If you’re new to tweeting here are a few tips to help you on your way.
1. What’s in a name?
Your Twitter ID (@username) is all about you – your personal brand. Ideally it should be your name, or if that’s already taken then something as close to it as possible so that people can recognise you. Try to avoid really long usernames as they will take up too many of the precious 140 message characters when someone retweets you.
2. It’s not always about the numbers
It takes time to achieve a following and you’ll do that by tweeting regularly and making sure that the content of your tweets is interesting to your followers. Don’t automatically follow everyone that follows you, bear in mind that they may just be automated accounts that have been created to collect followers and will more than likely unfollow you very quickly.
3. Some key terms
Understanding the lingo or key terms makes it easier to get started, here are some of the main ones:
A DM or direct message is a private message on Twitter
RT or retweet is to repost a valuable message from somebody else on Twitter and give them credit
# Hashtag (see below)
@username is a public message to or about an individual on Twitter
Shortened URLs. To fit links into the short messages, Twitter shrinks some URLs down automatically
4. What’s the # (hashtag) all about?
A tweet containing a # before a word e.g. #strictly or #scd is a way of organising all the tweets that contain references to Strictly Come Dancing making it easier to find that topic when searching. So if you want to join in the conversation about the show then search for #strictly and you will see all the tweets on that topic in a conversation stream. If you put the # reference in your tweet it will also appear in the stream making it easier for people to reply to you.
5. Stay safe and be suspicious about links
Be wary of opening links in messages directed to you from people that you’ve never interacted with before, or from someone you know if the message seems out of character. These may be from spam accounts and will could take you to phishing or malware sites. If you think you’ve spotted a spam account then you can report it to Twitter by taking the following steps:
- Visit the Spam account’s profile
- Click the person icon. This brings up a drop-down Actions menu (see image below)
- Click on “Report @username for spam”
Please kindly retweet or share this article with any Twitter Newbies you may know.