Twitter is a social networking and micro blogging site where users share thoughts of up to 140 characters, known as a tweets. There are 200 million active users who tweet an average 400 million tweets per day. The site launched on March 21, 2006 . It is the fastest growing social media site today. Twitter is a snapshot at any moment in time of the collective diverse thoughts of our global society.
Lets go over some of the basics of twitter.
- When you sign up for an account, you have to pick a username. Your username becomes your identity on twitter. For example my username is “@brianasker”. You will want to be careful to choose something that people will associate with you.
- After you sign up, you can upload a picture of yourself, a header image that is displayed behind your profile picture, and write a public biography.
While you can change these at any time you will want them to look good because people will choose to follow you based on what they see and read. Additionally, you may choose to create a background for your twitter webpage. Help for creating each of these is available online. Every one of these helps to create your own online brand.
Next you will want to follow your family and friends. Followers are what make twitter interesting.
- To find people, you can click in the search bar at the top and type in usernames or First name and Last name.
- To find other people you want to follow, you can search for things that interest you. If you find someone you might want to follow click on them and read their recent tweets. If it is interesting to you, follow them.
- Then go through the list of people they are following and follow a few of the people they are following. Chances are if you were interested in their tweets that they are following people you would be interested in following. After you are following a few people,
- Twitter will begin suggesting people for you to follow.
When I first started using Twitter I followed as many church leaders as I could find. Following church leaders helped me find new books, read about the latest strategies for church ministry and even have a conversation with some of them.
Once you have your profile created and you are following a few people, you can begin tweeting. It is helpful to think about Twitter as a huge conversation with a lot of people in the room. When you update your status you are speaking to the whole room.
- With that in mind, you can write about anything but it is helpful if you can tweet consistently and on a similar topic. People will follow you if they know you or if they find your content interesting.
- If you want to direct your tweet toward a specific person, but loud enough so everyone can hear, you can mention that person in your tweet by include his or her username. For example, “Praying for @sandiasker as she speaks at #CFW2013 tonight”. Sandi will get a notification that I mentioned her in a tweet and she can reply and everyone will see the conversation. Some of my followers may want click on her name to see who she is and follow her and vise versa.
If you use Twitter, what other suggestions do you have for newbies?