I’m sure at this point you’ve at least heard of Twitter. Maybe you’ve even tried it out and thought that it wasn’t for you. Maybe you were too intimidated by its fast pace to really give it a chance. Well keep reading, we’ve attempted to demystify Twitter so that everyone can feel comfortable joining in!
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a fast paced social networking site where you can quickly and easily connect with anyone who has an account. You can find and follow celebrities, brands, or just anyone that shares the same interests as you. Sharing is limited to 140 characters, but you can share photos and include links too. Twitter’s fast pace makes it the perfect tool to find news and topics that are popular.
Signing Up for a Twitter Account
To create a Twitter account, go to the homepage and fill in your name, email address, and the password you would like to use. Click the sign up button. You will pick your Twitter username in the next screen.
The next screen will ask you to choose a username. This is how other people will be able to find you and talk to you on Twitter. When you choose your Twitter name the information on the right side of the box will let you know if that username has already been taken.
After you’ve found a username that’s available, Twitter will walk you through the next steps so that you can start tweeting and reading other people’s tweets right away. After you click the next button on the first screen, the following screen will ask you to start following people and companies that are popular or that Twitter thinks would be of interest to you. If you don’t think you would like to follow any of the people in the list provided for you, you can search for someone of more interest to you in the search box right above the list. For instance, we did a search for Martha Stewart and crafts and clicked the “follow” button for all the names that seemed interesting to us. You can also choose to skip this step entirely and find people to follow later on.
Once you’ve completed this set up process you are all ready to send your first tweet!
How to Tweet
Tweets are meant to be quick bursts of information. That is why they are limited to 140 characters. Writing information with these constraints could take some getting used to, but don’t worry Twitter helps you watch your character count.
To start writing a tweet, click in the box on your homepage under your username and it will expand to show you how many characters you have available. In this expanded box you can also upload a photo to share and include a location if you would like to.
When you are done composing your message, hit “tweet” and your message will be sent! It’s just as easy as that!
Twitter Lingo – @#?
There are a few shorthand symbols you will see that might be confusing at first, but they will be really handy when you use Twitter regularly.
First is the @ symbol, you use this when you want to “mention” someone on Twitter. Saying “Hey @FaveCrafts can you help me find a craft project for Easter?” is like you are speaking directly to FaveCrafts. This mention will show up on our Twitter homepage and we will know right away that you are asking us a question! To see if anyone has been mentioning you, click the “@ connect” tab at the top of the twitter page.
What used to be commonly referred to as the number or pound sign is now called a hashtag thanks to Twitter. When you put a hashtag in front of a word in a tweet it becomes a click-able link that will show everyone who has sent out a tweet about that word or phrase before. For example, if you say “I’m looking for an easy craft #tutorial for home decor! Help me!” when you send your tweet you can click on #tutorial and you will see a long list of everyone who is talking about tutorials. You can also put a # in front of a phrase as well, but you must eliminate the spaces for the entire phrase to become click-able. For example, #crafttutorials looks silly, but is a valid search term.
Check out this example, here we mentioned our sister site, AllFreeCrochet, and we tagged crochet to that anyone searching for crochet in Twitter could find our tweet.
The above example also features a shortened link. If you want to share a project or news story, you can include a link in your tweets. To save space since you only have 140 characters to use, there are several sites that will shorten your link which you can then copy and paste into your tweet.
As you can see in the example above, you can also reply to someone, retweet what they just said, or favorite a tweet to come back to later. Clicking the reply button will open a new window with @ and the username of the person you want to talk to automatically inserted. Clicking retweet will re-post that exact message exactly as you see it to all of your followers.
Your timeline is located on your Twitter homepage and it’s where you can see what every one you follow is talking about in real time.
Your Twitter homepage also offers suggestions of people to follow and shows you trending topics that lots of people are talking about right now.
Who to Follow
Twitter is a great source of news and information because it moves so quickly and you can follow anyone. Once you’ve started following all your friends, you can add all your favorite companies and websites for the latest news from them daily. Oh, and of course don’t forget to follow us and all our wonderful sister sites!