So, you have heard the crowd and have finally decided to dive into the Social Media waters known as Twitter? Good for you! Even if it turns out that twitter is not for you, at least you tried. And believe me, Twitter is NOT for everyone . . . for at its basic level Twitter is simply one more way for humanity to engage in the practice of community.
Still . . . I do think it’s a pretty groovy way to engage with folks and keep up with the happenings of the world, so welcome to the crazy! Below are a few things that I wish folks had told me as I began this adventure. I have included both technical tips as well as thoughts on twitter twetiquette* and culture that will allow you to navigate the landscape as you begin your adventure.
So here you go, a growing list of tips that I think every beginning twitterer should know. As you read this, feel free to suggest other tips or ask questions and I’ll expand the list as appropriate.
I have made each of these tweets short enough to fit within 140 characters – the TOPIC will be linked if I have already tweeted it – so feel free to retweet any or all of the tips as you see fit. If you add “MORE TWITTER TIPS http://3bl.me/ef4n24” to the end of your tweet it will link back to this post.
USERNAME – Chose a USERNAME that is short so you save characters and personal so folks will remember you.
PROFILE PIC – Use a PROFILE PIC that is actually you so people get a feel for who you are as a person.
HASHTAGS – HASHTAGS “#” are a whisper about your tweet or a way to make a word or tag into a common link.
MENTION/REPLY – MENTION or REPLY by putting an “@” in front of their username, otherwise they’ll never see it.
RETWEET – To pass along a tweet, RETWEET it by using the Twitter RT function or place an “RT” in front.
LINKS – When including LINKS, always use the “http://” and use a url shortener like http://3bl.me/
FOLLOW – FOLLOW those that will feed you: news, culture, people and like radio, unfollow if they don’t.
FOLLOWERS – Some FOLLOWERS just want you to follow them, but most want to connect with your life/thoughts.
TRENDS – TRENDS are popular words or hashtags that are appearing in tweets in real time. Semi-useful.
LISTS – LISTS are people you group together so you can see JUST their tweets w/o having to follow them.
DM – DIRECT MESSAGES are private messages that can only be sent to people who are following you.
to be continued . . .
CULTURE ETIQUETTE TIPS
TONE – The most interesting twitterers are real, so be yourself, if folks don’t like it, they can unfollow you.
RETWEETING – When RT’ing edit or shorten but don’t change content. Not cool to assign your ideas to others.
DM vs REPLY – Use DM when relevance is limited to two; REPLY when others might be interested in the conversation.
FREQUENCY – No hard rule, like most things personality and perspective will dictate tweeting frequency.
to be continued . . .
There are, of course, many many many more things to know about twitter, and you should also check out 13 Twitter Tips and Tutorials for Beginners as well as Mashables Twitter Guidebook for more info that you ever through you needed about Twitter. Please feel free to suggest other links, leave some times tips or ask questions. And of course, if you want to follow me, I am probably twittering right now at @breyeschow.
* Twitter people are dorks. There I said it. One of the dorkiest things we do is add “TW to words to make them “cooler” – see, told you were were dorks. Some common ones are things like “tweeps” or “tweeple” which are tw + peeps/people; “twitterverse” “twubs” and some guy even started a “tworship” service . . . good grief 😉