It was reported this week that twitter use has grown ten fold in the last year so I thought it might be useful to give some tips to those people that have signed up to use the service but are stuggling to get to grips with it. For many people the first thing they type into twitter (or tweet) is “Trying to understand twitter” or simply “hello”. They probably won’t get a reply so this is for them.
Finding people to follow
- Use the ‘Find People’ tab at the top right of your screen. Only use it to try and find people you know are on twitter. Adoption is still relatively low (and you are still an early adopter!) don’t expect all your friends to be there – they might also be using a ‘screen name’ making them difficult to find.
- Follow people that follow other people. Twitter isn’t like Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn, you don’t have to know people to follow and be followed. Once you are following one person it gets easier. Click on their name of image (sometimes called an avatar) and look at who they are following. Follow the ones that interest you. Repeat this and carry on repeating with new followers.
What’s the right number of people to follow?
- There is no limit but I think that between 50 and 100 is a good place to start
- If you follow too small a number you won’t be seeing enough in your twitter stream to be of interest and it will be harder to understand what twitter is for and how you might use it*
- If you immediately try to get to 2000 (the limit that twitter places when you have limited followers) you will be overwhelmed by the tweets you receive and you will probably be blocked as a potential spammer.
*What is twitter for?
- Check out this previous post “What’s Twitter For“
What should I tweet?
- Don’t worry about this too much at the beginning but discover what interests you and use that to think about what might interest others. It probably won’t be what you had for breakfast.
Some final quick basics tips
- The web page doesn’t refresh, Click ‘Home’ at the top or in the left hand panel to see new tweets
- Go to the web site regularly or keep it minimised – once you are up and running you may want to consider using one of the many available applications for twitter (more on this at a later date).
- Twitter jargon (tweet, tweeple etc etc) is silly, possibly even ridiculous. Get used to it and get over it.
‘Twitter Tips for Beginners #2’ coming soon.