5 twitter tips for beginners

twitter tips

If you’re a first time twitter user, you can find here some useful tips regarding twittering. Don’t despair! Every time you start using a socialising platform for the first time, things can seem a little bit complicated, but it’s alright. Take a look through the tips, share them with your friends if you like and take the most from the Twitter experience! If you’re a veteran, there may be some overlooked things here even for you!

So here we start…

1. Tweeting

When thinking about the form in which you should write your messages, there are no specific rules or guidelines that could limit your creativity. Tweeting is always from the first person, but sometimes in an impersonal way, like in news delivering or link sharing. your message as a status update, but more as a means of sharing your thoughts, some information or just a state of mind.

As a piece of advice for link sharing lovers, try to think of a headline and some text around the link in order to intrigue the possible clickers. Or if you’re the chatter type, your messages would probably have more of a free and talkative approach. But these two types are just the extremes and, maybe, like a lot of us, you’ll find that the middle way is the golden way and your messages will combine some interesting, useful information with a personalised opinion about it, making this digital space of socialising a nice and friendly place to be.

2. Check your replies and mentions

Although many of you, the experimented users, would find this tip a little bit silly and have a good laugh about it, the newbies will find it extremely useful, as the way the replies and mentions work is sometimes a mystery to them, until instructed or until they accidentally notice that their name is listed in the timeline.

If you take a look at the upper corner on the left on twitter, where you can find a lot of other useful stuff, you will also notice the “Connect” link. By making a click on that, you will have your timeline repopulated so that the messages that will appear will be those sent to you or in which has been mentioned your username. In this way, you will keep in touch with people that have an interest in you or your online presence. It’s hard to do that when you don’t see and can’t respond to the messages or mentions related to you. If you remain quiet in this way for a while, the other users you’re following or being followed by will stop writing to you and the whole idea of twitter will fail for you.

As you can see, it’s important and worthy to monitor your replies and mentions closely and answer back to the messages you receive, as it makes this social media “social” indeed. So you have to click on that button to stay updated with what’s going on in your little digital town.

3. Take care of what you say and how you say it!

There are some extreme approaches regarding our behaviour on twitter. Some people who are very careful with the things they share about themselves or in general and the way they do it on this platform, and there are people that are just the opposite – casual, free in behaviour and speech, sometimes in a careless manner.

Again, as said before, the middle way is the golden way. Being cold and distant is a bad way to behave, as there may be others insisting on warming you, believing they are doing you a favour, or on the contrary – you can scare them away with such a behaviour. But you can also scare them away or make them feel uncomfortable if being too intimate or personal as this can confuse others when trying to understand how to communicate with you, fearing their privacy would have to suffer.

The solution is simple – be friendly and try to make others feel good when around, only bear in mind that everything you post on twitter, even if deleted later, still remains on the internet. Don’t get carried away and never forget you’re on the internet and that everything you say can be read by a relative or a future business partner, even your boss. No twittering when drunk or too depressed to care, because you can it regret later.

So take care what you say and how you say it! You can do it!

4. Use an URL shortener

On twitter, we are limited in volume when comes to delivering our messages. They must fit in only 140 characters, so we can always use a little bit of ingenuity when creating a new interesting share of thoughts, but especially when linking. The fact that most of them are pretty long and hard to manage has caused the apparition of link-shortening websites. Mastering the URL shortener is a good advice for those who don’t like to keep their messages cold or empty, but try to take advantage of every bit of space.

The leader in this industry of URL shortening is bit.ly, which has partnered  with twitter. Besides the fact that it shortens the links, bit.ly also offers link-tracking and some statistical services that can sometimes become really handy. But these specific features can be used only by the registered users and, as this service is free, there’s only to gain from it.

And one more thing about the URL shortener: you can tweeting directly from the bit.ly tweet box.

So there, you’re an URL shortener expert now. Go and share those interesting links with your friends!

5. Try twittering in various ways (with software)

We all start on twitter.com, but soon enough many of us become frustrated when realising that the way we interact with each other via the website is pretty limited.

Until the time will come and twitter.com will suit all our needs, there are some good twitter software clients, available now across the platforms.

In order to recommend something:

For your computer at home, there’s Seesmic Desktop or TweetDeck. As we all know, tastes differs, so the best way of deciding which to use is by downloading them both and trying to use them for a while. The one that works best for you wins the race. That simple! They are similar in functionality and offer you the opportunity of setting groups and lists in order to manage following your twitter friends more easily. One important advantage over using the website twitter.com is the fact that these applications notify you when there are new replies to your messages or mentions in your timeline.

HootSuite or CoTweet is good for twitter businesses who want to manage multiple twitter accounts.

There are a lot of twitter clients for iPhone, like TweetDeck, Twitterrific and so on and the best twitter client for a Blackberry is UberTwitter, of course, Twidroid is for Android and Dabr for a Windows-based mobile.

The best way to improve your experience with twitter is by experimenting and experimenting with all the clients there are so that you can find the one that suits your needs and purposes perfectly. I’m sure you’ll find one shortly, it’s worth searching and trying!

And there’s one extra-tip for all of you: tweet it slow!

Everything on twitter happens on a real-time basis. So the more people you are following, the faster the pace of updates will seem to you. But this doesn’t mean you have to send out there millions of tweets with the speed of light in order to keep up with all that replies. If you take a better look, you will see that this extreme speed is imaginary and that in fact each person taken away from the collectivity is posting and updating at a slower rate.  So the best thing for your to do is to take care of the quality, not the quantity of your tweets. This means that you should consider the fact that there’s no edit feature on twitter and once you’ve posted the message, there’s no way of taking it back.

Spell checking and revising your message before posting is a great way of taking care of the quality of your interaction on this social platform. Grammar, spelling, punctuation of your messages are important things you should take care of. There are a lot of applications that provide this useful feature of spell checking and relieving you of this problem.

Another important thing to bear in mind is that we should be careful with the information we disclose in our tweets, like telephone numbers, addresses or other stuff that can’t be shared with just anybody. Also take care with those shortened links and check once more before publishing them.

Be patient and give others the opportunity to reply, don’t overwhelm them with messages before they had the chance to actually read your last tweet. As twitter is more of a quick and short way of communicating and interacting, you should save the elaborate, long discussions for email.