Nowadays, many companies are discovering the immense application of using Twitter for direct and viral marketing. Most churches have not. Perhaps because their members still live in a 1.0 world. Heck, there are churches I know that still don't have websites - or keep their existing one up. They've essentially stuck a color billboard out there on the internet announcing their existence, but that's it.
I want to thank AJ Huffman for pointing me a new site that has incredible content about Twitter, consistently. It's rare that I read posts in their entirety on any site. However, Twitip.com is setting the pace for the world of microblogging, specifically Twitter.
Other microblogging sites just can't keep up with Twitter. In spite of all its downtime and fail whales, Twitter continues to grow and set the standard. It's done so by refusing to get complicated. Where Pownce allowed users to send files and photos back and forth in addition to status updates, it has now announced it's shutting down.
With Twitter, you can only send 140 characters of text. No more or it cuts off your content. That's it. No images, no files, nothing fancy. It's even succeeded forcing the user to learn a little code for messaging.
In a recent post, Twitip summarized the four basic ways of communicating on Twitter:
1. For general posts,simply either log in and type your Tweet in the message box on the Twitter website, or use the message box in your desktop app (140 characters is the maximum length of message).
2. To reply to someone, use the ‘@’ symbol, then their Twitter username, e.g.
eg: @ramskill your message, whatever it may be
Bear in mind that this reply can be seen publically, by your followers and the followers of who you are replying to.
3. To ‘Retweet’ / repost a Tweet from someone else, use ‘RT’, a space, the ‘@’ symbol, then their Twitter username, e.g.
eg: RT @ramskill your message, whatever it may be
4. To send a private direct message to someone, use ‘D’, a space, then their Twitter username, e.g.
eg: D ramskill your message, whatever it may be
For the purpose of instant communication with family, friends, organizations or consumers, you need to consider Twitter. Finally, here's a great short video explaining the concept behind Twitter (also linked in the above Twitip entry.)