Do you have a special interest that you want to share with other people? You can discover the best of anything from resources, news, and events if you follow the right people and tune into their tweets in Twitter. With a little understanding of the basics of registering, setting up a profile, finding followers, and tweeting you can be up and tweeting in just a few minutes.
Register at twitter.com. You will need to choose a username and a password. You can be as creative as you would like with choosing a username. Use your own name or something catchy that represents you or your interest. Enter your email address, and click on the button, “Sign up for Twitter.” Go to your e-mail account to verify the account you just created.
Set up your profile
More people will follow you if you complete your profile. Twitter automatically makes your default profile photo an egg. Before you start tweeting or following, choose a profile photo that is no larger than 700k and in one of the following formats: .jpg, .gif, .png. To upload your profile photo, click on the icon to the right of the search field, and then choose “Settings” from the dropdown menu. Choose “Profile” from the menu on the left, and click on “choose file.” Complete the rest of your profile:
- Website (or blog)
- Facebook – link to your Facebook profile or page if you would like your tweets to be posted there too.
Basics of tweeting
Before you follow anyone, find something good to tweet. When you begin to follow people on Twitter, they will be curious about what you have to share. It is a good idea to stick primarily with the topic that interests you because you will gain followers according to that interest. A tweet should be no more than 140 characters. If you make it longer, your followers will have to stop and click to read the rest of the message.
These are types of tweets:
- Mention – a tweet to another user; use @username then the message.
- Direct message – a private message to someone that is a friend (you both follow each other); use “D” and one space before their @username then your message.
- Reply – a response to someone that mentioned you; use @username before your message.
- Retweet – sharing a tweet from someone else with your followers; add to the message if you wish then use “RT” and @username of the twitterer.
Use the hashtag (#) to clarify the topic of your tweet. Users searching for a particular topic will be able to find you. This is a good way to pick up followers. Do not send lots of tweets at once. It is better to spread them out throughout the day so you do not become annoying.
Time to follow
After you have tweeted a couple of times, go to the search bar at the top of the screen, and search for people you know, or search by topics that interest you. Try not to follow too many people at first. Keep more followers than people you follow so you are not mistaken for a spammer. @scfactoftheday from the SC State Library and StudySC.org in Columbia is a neat resource to follow if you want to learn about South Carolina facts from across the state.
Be sure to check out the attached slideshow to see examples of types of tweets. Get the next Columbia Social Media Examiner article in your e-mail by clicking “subscribe” above.