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.