The microblog is a type of social media site, and although Twitter is the dominant flavor currently, this may not always be true. I'll introduce you to the basic elements of the microblogging format in this section.


On Twitter, personal and company accounts exist alongside a wide range of fictional and inanimate accounts. Compared to other social media sites, Twitter corporate accounts enjoy greater acceptance. It's OK to set up an account for your company, as well as an account for yourself individually. In fact, my research has shown that "official brand" Twitter accounts are often highly followed.

Many successful Twitterers use their first and last names joined together into one long string as their handles (the Twitter term for usernames). Unfortunately, some people (especially those with common names) cannot do this because their first and last names have already been taken, so they resort to a name with underscores and numbers. This means that because I already use @danzarrella as my Twitter handle, the next Dan Zarrella to join Twitter might end up picking @dan_zarrella. This is a bad idea, particularly if you're trying to build an account with lots of followers, as my research has shown that users with underscores and numbers in their names have fewer followers on average (see Figure 3-2).


When people read your tweets (Twitter lingo for posts), the tweets will be shown next to a small image you have uploaded to Twitter. In most places, this image is a ...

Get The Social Media Marketing Book now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.