If you want to connect with like-minded people, follow the latest trends, or know what is happening around the world, then you should know how to use Twitter. The social networking platform is a space to chat with friends, get the latest news, and interact with your favorite authors, athletes or celebrities in real time. Twitter also allows you to share information with millions of people worldwide.
Founded in 2006, Twitter rapidly gained worldwide popularity, gaining over 300 million active users to-date. The popular micro-blogging platform allows users to tweet their latest updates in a quick, brief and immediate way. Nowadays, world leaders, celebrities, influencers and regular people use Twitter to report on current events or share their opinion on the hottest issues. The immediacy and wide reach of Twitter generate conversations between people of diverse points of view, culture and origin. Many people are successfully using Twitter to promote their ideas, social causes, and their businesses.
Getting started on Twitter can be mind-boggling. Who to follow? What to tweet? How to get more followers? But learning how to use Twitter is easier than you think. Use the following instructions to create your free how to use Twitter account:
Making a Twitter Account
Learn how to use Twitter by going to http://twitter.com where you'll find the sign-up box, or go directly to https://twitter.com/signup. You can also download the app in your phone and sign up for an account.
- Enter your name, desired password and email address or phone number. Twitter will send you an email or text to verify your information. Enter the verification code in the box provided.
- Once you signed up for an account, you can select a user name. Twitter will immediately let you know if the user name you want is available. Your user name is the name your followers use when sending replies mentions and Direct Messages. Make sure to pick a user name you like.
Next, set up your Twitter profile:
- Upload a profile picture. Choose a picture in JPG, GIF or PNG file and smaller than 700 KB
- Add your name location and website if desired
- Type in a short bio to introduce yourself to other users. The bio can only be up to 160 characters. Do your best to make it interesting and authentic; an eye-catching bio will help you get followers.
Now you are ready to Tweet and build a community of Twitter followers.
Following and Followers
The purpose of how to use Twitter is to follow and be followed. So what's the point if you're not tweeting or retweeting the latest celebrity gossip, voicing your opinion about something? Plus, Twitter gives you suggestions of whom to follow immediately after signing up, to make it easier for you to jump into the Twitter stratosphere. After signing up and creating your profile, begin by finding and following friends, news sources or other organizations that appeal to you to create a stream of information on your home timeline. Following means, you'll get that user's Tweets on your how to use Twitter home timeline. Also by following others, you can get more followers. You can unfollow anyone at any time.
Using the menu tab on your page click on "Who to Follow."
There are several ways to find people on Twitter:
- Use the 'Find Friends' link to find people you know through your various online accounts (Gmail MSN, Hotmail, etc.)
- Look for people from organizations you are in or for those that share a common interest. There are many business, companies, celebrities, and non-profit organizations on Twitter, ranging from Stephen Colbert (@stephenAtHome) to the ASPCA (@ASPCA).
To get a lot of followers, be sure to tweet regularly and make your posts engaging and relevant. Type your Tweet into the 'What's happening?' textbox and then click on the 'Tweet' button. Tweets can contain links, photos, GIFs, or videos, but if you are tweeting text is limited to 280 characters. This forces the user to get to the point and write succinctly.
An RT (re-tweet) is another effective way to get followers. Re-tweets are a way to connect with other users by agreeing with their statements and shares and are often rewarded with a follow.
Other Ways to Connect
You are learning How To Tweet; you have signed up, followed others and made your first tweet; now you are ready to learn the different ways you can connect and join conversations in Twitter about relevant topics around the world:
Prefacing a word with a '#' will create a Hashtag. The Hashtag symbol (#) is a great way to mark specific topics or keywords in a Tweet. Twitter staff created it to classify messages and has since become a cultural phenomenon. All you have to do is to place the # symbol ahead of a word or phrase in your tweet.
A Hashtag makes a certain word easily searchable. Some Trending topics will include Hashtags, for example, #WoldCup or #StarWars thus making it easier for users to tap into a Twitter-wide conversation regarding a single matter of interest.
GIFs are entertaining and quick responses that help you stand out in the Twitter conversation. GIFs are also great for expressing emotions and conveying the nuance of a tweet. To add a GIF, click on the Tweet button. In the 'Compose New Tweet' box, there is a GIF option. Clicking on the GIF button will take you to a gallery of GIFs, organized in different categories you can scroll through.
Keeping up with what is trending around Twitter is one of the best ways to get your name in the conversation and attract new followers. Twitter generates a list of trending topics tailored to you in the 'Trends For You Section. Here you will see the most popular topics based on your interests, who you follow and your location.
Twitter Moments are a collection of trending topics around the world. Twitter Moments have five categories: Fun, Entertainment, Today, News and Sports. You can jump into the conversation by seeing what people are saying about certain topics and by making your own Twitter Moment. Twitter moments are great to connect your followers to topics or tweets that resonate with you and your audience.
5. Mentions & Replies
Mentions and replies are updates that contain "@username" anywhere in the tweet. By placing the @username at the beginning of your tweet, mutual followers will see your replies. If you want your followers to see your mentions/replies to someone else, you must set the "@username" at the end of the tweet.
A retweet (RT) is a way to share another Twitter user's tweet with all of your followers. It will look the same as normal tweets with the author's name and user name next to it, but it will also contain the retweet icon and the name of the user who reposted it. Click the "Retweet" option under a tweet, and you will choose between retweeting the tweet as is or adding a 280-character message above it. The latter option is referred to as a Quote Retweet and will have your message on top of the tweet you wished to RT in a box. If you feel a tweet of yours didn't get the proper attention it deserved, You can also RT your own tweet via the same option.
Liking a tweet is a way to let the original poster know you liked their tweet for whatever reason. However, it also gives you a way to save a tweet so you can refer to it later. Click the heart icon to like a tweet.
Understanding Twitter Lingo
An important aspect of how to use Twitter is to understand the Twitter Lingo in order to build followers and connect with your audience. Here's a list of the most used Twitter lingo.
- HT means "hat tip," and it's what you use to credit an account which first clued you into the information you're sharing in your tweet.
- An @, or a mention, is when you include somebody's @twittername in the tweet. The person will be alerted that you mentioned them. Use it to send a public "hey, over here," or to add somebody on a conversation that's currently happening.
- RT. When you retweet someone, you can either just repost their tweet by itself, or you can add your own commentary.
- DM. Twitter allows you to Direct Message with people who have that feature turned on. DM allows you to further conversations in private and chat with groups of people. While all regular tweets are public, DM is private.
You can access Twitter directly from your smartphone, tablet, or another mobile device. It works in the same vein as the website, but with some slight modifications and restrictions.
How to Use Twitter - The Conclusion
This is basically it. Now you've learned How To Use Tweeter; we wish that you have fun using Twitter and can reach and build your audience. But remember that the best way to learn how to use Tweeter and grow your followers is by using Twitter regularly.