Setting Up Twitter

In our previous post, Create a LinkedIn Ad, we closed out our series on LinkedIn, and talked about the benefits of creating a LinkedIn ad and discuss how this is accomplished. By the way, we go into much more detail about our Infinite Pipeline Relationship Development process in our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for B2B Sales Success – Sales Person Edition. See the bottom of this post for more info.

In this post, we begin our next series, all about Twitter, and talk about the benefits of using Twitter as well as how to set up an account.

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Setting Up Twitter

“Twitter is a community of friends and strangers
from around the world sending updates about moments in their lives.
Friends near or far can use Twitter to remain somewhat close while far away. Curious people can make friends.
Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool.
Developers can use the API to make Twitter tools of their own.
Possibilities are endless!”

Twitter, 2007

That’s the way Twitter described itself in 2007. Here’s how Twitter described their service in 2009: “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?”

Here’s how Twitter described itself in 2010: “Discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world. Twitter is a rich source of instant information. Stay updated. Keep others updated. It’s a whole thing.” And here’s how it describes itself in mid-2011: “Follow your interests. Instant updates from your friends, industry experts, favorite celebrities, and what’s happening around the world.”

Four fairly different descriptions, but the Twitter service really hasn’t basically changed in the last several years. Sure they’ve added features, and tweaked various aspects — most notably privacy settings — since the service debuted in 2006, but Twitter is still a way for you to send out messages of no more than 140 characters to people — called followers — who sign up to read what you write.

If you want to get up to speed quickly on Twitter, Commoncraft has a funny but very effective YouTube video called Twitter in Plain English[1] that explains the service in less than two-and-a-half minutes. In fact, the whole Commoncraft series of “plain English” videos is well worth your time.

You may be among those who are skeptical about using Twitter for anything useful. In fact, the most common comment we get from non-Twitter users when discussing the service is, “Why should I care what you had for lunch?”

It’s true. Much of what is said on Twitter is trivial. There are lots of people tweeting about meaningless things. Our top worst Twitter tweets ever:

  • “I’m going up the stairs now” — tied with “OMG, just saw something black going up the stairs behind me, please tell me its my cat! I’m gonna be looking behind me every 10 seconds now!”
  • “My cat just rolled over” — tied with “My cat just rolled over onto me…cuddle time?:3”
  • “Gee, the line at Starbucks is long” — tied with “What is the deal with the long drive thru line at Starbucks? My gas light is coming on people!”

So these scoffers have a bit of a point. There are plenty of self-involved people using Twitter to spout trivial inanities or unwanted details about their lives.

However, to condemn Twitter because some people say stupid things on it is like condemning the tele­phone network because people say stupid things on it. Both are ways for people to com­municate. And both host a wide variety of conversations, some vapid and some deadly serious.

Examples of the deadly serious side of Twitter are quite compelling:

First Pictures of Flight 1549 Landing in the Hudson







Twitter Outage Delayed Due to US National Interest

During the Iran election protests of summer 2009, the US State Department asked Twitter to delay planned maintenance work to allow Iranians to communicate with each other. “We highlighted to them that this was an important form of communication,” said a State Department official.[2] Twitter and Facebook were used to coordinate protests over the Iranian election’s outcome. Worldwide supporters helped keep Iranians’ access to Twitter running in the face of government censorship. English comedian Stephen Fry posted: “Our Iranian friends can access Twitter from Port:80 in Tehran. Can avoid govt filters from here. #iranelection.”[3] For Iranian protesters, access to Twitter might have been a matter of life or death.

Twitter Adds Twitter Business Center

At the end of 2010, Twitter released a Business Center that offers the ability to advertise and promote tweets and trends. Twitter also has a promoted account feature that helps automate finding followers. The site also offers advanced analytics which helps businesses track their promotions.

These features improve Twitter’s use for business and will be welcomed by the millions of businesses that regularly use the service — from HealthPartners and their Petey PeeCup[4] kids’ health outreach program to Comcast’s Comcast Cares[5] customer service effort.

Twitter Activism is Growing

Environmentalists used the #coalash hashtag to discuss a Tennessee Valley Authority spill in 2008. (A hashtag is a way to tag tweets so people can easily find them.)

Activist Twitter accounts such as @socialawareness, @ ClimateActivism and sites such as TwitterActivism demonstrate the powerful organizing capabilities of the service.

If you still think Twitter is a toy for self-absorbed narcissists, perhaps we can convince you otherwise in the rest of this chapter.

Next up: Why Use Twitter?

Setting Up Twitter is the 100th(!) in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 288. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

[1] Commoncraft’s Twitter in Plain

[2] Reuters: U.S. State Department speaks to Twitter over Iran:

[3] Telegraph: Iran protest news travels fast and far on Twitter:

[4] HealthPartners’ @Petey_P_Cup Twitter account:

[5] @ComcastCares Twitter account: