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Can you believe it was ten years ago today that the very first tweet ever was sent? Has Twitter really been with us that long?

Actually, one might just as well ask, has it ONLY been ten years? So ubiquitous has the blue bird become, it’s somewhat hard to imagine the days before Twitter fluttered into our lives.

I’m looking at our Twitter page right now. We’ve sent almost 6,000 tweets since our Udacity account launched in June of 2011. Five years, and almost 6,000 tweets. I guess you could say we’re believers! As but one example of the myriad  ways in which we enjoy using Twitter, check out our #ByteBracket campaign!

Meet #ByteBracket, a protocol for unambiguously encoding your March Madness predictions into a sequence of 16 characters. Using the #ByteBracket Generator you can fill out your bracket, get your #ByteBracket code, and share your predictions with the world, with 124 characters left to gloat!

In all seriousness, as a company wholly committed to serving our student community, Twitter really is an inevitable talking point for us. From the moment our account launched, we’ve had conversations about all the ways we might utilize Twitter to enhance our relationships with our students. This is an ongoing conversation, but it has taken on an additional dimension since we launched our Tech Entrepreneur Nanodegree program.

Marc Andreesen has gone on record many times (perhaps most notably when quoted in “Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers”) about the importance of marketing to the entrepreneurial process. He has even said that a lack of marketing strategy has kept him from investing in projects he would have otherwise backed. When we were building the Tech Entrepreneur program, we knew incorporating marketing strategy into the curriculum was critical.

Social Media Marketing is of course only one aspect of general marketing strategy, but it continues to grow in importance, and virtually all successful brands—from start-ups to established giants—have active social media marketing strategies.

I can’t help but marvel at this, in light of the realization that Twitter is only a decade old. Who would have thought back then that today Twitter would have a seat at the marketing tables of everyone from GitHub to Goodyear?

We have an entire project devoted to App Marketing in our Tech Entrepreneur Nanodegree Program—it’s a 5-lesson journey through the process of understanding marketing strategy as it applies to App Development:

Lesson 1: Understand the User

Learn to define and create a targeted marketing plan for specific user segments. Analyze your competitive advantages and disadvantages through market segmentation and the five level of market competition and learn how to position your product. Conduct competitive analysis in order to create your unique value proposition.

Lesson 2: Pre-launch

Create marketing goals in order to focus your marketing plan. You’ll start thinking about your distribution plan and consider what keywords work best for your goals. You’ll also create the materials to help prepare you for launch and learn about your app listing page. Finally, you’ll learn about the beta-testing community, beta-testing groups, and prepare your landing pages.

Lesson 3: Launch!

Prepare, launch, execute, and gain your first users. You’ll outline a go-to-market strategy and gain the know-how to execute on it. You’ll learn SEO (search engine optimization) and ASO (app store optimization) skills as well as growth hacking tips to get your first 1000 users.

Lesson 4: Customer Acquisition

Learn about paid and free customer acquisition methods from AdWords, social marketing, email marketing and more.

Lesson 5: Measurement Fundamentals

Learn to use data to iterate and optimize your marketing plan.

Whether you’re taking big steps on the path towards launching your own company, sharing your #ByteBracket for #MarchMadness, or just reminding everyone that you love Radiohead, today is a good day to send a Tweet. After all, it’s the blue bird’s birthday!

Do you remember your very first Tweet? Discover it here!

Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins is Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer at Udacity. He types on a MacBook or iPad by day, and either an Underwood, Remington, or Royal by night. He carries a Moleskine everywhere.