Twitter for Idiot’s …
I am on Twitter but I don’t know how it works …how many times have I heard that comment. I thought I would take some time out and write down how I interpret how Twitter works and how I got into using Twitter as much as I do. I am not an expert but I am an active user, I hope this information will help get you ahead on Twitter. First of all you need to go to www.twitter.com and register yourself. Take time to think of an appopriate user ID, you can use your name if it is available, plenty do, but I feel more people tend to choose an alias like I did. Make it fun and memorable. I find it easier to communicate with people who have names that you can remember. For example, @toffeeprincess, @fluttabyz, @alexandermcnabb, easy and not taking up too many characters.
Spend five minutes filling out the profile information. I personally very rarely follow someone who has no biography, why would I? I don’t know anything about them. Don’t forget to add your business ID or blogsites too. Sending a tweet is very easy, you will see a box saying What’s happening? you can type anything you wish into that box as long as it is no longer than 140 characters, press the tweet button. You have sent your first tweet! It is a bit daunting at first as is everything new but it won’t take long to adapt to Twitter. Now you need to find some people to follow. You do this by clicking on Who to Follow, and searching for people who you know are already on twitter, for example @stephenfry, @wossy (Mr Ross), @schofe (Mr Schofield), @georgemichael @boygeorge as examples. Find the person you want to follow and click follow. Alternatively you can follow me, find who I am following and follow some of the people I find interesting. You can do that with any account, go to George Michael, see who he is following and if you like the sound of them follow them. There is no guarantee that anyone you follow will follow you back, you just have to wait and see. Setting up a Twitter Account doesn’t happen overnight and you have to spend a bit of time initially building up who you follow and getting people to follow you.
If you put the energy in you will get the rewards back. Don’t stop tweeting, keep your updates coming, build up your tweets and don’t be scared to “talk” to people. Twitter is very open and promotes talk. Timeline: you will see this below the tweet box, these are all the tweets of the people you are following. Next to Timeline you will see @mentions, click on this and you will see the tweets directed to you only. When you hover over those tweets you will see there is a Retweet button and a reply button. Click on the reply button and send a tweet to the person who has tweeted you. The retweet button is there for if you see a tweet that you like and you want your followers to see, then you hit that one. Handy for promoting charity events for example. To send a tweet to someone you are following you need to preface their ID with the @ symbol. You will see that as soon as you enter the @ and the first letter of who you want to send the tweet too, a list will appear of people that you are following alphabetically.
This makes it easier to tweet people and stops you having to memorise every single person’s ID. You can send private messages to the people who you are following, as long as they are following you back. You will see the messages icon at the top of the page. Every couple of days I go and see who is following me and then decide whether I want to follow them back or not. As I said previously if there is no biography then I don’t tend to bother to follow them back. You will get spam followers on Twitter and they are easy to spot as they are often not in the UAE and have only followed you as you have possibly mentioned something they are trying to sell (iPhone for example).
You will start to notice that the # tag is often used in Twitter Talk, that purely means discussion. If you see a # you can click on it, it will take you to a timeline where everyone who is talking about that subject can be found. For example when the Metro launched there was a #dubaimetro hashtag (I think) set up and everyone who mentioned the Metro added it to their tweet, this then began to trend around the UAE, which basically means it is the hot topic of the day. You can check which topics are trending daily on your home page. As I said before it takes time so don’t give up, persevere and you shall succeed, I promise you it will open a whole new world of opportunity for you.
I will give you a few weeks to master twitter.com and then we can talk about applications that you can use to make life easier, such as Tweetdeck which is my personal favourite. But in the early days twitter.com is the way to go. If you have an iPhone and want to tweet when mobile, then I suggest you get the free app called Echofon. I tend to use it a lot on WIFI at home, very easy to use. Right then, happy tweeting! and don’t forget to follow @geordiearmani
(written by an Idiot)