Intermediate Twitter Tips

12 02 2009

Recently I posted some tips for people new to twitter. Although twitter is incredibly simple in concept there are some hints and tricks that might be useful for people who are ready to tear up their twitter L-plates.

Desktop & mobile applications – For many of us using twitter in the web browser is all we need but there are lots of other ways to access and post.  The best way to find out more about these is to click on the linked name at the end of a post, where it says from Tweetdeck or Twhirl.  There are many ways to tweet.

Favorites – If you want to save a tweet, so that you can refer to it later hover over it and click the star icon to the right.  It will add it to your Favorites(sic) menu.

Other People’s Favorites – The Favorite menu on other people’s profiles is clickable so if someone interests you, you can see what interests them.

Twitter Search – Twitter has its own search engine.  You can’t reach it directly from the twitter site but you can by clicking here.

Finding Retweets and multiple @posts – If you are still wondering what RT means it is a retweet and it is a key way for twitter users to propagate interesting content. But how do you know if someone has retweeted your post?  Use Twitter Search and look for your own twitter identity.  This will also show you @replies that have been sent to you where your name does not come at the start of the entry (these are automatically added to your @Replies list). This means that you won’t miss @replies that have been sent to you and other twitter users.

Monitoring – You can take an RSS feed for any  Twitter Search.  That means you can monitor terms in twitter with any RSS reader.

Posting long links – When you add a link twitter automatically crunches the link into a TinyUrl, but to do this the link plus message must be less than 140 characters.  If the link is too long just open a Tinyurl page  and crunch it yourself.

Linking to a tweet – you can post a url in twitter (or anywhere else) that links to a single twitter message – to find it click on the time that the twitter message was posted.

Twitter Tips for Beginners #1

23 01 2009

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?

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.

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