How To Use Twitter

It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you can compose a thought using 140 characters or less…you can use Twitter. Even though Twitter has millions of users, it’s still not used by an overly large number of Internet users.

It is believed that Twitter currently has just over 550 million active accounts as of 2013.  That is still relatively small potatoes when compared to Facebook’s estimated 1.2 Billion (billion…with a B) users.  It’s even smaller when you factor in that about 40% of the users on Twitter don’t even participate.  They just follow and read other people’s Tweets.

How To Sign Up For Twitter

Getting an account on Twitter could not be easier.  As of this writing they don’t employ some of the more intrusive methods of confirming accounts, such as phone verification or SMS text verification.  You simply sign up with your nameemail addresspassword and username. Check out the screen shot below, or if you want to sign up for Twitter now click on this link.

You have two options checked during signup.  You can elect to have your account remain signed in on the current computer.  This just makes it to where you don’t have to log in every time you want to go on Twitter.  However, if you share the computer with multiple people and don’t necessarily want them to have access to your account, then it would be wise to uncheck that box.

The second check is essentially allowing Twitter to access your cached Internet history within your browser so that it can know the sites you’ve been to, and then tailor Twitter (i.e. direct the appropriate advertisers) to you. Although they do bill this as being a way to give you suggestions on who to follow. It’s up to you, but I tend to lean towards keeping my browsing history private on Social Networks.

Once you complete the Twitter registration process you can go directly to your account.  However, you won’t be able to do much in the way of posting until you verify your email address that you signed up with.

Twitter Vocabulary

A common problem people face when trying to use Twitter is just not knowing some of the terminology.  TweetRetweetFollowDMHashtagReplyMention, etc. might as well be a foreign language.

  • Tweet – The message you post to your profile. Must be less than 140 characters.
  • Retweet – The act of applying someone else’s post to your Twitter profile. You would do this to share something of interest that you read with your Followers.
  • Follow – When you follow someone you will then see anything they post in your Twitter feed.
  • DM – DM stands for Direct Message. You can message your Followers privately using this.
  • Hashtag – A hashtag is represented with a “#” sign. You can search by Hashtag as well, which will then show all posts that have been made with the associated tag.  For example, if you’re a fan of the TV show “Breaking Bad“, you might make a post while watching it and then hashtag it #breakingbad
  • Reply – You can reply to Tweets that others make by hitting the Reply button.  When you do this, your Tweet will be preceded by the @username of the person you are replying to.
  • Mention – When you include the @username of someone else, or another person includes your @username.

Tweeting – The Heartbeat Of Twitter

140 characters doesn’t sound like much, but you’d be surprised at how much you can share in such a small blip of information. While you can do what 40% of Twitter users do…which is nothing…you are surely to get a much more fulfilling and better overall experience if you Tweet.

Tweeting can be a great way to share what you are currently doing, or share a great video or website you just visited. There are many ways to Tweet, but to get started we are just going to focus on the basics.

Once you’ve signed up for Twitter and verified your account, posting your first Tweet is as easy as 1-2-3.

  • First, you log in to your account if you haven’t done so already.
  • Type your Tweet in the “Compose new Tweet…” box in the upper left portion of your screen, just below your user profile
  • Click the Tweet button when  you are done, and you’ll see your Tweet immediately in your feed.

That’s it.  You’ve sent out your first Tweet.

Following On Twitter

Twitter’s way of connecting people is through Following.  When you find someone you want to Follow, you simply click the “Follow” button on their profile when you are checking them out.  You can also search for specific topics, or hashtags and then follow users within those results just by clicking Follow.

You are limited as to how many people you can Follow on Twitter.  You aren’t allowed to follow more than 1,819 people unless you’ve reached a certain point in the number of followers you have. Read our page “How To Become Popular On Twitter” for more information about the limitations Twitter has in place.

How To Get Followers On Twitter

It can be a lonely world on Twitter if you have no followers. Yes, you can buy Twitter followers, but that is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. You need to grow your Following organically as well.

To get to the point where you have thousands of Twitter followers takes time. Again, you can purchase Followers and get there quicker, but the quality of the Followers may be lacking. If you really want to grow and connect with your followers you need to be engaging and interesting.  It’s that simple.  Replying, Retweeting, Mentioning and Hashtags are all critical elements to growing your followers.

When you communicate directly and interact with others, chances are they will follow you.  That doesn’t mean celebrities will, but every day users may.  If you don’t go crazy trying to force people to like you, then you should naturally grow your following over the course of months and years.