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Twitter: Everyone's a Novice

Twitter is currently the most discussed and least understood social medium in marketing circles. How do we use it; do we need a face or can a brand tweet? What about ghost writers and using RSS feeds? All of this and more was discussed at the TWTRCON (#twtrcon) event held in San Francisco last week. You know its a hot topic when over 200 people show up to discuss Twitter as a business platform on a Sunday!

unsession1-199x300The content was focused and relevant and featured speakers ranging from MC Hammer to Kara Swisher. Our own David Berlind was the TechWeb host for all things user generated. We had a great time working with the TwitterPitches, where 6 out of 17 companies were chosen by the audience for a chance to give a 140 second pitch during the event. At lunch TechWeb hosted an "unsession" where user groups were formed based on attendee driven topics.

There were many great discussions, questions and topic covered. But I think the key take away was that no one really knows what they are doing or how to best utilize twitter for the enterprise. Those that were more seasoned, some only by months, are applying their current marketing strategies and testing to see what works. Everyone will have a unique use for Twitter and there are no rules so do what's right for your brand and get started.

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the event:

  • jillelswick RT @TWTRCON @pistachio says that knowledge is socially mediated. We know most of what we know because someone we trust told us. #twtrcon
  • TWTRCON @pistachio says that if we integrate what we know about what people thinki into biz we can shift from selling to helping people buy #twtrcon
  • ch3ryl @guykawasaki says that having no business model is the new business model in web 2.0 #twtrcon
  • charnellpugsley Your company account needs to have a personality. Create your voice, lose the ‘corporate’. Engage with your personality. #twtrcon
  • MichaelSinger #twtrcon @mchammer - for a personal brand -remove the velvet rope and do not use ghost writers.
  • TWTRCON @mchammer says that embarrassing yourself on Twitter is not a new risk. You always ran the risk of embarrassing yourself in public. #twtrcon
  • bluefishagency Are u making money with twitter? @dell yes @carlsjr pause yes @kogibbq hell ya #TWTRCON
  • TWTRCON @ebayinkblog on his role as eBay’s official twitterer: “I’m bartending without beer.” #twtrcon
  • TWTRCON Anamitra responds to @steverubel by saying that Twitter is focusing on user experience to minimize churn. Then monetization. #twtrcon
  • ryanwynia #twtrcon TAKE AWAY –> Man cannot live on Tweets alone. Must be a part of a diversified social web strategy.


Fred Paul, Publisher of, who attended the event offers some great twitter tips is his blog post for SMBs:

Twitter Tip #1: Know how many characters are taken up by "RT @YOURNAME " so you can keep your Tweets short enough to be easily re-tweeted!

Twitter Tip #2: Don't Tweet too much. Try to find the Tweet-spot - the number of Tweets that gets the most response. Use the number of retweets to measure each Tweet's immediate impact.

Twitter Tip #3: Get comfortable with Titter search. You can find out fast what people are thinking about your company, long before they call or email you.

Twitter Tip #4: Don't worry about followers. If you help people, they'll find you when they need you.

Twitter Tip #5: Filter, sort, post. Repeat!