Using Twitter to Promote Your Site

You may already be on Twitter, but are you using it for promoting your website – and to get targeted visitors to your site? Twitter is a real powerhouse of traffic if you take a little time to learn how to do it.

How Does Twitter Work?

Twitter allows users to post messages up to a total of 140 characters, which includes punctuation and spaces. Not only can you tweet via your computer but also through your mobile telephone networks as well. And given that most telephone services limit texts on your cell phones to 160 characters, Twitter opted to limit it to 140 leaving you with 20 characters for your user-name. The messages that you post are public and can be read by anyone who signs up to “follow” your tweets.

Getting Started

Get to know Twitter a bit first – Be sure to read through the Twitter Rules Terms of Service to stay out of trouble.

Create your company profile – Go to and click sign up now. Enter your company name just as you want it to appear in the “Full Name” field. This is your user name or “handle” by which you will be known on Twitter. Use the shortest name that describes your company. Preferably your company or website name (without the .com) if its available and not over 20 characters.

Learn the Twitter lingo –Although Twitter seems easy enough, understanding the special terms used to communicate will make using this social network much more effective. Read Twitter 101 to learn about each of the terms used in with your Twitter account.

Personalise your profile – Go into Settings and give your company or website a face. Upload a picture, such as your logo or homepage screen-shot. Then add the names of those who will be tweeting on the account. Its especially important to pay attention to to bio section. It is limited to 160 characters so you need to determine the best way to describe your website and/or what you do. Use some of your most important keywords. Space is limited to one line in the bio section, but you can go to the design tab and utilise the background image on your profile to post additional information.

Begin tweeting – Remember Twitter allows you to post messages only up to 140 characters long, including punctuation and spaces. Its also best to use a casual, friendly tone, or even some humour to keep your tweets from being too dry or boring. a good idea is to make your followers feel like insiders with behind the scenes looks at your company. Write tweets about breaking business news, post links to your website, as well as to other sites or articles you think your followers may be interested in.

Retweet Posts – especially tweets by others that you feel will be of interest to your followers. Always make sure your re-tweets provide value to your followers. This will eventually make you more visible to others who may not have found you otherwise.

Make Connections – Twitter isn’t just an advertising medium, its a Social Medium. Get out and communicate. Use the search box on your Twitter homepage to search for other professionals in your field. Use key terms, specific to your website such to search for mentions of these keywords by other websites, your visitors and potential visitors. When you find interesting tweets you can choose to follow those individuals who posted the tweets. Say hello to be personable. Twitter also has a Find People section to search for specific people, companies or websites by name.

Find out what people are saying about you – Type your company name, website name or products into the search box on your Twitter home page and discover where your company and products are mentioned.

Building Relationships – Respond immediately to any complaints posted and send thank you notes to those who give praise. Offer helpful hints and quickly answer any questions or issues about your site or services.

Promote your Twitter account – Promote your twitter account wherever you can. Post a Twitter badge on your website, connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Add your Twitter URL to your signature line for your email.

Tips to help you get the most out of Twitter:

Be sure your posts are interesting! – Its just as easy to choose to unfollow you as to follow you.

  • Follow others – the more people you follow, the more people will follow you.
  • Know your goals – knowing your goals helps you determine what to post and when to post it.
  • Use shortened URL’s – you only have 140 characters, and can often use more than the allotted space for the URL alone. Use the
  • Use DMs (Direct Messages) – to send private messages to other Twitterers who are following you to personally address concerns.
  • Re-tweet Often – but make it good stuff! Re-tweeting is a common form of communicating on Twitter.
  • Pay attention to the Trending Topics on your Twitter search page – these most mentioned terms show you what most people are paying attention to right now and can be used for topics on your own Tweets.
  • Don’t spam people by sending unsolicited @messages or DM’s.
  • Don’t post the same messages to a multitude of accounts, or tweet the same things over and over, or to a multitude of accounts.
  • Do not “follow churn” or follow and unfollow the same people over and over.
  • Ask for feedback – ask friends and followers to give you feedback on your website or products/services.
  • Put a Twitter icon on your homepage

Voice Recording Software

NanoGong 4
Nano GongThis free open source software is extremely flexible as it can either be downloaded and installed on the local PC with two clicks, embedded into a web page or into Moodle directly (see for further details).  Installing directly into Moodle would kill two birds with one stone in that it can be used for both Picaro, Live Online – no need to record using Adobe Connect – and any other course on offer.

It’s a Java applet that can be used to record, playback and save a students voice and when the recording is played back, the user can speed up or slow down the sound if they want to while the teacher can asses their English skills from the uploaded file.

Features include:

  • The file size for the player is very small (around 200KB) and the recorder interface is only 180 x 40 pixels in size.
  • The applet loads quickly.
  • Play back at different speeds if required.
  • Playback any sound file created using the applet from a website.
  • Recorded voice can be saved as an MP3 directly to the user’s hard drive.
  • Can send the recorded voice directly to a Web server.

There are a number of MP3 recording software available as free-ware or shareware that would need to be installed directly to the users PC.

The best and easiest to install of this type are as follows:

MP3 Recorder
MP3 recorderThis is a free-ware application which can only be downloaded locally to a windows platform so this could be quite limiting.  This is bar far the simplest to install and the user can record directly to their pc or desktop then upload it as a file to the LMS if required, you would need to set up an assignment function in the LMS though.  But it does have some useful features including:

  • CD quality voice recording (MP3 format)
  • User friendly interface, with no editor (can’t beat Audacity for this) available to manipulate the audio – keeps it nice and simple.
  • Easy to record and played back on your computer directly in the MP3 format.

MP3 voice recorder
MP3 multimedia recorderIt has many similar features to the MP3 recorder but also allows the following:

  • Adjustable bit-rate to improve recording
  • You can save recorded sound in many different formats including WAV, AAC, WMA, FLAC, M4A and AC3.
  • Choose the output file.


Record PadThis provides a more intuitive interface and allows you to record directly to your PC.  It also has the following features:

  • Can be used on a Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Pocket PC, Smart-phone operation system as well as an app for the iPhone.
  • You can start a recording, save it, and replay the file in minutes.
  • It can be used to record voice or other audio to add to digital presentations, creating an audio book or to simply record a message.
  • Quickly and easily record audio notes, messages or announcements in either wav or mp3.

With its flexibility and the various operating systems it can be used on, anyone with a Smart-phone such as an iPhone where apps are extremely simple to install, will find this a very useful and easy to use recording device.

For mobile learning options, Record-pad is an option but it is not the only choice as there are a large variety specifically designed for each handset and it would be more appropriate to utilise as many of these as possible in the future.  Recordings could be instantly made, uploaded anywhere for instant feedback.