How to get started on Twitter

If you're new to Twitter, the microblogging network can be quite intimidating. People “hashtagging” one another, using their “handles” for stuff, “mentioning”, “retweeting”, commenting, it’s a mess.

Sometimes you see your tweets on your own timeline, sometimes on other people’s timelines and it’s just a matter of time before you call it quits.

Have no fear; ITProPortal is coming to the rescue!

Below you will find a short guide on how to use Twitter: the guide covers the basics of tweeting, what you should tweet, how to share stuff, add comments, and make sure people find you and your tweets with ease.

Sharing a link

The most basic tweet possible is where you just share a link to a story you find interesting and want to start a discussion on. But simply pasting a link and hitting the Tweet button will get you nowhere, as the tweet has absolutely nothing that will have the average scroller stop and click.

Instead, you need to post the article’s title, the link, the corresponding hashtag, and the Twitter handle to the author’s profile. For example:

Best data visualisation tools: http://t.co/e3QKnxDSLi, #BigData @Journalancer.

Some people will see the article title and open the link, others will follow the #BigData hashtag, and some will see it because they follow @Journalancer. In any way, your article will get a better reach.

Retweeting and commenting

Retweeting things is used when you want to share someone else’s thoughts quick and simple. Two taps on the screen and you’re done. But if you want to add your own comment to the story, or a couple of additional hashtags (or you wish to tag someone), the Retweet with comment option is for you.

To do this, click the retweet icon at the bottom of the tweet. In the window that appears, add your comment to the "Add a Comment" section.

retw

The .@TwitterHandle

If you start your tweet with a Twitter handle (for example: “@Journalancer, how are you mate?”) the tweet won’t appear on your own timeline, as the site thinks you’re reaching out to the person and will show it on their timeline instead. To make sure this doesn’t happen, never use the handle at the beginning of the tweet. If you have to, make sure you put a dot before the handle.

The Fear Factor

Nobody wants to be a loser. If you want your tweets to be read, make sure you present them in a problem/solution format. For example:

Never get turned down for a date again. Use these simple tips http://www.thesite.com #datingtips.

Starting a conversation

If you think that simply typing the article’s title won’t help you start a conversation, go with a question instead. The rest of the formula should stay the same.

For example: “Do you think these are the best data visualisation tools? #3 looks kinda wrong: http://t.co/e3QKnxDSLi, #BigData @Journalancer.”

The Photo Tweet

Photos are a great way to engage with your audience, and that’s a proven fact. So adding a photo to your tweets is a good add-on. Upload a photo and use the text part as a caption, and see how your followers engage. Just make sure you don’t forget to #hashtag!

twt2