Twitter basics and how it can work for you

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - You may be familiar with the old phrase "a little birdie told me." These days, that little birdie shares a lot more news or gossip through the social networking site Twitter.

In 140 characters or less people send information via Twitter into the cyber world.

"Nowhere else on any other social media tool is it ok to communicate with complete strangers. It's not strange to send a message to somebody and start a conversation," Ashley Caldwell said.

Caldwell uses Twitter for personal conversations and to grow her business. She's the founder of "The Modern Connection," a social media consulting firm.

"Those who find success are those who are able to highlight their personality and bring in a professional side but bring in personality to show there are actual people behind their operation," Caldwell said.

Twitter can also connect you to information you find compelling, including entertainment, news, or weather. But understanding the network's lingo is key. The # is a hashtag. For example #scnews will help you connect to relevant news statewide. A DM is a direct message that you can send privately to a user. You can also publicly message a user, by using the @ symbol. Messages sent to @njreports, would be sent to me, Nicole Johnson, publicly.

You may already be using Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, Blogger, Wordpress, Flickr, and the list goes on. So why would you need twitter too? I tweeted out that question, and here are your responses:

@ryan_nelsonsc says "Twitter updates faster & I get all my news from it. You pick who you want to follow that's relevant to you."

@cravemtp says "Twitter allows me a business owner, to make more of a personal connection to people in the community, our guests in the restaurant."

@STLStude says "Networking! Twitter is a great tool for finding people w/ common interests and similar business goals."

With more than 300-million users, now may be the time to login and let the conversation begin. Joining Twitter is simple. The website just asks for your name, email address, and a password. Then you create a user name and profile and from there, you can begin interacting.

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