Twitter Landscape – An Indepth View of the Twitter Ecosystem

March 11, 2009
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

Okay. I’m still raiding Michael Gray’s laptop while he’s on stage speaking. Let’s hope this goes okay. And it’s time to talk about Twitter. Again! Because we haven’t done that in a whole five minutes. Twitter is the new Google, you know? I’m going to name my first born Twitter. Eh, maybe my dog.

Joe Laratro is moderating speakers Chris Winfield, Michael Gray, and Ricardo Guerrero.

Let’s do this!

Joe says he hopes PubCon isn’t renamed TwitterCon in November. There are like five sessions on Twitter over the next two days. Hee, we have a problem.

Chris Winfield is up first. He says the best way to learn about Twitter is to use Twitter to do his presentation. So that’s what he did.

He started at 2:31pm on Friday. He asked four questions. The final question was asked at 3:08pm. He got 165 responses in ~1hour because people were slackers and took awhile to respond. Heh. He uses Twitter to create his presentation and they’re the slackers. ;) Nice, Chris.

The questions he asked Twitter:

How does Twitter help you work on a daily basis?

People can’t imagine not using Twitter to help them with their job. People really get into it.  They’re using Twitter as an RSS feed.  People use it ask questions to people and to get immediate feedback and insight.  People use it to grow their network and channel of distribution.  Use it to connect with people, brands, etc.  You can eavesdrop on other people’s conversations and learn stuff.

What is the best thing that’s happened to you professionally because of Twitter?

It gives constant inspiration. It’s helped people get speaking opportunities.  People have found jobs, gotten interviews. It’s building their personal brands. People can rely less on Google.  New business, new clients, media coverage, etc.  Formed new professional relationships.

How can you use Twitter to increase traffic and ultimately get more business?

  • Understand how it ties into your overall objectives. You can’t just jump into it because you think you should be there.
  • Don’t start following random people and trying to sell to them. It’s spammy and it won’t help you. Twitter is a communication tool.   Engage and be friendly.  Use Twitter to track what your customers are talking about.
  • Don’t just grab something and think that’s the only way people can market on Twitter. You have to find what’s going to work for you. Use it to bring attention to others. It’s not a push tool.
  • Spend time monitoring and listening. Find the thought leaders in your niche. Use the hell out of There’s so much great stuff in there. [I <3 Twitter Search]
  • Be helpful and insightful, but still yourself.

What’s your favorite part about the community here?

The willingness to share information, links, kidneys, etc. It helps people become part of the SEO community. It’s become the office water cooler.

The community cares when you care about the community. Aw. hugz!

Next up is Ricardo.

He formed a company called Stwittergy and that means creating a Twitter strategy. And it’s really, really hard to spell.

What is Twitter?

  • An addictive waste of time?
  • A hot Web 2.0 Social Media app
  • It’s like the Facebook’s status update
  • A new communication tool
  • All of the above

Twitter is what happens between blog posts and emails. It’s what people choose to share about their lives. It’s one of the most intimate forms of social media.  It’s a huge international cocktail party.  It’s a platform for connecting and building relationships.

Twitter is not a fad. it’s like the early days of the Internet. It’s like a cocktail party.

How might you market your company at a cocktail party?

Dress up nicely. Find a small group of people you might fit in with and approach them. Listen. And when it’s appropriate, add something. Then, when the group breaks up, hand them a business card. Don’t walk in and yell, “WHO WANTS WIDGETS?”

Twitter’s the same way.

You can find brands on Twitter using Twitterholic or the Social Brand Index.

Twitter gives you a social 6th sense. You can say you’re having a burger. It may not be interesting to the world, but it’s interesting to your wife who thought you were a vegetarian. Hee.  It gives people context to your life.

He only follows 100 people, but he responds to everyone who tweets him. How does he track them all? Well, he’s going to tell us!

Dell & Twitter

Dell started its first twitter account in March 2007.  It took the headlines of Dell’s blog and tweeted the headlines. Not all that exciting.

Dell’s “ringmaster” account follows ALL other Dell Twitter accounts in all languages. It could be useful to point attention to other Dell Twitter accounts or to post things that are not worthy of the blog itself.

He helped to start the Dell Outlet which offers offers/news from Dell. It launched in 2007.  A year later, it’s made $500k in sales with 1,000 followers. 1.5 years later, there’s been $1M in sales, 2,500 followers.  Yesterday they passed 150k+ followers.

When they first launched it, they were told they were doing it wrong. Maybe they are, you don’t have to follow them. But they’re adding value for some.

Challenges of Multiple Corp Accounts

How does Dell expose all its Twitter accounts?

Cross-linking strategy: Dell Twitter accounts only follow other Dell accounts plus the employee responsible for the account the person is viewing.  [Get that?] They do that so visitors can see the other accounts they might want to follow.

People behind the account: Follow the face. There’s a bunch of Dell icons n the Following area of the page, but only 1 picture of a person.

Tools for listening

  • Google Alerts
  • TweetLater
  • TweetBeep
  • Twilerts

Real-time Monitoring

He uses search.twitter on his phone. What should you search for?

If your company name is unique, search it. If it’s not, you may need to search for more than one word.

RSS feed to twitter separate account

  • You can view an RSS feed of the search result. Run RSS feed through Twitterfeed, TweetBots or HootSuite to post to a separate account of yours.
  • Separate account to phone via TXT
  • Set up device to text you separate account tweets.

Twitter Tools:

  • For easy switching between accounts: TwitterFox or Twhirl
  • For monitoring @ replies: Twirl or Tweetdeck
  • For viewing hashtag conversations: TweetChat

Using Twitter/Considerations:

Don’t follow everyone back. Tweet regularly, but not too often. It’s life in a fishbowl. Once it’s out there, it’s public and not delete-able.

Types of Tweets:

  • DM: hidden message
  • @ reply: visible on your Twitter page
  • Tweets: Regular messages
  • ReTweet: makin’ it viral and spreading other people’s tweets.

Don’t be all about yourself, overwhelm people, be a spammer or answer “what are you doing now”. It’s not a literal question. Hee.

Next up is Michael Gray. His laptop says it doesn’t miss him and that I get to keep it. yey!

There is no wrong way to use Twitter. The only way to use it is the way that helps you meet your end goals.

Twitter is flexible.  He uses it for asking questions, answers, customer service, traffic, building links, social media  & bookmarketing,etc.

Make Friends

  • Mine the backlinks of your competition
  • Mine Twitter search for mentions of related keywords
  • Monitor related hashtags.
  • Start conversations
  • Ask questions and answers questions
  • Answer DMs and @ messages. Shows there’s a person there.

Does it work?

Yes. He shows a client hat started in July. They took them over with 300 followers. Currently they’re over 9,000 followers. They’ll hit 10,000 by the end of the month. That’s incredible growth.

Most of the tweets are not self-interested. They’re links about other people or other things. You want your account to be the most interesting. Retweet other people’s stories and news. Ask questions about current events. It shows there’s a person there. Engage in debates.  Don’t be a robot.

How and When to Bring Out the Big Guns?

  • Seek out the people who retweet with you. Add them. They should know who you are.
  • Make sure the link you tweet out is helpful to THEM not just  YOU.
  • Retweet your link 1-3 times per day. Do it during prime tweet time — aka work hours
  • Ask for retweets
  • Track and monitor the traffic coming in.
  • What you can get away with on Twitter is directly proportional to how big you are.
  • Remember its social, not search.

He shows a bunch of commercial accounts like Woot, Etsy, Starbucks, Dell Outlet, Threadless, etc.


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