Free Courses

Executive's Guide to Twitter: Free CoursesThis page marks the true debut of the Executive’s Guide to Twitter because it is a guide that offers structure to executives and other time-squeezed people who are interested in evaluating and getting started with Twitter, whether as individuals or team leaders. These two self-paced courses address executives in two types of situations:

  1. I’ve been curious about Twitter for a while, and I want to understand, from a business point of view, where the fire is and whether my (company, division, department) should consider doing something with Twitter. Also, why should I as an individual tweet or not? (think of this as “why Twitter”). Twitter 101 is for you.
  2. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! I’ve seen enough and want to tweet, but I don’t know how to dive in without making a fool of myself and/or how to find the time (think of this as “how Twitter”). Run down the hall and see if there are any seats in Twitter 201 left.

Features and How It Works

  • Each course will involve taking several “classes” in each of which you will read a short article and do some exercises. These are chunked small, so you can squeeze them in while in hotel rooms in Boston, Barcelona or Bangalore. Or PDF them and do them on the plane or on weekends while the dog’s getting groomed. Also, since you will know where you are going, you’ll have more control and less mental resistance.
  • If you have any questions at any point, please use comments below. If you aren’t comfortable with using public comments, contact me.
  • Since the second group of students is more impatient, I’m putting How Twitter first. Why Twitterers, please scroll down ,^). Obviously, you can take the courses in any order.

Twitter 201: How Twitter

This course will get you on Twitter, and tweeting wonderfully, in about 30 minutes. Not only will you understand the moving parts, but you’ll also be focused and intentional, which will reduce the time cost and increase your ROI. Ready? This course has three classes:

  1. Your first class is to read Twitter: Quick Launch Guide, which will get you signed up and enough information to know what to tweet in 30 minutes. After this, you will be on Twitter. Assignment: practice this for 1-4 weeks, tweeting on average twice a day. Make sure 1/3 tweets at least are @usertweets (responding to someone you follow). If you’d like my recommendations for solid executives to follow (and learn from), check out this list!
  2. Your second class: at this point, you’ve been tweeting gently for a few weeks now and should have started to understand some of the mechanics at a basic level. You’ve got a handful of followers and have been reading their tweets and observing how they tweet. Now you’re ready to take it up a notch by using Twitter Value Vectors. Assignment: study the examples of the value vector tweets, and think of your situation. In your Twitter file or notebook (see Twitter 101), note your responses to these questions.
    • Which vector is most appealing to you personally? Which would be easiest for you and attractive to the people you’d like as followers? Lead with that one, and pick one or two others as alternates. Under each value vector, jot down some plans.
    • For example, you’re speaking at or attending a conference in June, so you plan to use the News vector to tweet  about it. Got plane tickets? How long will you stay? Did you finish your deck? Have you posted a preview online? Invite followers to check it out, comment and advise you even before you give the talk! Will you have time to meet other non-conference people? Tweet about this.
    • This is your back-of-the-envelope content strategy. I hope you can see how it can make your tweets effortless—because you have a plan. I also hope you can also see how little time Twitter can take when you’re focused.
  3. Your third class will be corralling followers and molding them into a Twitter community strategy. Assignment: you will have to wait while I write the post for that one. In the meantime, feel free to post burning questions below, and I’ll answer them right away. For fastest results reach me on Twitter. In Twitter, send me an @username tweet, like this: “Hey @csrainc, didn’t understand the concept of the 3rd Twitter class; what do u mean, wait?”

Twitter 101: Why Twitter

This course is designed to communicate some of Twitter’s unique selling propositions to executives who run businesses and their careers. You can use Twitter to further your career and effectiveness as a leader. This course has two required classes and two optional classes:

  1. Everything you Wanted to Know about Twitter* highlights some of Twitter’s moving parts and key business applications. Assignment: create a Twitter file on your laptop or pick a notebook, and write down three ideas relevant to your business or career. Write two ideas for business applications.
  2. Exploring Twitter: Ten Observations focuses on more granular points; a quick read. Assignment: in your file or notebook, write three reactions to the observations.
  3. Extra credit: Twitter: Key Disruptive Innovation of the Decade offers more of a transformational view on how Twitter is changing business and culture. Optional assignment: React to it by jotting some thoughts or using the comment functionality beneath the post.
  4. Extra credit 2: Read our selection of Twitter case studies, and jot ideas and responses. Use comments on the Case Studies page (main navbar, top) to offer your ideas or to ask for my and other readers’ input.

Congratulations! You now know more about Twitter’s value proposition than most people using it. If you decide that you want to try it, Twitter 201 beckons.

Parting Shots

  • My intention here is to help serious, time-strapped people to get tweeting by making it more transparent and actionable. Please use comments below to let me know what I’ve unknowingly omitted. Or things that aren’t clear.
  • Based on your feedback, I’ll add to and refine this course.

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