How to Receive Tweets as Text

Text my Tweets

You see everyone else using their phones for Facebook and Twitter – So just how does one use Twitter in SMS text messaging?

Either through SMS messaging proper, or with a third party app for your specific phone you can receive Tweets via SMS from people you follow, and also to post updates to Twitter from your phone. These are some of the most frequently asked questions on Twitter about using Twitter on your cell phone or PDA.

  • How do I use Twitter on my phone?
  • Does it cost money?
  • Will my phone bill be charged?
  • What’s a Twitter “short code?”
  • Can I update Twitter from my Phone but not receive other people’s updates? And vice versa?
  • I’m getting a ton of updates. How can I get fewer?
  • Where can I check whose updates I’m getting to my phone, and whose I’m not getting? I don’t live in the US. How do I use Twitter on my phone?

All these Twitter questions and many, many more are answered in Twitter’s massive help files: Twitter Phone FAQ

The Science of Twitter Timing: Tweet More

Tweet MORE?

In a webinar presented by Hubspot, I heard the most amazing advice . . . Tweet More. You can tweet up to 22 times a day and not get obnoxious (and unfollowed).

They do recommend that you NOT post 22 times in a row a link to your own website, but posting frequently, to your own content and to other people’s content, Tweet More. And pay attention to when you are retweeted.

Blog MORE?

This one is tough for me, because I like to ‘pretty up’ my posts with images and headlines, and I do these myself, they aren’t outsourced.  So blog more, up to four times a day(!) is a challenge.  But one that I’m going to take on.  If four posts a day can increase my readers, why would I not?

Days and Times to Blog, FB and email

  • Specific advice on email frequency and unsubscribe occurrence;
  • When to post to Facebook for likes;
  • When to post on your blog for sharing.

Listen to the entire webinar here.

New Twitter Tools I Like

Interesting Tool I found, TweetWhen tells YOU the times of day that you get the most retweets. Just so you know if you’re going for a viral effect, and we are, aren’t we?

Twitter Signature Tool

Additionally, I found a site TwtIMG.Com – that creates a signature you can use in forums, emails, etc., that includes your latest tweet, photo and of course, you should include a link to your twitter.  For some reason, it doesn’t . . .



50,000 Twitter Tools

Third Party Twitter Application Usage

In its early days, Twitter was only accessible through a personal computer with Internet access. But as its popularity grew and opened doors to third party developers, unofficial applications lent different dimensions and even improvements to an otherwise simple service. Experts may go as far as to say third party applications played an important role in boosting Twitter’s popularity over a short period of time.

50,000 Twitter applications

In November 2009, Sysomos sampled 5 million tweets gathered over the previous 5 months to find out the most popular Twitter clients. Collectively, third party twitter applications made up 53.21% of all tweets in that time period.  By the end of that year, the number of applications built around Twitter reached 50,000. In April 2010, that figure doubled to 100,000 around the time of their first developer conference.

KISS defined the need for stricter policies for third-party developers

It did not take long before Twitter developed its own suite of official applications to cater to various user segments, including mobile apps Twitter for Blackberry, iPhone, and Android. Meanwhile, Twitter seemed determined to fight off third-party developers for reasons such as Terms of Service violations. Security issues and keeping the service simple for users also became the hot topics behind Twitter’s stricter policies in allowing access to third-party developers.

Twitter’s API changes kill hundreds of apps

In March 2011, Twitter published changes to its application programming interface or API, that discourages software developers from creating clients that allow users to write, view, and respond to Tweets, while saying those existing clients should keep serving their users. Twitter stated that 90% of its users accessed the service through official apps. Shortly after the announcement, Sysomos conducted a study that found third party applications still brought in 42% of tweets to Twitter, based on a sample of 25 million tweets. These non-official apps include TweetDeck, Seesmic, Echofon, and HootSuite.

Apparently, TweetDeck Rocks

In this latest study, TweetDeck is still among the most popular, accounting for 5.5% of all tweets, although it is down from its 8.48% share in 2009. As TweetDeck accounts for 13.1% of all tweets from non-official clients, it is flanked by two other UberMedia owned apps, UberSocial (16.4%) and Echofon (9.2%).

In future posts, we’ll explore what these applications do, and whether or not we’d use them!


How Powerful are Your Tweets?

Say it in 140 characters

What can a status update or a tweet, all 140 characters or less, do to change a life? Looking at the day-to-day updates of your 500+ friends on Twitter, tweets are typically mundane in nature, with topics ranging from what you ate for breakfast to that latest movie you’re raving or ranting about. But in these times, when social media has just begun to reach audiences from all walks of life and bring people together for various reasons, a tweet with those few, carefully chosen words can really make an impact and change everything.

KFC Asked for Twittered Scholarship Applications

Take for instance the KFC Colonel’s Scholars program. With 2.5 million college scholarships granted every year in the United States, KFC needed to do something different to generate buzz around their 75-scholarship project. Together with PR firm Weber-Shandwick, KFC decided to award one $20,000 scholarship to the winner of a tweet contest. High school seniors took a shot at convincing KFC execs that they deserved the scholarship in just 140 characters (hash tag #KFCScholar required).

In just 2 weeks, the KFC Twitter account saw a 20% increase in followers. A story on USA Today announced the scholarship tweet campaign generated over a thousand media placements and media impressions in the tens of millions. That includes AP Wire stories, several stories on CNN Headline News, MSNBC, NBC, and The Weather Channel. Online, tweets generated during the 10-day entry period translated to over nine million social media impressions.

The $20,000 winning Tweet

Meanwhile, logging onto Twitter from Long Beach, California, seventeen year old high school senior Amanda Russell followed and tweeted, “Hey Colonel! Your scholarship’s the secret ingredient missing from my recipe for success! Got the grades, drive, just need cash!”

Just how powerful are your tweets? Amanda’s was powerful enough, besting 2,800 others and winning her the $20,000 college scholarship.

Turn down the Twitter noise – How to get tweets in text

Did you know that if there is someone you particularly want to hear from on Twitter, one person that you don’t want to have to search for to find, and want to know when they post, everytime they post, you can get it as a text?

In the United states, Text follow TraciGregory to 40404.

Works for everyone. Never miss a tweet again. And more importantly, you don’t have to wade through 1,000 tweets you don’t want to read the one you do want!

Other Twitter Posts

  • Friend or Follow || Test your Twitter
  • How to exploit Twitter; Sample of the best use of Twitter Info
  • Is there too much Twitter?
  • New Twitter Background
  • twitterfeed

How to get New Clients Via Twitter

Don’t underestimate your twitter following for its ability to bring you clients. It is the social media!

Tweet your best, and retweet the best of the rest.

Other Twitter Posts

  • Friend or Follow || Test your Twitter
  • How to exploit Twitter; Sample of the best use of Twitter Info
  • Is there too much Twitter?
  • New Twitter Background
  • twitterfeed

How to make a background in the New Twitter

Don’t you get tired of “your” pages getting changed up by the people who actually run them?  With Facebook’s profiles and pages, it is almost a full time job keeping up with them and revising your well thought out work to fit in its new space.

I’ve finally acknowledged that there is a “new Twitter”, and while the background image I had before was cool, you can only see a small part of it now.

I have to have a new Twitter background for the “new Twitter”.

Luckily I found the dimensions of available space on Mashable, and was able to set it up easily.  Then I played around with it for just a few minutes to get something I liked that would work in most resolutions.

The available space is a mere 113 pixels in the left hand column.  There is a margin of 40 pixels across the top of the screen that will be used for twitter’s ribbon of commands.  So here is what you have to work with:

{filelink=1}I’ve placed a png file of this in the downloads if you’d like a cheat sheet to start with.

On my screen, with 1680×1050 pixels showing, my background looks pretty good when posted on twitter:

You can see the image, my website url, the locations I’m in, and graphics to denote that I have a blog, facebook, linked in and twitter.  Historically I’ve written out the links on twitter backgrounds (you don’t get a clickable background, just a photo) but if I google myself, facebook, twitter, and linked in all come up on the first page along with my website.  Probably will work the same way for you, you’ll just have to do the self-involved google yourself thing and find out.

While I’m happy with what I’m seeing, everyone doesn’t have the monitor I have, so I want to know what happens on other computers (and I don’t want to walk all over the house using different ones . . . I want to resize the screen on this computer so I can take screenshots to compare the differences).

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft’s IE all have an add-in that will allow you to resize your screen and see just what it is that other people see. Comes in very handy when a client has just seen something on a computer that is older than most of my children and calls me screaming that it doesn’t look like it did this morning on his computer at the office. Duh.

You’ll see that with each successive downward screen sizing, the white space surrounding the actual twitter columns narrows to nothing, and then my little 113 pixels start to disappear as if eaten by pacman.

As if seen on a 15″ Laptop, 1366×768, reduced to 36%

And, the worst ever, 1024×600, also reduced to 36%

Time to really work on that bio!

Here’s where it pays to remember that your bio, along with your background image is going to sell people on following you, or turn them away.

You’ve lost all that white space that used to be your “twitter billboard”, so now you must edit your bio and make sure that it is a full-fledged sales tool that makes people want to get your tweets. It is the only thing you’ve got and at 140 characters, it better be good.

But, by now you are an artist: after all, you’ve been getting your message across in 140 character tweets! Surely you can manage the best of shameless self-promotion  in that space.

Other Posts on Twitter

How to exploit Twitter: A Sample of the best use of Twitter info

Is there too much Twitter?

Tweetadder: Build your Twitter following with like-minded people

Friend or Follow: Test Your Twitter


Additional Resources:

Get the Mashable Twitter GuideBook

How to exploit Twitter; Sample of the best use of Twitter Info

Trying to figure out what to do with Twitter?  How to find your customer base?  Impress them, and not offend them?

Wheat Thins has a plan.  One of the best “tweetploitations” I’ve seen.  Watch:

Wheat Thins has other ads based on tweets, but this is by far my favorite.  If you’ve seen other companies really use twitter to compel brand awareness, tell us about it in the comments.

Is there too much Twitter?

You’ve heard me bitch about the noise that I find on twitter . . . the post Friend or Follow being an example of my efforts to clear noise on my twitter screen.

So in the hope of giving you more ways and means to sort through the twitter-chatter, here are some other Twitter tools to check out.


… helps put your blinders on to the Twitter-sphere while you monitor and chat about one topic.  You choose a hashtag and enter a TweetChat room.

I like the “put your blinders on to the Twitter-sphere” part, but a TweetChat room?

Twitterfall, a take on waterfall, I guess . . .

allows you to select a trending topic, which you can do via search, making lists of groups, and even drilling down to geolocation . . .

A tool I find really helpful for cyber stalkers who would prefer to roam the real earth, geolocation tags.

And after doing all this on Twitterfall, they say you can then login to your twitter account to view your timeline, mentions, and direct messages, subtly implying that their tool will get you mentions and direct messages . . . .


is a powerful Twitter Search Dashboard that allows you to search for up to 9 different topics, events, converstations, hashtags, phrases, people, groups, etc in real-time. As new tweets are created, they are automatically updated in the grid.

Talk about stalking ability . . . you do not need a twitter account to use TweetGrid.

It was designed to be a “drive-by” service, meaning that anyone can use it without needing to register or log-in first. Just open TweetGrid, choose a grid layout, and off you go! You will, however, need a twitter account to tweet from TweetGrid, but anyone can use it for searching twitter.

On the off chance that you may have wrongly presumed any of these are affiliate links, let me assure you they aren’t. And really, do you think they’d pay me for this kind of press? Somehow, I don’t think so.

Rock on, Kiddos

Friend or Follow || How to Test your Twitter

The Website Friend or Follow is a great tool if you want to build your Twitter following, and tweak the tweets you follow . . .

The best thing they do is tell you who of your followers is not following you . . . Quite revealing, I might add. When I put my personal Twitter ID in their system the numbers of people who aren’t following me anymore was staggering . . . and I’ll admit, I was a little miffed at some of the people who weren’t following me anymore. Seemed personal, you know? I’m not interesting enough for you?

I’m really (really) talkative in person, but I tweet sparingly.

Maybe they thought I’d stopped altogether and that’s why they stopped following me.

At any rate, when I saw the 750 people NOT following me, you can bet your ass, I’m no longer following them. Well, there are a few people I’ll still follow.

Brian Clark, CopyBlogger, for instance, is someone I won’t give up – I love his blog: copyblogger (You may have guessed, huh?) [follow Brian on Twitter; read him at copyblogger]

The BBC, The New York Times

. . . ummm, they haven’t heard of me yet, so I’ll keep them, too.

My Fans page shows the people following me, that I’m not following . . . not a huge number, well under a thousand, and my goal is to grow it to 5,000 in the next month.

And lastly, 1,143 people I follow follow me.

Really, can we keep up with the tweets of 1,143 people? Or even 1,000?

Of course not. The goal is to have thousands of people following you, your web guru-ness, and learning those things you have to offer.

More Twitter tools for the next few days. There are a ton and they will all help you be the best tweeter you can be!

Rock On,


PS – Unfollowing those 750 people took days, by the way . . . incredibly boring activity.

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