How to Use Twitter
In order to use Twitter, you will first need to create your own Twitter account. To do this, go to twitter.com
or use your smartphone to download the Twitter app. Next, click ‘Sign Up’ and follow the instructions on screen.
You will need to enter your name, a strong password (6 characters minimum), and either your phone number or your email address. You will also need to choose a ‘Twitter handle’ – this is the unique name (preceded by an @ symbol) that people will use when they want to mention you in a tweet. For example, if you wanted Tesco’s customer service team to see one of your tweets, you’d have to include @Tesco
somewhere in the tweet’s content.
Once you’ve entered your details, Twitter will ask you some questions about your interests and suggest some accounts to follow. You can skip these sections if you wish, although this can be a quick and easy way to ensure that you immediately start seeing tweets that are relevant to you.
Lastly, you will be prompted to add a profile picture and write your bio (a short description that gives Twitter users a little more information on who you are). Both of these steps are optional; however, if you want to build a large following on Twitter, it’s a good idea to have a photo and a strong bio that makes it easy for people to identify you.
How to Post on Twitter
Once you’ve set up your Twitter account, you can begin posting tweets. A tweet is a short message (140 characters maximum) that appears in the timeline of anyone who follows your Twitter account. Tweets can contain images, GIFs and/or links, although many consist solely of plain text.
Here’s how to post a tweet:
- Log into your Twitter account.
- Click the ‘Tweet’ button in the top-right corner of the screen (look for the quill icon).
- Type whatever you want to say into the box provided. This can include links, hashtags, emojis, and other people’s Twitter handles, as well as plain text.
- If you wish to include an image, a GIF, or a poll with your tweet, use the icons along the bottom of the ‘Compose new Tweet’ box to add these attachments.
- Once you’re happy with your tweet, simply click ‘Tweet’ to publish it.
- Your tweet will now appear in the Timeline of everyone who follows you. It will also be visible on your profile page, and anyone who you mentioned in the tweet (using their @ handle) will receive a notification.
You can also reply to other people’s tweets – simply click the ‘Reply’ icon (an arrow pointing left) underneath somebody else’s tweet and compose your reply as you would a normal tweet. Twitter will automatically include the original poster’s handle to make sure they see your response.
Why Use Twitter?
Wondering why it’s worth setting up a Twitter account and posting tweets? Here are just a few reasons to join the hundreds of millions of people using this social network today:
- Promote your business. Setting up a Twitter account for your company is a great way to raise brand awareness and reach new customers online.
- Join conversations that interest you. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find many people who are talking about them on Twitter. You can also follow news stories as they unfold and see what your favourite people and organisations are talking about right now.
- Drive traffic to your website. When you tweet a link to your website or blog, this can result in a large amount of traffic coming from Twitter to your site, especially if your tweet gets retweeted by other users.
- Make it easy for people to reach you. Twitter is great for communication, and once you’ve got a Twitter account, you may find that people start contacting you via Twitter just as much as via email or telephone. Twitter is ideal for offering real-time customer service, forging new business relationships, and answering questions about yourself and/or your organisation.
How Do I Get More Twitter Followers?
If your tweets aren’t getting much of a response, you may want to look at ways of attracting more followers to your Twitter account. More followers means more people seeing your tweets, so you’ll probably find that you see more interaction as your following grows.
Here are a few simple ways to increase your visibility on Twitter and reach more potential followers on the social network:
- Follow other accounts. When you follow someone else, they’ll be notified of it – they may even look at your profile and decide that they’d like to follow you back. Follow people who interest you and tweet about the same topics as you.
- Talk to people. Twitter is all about conversations, and joining in those conversations is key to being seen. Reply to tweets that interest you and offer your own view on popular topics.
- Use retweets. If you see a tweet you like, you can ‘retweet’ it. This will share the tweet with your followers, just as if you posted it yourself. The original poster will also receive a notification to let them know that you interacted with their tweet in this way.
- Use likes. Another way to show your appreciation for somebody else’s tweet? Click the heart icon underneath the tweet and give it a ‘like’. This doesn’t share the tweet with your followers in the same way as a retweet, but the original poster will still be notified of this interaction, which may lead to them looking at your profile.
- Use hashtags. As you browse Twitter, you’ll see a lot of people who include #hashtags in their tweets. If you type a # symbol before a key word or phrase in your tweet, you’ll create a hashtag that, when clicked, shows the user all the other tweets that contained that hashtag. Learn which hashtags are popular in your industry/community and start including them in relevant tweets to increase the visibility of your posts.
- Keep an eye on what’s trending. Twitter shows its users a list of ‘Trends’ – topics that a lot of people are currently talking about, usually because of a breaking news story or special occasion of some sort. Keep an eye on this list and be sure to get involved in any conversations that are relevant to you/your brand.
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