Twitter is a micro-blogging platform, designed to get quick messages, news and updates out to the world in no more than 140 characters.
Below you will find information about Twitter jargon and how to start your very own Tweet journey.
When you’re logged in to Twitter you will see five tabs: ‘timeline’/@Mentions/Retweets/Searches/Lists
You’ll find descriptions, examples and guidelines for these tabs below
You can follow people/organisations by searching for them using the search box at the top of the web page and clicking the follow button on their profile.
Once you’ve clicked follow you will then see their Tweet updates on your ‘timeline’ which is your home page of Twitter which appears when you log in.
To speak to someone or mention/reference someone in your Tweets just simply put a ‘@’ symbol in front of their Twitter name.
I had a very productive meeting @LCBDepot today
@Richard_TMC what will the weather be like today?
If you would like to share a website link or promote a website to your followers it is always a good idea to shorten the URL (the website title) first because you only have 140 characters per Tweet.
You can shorten your URL easily by copying the URL you wish to share and going to http://www.tinyurl.com/
on this website you will see a box which asks you to paste your long URL into and simply click make tiny URL and click access clipboard when the box appears. You will then be able to go to your Twitter status box and click paste to add the shortened link to the site you wish to share.
The # symbol called hashtag is used to mark topics or keywords in Tweets. You will often find events such as conferences, meetings or courses have their own hashtag. This allows people to monitor, follow or keep up-to-date on events or subjects.
For instance, The Mighty Creatives used #AICDerby and #AICLincoln for the Adventures in Creativity Summer events 2011.
On your ‘timeline’ you will see Tweets from all the people/organisations that you are following. A Retweet is where you simply Tweet someone else’s Tweet.
If you hover the cursor over a Tweet that you like you will then see three options appear: - Favourite/Retweet/Reply
If you want to share someone else’s Tweet with your followers simply click Retweet.
This option allows you to add a star next to Tweets you like. You may want to use this function if a Tweet has a link on you wish to explore later but don’t have the time to look at it then.
You can then return to that Tweet later by clicking on your profile (either at the top of the screen or on the right hand column) and you’ll see your ‘favourites’ tab next to the timeline and your Tweets.
You can click this button to make a comment to someone’s Tweet. This button adds the persons @ Twitter name into your Tweet status box and allows you to type a message and when they receive it they’ll be able to see which of their Tweets you’re replying/commenting to by clicking on a small arrow which will appear at the end of the Tweet.
The search tab allows you to save your regular search subjects. For instance, if you wanted to keep up-to-date with a hashtag or particular word you could use the search box and save it so you can re-visit it at any point.
You may find it useful to group the people/organisations your following into lists. This allows you to then view the Tweets from a particular group in its own ‘timeline’.
For instance, you could choose to create a list of journalisrs. This way you’ll be able to view all journalists’ Tweets in a single ‘timeline’ without having to sift through your main ‘timeline’. This tool is useful if you follow lots of people or if you like to categorize subjects.
For instance, you could create lists for each region so that you view all the Tweets from people/organisations that live in Leicester under one ‘timeline’.
You will see the word Trends in the right hand column when you’re signed into your account which will list the most popular search words or hashtags being used on Twitter.
These are great for keeping up-to-date with popular worldwide discussions, topics and even sometimes great for finding out ‘news’ before the newsreaders know themselves.
Your Twitter settings
By clicking on your name in the top right hand corner when your logged in and choosing settings you can amend your profile and notifications.
Profile options: - photo/bio/location/web address/profile background/password/Twitter name
Notifications: - email alerts about direct messages, @metions, retweets and new followers
Applications: - linking your account with other accounts such as Linkedin, Foursquare etc
Mobile: - receiving update notifications via text messages
This was a basic guide to for those Twitter virgins. Please add comments if you would like to share your tips on using Twitter.