Twitter 101, a "special guide" to the 140-character network aimed at businesses. Use of Twitter by marketing departments has seen explosive growth recently, if you're a user of the site that's obvious by now.Twitter has launched
But for businesses, the ins and outs of using the site are not obvious. From small local businesses to huge international brands, countless companies have totally flubbed when it comes to using Twitter.
The BasicsTwitter 101 begins with the bare bones of the service, with a dictionary of the lingo (that can often be amusing to hardcore users) and instructions on how to sign up and tweet for the first time. The real meat of the site is the best practices and case studies from companies like Dell, Etsy, and American Apparel.
Where Twitter 101 FailsTwitter 101 works as a very simple primer for businesses who are just now investigating how they might use the service. But considering that there's an enormous wealth of information already out there, one fact stands out as a glaring failure:
Twitter has failed to draw upon its own community. For a site that lives and breathes authentic online community, Twitter has done a miserable job of incorporating or even linking to the wealth of information created for and by business.
Every executive of a major interactive marketing agency or division worth their salt has formulated a Twitter strategy. The case studies offered up by Twitter prefer cute anecdotes and racy sales figures rather than any actual marketing strategies.
The resources page includes some great material from authors and bloggers on the subject, but little of it comes from within the enterprise. It's aimed broadly at users and not the enterprise, but community-curated sites such as the Twitter Fan Wiki are not mentioned; there's no indication that business.twitter.com will embrace any direct input from the community in the future.
The Enterprise Needs 102, Not 101If your business is just now finding out about Twitter, then Twitter 101 lives up to its name. But the need right now in the enterprise is not a how-to manual on how to sign up and make their first tweets. The need is for a detailed guide to being effective and authentic participants in one of the most important new sites on the Web.