Synopsis of Twitter Seminar by Orange County Register ( #Tweet2Win )

tweet2win-011210On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, both Tom Riggins, President, and Bridget Willard, Office Manager, attended a free seminar presented by two Orange County Register social media experts entitled “Tweets2Win.”

The 90-minute workshop focused on “how and why you should be using Twitter to expand the visibility of your business and to better understand the markets that you compete in!”

The presentation, for their limited 90 minutes, did a wonderful job encompassing topics for the new-to-twitter folks as well as those who have been using it for years.

One of the main themes presented by both Jon Lansner (@jonlan) and Kevin Sablan (@ksablan) is the value and importance of using social media, specifically twitter, to listen.  It’s important to know what your competitors are doing. This is why Jon Lansner, a reporter for the Orange County Register (@OCRegister), follows The LA Times (@latimes) on Twitter.

People, known to businesses as consumers, now see through the strict scripts, glossy photos, and slick jingles of Madison Avenue.  Through social media, people are talking directly to corporations and building relationships.  The people have become information disseminators.

The demographic of twitter users puts even more weight into the need to engage.  The median age of a twitter user is 31 and 53% of them are female.  Twitter users, by the nature of the platform, want to be well informed.  In fact, 76% of them read the newspaper online.

“Twitter is a utilitarian tool which naturally leads itself to business.” @jonlan  It is a real-time searchable network where topic trends from the past hour, day, and week are visible and in real time.  Tools like allow you to search the stream of tweets by any word or group of buzz words even within a specific mileage from your location.

Another reason to engage in twitter is the fact that it is akin to a cocktail party, mixer, or any other social gathering where you meet new people, pass out your business cards, and build relationships because of commonality in interests (a sports team, for example).  To ignore this opportunity to learn from others, make connections, and possibly get referrals to your business would essentially be foolish.

After the reasons why twitter should be used by business were given, and after each section, there was a period of Q and A.  Mind you, there were skeptics in the crowd; however, most people were eager to apply the learning to their specific business.

This presentation also touched on the vernacular, strategy, and actual workings of twitter, a conversation, and the stream itself.  Here are some highlights (feel free to RT):

  • Hashtags (#) improve searchability of your information.
  • The RT or re-tweet (akin to forward in an email) is the “echo chamber of social media.”
  • If the 140 character limitation forces you to rephrase a tweet, use ( via @username ) at the end of the tweet.
  • Adding value (a reason why you RT’d) gives a reason for others to check out your stream more often.
  • Make a list, click on them, and amplify your listening skills. @jonlan
  • Damage control is an opportunity to enter the community. @jonlan
  • Sell, sell, sell will turn people off on twitter and facebook. @jonlan
  • Twitter is about being a person. @jonlan
  • RT advice from competitors shows that you’re “above” [the divisiveness of competition].
  • Don’t ignore bad comments.  Damage and rumor control is an opportunity to enter the community.

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