Let's face it -- the value of Twitter is not easy for newbies to grasp. About 60% of folks who go to Twitter.com don't return the following month, according to an April Nielsen report, and the Twitterspehere is home to more than a few corpses of brands that jumped on the service only to abandon it a few months later.
In fact, co-founder Biz Stone put it best when he categorized it as "the level of awareness is still way bigger than the level of engagement," at Fortune's Brainstorm: Tech conference earlier this week.
But the company is trying to make itself more a more useful and successful marketing tool with a new "Twitter 101" site that offers up tips on getting started, best practices, and studies of many of the well-known cases (Dell, JetBlue, Comcast, Naked Pizza) as well as a few of the less-documented ones (Teusner Wines, Pepsi).
The advice is a comprehensive beginner's guide -- but it doesn't contain a lot of new information if you've been following brand participation on Twitter for the past six months or so. Best practices include suggestions like build a relationship by adopting a casual/friendly Twitter voice, alerting users to time-sensitive offers, sending along coupons and responding to those who direct message you; don't spam' and measure the value of your Twittering by using unique coupon codes for Twitter offers, tracking click-through rates for Tweeted links and tallying positive Twitter exchanges.
New to Twitter? Download the Twitter 101 slides for a little weekend beach reading.