A Beginners Guide to Twitter

I love Twitter.
I love its instantness.
There are no bullshit, make-you-envious, filtered-to-the-max pictures (*cough – Instagram).
There’s no over-elaborated explanation of what’s going.
It’s just short, punchy pieces of information, links and a few photos giving an insight into the lives of the people I find interesting.

When I declare my love of Twitter to clients and friends, they often reply with “I just don’t get it.”
The beauty of Twitter is there is very little to ‘get.’

This easy guide will give you the basics to get going on the platform, start picking up a following and actually enjoy it.

What is a Tweet?
A tweet is a public message that can contain photos, videos, website links or just text. It’s the equivalent of a Facebook status update.

As of 07/11/17, a tweet can contain up to 280 characters. It used to be 140.


Number of Pictures & Video Length
Your Tweet can contain up to 4 pictures or a video of up to 2 minutes 20 seconds.


Twitter Handle
A Twitter handle is another name for a username. It’s the name that follows the @ sign.
You can tag other Twitter users in your tweet using their Twitter handle, which is like tagging someone on Facebook.


Reply
Allows you to reply to someone’s tweet.
It will automatically include the person’s Twitter handle plus any other accounts included in the original tweet.


Retweet
There are 2 options for a retweet:
1. ‘Retweet’ reposts a tweet directly to your newsfeed. Think of it as a Facebook share.
2. ‘Retweet with comment allows you to add your own comment above the retweet. Similar to when you share something on Facebook but add a comment.


Like
Similar to a Facebook like, tap the heart to like a tweet.


Hashtags
Twitter relies quite heavily on hashtags.
In the search page (look for the magnifying glass), it displays the top 20 trending hashtags for that day. It’s a good idea to get involved in these as you can get involved in Twitter chats and have a bit of fun with them.
For example:


REMEMBER, this isn’t Instagram. Just use one or two hashtags.


Lists
Twitter lists are by far the most underrated tool on Twitter!
They allow you to create a list of groups of people.
Click here to see my Twitter lists.
Lists make it easier to interact with the people you want to see rather scrolling through a busy newsfeed.

You can make your Lists Public or Private.
Public lists can be viewed by anyone, and members of a public list will be notified when they have been added (quite a compliment if you put them on a good list!)

Private lists can only be seen by you and the accounts added will not be notified.
There are good reasons for both.


Moments
I’d love to pretend I know what these are but I actually have no idea.
Even the biggest social media marketers on Twitter aren’t using them.
I feel like they’re a really bad, low-tech equivalent of Instagram stories stuck in the 1990’s.
(If you really want to see a Twitter Moment – I created one on my profile – click here – and I still do not know what one is!)

I think it’s a way of bookmarking good tweets or good ‘moments’ in your life. Who knows? I wouldn’t bother.


Twitter Live Video
I’ve used Twitter Live a few times. I’m not sure how I feel about it.
It’s a great way to deliver as-it-happens action to followers without clogging up your Facebook or Instagram feed by using their live video tools.


How Do I Use Twitter?
( ** the most effective)

  1. ** Sharing links to new blogs and videos from my website and YouTube Channel.
  2. ** Liking and retweeting content from people I follow to show I have read or enjoyed what they are sharing. Do this consistently and you are likely to get recognised by that person.
  3. ** It’s the easiest way for me to see what the people I admire are doing, saying and creating. I use Twitter Lists for this!
  4. Sharing information that would otherwise clog up my Facebook feed and negatively affect the algorithms, and sharing images that do not fit my Instagram grid i.e. food pictures, views, books I’m reading, podcasts I’m listening too etc.
  5. I can tweet up to 10 times per day (more if I want!) and not feel guilty. It’s instant information giving followers an insight into your life in real time.


** TOP TIPS **

  1. Keep it simple. This is why I think Twitter was better with 140 characters and not 280.
  2. Support your tweet with a picture, video or boomerang to capture your follower’s attention.
  3. The more you use Twitter, the more followers you will get.
  4. Treat Twitter like a room of people; interact, communicate, chat, be friendly and network the shit out of it.
  5. Retweet (and Retweet with comment) more than you tweet. This is a good general rule when starting out. Share information from your industry and interests so followers get a feel for who you are and what you are about.

To see what I get up to and how I use Twitter, find me and give me a follow

Let me know what you thought to this article and if it was helpful by sending me a tweet. If you’re feeling brave, send me a video tweet!

I offer social media consultancy packages for businesses and individuals wishing to expand their knowledge of social media, increase their following and achieve the results they want.

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