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Twitter Your Business

Twitter is part of a movement called microblogging. Twitter is another example of “narrow” content, as it involves the written word only, and downsizes it even further—you only get 140 characters per message (or “tweet”). Millions of people have taken this reductionism to a whole new level, conveying many ideas and messages in their tweets.

Or, said in Twitter-speak: Twitter, microblogging can boggle. Text-only, with just 140 characters/tweet. With right skills, though, many ideas and messages can be sent.

The idea behind Twitter’s creation was simple: enable phone text messages to be shared and displayed on the Web. Because of texting’s 140-character limit, the same limitation was applied to Twitter messages. Tweets are read mostly by a Twitter user’s followers, though the general public can view tweets as well, especially if a particular tweet is retweeted and shared virally throughout the network.

The nature of tweets is like any other human conversation. Much of the information being shared may be rather useless, except to the person doing the tweeting (“Eating breakfast. Cheese omelet.”). On the other hand, it can be informative, such as breaking news, or in some cases actual live posts from historical events, like the Arab Spring protests in 2011.

Businesses have adopted Twitter in two primary ways: first, as a way to broadcast marketing messages, and second, to communicate directly with customers about their concerns. If a customer is following a business, for instance, the customer could add the Twitter ID for the business in their message, which the business will see as a “mention.” Smart businesses pay attention to hashtags and mentions that refer to them, so they can respond quickly to customers’ issues.

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