"I don't get Twitter" is something that I often hear from people. Whether it's the culture, the way people communicate on Twitter, or perhaps other factors that lead to a severe case of the "I don't get it's". I am hoping that I can bestow some fairly common wisdom on you, and help you to feel more at ease with this powerful social resource.
What IS Twitter?
Twitter is a Social Media platform that allows users to post short 140 character posts known as "Tweets" that are posted publicly on the site for others to read and engage. Over the course of the last few years what people "tweet" about has changed, from "What I'm doing" to "what's happening", helping Twitter to evolve into a new real time platform for news and events around the world. The vast majority of people only check their "feeds" a couple of times a week, and that's just fine. Others live and die by it.
Who Uses Twitter?
In September 2013, it was claimed by many sites that Twitter has over 500 million users world wide. So it would be safe to say that theirs a lot of people currently engaged.
Celebs such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Ellen Degeneres.
Political Figures such as U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and many likely from your own home town.
Sports stars including soccer (football) star Kaka, Serena Williams, and Shaq.
News from around the world, BBC (they have many accounts), CNN, Wall Street Journal, and many many more.
Twitter is certainly more than just celebs You can use Twitter to help find more information about plants, or events in your area, find people who share a common interest with you. Want to know what all the racket is going on around the corner, chances are pretty good you can find out. When something is happening, it's usually found on Twitter.
I'm in, Now What?
So, your task is pretty straight forward. Visit www.twitter.com and sign up. It's that simple.
What should I Tweet about?
Pretty much anything you want. I would suggest that you not tweet about going to the bathroom, or everything you do through the day. Why? 'Cause people likely won't care. Otherwise, you are pretty much free to engage how you see fit. I have put together a short list of 10 of my best types of tweets for you. Check it out and lets get started!
Top 10 Best Types of Tweets
1. Chit Chat - Yes, you can carry on conversations with people on Twitter. It's quite simple.
— Jaclyn Whittal (@jwhittalTWN) September 21, 2013
2. Sharing of links you've found. There are always times when you find something of interest on the internet and want to share it with others. Perhaps it's a recipe or "How to cross-stitch", or some DIY project. Example Found this great recipe for Tomato Soup http://hellohealthyme.com/2013/04/07/ians-homemade-creamy-tomato-soup/
The most up-to-date information during an emergency, courtesy of Twitter: http://t.co/vD3z3ZYPkg
— HootSuite (@hootsuite) October 9, 2013
3. Promote yourself. Have you created a blog post? Taken a great photo of your dog? Got a promotion at work? Share it!! Example: My dog woofy is such a ham! Check out this picture of him licking the back of his head <insert link or attach image>.
4. Connect People: You have a passion and likely have made some connections. Share and Connect them. A recent Tweet of mine:
Awesome Southern Ontario Weather Folks to follow: @wwxchaser @DTChapmanPics @WX_SSills @vaughanweather @coreywxelder @WeatherHAMILTON — Ian Archibald (@MajorTwister) September 24, 2013 Note. A great day of the week for this is Fridays, with something known as Follow Fridays, which uses the #Hashtag #FF
5. Share Opinions: It's simple. Have an opinion on something, tweet it! Example. "I went to see <insert movie name> last night. I was so disappointed in the ending. What did you think?"
— HAMILTON WEATHER (@WeatherHAMILTON) October 7, 2013
6. Share Knowledge: There are often going to be times when you know something about a topic you're reading about. You can jump right in and offer your knowledge. This also adds value to yourself as a "SME" or Subject Matter Expert. Example: @someaddress I have found that if you add equal parts sugar and water to a pot and warm water, the sugar will dissolve more easily.
7. Share Posts of Others - Known as a ReTweet or RT. You may find something that someone else created and you believe others may benefit from. Share it. All you need to do is to hit the Retweet button. If you make any changes to the post, it now becomes a MT or Modified ReTweet.
1. Copy and paste the message and name of person sending it to you.
2. Precede it by "RT @" [type "RT", then a space, then a @. It's important that the @ and the name NOT have a space between them]. I.e. it should start out like this: "RT @Username "
8. Give Thanks - One type of post that is most gratifying are the ones where you're thanked, and there are many reasons to thank someone. Examples may be thanking someone for Retweeting (RT) a post of yours. For connecting with them. For providing information or answers you may have been looking for, and so on. Here's an example:
9. Asking for Help. Maybe you're stuck and can't find a solution to a problem. Chances are pretty good there are SMEs out there who are checking right now to see what's happening. "Does anyone know a way to BBQ pancakes?"
@justinhobson85 how did you buy it ? Says not available in canada
— Dave Patrick (@wwxchaser) September 23, 2013
10. Name Dropping. This one should be fairly obvious. "I'm hanging with @<Name Here> at <place>. What an awesome night!"
— David Hills (@DavidartHills) September 20, 2013