It’s easy to forget how intimidating Twitter can be to new users once you’ve used it for awhile. So here are some of my quick tips to getting started using twitter.

Setting Up Your Twitter Account

If you’re not currently using Twitter reconsider! Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool for your personal learning, connecting with others and complements your blogging.

Here are two of my posts that will help you understand why you should use twitter and how to set up your account:

  1. Are You Twittering? Here’s How I Use Twitter explains how to set up twitter
  2. Using Your Twitter Network For Help & Providing Their Recommendations

Most important aspects of setting up your account are:Image of Twitter Bio

  1. Use a twitter username that makes it easier for others to relate to you as a real person.  e.g. Compare spwat3 with suewaters — which is easier?
  2. Your username can be changed anytime without affecting your twitter account by changing your name in the username field in your account settings.
  3. Make sure you complete your one line bio and add your blog URL (if applicable) in account settings because people use this information to decide whether they will add you to their account.
  4. Image of twitter avatarMake sure you upload your twitter avatar asap — important to fit in and not look like a new user. Upload it by clicking on picture tab in account settings.
  5. Don’t ask start inviting people to follow you on twitter until you’ve updated i.e. start writing some tweets first!!!  Why would anyone follow you if you haven’t even bothered to update?Image of not updated
  6. Easiest way to find and add people to your twitter account is to ask an experienced twitter user to ask their twitter network to add you (you can always ask me here for help).  Make sure when they do start adding them you add them back plus thank them for adding you to their account!!!
  7. If you follow me, and only follow a few people, don’t have your twitter account set on all @ replies!!! You’ll get every tweet I send and then blame me for excessive tweeting :).

Image of reply options

A bit About Using Twitter

While twitter is fun and great for conversations — keep in mind:

  1. Online is forever.  If you didn’t want it online don’t say it in the first place.
  2. It’s extremely easy for others to misinterpret your written text.  Remember this!
  3. Think about how what you say reflects on how people visualise you.
  4. @ replies go to the person you are tweeting to and anyone that is following both you and the person you are doing the @ reply.  Except if your followers have their account set to all @ replies (which means they receive all your tweets).

Remember to:

  1. Use @ replies when you are tweeting to a specific person — e.g if you were asking me a question you would start your tweet with @suewaters.
  2. Limit your use of DM (Direct Messages) to really important private messages.  These messages often take longer to access depending on what twitter client people are using and take more time to respond to.

Using A Twitter Client

The power of twitter is in the instant notification/response to tweets of people you follow.  A twitter client is a MUST; using the web interface isn’t the way to go. They provide instant notification of the latest updates and easy response to the tweets.

Which Twitter client you use is personal — experienced twitter users are known to fight in support of theirs.  Popular ones include:

  1. Twhirl
  2. Twitterfic – popular with Mac and iPhone users
  3. Snitter
  4. Twinkle – popular with iphone users which you download through your Apps Store

Twitter Tools

There is an abundance of twitter tools that you can spend hours checking out.  Here are just some that I’ve enjoyed using:

  1. Twitter Karma – an easy way of checking who is following you and who you follow
  2. Twittervision – displays tweets from twitter’s public timeline on the World map in real time
  3. TweetStats – use this to analyse the statistics on a twitter user
  4. Twitscoop – works similar to Google Trends but analyses the words used in the twitter public timeline to identify the hot topics on twitter right now
  5. My Tweet Map – displays the location of your follower’s tweets on a World map — interesting for seeing where they are based.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Twitter has so many layers.

If you are a new twitter user:

  1. Is there an aspect of twitter I haven’t covered and you would like to know about?
  2. Is there anything you would like me to explain in more detail?

If you’re an experienced twitter user:

  1. What advice would you give to people getting started using twitter?
  2. Did I miss any important points?
  3. Was there a twitter client or tool that you think I should have included?  Any why?
  4. What are your tips for getting the most out of using twitter?

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