New to Twitter and still figuring it out?

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I recently joined Twitter to see what the fuss was all about. I’m pretty sure I’m in the same boat as many of you out there when I ask, “What can I use Twitter for?”

So What is Twitter?

In a nutshell, it’s micro-blogging. You are allowed only 140 characters per post. You can add hypertext links. Anything that exceeds 140 characters will be cut off with ellipsis (…) to denote that something has been omitted.

Wikipedia describes Twitter as:

… a social networking and micro-blogging service created by then Cornell student Jack Dorsey that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them.

If people like what you have to share, they ‘follow’ you or can also add your RSS feed to their favorite RSS aggregator. You can easily see how popular a particular ‘Tweeter’ is by seeing how many people are following them.

What Can You Use Twitter For?

First of all, I like to think twitter is like a river.

I like what Nate Angell had to say in a recent comment in a blog about ‘Learning to Like Twitter‘:

I think of twitter like a river, always flowing by. When you feel like a dip, you can dive in, otherwise, let it flow on by. If it makes sense, you can use http://search.twitter.com to build some search query feeds (or other techniques) to consume at your leisure—sort of like putting out some crab pots in the flow.

This is a great way to approach Twitter, in my opinion. It’s also been thought of as a useful tool to perform light-weight Reputation Management for your business, company or even yourself. Just go to http://search.twitter.com, and enter in a search term to see how hot the topic is. For example, I work for DexKnows.com. If I enter in ‘dexknows.com’, I’ll get a list of what’s been said about dexknows.com. Some of it can be positive and some negative, so be prepared. It can also be used as a QA tool to see what issues might be occurring with the site, product, etc. A nifty little tool!

If you sign up for Twitter, ‘Trending Topics’ are also displayed on your home page. This allows you to easily see what is popular in realtime.

Can Twitter Be Used for SEO?

This is the big question and if their are any of you who have ideas around this, please leave a comment here and share it with the rest of us. I’d love to know if there are any methods people are using to gain a SEO advantage with Twitter.

So far, I’ve only seen minimal traffic building possibilities via posting URLs to particular pages. A mention of RSS playing a SEO factor in Twitter here: Twitter for SEO Blog. I’d love for people the share more on this topic.

I’m CJPolitzki at Twitter if you’d like to follow me.

Thanks and happy tweeting!

Chris J. Politzki
Studio 119 Degrees


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