How to Use Twitter


Yes, of COURSE you’ll be doing Twitter soon, so might as well jump on the bandwagon now.  Below are the instructions to the extent you need any – Twitter is, if nothing else, very easy to use.

The normal phases of Twitter adoption are

1. “Wow, Twitter is  stupid!”  2. Hmm, lots of people LIKE Twitter. 3.  I wonder how you do Twitter?   4. I’m tweeting, I’m tweeting!  WooooHooooo!”

I’m assuming you are here in stage 3 of the process and that you realize it’s best to just jump in and do this and there really aren’t any formal “rules” so here you go with general ideas:

HOW TO USE TWITTER: 

1.  Sign up at www.Twitter.com    Easy, takes 2 minutes.

2.   By clicking the follow tag on a person, you should follow a LOT of people (hundreds at first, eventually thousands) who share your interests plus any friends you know who are doing Twitter.   If you are like me, also follow people who don’t agree with you.   I think the best approach is to find interesting people for a topic and follow their followers – this is MUCH FASTER than following people one by one (UNDERSTAND THIS POINT or you’ll spend too much time waiting to follow and click!)

Don’t worry about being picky, just click up to 500 per day until you hit the 2000 limit.   This will only take you about 10 minutes per day.  Don’t worry, you’ll be surprised how LITTLE activity there is on Twitter even with lots of followers.   I, for example, spend only about 10 min a day with it unless I’m bulking up followers – then I’ll spend 30 minutes following and unfollowing those who do not reciprocate.     Unlike Facebook, Twitter is not much of a time sink unless you get obsessed with it.   It’s partly for this reason it’s such a great business tool.

One of the neat things is that you can pretty much post what you like, there really aren’t many protocols.  Until you have a lot of followers (and even then), you’ll be surprised at the low feedback.  I use and see Twitter as more of a public soapbox for shouting than as a serious communications tool, though I love it when it becomes serious as when I’m complimenting a business or reporting a problem, or when I’m an insider to international twitter activity as during the ongoing “Arab Spring” where heroic folks are keeping the flame of freedom alive using Twitter and other social media.

Arab spring is only one example of people using Twitter very seriously.    YOU can take your cause and post links to your pictures (if they are public), make a comment, and then use a tag like this:  #PutAnyTopicHere         .
Using tags allows people searching for that topic in the tag to see your tweets.    Otherwise and in general only your followers will see what you write.
Retweet tweets you like that others make by simply clicking “retweet”.   This is nice for them and also helps you get “noticed”.
Summary of “How to Use Twitter”:
Join,  TWEET,  change the world.
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About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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6 Responses to How to Use Twitter

  1. horatiox says:

    1. “Wow, Twitter is stupid!”

    Some of us remain stuck at that stage. Chitchat may be good for bidness–some types at least–but mostly meaningless: “hey, did you see American Idol last night? And what about Ellen? De nada, Duck.

    • : ) But…but….Twitterz so kewel! How do you keep up with up to the second Charlie Sheen reports?

    • horatiox says:

      Twitter appeals to the Herd, mainly, JD–and encourages Herd-speak really. IM not opposed to some small talk now and then but don’t we have enough? As with the Occupy hype (with much Twitter posting. Twits?). In some ways, I agree with OWS–financier/wall street greed and corruption are problems, and taxes should be raised. But shouldn’t the protesters aim their rage at ..Washington?? You blame the person watching the gate at the bullring for..escaped animals, not the bulls themselves, or something like dat.

      However the sentimental liberal (see New Worlds gang for example) doesn’t really want reasonable solutions.She wants drama–like the current Davis cops vs protesters issue(doesn’t look great for DPD, but the students were told to leave)–and “We Shall Overcome,” 60s nostalgia, and lies (or the typical phony radical “f*ck the cops,” Byronia’s speciality. Maybe big Byro should go down to Oakland and hang with some anarchists and toss bottles at the police and see what happens).

  2. Pua says:

    Hey Joe maybe I am not managing my twitter account right but I am definitely not the one who wants to beat Ashton Kutcher’s number of twitter followers. For an actor, his tweets might be OK or even a great publicity stunt like his or his wife’s tweets – latest they ARE separating – but to tell you the truth I still make a selection giving MY kindred spirits an advantage: Hawaii, vacation, travel, good SEO and such. I can live without a tweet that a person goes to bed at a certain time, has to brush her/his teeth etc. etc.

    Maybe I am a little too selective but I think even with Twitter we should keep a certain standard! Aloha, Pua

    • Pua I think your approach is what Twitter intended and is a good way, though numbers help in terms of marketing so I kind of like going for tons of followers by following and unfollowing strategically….

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