Grow Your Twitter Followers

Twitter A How to Tips and Tricks Guide

Twitter A How to Tips and Tricks Guide

The first step in getting started with Twitter is setting up a user account. Twitter, the 140-character short message method of communication, gives you the ability to network with and talks to hundreds of thousands of other people online. Twitter started out slowly but in recent months has grown madly. Now, it is one of the most used social marketing tools online, not to mention social media device. If you do not have a Twitter account, there has never been a better time to sign up for one. There are some things you need to know to sign up.

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Twitter Growth Domination

Kim Garst's guide teaches you the real science behind how you get a great following on twitter, and it does NOT involve buying fake followers! Learn today how to attract a huge following of real people that will engage with your tweets. You will learn the key components of a good twitter following; you will learn what a highly-focused following is and how to get one. You will learn which growth and automation tools that you need to know how to used, and which ones you should avoid. You will learn how to clean-up your followers so that you have a good way to make sure that only the followers you want will follow your account and buy your product. You will learn the 5 key indicators of your twitter's performance and how to make sure that your account measures up. You can learn how twitter really works and how to make it work for you!

Twitter Growth Domination Overview

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Twitter and Microblogs

Twitter is part of a new generation of short, public blogging tools known as microblogs. It's a rapidly evolving service that essentially started out as a blog-like public collection of SMS messages from a given user. Twitter posts, or tweets, are limited to 140 characters to reflect their start in SMS. However, Twitter is also available from the Web, so many users are not accessing it by their phone at all. Twitter gained popularity in part because it allowed a lot of open use from third-party tools. Some (but not all) of those tools have made their way to Android. Why would you use Twitter The short messages are great for keeping status updates. If your business is transportation, let the riders know about delays. If your business is weather dependent, let your customers know if you need to make cancellations. Use it to advertise specials, promote your latest accomplishments, or deepen your customer engagement by having a conversation about their needs. Or just listen to what your...

Searching for Twitter users to follow

Tap the text field with the words Twitter Search and then enter the search criteria. Press SEARCH again or tap Search on the screen. 3. On the Search result screen, scroll through the list to look for the twitter user you want to follow. Note The search results will also list down tweets that contain the search word. 4. Press and hold the user name of the Twitter user you want to follow and then on the options menu, tap Show profile > Follow.

The Mechanics and Culture of Twitter

When I explain Twitter at presentations, I tell everyone to think of it like a noisy party where everyone has to speak loudly. As you walk through the party, you can hear snippets of conversations, but you can't always be sure who is being addressed. I'm not the only one to make that observation. In fact, there's an entire book that uses the party analogy Social Media Is a Cocktail Party, by Jim Tobin and Lisa Braziel (CreateSpace, 2008). The basic mechanics of Twitter are this. Twitter is a free service available at http twitter.com. Every user can make 140-character posts in their own Twitter stream. You can follow other users and they can follow you. You have a stream of all the posts from people you follow. You can choose to make your stream public or visible to only those you preapprove as followers, but you can't specify privacy on individual posts. The number of followers a person has can be taken as a measure of authority, though it's not an absolute measure. Ashton Kutcher's...

Recipe Integrating with Twitter

Some third-party libraries exist to assist in integrating Twitter into an Android application (from Twitter4J by Yusuke Yamamoto An open-sourced, mavenized, and Google App Engine-safe Java library for the Twitter API, released under the BSD license java-twitter by DeWitt Clinton Pure Java interface for the Twitter API jtwitter by Daniel Winterstein Open-source pure Java interface to Twitter Twitter Client by Gist, Inc. -Java client to connect to the streaming API For this recipe, the Twitter4J library by Yusuke Yamamoto is used, which has documentation at recipe enables users to log in to Twitter and make a tweet. At the same time, it retrieves any updated tweets and displays them to the screen. Figure 8.2 The login (left) and tweets (right) from the Twitter recipe. < manifest android versionCode 1 android versionName 1.0> < application android icon drawable icon < activity < LinearLayout < TextView The two activities needed are the login to Twitter activity and the update...

Twitter and Texting

Twitter is a service that was developed and built around the idea of texting. Twitter users microblog in messages that are 140 characters or less. Text messages can be 160 characters long, but in Twitter those extra 20 characters are used to identify the sender. If you have a Twitter account, you can enter your phone number to get text notifications for direct messages, or tweets, from specific people. You can also text to Twitter in order to create messages. There are better and easier-to-use apps for using Twitter, so unless you're unable to install apps on your phone, there's no compelling reason to use Twitter by SMS.

Finding Twitter Apps

There are many Twitter apps for Android, including the official Twitter app from the Twitter team (which runs on Android 2.1 or higher). That doesn't mean the official app is the best or the only one you should consider. Many third-party apps provide enhanced features. Ability to easily send retweets and direct messages HootSuite is my personal favorite Twitter app. You can use it to manage multiple accounts, and the interface makes it clear which account is posting. If you buy the premium app, you can also track visitors through its URL-shortening service, ow.ly. Figure 11-1 also shows my favorite feature, scheduled tweets. You can use this to precompose press releases or turn 3 00 a.m. deep thoughts into mid-afternoon topics of conversation. Just press the calendar icon when composing a message and choose when to send it. cancel New Tweet

Sending a tweet

On the All Tweets tab, tap the text field with the words What are you doing . 2. Enter your tweet and then tap Update. Enter your tweet here. Tap to insert your location into the tweet. You can choose to add a map link, insert your location name, or insert your position coordinates.

Accessing Location Based Services

V popular feature on current-era mobile devices is GPS capability, so the device can tell you where you are at any point in time. While the most popular use of GPS service is mapping and directions, there are other things you can do if you know your location. For example, you might set up a dynamic chat application where the people you can chat with are based on physical location, so you're chatting with those you are nearest. Or you could automatically geotag posts to Twitter or similar services.

Android Market Text Lighten It Up

In this mobile society, people are reading less when it comes to their communications. Attention spans are short, and with the crush of information thrown at us each day, there is limited time to listen to each seller's message and review buying options. Hence, we see the 15-second commercial and the massive popularity of Twitter. When buyers take the time to read the text for your app on the Android Market, they are interested in downloading it.

Optimize Your Web and Android Market Copy

If your app is connecting to another popular app such as Twitter or Facebook, be sure to mention the app by name in the body of your copy. This can help your app to appear when someone does a search for these popular apps. You'll also want to add keywords to your web copy to assist people in locating your app. It is widely believed that the more keywords you use in your Android Market copy, the higher your app will appear in the search rankings. Don't overdo it, but a generous use of keywords can't hurt.

International Settings

However, other users have reported that they were charged for data access even after doing this. This is because third-party apps can override your data settings. If you have an irresponsible app in the background checking for new tweets, you could find yourself with a hefty long-distance bill. You could keep your phone in airplane mode for the entire trip or just leave it at home, but then you won't be able to check for messages or use free Wi-Fi when you are away.

Best App for Spotting Everyday Trends

Ce real is a visual interface to Twitter and TwitPic, as well as other photo sharing sites that interact with Twitter trends. It takes the most talked-about items from Twitter and mashes them up with pictures from photo sites that have similar tags. Ce real is a very easy and intuitive app to use, and setup is minimal. There are two main areas to browse Trends and Public Timeline. You can also search by keywords and find matching pictures and status updates. TREND WATCHING If you want to see what is happening in the world around you, fire up this app. Ce real uses Twitter locales to bring back the pics that are related to your search and location. You can also use this app to upload a photo along with your tweet. This app does not filter the images that you might see, so use caution with what you search for. DIVE IN The pictures that Ce real finds will appear in little circles on your screen. Click on a circle, and you'll see the tweet that went with the picture you'll also have the...

Integrate Your App with Other Apps

You can build your app to work with a number of very popular apps in the area of social media. Search the Android Market for popular apps around MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and many others. Look for ways to enhance or expand the use of these social networking sites with your Android app. When someone searches the Android Market for a social networking app, your app will also appear in the search results. For example, when you search the Android Market using Twitter as a keyword, you will bring up a number of apps that work with Twitter, such as the app shown in Figure 13.3.

Using Social Media in Your App Marketing

When you hear the term social media, what comes to mind You're probably thinking of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Digg, YouTube, and many other websites that enable you to interact within a community of users. But social media is much more. It also includes blogs, RSS feeds, LinkedIn, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, and other social marketing activities we will discuss in this chapter. Start soon to establish a presence. You cannot launch an app and hope to be known in your community a day or week later if you have never visited or made a single posting before. Building up contacts and friends takes time in the real world, and it's the same online. If you have not done so already, sign up for a few sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Android and Android tablet app blogs that pertain to your type of app. Do this before you even start coding your app, if possible, and you'll be ahead of the game.

Social networking and IM

It's easy to keep up with your social networks on your Android device. Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all have official apps to download free from the Android Market, each with a range of notification options. Third-party Twitter apps such as Twidroid, Swift and Seesmic offer alternative approaches. There's also support for all the major instant messaging (IM) platforms. Google Talk is preloaded on most devices, while apps such as Meebo, free from the Market, let you use this and other IM programs simultaneously, including AIM, Facebook Chat, ICQ, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo.

Tie Your App to Part of a Wider Solution

Perhaps the most popular category of apps is that of social networking-related apps. Any time there is a powerful and well-known Internet application such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and others, there is an opportunity for you to create an ancillary app to one of these (and many more) Web 2.0 technologies. Look for ways to add value to these applications and you may be able to create a blockbuster app that people will purchase to help them use these other technologies. Figure 2.9 shows a clever app that can aid Facebook users in updating their status. Figure 2.10 is another example that helps you use Twitter from your Android phone. SSlis Twit Pr for Twitter I wit Pro is full featured, super fast, easy to use I witter client for your phone. Directly post messages, pictures and videos to Twitter from your phone. View all the posts in real-bme, view timeline, tavontes and direct messages. Follow usws. Perform riudrby & cusloin sudichus, view hut trending topics & much...

Best App for Finding a Specific Spot

SHARE YOUR SPOTS You have the option to share your spots with friends via Twitter, Delicious, Facebook, text message, email, and QR Codes (two-dimensional barcodes). For example, you could send your friends a stop for a beermes-sage. This would help your friends who might not be familiar with your local establishments. I think this app has tons of potential, especially for memory-challenged folks.

Sony Ericsson and UX

Sony Ericsson entered the Android phone market with the Xperia X10. The X10 has been modified with a user interface called UX (for user experience). UX has an intensely graphical interface, including Mediascape and Timescape for browsing through contacts and media files. Timescape and Mediascape aggregate multiple streams, such as Twitter posts, e-mails, picture posts, and status updates. The information is organized chronologically, and when the Infinite button is pressed, all the information for one person or artist is presented for browsing.

Yammer

If you want the instant communication of Twitter, but you want to restrict access to your company, you may want to try Yammer (www.yammer.com). Yammer creates a Twitter-like atmosphere that is only accessible to people with the same e-mail domain. Yammer also adds threaded conversations to the tweets and organizational charts, so it has value beyond a simple Twitter imitation. Recently it has also added the ability to create communities across multiple e-mail domains, so it's possible to have a partnership community with vendors and customers. Yammer makes an official app. It's not robust, but it does allow you to post and see status updates. Fortunately, the intracompany nature of Yammer means that you don't need the same bells and whistles for communication as you would for Twitter.

Opening Peep

Peep opens in the All Tweets tab. Tap to view the Twitter user's profile. This also shows you all tweets from this Twitter user. Slide your finger to select whether to show All Tweets, Replies, Direct Message, or Favorites. Tap to view the Twitter user's profile. This also shows you all tweets from this Twitter user. Slide your finger to select whether to show All Tweets, Replies, Direct Message, or Favorites. Tap to enter a tweet to send out. Tap to enter a tweet to send out. Press and hold an item to open the options menu to let you reply, send a direct message, Retweet, add to favorite, and view the profile.

Twitta

Twitta is a basic Twitter client with clean, simple menus and tew settings. If you are new to Twitter, you may want to start with this app before moving up to the more full-featured apps previously mentioned. The one advanced feature is that you can set the application to check for new tweets even when the app is not running. Turning this feature on will eat your battery, however, so keep that in mind when setting the update interval.

Other Microblogs

Twitter stole most of the microblog spotlight, but you may prefer a different platform for your message. There's no shortage of microblogging services, so there's no chance I'll name them all. Some, like Jaiku, seem to be short on dedicated apps. Others have a large selection. Tumblr is worthy of mention. It allows short microblogs posts, but it also supports multimedia better than Twitter by directly embedding it in threads, and allows for threaded responses to posts. There are multiple Android apps that support Tumblr, both free and premium. The free ttTumblr app shown in Figure 11-3 offers a lot of features with a simple user interface.

Whats Next

One of the biggest trends in gaming in the last couple of years has been the integration with social media and services. Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit have become a part of many people's lives. And those people want to have their friends and family with them in their games as well. What's cooler than having your Dad beat you in the latest iteration of Zombie Shooter 13, right Both Twitter and Facebook provide APIs that let you interact with their services. Want to give the user a way to tweet their latest high score in your game No problem integrate the Twitter API and away you go.

Services

A popular feature on current-era mobile devices is GPS capability, so the device can tell you where you are at any point in time. While the most popular use of GPS service is mapping and directions, there are other things you can do if you know your location. For example, you might set up a dynamic chat application where the people you can chat with are based on physical location, so you're chatting with those you are nearest. Or, you could automatically geotag posts to Twitter or similar services.

Google Voice

Last chapter, I talked about Google Voice. One of the options in Google Voice is the ability to send and receive SMS text messages, as shown in Figure 5-5. This gets around your texting plan and uses your data service instead. However, there are some caveats. As I'm writing this, Google Voice doesn't support MMS messages, international messages, or receiving short-code messages. (These are messages sent by services like Twitter that use a shorter number for dialing.)

Usb Luiii Icilcu

Plurk is another microblogging alternative to Twitter and Facebook. It organizes posts on a timeline and assigns karma for participation. Like Tumblr, it allows easier multimedia embedding, and it has built-in privacy settings to make it useful for both small and large groups. Posts are organized on a scrolling horizontal timeline, which allows threaded responses. The Web timeline interface makes it challenging to translate to a phone app, but the app, PlurQ (shown in Figure 11-4), does a good job of attempting it.

Push Notifications

These are all accessed in a platform-independent way using the Titanium SDK from JavaScript. Moreover, the platform also includes wrappers that make it easy to integrate Twitter, Facebook, RSS, and SOAP APIs directly into your application, plus access to sockets, http connections, the native file system, and local database storage.

Networking

This chapter focuses on short message service (SMS), Internet resource-based applications, and social networking applications. SMS is a communication service component that enables the exchange of short text messages between mobile phone devices. Internet resource-based applications rely on web content such as HTML (HyperText Markup Language), XML (extensible Markup Language), and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). Social networking applications, such as Twitter, are important methods for people to connect with each other.

Cross Posting

So, once you're up and running with all these social media services, many of which use similar posting formats, how do you manage your time posting to them You can take advantage of cross-posting tools and focus on the tool or format that is easiest or most rewarding for you. Increasingly, apps are offering built-in cross-posts to and from Twitter and Facebook. If you're primarily a blogger but want to add tweets to announce new blog entries, one way to do it is through Twitterfeed, at http twitterfeed.com. This is a free service that takes just about any blog feed and translates it into a shortened Twitter or Facebook post. You specify any prefix or suffix and how you want the post to be shortened, as shown in Figure 11-10. Figure 11-10. Twitterfeed Figure 11-10. Twitterfeed If you want to go beyond simply scooping a feed from one place and putting it into another, you can use a more powerful cross-posting tool. Ping.fm, as mentioned earlier, is a free tool that can cross-post to...

Any Post

If you are like most people, you have accounts on several social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, Plaxo, Plurk, and others. In fact, you may already use Ping.fm to update your status on all of them from one place. You can do the same thing from your phone using the AnyPost app, which uses the Ping.fm APIs to update all your social networks with one post. You can also post pictures from this app, and include your GPS location in your posting. Twitter

Automatic Filters

I use filters to automatically prioritize messages from business contacts with stars and subject labels. I declutter by archiving distracting mailing lists I may want to read later and notifications from Facebook and Twitter. I also make sure important senders never have their messages marked as spam.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has grown in popularity among business users by adding features for use beyond a simple chart of connections. LinkedIn claims to have more than 65 million users in 200 countries. With that popularity, LinkedIn has also gained features that add appeal beyond job seeking. You can network with colleagues in user groups, add your Twitter feed, and add applications like reading lists and document sharing.

Recent Checkins

In both Gowalla and Foursquare, the object is to check into locations. You need to use a phone or other location-sensing mobile device. You can't just manually type in a location. You can share these check-ins with nobody, your friends, your Facebook page, or the whole world via Twitter. Location-sensing games are a growing trend, and social networks like Twitter and Facebook have started to incorporate the idea. Yelp, a social restaurant review site, has also added check-ins to its feature list. If your company is interested in location-sensitive promotions, it might be time to think about playing Foursquare or Gowalla to get a feel for the appeal. Location-sensitive information also brings up privacy concerns. Pay attention to apps as you install them, and learn what they share and how to turn this sharing off when desired. New apps sometimes add features without thinking about the privacy implications, so just be aware that your location information may accidentally be tweeted or...

Readers

If you want to read all your content in one place rather than posting it, you'll want an aggregator (aka feed reader). Feed readers take feeds from other sources and pile them into one place for easy reading. Tweets, blog posts, news items, and even Google searches are delivered as feeds that you can add to a feed reader, and many blogs add handy links for adding feeds. The universal symbol for an RSS feed is shown in Figure 11-12. When using most Android browsers and logged into your Google account,

Hello Android

In the days before Twitter and Facebook, when Google was still a twinkle in its founders' eyes and dinosaurs roamed the earth, mobile phones were just that portable phones small enough to fit inside a briefcase, featuring batteries that could last up to several hours. They did however offer the freedom to make calls without being physically connected to a landline.

Buddy Runner

PACE ME Record your speed, duration, calories burned, and distance as you run. After uploading your stats to your personal dashboard on the Buddy Runner website, you'll get even more details and ways to view your data, including your average speed, pace splits for miles, and an elevation map. You can even integrate directly with Twitter and Facebook to automatically share your run details as soon as they're uploaded.

The Android Market

Right now, there are several versions of Android shipping on phones you can buy new. So how do you know if your Android 1.5 device will run the latest Twitter app The general rule is that, if you can see it, you can run it. Developers can exclude incompatible devices from seeing their apps in the Android Market. If you're feeling precise, use the Search button at the top of the screen. You can search for a name or keywords. For instance, searching for Twitter would show you both the official Twitter app and apps that use Twitter in their description, such as HootSuite.

HTC and Sense

Sense is a user interface system based around widgets. Widgets are small, always-on applications that run on your phone Home screen for specific purposes, like showing weather information or posting Twitter updates. This is similar to Windows Gadgets on desktop computers. When Android 1.6 was only offering three screens for customization, Sense offered seven. The screens use scenes centered around common activities, such as work and social media, and HTC created several custom widgets to make using phone activities easier. Sense also ties some information together, such as combining phone contact information and Facebook. Motorola's user interface enhancement is MOTOBLUR, also known simply as Blur. Blur is meant primarily as a social networking feature that combines feeds from e-mail messages and sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr, and places the messages directly on the Home screen of the phone without requiring you to log into separate apps. MOTOBLUR also allows native syncing...