How to use Twitter

Twitter How to use Twitter

Twitter this. Twitter that. It seems like everyone online and even in newspapers and magazines are talking about Twitter these days.

The problem is that you have an account but have NO IDEA how to use it. What’s the point?

Well, here’s the deal…

Twitter is not much different than being at a networking event at a seminar or conference, where you start chatting with colleagues and even total strangers you’ve met that day who share a common interest.

So just imagine you are having a beer at a “mixer” while using twitter. You don’t want to be pushy. You want to be helpful, interesting, and positive.

The only difference between twitter and networking events is that you don’t have to wear pants (since you can do Twitter from the comfort of your own home).

Okay, you kind of get it now…but what IS Twitter?

First of all, Twitter is a micro-blog. That means you post tiny little updates on Twitter, rather than making one big update like you might do in the forum or on your blog.

When you sign-up on Twitter, you start off by not following anyone and no one is following you.

Following someone means you will receive their updates in your text area (shown in the picture below). You can follow anyone you want (unless their updates are protected) and you can choose to “un-follow” someone at any time.

It’s kind of like signing up for an email newsletter…
…only the updates are more frequent and much shorter (all updates are limited to 140 characters)…and the updates are only found on (you don’t get them by email) or on “applications” like Tweetdeck that you can download to manage all your followers. I use Tweetdeck, and it is a big time saver.

On the flip-side, anyone can find and follow you (unless you protect your updates). So you try to grow your list of followers by telling folks about your Twitter account, by providing good content, and by doing a few other things I’ll mention later.

Also, if someone is following you, then you are able to send them direct messages that no one else sees (but not many Twitter folks use that function).

You’ll receive the updates posted by people you are following, but not the updates of people who are following you (unless you are following them as well).

However, if someone starts a Twitter update with @yourname, that will show up in an area called “replies” in your Twitter account (it’s like a way for them to send an email to you).

You can reply back and have a dialogue with them if you choose.

Alright, those are the nuts and bolts…now how do you benefit from Twitter?

Well, you just need to start “micro-blogging” little updates about what you are doing (again, limited to 140 characters).

You might tell people about…

=> the workout you just finished

=> the meal you are eating

=> or one of a billion other things you think is worthwhile to update.

=> you might send them to one of your youtube videos or articles

=> you might link to an article, video, or blog post you found on the Net that you think people should read

=> you can post positive quotes, encouraging messages, helpful daily tips for your niche.

You can post all sorts of stuff, just make it useful and worthwhile.

It’s very simple. You just share helpful resources, good tips, and great info…just like you do on your blog or in your emails…only your messages are much, much shorter.

I also have downloaded and use a free application called “Tweetdeck” in order to manage all of my followers.
You can create groups to manage your followers if you follow a lot of people (i.e. I’ve created an OSP group to follow folks like you…so just reply to me on twitter and I’ll put you in there).
You can also customize your twitter page like I have at
Alright, so here are the top 7 ways you should be using Twitter to build your business:

1) Network with other Trainers & Internet Marketers

2) To share fitness tips & links with your followers
3) To follow other Internet Marketers to discover their resources
4) To survey your follower list for email and product topics
5) To launch and promote your own products
6) To promote affiliate products
7) Generate leads

I cover more Twitter Tips in the January and February issues of the OSP print newsletter.

Grab your two free trial offer copies here:

Ten minutes of Twitter per day is all you need to build your entourage,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS – Let me know how you are using Twitter to build your business.

Just post your twitter tips in the comments below…
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Comments on How to use Twitter »

January 19, 2009

Pam Davenport @ 11:15 am

I really appreciate the way you give the details on how to get started. I found this explanation helpful as well as your info on blogs and on how to affiliate.

[Reply to this]

Mike T Nelson @ 11:20 am

Good tips Craig! I just started using twitter awhile back, so too soon to say for sure but it is pretty cool.
I just checked my “replies” folder today and found messages! Duh!
Rock on
Mike T Nelson

[Reply to this]

Rylan Duggan RK, CSCS @ 11:46 am

Thanks Craig, this is just what I needed. I’ve been wondering how to use this bloody thing for weeks now. Like Mike, I just checked my @replies and found a whole bunch I didn’t know where there. Jeeez

Here’s my twitter page if you’re interested…

[Reply to this]

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS @ 12:10 pm

glad it could help you!

[Reply to this]

Debra @ 1:12 pm

Thanks for the very helpful concise tips Craig. Great info to make more productive tweets.

[Reply to this]

Chris @ 1:21 pm

Thank you. I have been using Twitter for about a month. I will incorporate your advice.

[Reply to this]

Lauren Miller @ 2:14 pm

I must get 4-5 new people a day following me… I just started a few weeks ago. If you want you can link the twitter to notify you directly in your email if someone wants to follow you or if they are giving you a direct message. My twitter account is:
I think it would be awesome if all of your OSP team could hook up with Twitter, Craig!! Can we make that happen?
Lauren Miller

[Reply to this]

Jesse @ 3:27 pm

Great tips Craig.Your Twitter site looks awesome. Two really good sites your readers can go to our and both of these sites have tons of useful information and the twitteroid has a free download with some really useful stuff on it. I haven’t downloaded the tweetdeck thing yet. I’m kind of nervous about downloading applications after recently recovering from a virus.

I’m looking forward to you coming to California.

I wish I could meet you in DC at Yanik’s UG Confernece but there is no way I can swing it. JP

[Reply to this]

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS @ 4:42 pm

Thanks for the tips Jesse!

[Reply to this]

Charlotte @ 5:55 pm

great tips Craig, I’ve been avoiding Twitter, since I don’t think it’s really hit Australia big time yet.
Can you tell me does username choice matter?
My name has already been taken…
How do users find me?

Charlotte Paul

[Reply to this] @ 9:17 pm

Hi Charlotte,

You could use a variation of your name, or your business name, or anything that suits you.

Once you are on there, start following others. Also tell your email list to start following you. Then start interacting with other people on twitter.

It’s really like being at a party…just go out and mingle!


[Reply to this]

January 20, 2009

Jimmy Smith @ 9:01 am

Here’s another thing CB. People need to be “real” on twitter. When I say that I mean don’t just type “You’re trying too hard to lose stomach fat if..” or “3 secrets to flat abs.”. I do get a good amount of traffic to my sites from twitter but it has more to do with me being real. Posting trends and funny things.

Especially in such a crowded market like fitness. Most of the people on twitter are following a few fitness heads and they are constantly getting hit with more and more fitness messages to drive traffic to blogs, sites etc etc.

It’s like on facebook when you see someone’s status is always like “Go to to sign up for a free ecourse”. Throw the link back to your site in there from time to time but don’t keep hammering it home. It makes your important messages dull.


[Reply to this]

Daniel Munday @ 11:45 pm

I resisted Twitter for ages – thought it was a time waster but it’s been great for getting more people reading my blogs and signing up for my list.

As always, should’ve listened to you right from the start.

Great tips as always Craig.
Daniel Munday

[Reply to this]

March 3, 2009

Michael Torresin @ 12:16 pm

Great post Craig. I actually followed this article from Twitter and I find it’s a great way to force people to be brief and to the point.

I’ve also incorporated this tool as a widget on my blog that allows those who don’t know about Twitter or me to get a taste for what my updates are all about. Check it out here


[Reply to this]

April 10, 2009

Joe @ 9:40 am

Don't forget SEO! (search engine optimization)

Twitter is a very popular website & with rumors running around with google buying twitter you can bet twitter is very well indexed by google.

So… when your choosing a profile name & bio, make sure it is a strong search engine keywords. For example, Fargo Bootcamps.

Just one more way to get more search engine results!


[Reply to this]

April 26, 2009

Mike Alves @ 11:26 pm

I’ve definitely used twitter to share workouts and meals and have linked it to my facebook. My “friends” love my updates. I’ve also “tried” the build your followers through chain tweets. Not sure if it’s right or wrong, but I get a bunch of new people following me daily.

thanks for the post,

mike alves

[Reply to this]

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