Beginners Guide to Twitter Emina Demiri Digital Media Specialist Community Organisers Programme @demirie @corganisers #communityorganisers 08/04/2013
What is it?• Platform for sharing information (what you are doing, reading, etc.) in 140 characters of text or less.• People on Twitter "follow" each other to stay in touch.• Profiles can be public (anyone can see what you write) or private (only your approved followers can see)
Main Twitter terms explained• Tweet: A 140-character message.• Retweet (RT): Re-sharing someone elses tweet.• Feed: All the tweets from users you follow you see on your homepage.• Handle: Your username.• Mention (@): A way to reference someone in a tweet (e.g. @corganisers) and notify them. It’s a good way to directly get someone to respond and join the discussion.• Direct Message (DM): A private, 140-character message between two people. You can only DM a user who follows you.• Hashtag (#): A search tool that allows others to find your tweets and you to find conversations of interest based on a common topic (e.g. #communityorganisers, #Locality12).• Lists - you can create lists of people/organisations on Twitter. Lists are basically grouping Twitter accounts according to some common characteristic for example Community Organisers has a CO list. You can create your own lists but also you can subscribe to other people’s lists.DON’T GET LOST IN THE TERMINLOGY - VISIT THE OFFICIAL TWITTER GLOSSARYhttps://support.twitter.com/articles/166337-the-twitter-glossary
Signing upVery easy sign up processGo to www.twitter.com/signup - typeyour name, email and create username and password1. Chose a short user name (twitter handle) – the name everyone will know you by on Twitter2. Upload a picture of your self – accounts without a pic look like spam3. Make sure to fill in your profile bio – short description of who you are and what your interest are. Again accounts without a bio look like spam.
Professional versus Private Benefits Challenges It provides a layer of Requires more time• Unlike Facebook, Twitter privacy to maintain separate allows you to have multiple accounts accounts You have control Requires effort to• Having a professional over your separate your account separate from your professional professional from personal account has it’s appearance your personal benefits and challenges. persona Avoids information Your professional• If you decide not to overload for you and account is seen separate your account your followers mostly as always put a disclaimer in endearments your bio. For example “I work for @corganisers but It is obvious that Splits your audience here it’s all me” your Tweets are not endearments
Following others• Who to follow:1. Friends and people you know2. Organisations you are interested in – use Twitter search or go to their website and find the Follow us on Twitter button.3. Use lists to find people/organisations – for example check out Community Organisers Lists to find Organisers/Hosts. Or use online tools such as Twitter counter to find opinion maker lists on Twitter http://twittercounter.com/lists/4. Use hashtags to connect with people who have similar interest for example interested in #assettransfer write the term in the Twitter Search and see who else is interested in it.5. Explore people your friends are following6. Twitter will also give you follow suggestions, based on the industries/fields associated with your interests.
Getting followers and beyond• Be patient. Rome was not built in a day. It’s not about the quantity it’s about quality.• Take some time when you first open an account to measure the pulse of Twitter. Start with observing and following others.• Don’t panic! Twitter works on feeds – Tweets are changing at a rapid speed. You do not have to scroll back to every Tweet each time you log in. Trying to do so will cause information overload.• Be personal, authentic and true to your values• Be concise, insightful, interesting and funny• Be generous in Re-Tweeting others
Getting followers and beyond• Engage with content gold mines:1. Use Social Buttons on websites to share what you are reading/watching. A Twitter social button might look like this2. Cover events – participating in an interesting conference? Remember to ask the organisers if there is a hashtag for it and report live.Be creative in your content:1. Photos2. Videos3. Infographics4. Other visual tools such as Portwiture - http://portwiture.com/ or Tweepsmaps http://tweepsmap.com/5. Ask questions6. Use finish the sentence” & #fillinthegap tricks – for example “The thing I love most about my community is _______________7. Use relevant hashtags
Getting followers and beyond• Thank followers for following (T4F). Do it in groups (that way you are also connecting people) and share your Facebook profile .• Tweet the names of Twitter users youd like others to follow and tag by using #ff on Fridays (Follow Friday) but remember you can always suggest to your followers who to follow, not only on Fridays. Promote others and others will promote you.• Take the online to offline. Don’t be afraid to use Twitter to arrange face to face meetings.• Open up a Daily or Weekly Digest – use Paper Li (find it here http://paper.li/)• Use the "reply" feature – when you see someone talking about something of interest don’t be scared to engage directly. Hit that reply button and have your voice heard!• Avoid auto updates and cross posting to Twitter. Not everything you say on your Facebook account is interesting to post on Twitter.
Going mobile• Twitter mobile applications will allow you to manage your accounts more efficiently while on the move. Twitter is all about the now and the Now is also happening while you are on the go.There are several out there. I would recommend:1. Official Twitter app – simple and great to start with. Manage multiple Twitter account.2. HootSuite – lets you manage multiple Twitter accounts and your Facebook accounts from one place3. Tweet Deck – great tool to organise and manage your social media accounts
Thanks for listening and see you on Twitter! Follow me @demirie Follow the CO Programme @corganisers #communityorganisers