Even if you’re not a Twitter user, hearing/reading things like “Did you see Nicki Minaj’s tweet about getting married?” or “PM Narendra Modi tweeted addressing the nation…” must not be uncommon. From providing crisp content ranging from news updates to entertainment, celebrity gossip, academics, art, digital marketing & advertising space and almost anything you can name, Twitter is not just an internet social media platform, it is much more. To sum up the definition of Twitter the Twitter-way, it is a ‘micro-blogging’ internet platform which allows its users to make short posts of up to 280 characters which can also include photos, videos, hyperlinks and about everything. To be brutally honest, if you are not using Twitter, you are missing on many great things.
First thing first, in order to use Twitter, you need to sign up at www.twitter.com which is a very simple process.
Before beginning to tweet, there are a few things you should take care of
1. Know Your Objective
This step is very crucial. Ask yourself what you are exactly looking for. Let’s say you are a photographer wanting to promote your blog and seeking professional opportunities. In that case, you will need to set up your profile accordingly and will have to make sure that your Twitter bio precisely and accurately conveys the given in order to have the right people find you. It would also be important for you to follow accounts related to photography so as to have relevant tweets displayed on your Twitter homepage/feed.
This was just one example. There can be many scenarios. In case you are at Twitter for just entertainment or news, there isn’t much you need to worry about. But in case you are here representing an organisation and to build a professional network of links for the same, you will need to maintain a certain level of professionalism. Bottom line is you need to make sure that your profile resonates your intention.
Pro tip- Avoid mixing up your professional and general accounts.
2. Familiarise Yourself with Twitter Terminology
Here are a few basic ‘Twitter slangs’ that are crucial to know for the new users-
To tweet means writing a post on Twitter. It is similar to updating status on Facebook except that it has a character limit of 280. Bonus info- Characters include everything from alphabet to digits, special characters and spaces.
This term is quite self-explanatory. To Retweet is to share or quote an already existing tweet with an option to add a comment about it.
This pretty much works like Instagram. Someone following you would be your Twitter Follower and would be able to see your posts while it’d be vice-versa if you follow him/her.
This feature helps a tweet reach those who might be interested in it. Continuing the assumption that you are a photographer, at the end of your tweet caption, you may write photography related words or a string of word with no spaces preceded by the sign ‘#’. For example- #photographyforlife.
#@ (Mention or Reply)
The given special character is used when you want to mention/reply to a particular account. Let’s say you want to mention an account named xyz in your caption, you will have to add @ before the said account’s name. This will also notify the mentioned account about the same.
#TT or Trending Topic
It basically tells you what’s hot on Twitter for a specific amount of time varying from a few hours to a few days or months. A TT may be country/region specific or it may be generated at a global level.
It simply means Direct Message which won’t be a new term for you if you use any other social media platform. DMing someone implies messaging them personally in their inbox on Twitter.
#Twitter Verified Account
Such accounts are identified with a blue badge next to its name which indicates that the account of the said person or organisation is authentic.
Along with all this, it is important to have an understanding of general internet slangs and abbreviations since due to the character limit, many people employ short forms, abbreviations and slangs.
If you are an Instagram user, you will immediately understand it. However, here it is not a mere hashtag. Many people find it hard to gain followers on Twitter. Most of the time it is because they do not follow enough/right accounts. If you follow the first step properly and follow a relevant account, there are great chances to get a follow back. Especially new Twitter users need to be a little less reserved when it comes to following others.
4. Keep Inactivity in Check
Twitter requires a little more activity than other popular social media platforms. This does not mean that you have to keep tweeting/retweeting every other hour but if you check/update your account once in a blue moon, that’s not going to work on Twitter. This is because the flow of information on Twitter is very rapid and to keep up with that, it requires a bit of commitment.
5. Have Realistic Expectations
Unless you are something of Taylor Swift or Obama kind, you can’t expect to have a great following right at the beginning. A certain level of patient and commitment is required to have a decent number of following and reach.
6. Keep a Filter
There is literally anything and everything available on Twitter which creates a need for a judicious filter while following other accounts and managing your followers. Popularity on Twitter can also make you prone to trolling, cyber bullying etc. Hence, you should try following only authentic accounts or those you can trust and also try to keep a check on your Followers list. It is also good to have a filter while writing a tweet or consuming any content.
Surprisingly, regardless of this great tool being so user friendly, for some reason, many people find it difficult to use Twitter and/or are not able to exploit its full potential. If you are one of such people, this article is for you. Twitter is a cool medium for socialising, connecting with friends and the like minded, creating useful links, internet marketing and much more. Once you have familiarized yourself with the given points, you’ll be good to go!
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