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Idiots guide to Twitter

Idiots guide to twitter

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If you want to join the Twitter party but don’t know your hashtag from your handle, then you’ve come to the right place with this idiots guide to twitter. Sometimes, not being on Twitter can make you feel like the uninvited guest to the world’s biggest party; yet getting started can seem quite daunting.

In a nutshell, Twitter is a global platform upon which users shares their thoughts, news, information and jokes – but you only have 140 characters to do it in. Anyone in the world can see what you write and, unlike Facebook, Twitter isn’t about only following people you know, but rather engaging with interesting people from around the world, including celebrities, politicians and other like-minded individuals. By ‘following’ certain people you can see what they’re up to and take part in conversations with them.

Understanding The Jargon #whatonearthisahashtaganyway

Tweet: A 140-character post.

Retweet (RT): Passing on someone else’s tweet that you want to share with your followers.

Feed: The tweets of all the people you follow will appear in order on your homepage. This is your feed.

Handle: Your username.

Mention: This is the process of referring to someone else in your tweet by stating their username preceded by the @ sign. For example: Great article by @WorkingParentUK.

Direct Message: Messages can be sent privately to another Twitter member, but they still have to be 140 characters or less.

Hashtag (#): Using the hashtag symbol followed by a talking point or topic is a way of taking part in, or starting, a larger group discussion. It allows people to search for tweets based on particular subjects, such as #workingparents or #XFactor.

Your Twitter Identity

The first thing to do when getting started on Twitter is to introduce yourself. By setting up a handle, or user profile, you can briefly set out who you are. It is through this description that others will interact with you. Unless you’re setting up a spoof profile, the accompanying picture and biography should genuinely reflect who you are so that people feel more comfortable interacting with you.Idiots guide to twitter

Follow You, Follow Me

The next task is to find people to follow. Start with friends, people you know and any celebrities you like; plus news outlets or websites you find interesting and the network will soon grow. The more you use Twitter the more it will get to know you and your areas of interest and will start to make logical and relevant suggestions for people for you to follow.

If you follow someone then find them boring, or get fed up of their constant tweets filling your news feed, you can simply unfollow them. If someone follows you, there’s no requirement for you to follow them back.

Diving In

So you’ve got your profile, your followers and people you’re following; it’s now time to jump into the fray. You won’t get much out of it by just observing, the most fun from Twitter comes from engaging and interacting with people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to connect with.

Join the conversation, reply to a tweet by hitting ‘reply’ and adding your two pennies worth. You can see all the responses a particular tweet received by clicking ‘expand’ or ‘view conversation’, including those from people you aren’t following.

Tweet away

When you’re ready, try sending your own tweet into the ether. Once you feel you’ve got the hang of it you can try interacting with some of the more influential Twitter users. By using the @mention feature to name specific people you raise the chances of them seeing your tweets and they may even respond, or retweet.

Retweeting is the most common means by which information goes viral. You can retweet something from one of your followers to pass it on to your own audience. You can do this by simply hitting the ‘retweet’ button that appears when you hover the mouse over a tweet. This will show the message to your followers alongside the original tweeter’s profile picture with a note to say you’ve retweeted it.

To comment on the tweet as well as retweeting it, click to expand the tweet and copy and paste the text into a new tweet, being sure to include the letters RT and username of the original author. It will then appear with your profile pic and comment before the original post.

The more you use Twitter, the chances are the more enjoyable and rewarding it will become, especially as you find your own voice and craft out your own identity.



2 Responses to “Idiots guide to Twitter”

  1. Robert.H Fellows

    This was useful knowledge, however if i wanted to call myself Robert.H Fellows how would i enter it:


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