What Is Twitter?

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service 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 which are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers). Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow anybody to access them. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. The service is free to use over the Internet, but using SMS may incur phone service provider fees.
Why? Because even basic updates are meaningful to family members, friends, or colleagues—especially when they’re timely.
  • Running late to a meeting? Your co–workers might find that useful.
·         With Twitter, you can stay hyper–connected to your friends and always know what they’re doing. Or, you can stop following them any time. You can even set quiet times on Twitter so you’re not interrupted.
·         Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload.

How can this help your nonprofit?

·         Free Publicity- A free opportunity to spread the word about your organization to viewers all across the world.
·         Create dialogue and receive feedback about issues important to your organization.
·         Inform people on different issues in your community in real time. You can tweet just about anything; from what’s happening at a meeting, something that just happen in the community, etc.
·         It’s your information share- You control what you want anyone to know.

How to use Twitter?

1.      Sign Up for an account at twitter.com (Make sure to create a username that represent your organization)
2.      Add a picture and a background that represents your organization.
3.      Add a quick bio line about your organization and add your website URL.
4.      Hook up your account to your mobile phone
5.      Introduce yourself in a tweet.
·         You can send a Twitter message, or “Tweet,” from any of your registered devices. From the Web page, enter a message in the entry window at the top of the page.
·         From a mobile phone, send an SMS message to 40404. Your phone’s caller ID is attached to your Twitter account, so the system will know it’s from you.
·         From IM, message TwitterIM if you’re on AOL, or twitter@twitter.com if you’re on Jabber/GTalk.
·         In all these cases, all your “followers” will see your message on their own Twitter pages and possibly on their mobile devices as well.
-Follow Folks
·         On the Web: to add a friend, first be sure you are logged into your account. Then go to his or her Twitter page and press the “Add” link in the “Actions” box. To find a user page, use the search box on your own Twitter page.
·         Once you click “Add,” you’ll start to see his or her Tweets on your page if his or her account is set for public access. If the account is private, the system will send a “friend” request that must be approved before you start to see updates.
·         You also can see who your friends are following by hovering your mouse pointer over the pictures in the sidebar on your friends’ pages. Those pictures are of their friends–the users they are following. If you click on one of those pictures, you’ll go to that user’s page, where you can add him or her, too.

 (Make sure to keep it simple, state your message clearly, and use unique content, and communicate with your followers (Note: Your followers are the ones who will recommend you to be followed by others))

Here is a guide to using Twitter
Great First Follows
http://twitter.com/startupnola
http://twitter.com/NOLAnews

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