Is Twitter Down?

Twitter has apparently been down since about 04:53:18 US Eastern Time, and it’s amazing how riled people can get about a FREE service being down.

Some people are calling their service providers to make sure that Twitter hasn’t been inadvertently blocked! Hey, I love Twitter, but I’m not ready to deal with an hour on tech support with my Internet provider, until I’m sure it’s not a Twitter problem first.

In any case, if anyone still thinks that Twitter can be ignored, I’d think again.

The search term “is twitter down” has rocketed to the 21st most popular google search in last few hours.

So, if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, you may want to come see what all the fuss is about. Follow us at @writers4hire. I’m not as big a junkie as some, but I do have to admit, it’s kind of a bummer twitter is down. 🙁

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Update: Twitter is back up! But not before “twitter down” made it to #17 on the most searched for topics on Google. Wowsers…

 

Twitter: To Follow, or Not to Follow?

As I was writing my last blog about Twitter etiquette, a question came up: What is the etiquette on following people? Should you follow everyone who follows you, or not?

I went on a quest to find out what the best practice regarding Followers vs. Following on Twitter. The answers, it seems, are largely unclear, but there are a lot of theories out there.


The Naysayers – Don’t Follow Everyone:

Bob Bly of www.bly.com doesn’t believe in following people just because they follow you on Twitter. Instead, he talks about a ratio that every Twitter user should employ — he calls this a Followed-to-Follow ratio. According to Bly, your F:F ratio should be 10:1, meaning 10x more people are following you than you follow. Ideally, the ratio should be as high as 100:1. His thinking is that you should be concerned Continue reading “Twitter: To Follow, or Not to Follow?”

Twitter Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts

If you read my previous post, you know what’s in store for you now. As promised, I’ve put together a general list of guidelines for Twittering. These dos and don’ts are by no means comprehensive and, depending on who you talk to, all of these rules were made to be broken by braver Twitterers. For a fun read about rogue Twittering, read Scobleizer.com’s post, The 10 Rules of Twitter (and how I break every one).

Do:

• Ask questions of your followers.
• Update often – Twitter followers have short attention spans.
• Use proper grammar.
• Post interesting articles, links, photos, videos, articles – anything your followers might be interested in.
• Try to follow a “theme” if you like. Maybe your Twitter account focuses exclusively on daily deals at your store, or the hottest hairstyles of the season. If your Twitter profile is business-oriented, don’t post personal items like “I’m walking the dog with my hubby!”

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Don’t:

• Overload your followers – limit yourself to 5 posts per day.
• Break up your posts. You get 140 characters. Any longer than that, and you probably should reconsider whether you should put your information on Twitter.
• Steal stuff from other readers. There’s a proper form for “re-tweeting,” and you always need to include the name of the original poster. For instance, if I’m re-tweeting a link, I would say something like “RT @username – love this link! www.link.com.” Always use the letters “RT” and then the correct user’s name, complete with the @ symbol.
• Put up personal information, or information about private events on your Twitter profile. Remember, Twitter is public, and anyone can re-tweet you.
• Spam! Spamming is a major no-no, you’ll find that your followers quickly drop by the wayside.

Here’s a bonus for you: If you’re just getting started on Twitter, be sure to register your username on WeFollow, a directory of Twitter users. WeFollow makes it easy for other people to search for Twitter accounts that interest them – you just might find that you’ll pick up a few followers through WeFollow.

And as always, we welcome any questions (and alternative views) – so let us know what you think about all this Twitter stuff.

Coolest Uses of Social Media

So, we all know that social media is here to stay. Chances are, your company has a blog, a LinkedIn profile, and at least one employee whose day-to-day responsibilities include tweeting.

It wasn’t long ago that companies that leveraged Twitter and the like were viewed as cutting-edge. But today, social media marketing is a given. Now, it’s all about how you use social media – a blog just doesn’t cut it anymore. But, you also have to get creative and find the right balance: Savvy consumers will run screaming from your efforts if you come off as too salesy. For a successful social media campaign, you have to give them something – a nifty application, a contest, a way to connect, share opinions, and create content. And, most importantly, it has to be fun.

Need some inspiration? Here are four of my favorite creative social media ideas:

1. Mad Men Yourself. Love Mad Men as much as I do? AMC’s fun new application lets you create your own Mad Men-inspired avatar – use it on Facebook, Twitter, and more. I love the swingin’ retro graphics and nifty wardrobe choices.

Continue reading “Coolest Uses of Social Media”

Twitter for Small Businesses: Is it Worth it?

Have you heard yourself saying something similar to this: Social media isn’t for me or my business. Twitter is just for kids. My clients don’t care about that kind of stuff.

Well, think again.

Nielsen NetRatings just published a surprising research study: Teen’s don’t Tweet. That’s right, 84% of Twitter’s recent growth is due to users aged 24 and up. Chances are you already know someone – a client, a friend, a neighbor, a family member – who’s addicted to Twitter. Read the full article here.

So the big question…

Should you or your business get on the Twitter bandwagon? The answer is yes, probably. Continue reading “Twitter for Small Businesses: Is it Worth it?”