How to Use Twitter
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media app where users can “tweet” out a short message with the world. Other users can “mention” you, “retweet” your tweets, “favorite” your tweets, and direct message you. It’s a great way to discover interesting people by following their profiles and interacting with them. What makes Twitter so unique and attractive is its 140-character limit and that anyone with a profile can interact with one another – think celebrities and their fans.
Odeo, a podcasting company, created Twitter in March 2006. Since then, Twitter has become one of the most popular social media apps in the world. Twitter has over 236 million monthly active users worldwide and the 2014 Pew Research Center Social Media Update reported that approximately 23% of Americans use Twitter.
From Nicki Minaj to Barrack Obama, nearly every celebrity and public figure has a Twitter. If you create a free Twitter account, you will be able to direct message these people in hopes that they will see your Tweet and hopefully respond to it, favorite it, or retweet it. In addition, there are more benefits to using Twitter such as:
• Learning to express yourself accurately and concisely
• Connecting with your friends, family, and public figures
• Getting live updates from your favorite sports teams
So why not sign up today for free?! This Twitter tutorial will cover how to sign up for Twitter, how to set up a Twitter profile, Twitter lingo, and general tips on how to use Twitter.
Get Started with Twitter!
Step 1: Sign Up
Open your Twitter app (or go to https://twitter.com/signup/) and click “Sign Up” in the bottom left corner. Then, enter your full name, phone number, password, and username then click “Sign Up”.
If you don’t want to use your phone number, just click “Use email instead” at the bottom (in the red box). After you click sign up, you will be asked to choose some topics you are interested in so Twitter can suggest content to you. You can choose to skip this step.
Step 2: Who Are You?
Now, Twitter will ask you upload a profile photo, your first and last name, and a bio. If you exited the app while signing up, just go to your profile by clicking “Me” at the bottom right corner of your screen and click “Edit Profile” to add information such as your:
• Profile Photo – Use a real photo of you just like you would in any other social media site
• Header Photo – Just like a Facebook cover photo
• Bio – A short, 160 character blurb about who you are. It can be about anything whether it be your profession, your passion, or a funny quote. Utilize this well, as almost everyone who visits your profile will read it.
• Location – Where do you live? You can choose a suburb, a city, a state, a country, or nothing. Twitter may adapt its suggested content based on what is trending in your location
• Website – Do you have any blogs? Or any art portfolios? What about a website you created? If so, copy and paste the URL here! Share your website with the world! Who cares what they think? Your website was made to be seen by others. Don’t be afraid of judgment. Everyone’s a critic.
Step 3: Follow Others
Now, it is time to follow others! Twitter will suggest some users to follow, but you can always skip this step. If you skipped it, just go to “Home” and search for your family, friends, favorite actors, and public figures by either clicking on the “add friend” icon or the magnifying glass icon at the top of your screen. This way, your Twitter news feed will start to fill up with tweets from people you follow and suggested tweets based on your online activities.
Step 4: Tweet Away!
Now that you’ve created a profile and are following people, it is time to share your first tweet! Just tap on the “New Tweet” icon in the top right corner of your screen and start typing.
You can tag your friends by using the “@” symbol, tag a topic or keyword by using the “#” symbol, and you can share pictures and videos by clicking the camera icon. You can also add your location by clicking on the “location pin”. If you want to share a website, but the link is too long, use a link shortener such as Bitly. Bitly will usually shorten a link into 22-24 characters.
• Hashtag (#)– The hashtag symbol is a great way to add topics or keywords to your tweets. There’s almost always a trending topic and using these hashtags in your tweets increases the chances that others will see your tweet.
• Mentions & Replies (@) – These are used to tag others in Tweets, but it can be used differently! Putting the “@” at the start of your tweet will only allow mutual followers to see your tweet while putting the “@” at the end of your tweet will allow anyone to see your tweet.
• Retweets – Another way to share content on Twitter is by sharing other people’s Tweets. The retweet will appear in your Timeline and your followers’ News Feed. The retweet will essentially look the same as the original Tweet except Twitter will mark it as a retweet.
• Favorites – This is basically the same thing as “liking” a post on Facebook. The only difference is that Twitter saves all your favorite Tweets so you can refer back to it later. I like favoriting funny, interesting, or inspiring Tweets so I can look back on them when I am bored or having a bad day.
• Direct Message – You can now send direct messages to people on Twitter by clicking on the “send direct message” icon next to the gear icon that looks like this:
Additional Twitter Knowledge
• Use your real information to make it easier for others to find you
• Protect your tweets so that only your current followers and people you approve in the future will be able to see your tweets. To do this, go to your profile, click on the gear icon, click your account, then click “Protect my tweets”.
• You can change your Twitter handle, or username, at any time you want. Just let everyone know that you’ve made the change by tweeting it out!
• Practice articulating and expressing yourself more concisely and accurately. You know what they say about talking – less is more.
• Use Bitly to shorten links and fit them within the 140-character Tweet limit
• Connect your other social media accounts to this profile. Do you have a Facebook? Dropbox? Medium? If so, go to Settings then apps to connect Twitter with them!
• For more Twitter knowledge, click here.
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