightful. Before reading this, I was aware that companies used twitter for marketing themselves, I just was never sure how. I’m tempted to check out different companies’ twitter accounts just see how they approach marketing on social media. I suppose anything can be to your advantage if you’re creative and clever enough.

Jan 24, 2011
9:04 pm
#22 Susana :

i am reconsidering twitter. I used to HATE it because compared to facebook, it really seems pointless. However, after reading this, i will give it a try, not to mention i don’t really have a choice as it is a part of my assignment 😛

Author Jan 24, 2011
9:50 pm
#23 Shari Weiss :

You know, Susana, two years ago when someone invited me to join Twitter, I really did think it was STUPID! But that viewpoint changed almost immediately. You will see that my first post titled Twitter 101 explains the changes people go through as they learn to appreciate Twitter.

Jan 25, 2011
5:25 pm
#24 Breanna :

A couple years ago when I joined twitter I did it reluctantly. I understood the power of having a presence in what was already a very popular source of content sharing but never really got into it. This article appealed to me because I’m one of those that might use the term “stupid” or similar adjectives to describe the great majority of tweets out there.

I think the 5th stage you described is key to taking an established form of content publication and providing it with value ad to the individual beyond simple entertainment.

Author Jan 25, 2011
7:13 pm
#25 Shari Weiss :

Breanna . . . and all . . . Twitter is AND can be what you make of it. For class purposes, we will soon find it to be a Hugely Accessible & Easy way to communicate. As far as journalism and news reporting is concerned, you cannot beat it!

Jan 27, 2011
1:43 am
#26 Vanessa Jensen :

I will also have to admit that before I truly gave it a chance I did feel Twitter was “stupid”…my youngest brother was all about it…I felt it was just a bunch of people posting a bunch of nonsense…but after I decided to give it a chance (but like Susana said..we dont really have a choice 🙂 ), I went to it with a completely open mind and found that it is more than that… it is a way to share feelings, emotions, opinions and much more.

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:43 am
#27 Shari Weiss :

Yes, and that “much more” includes REPORTING NEWS!!

Jan 30, 2011
1:57 pm
#28 Maria Saenz :

yeah i kinda had an idea i dont really use twitter am more into facebook, i did know how to use it 🙂 iy’s a good way to ad any bussinesstoo

Author Jan 30, 2011
4:19 pm
#29 Shari Weiss :

Although accepted abbreviations work on Twitter, we still need to be careful of spelling and typo errors.

Feb 11, 2011
8:36 am
#30 Terez M. :

I am finally looking forward to utilizing this social media tool, however much I resisted it at first. I think ‘stupid’ is a bit harsh, but I definitely see the point of using that term since it was my initial impression as well;) I really think that just boils down to ignorance on the part of nay-sayers. As another poster mentioned, non-users really are ‘missing out’ and simply have no idea of the potential uses and benefits. I know I didn’t…

Author Feb 11, 2011
11:40 am
#31 Shari Weiss :

Terez, when you really get into Twitter, you will see how many different ways it can help you accomplish LOTS of your goals.

Mar 18, 2011
5:18 am
#32 Suki van Arsdale :

I’m in that first stage right now; I started a Twitter account probably like 2 years ago, never used it, never really got the point because everything that I would have posted on Twitter, I posted on Facebook. And I still only have about 4 friends on Twitter and all their posts are the same posts they leave in their Facebook profiles. I still don’t really see what makes Twitter so great, I am kind of waiting for that ah-ha moment so that I get into he grove with things. I think I’m just kind of “old-fashioned” with my Internet. Maybe it will come, maybe it won’t.

Trackbacks to this post.
Leave a Comment




Previous Post
Next Post
EXULT designed by ZENVERSE  |  In conjunction with Reseller Hosting from the #1 Web Hosting Provider - HostNexus.