A Basic Guide to Twitter Posting
Now that your profile is set up, it’s time to start tweeting! There are many ways to do this, but let’s start with a basic tweet.
Step 1. Simple Text Updates
Go to your Twitter home feed (if saving your profile didn’t automatically send you there). Click anywhere within the text area box that says “Compose new tweet.”
Type your message (140 characters or less) in the text area box. When it is finished, just click on the Tweet button to post it to the Twitter stream.
Step 2. Adding Images
You can also add videos and images to your tweets.
Simply type in your message: Then click on the camera icon.
You will be prompted to upload a photo from your hard drive, and Twitter will automatically create a link for it, which will be displayed in your tweet (so make sure you leave enough room for the link).
Viewers then have the option of viewing your photo by clicking on either the link or the anchor text stating: “View photo”.
This is what your followers will see if they click on the latter…
You can also include your own link if you have a photo posted online. Don’t use the camera icon, in this case: Just copy-paste your link right into your tweet.
Again, remember to leave room in your tweet for people to reply or retweet.
Your followers can hide or view your photo, reply, favorite it and “***More*. Make sure you get into the habit of favoriting highly relevant photos from your followers’ tweets, to make sure they engage with you.
Step 3. Adding a Location
Adding a location is something you can do to generate interest when you’re on the move – say, during a Workshop Tour encompassing several cities or states. (Or even simply if you’re on vacation and want everyone to know.)
You can add your location to your tweet by clicking on the little location icon at the bottom of your tweet.
People will have to select the “Expand/Collapse” option to see where you are.
One little idiosyncrasy: If you enable the location icon tab during set up, it may dump your location into your header, interfering with your design.
The location option can be enabled and disabled at any time.
Step 4. Retweets
Retweets play an important part in Twitter life. But you have to use them wisely. One of the most annoying Twitter phenomena is “Serial Retweeter”. This lazy body endlessly and randomly retweets multiple tweets per day. If done like this, retweeting will be seen as spamming.
And no one will pay attention to your retweets.
Retweets are best done when you come across a piece of news or a tweet that is so relevant and important to your fellow niche members, you simply can’t resist retweeting it.
- Breaking news for your niche
- Changes in tools your niche uses that are going to affect their daily lives
- New information or tips that can make life easier for your niche members
- Any of the above that you have not previously seen shared
- Requests for retweets (within reason: All the rules about relevance still apply)
- News about upcoming events or changes that need to be shared
- Viral content that is amusing, entertaining or just plain fascinating
There are two ways to retweet:
- Use the Retweet button found under every tweet
- Personally and manually retweet a tweet
To retweet manually:
- Right-click and copy the tweet you want to retweet (this will only work if the tweet is less than 140 characters)
- Paste it into your “Compose new tweet” text area box
- Preface your copied material with:
- The letters “RT”
- The Twitter handle of the person you are retweeting
- Any comment you want to add (optional)
- Hit your Tweet button
Your retweet will appear in your feed.
Which type of retweet to use?
Using the retweet button is allowable if the news you are retweeting needs no explanation, or it will be clear to your followers why you retweeted it.
If you want to increase the value of a retweet (both to your followers and to the person whose post you are retweeting), take the manual approach.
Dos and don’ts of retweeting:
- Undo a retweet (e.g. if you press the “retweet” button by mistake) by clicking the “retweeted” anchor text. This will remove it from your Timeline.
- Turn off retweets from a specific user
To do the latter, simply go to the Serial Retweeter’s profile and select the “Turn off Retweets” from the person-arrow drop-down menu.
(And note: This is what may happen to you if you are too trigger-happy with retweets!)
There is also no way to turn off all retweets from all users.
And if another user’s tweets are protected, you won’t be able to retweet them. (Look for a little “lock” icon.)
Realize that retweets may show up differently in third-party apps (unless they are using the Twitter Retweet API).
“How do I see if anyone has retweeted my posts?”
Click on the @Connect button in your top menu bar.
Step 5. Direct Messages
You can send direct messages to anyone who is following you. Like tweets, these are limited to 140 characters, and you can specify that notification of direct messages (or replies to yours) goes to the inbox of the email address you signed up with.
To read direct messages that have been sent to you:
Click on the gear icon in your top, horizontal menu.
Then select the new message.
To send a direct message to a Twitter contact:
Do as above, but click on the New Message button.
- Start typing the Twitter handle of the person you want to reach. When it appears, click on it to populate the “To” field
- Enter your message in the text area box (it will become un-greyed-out the moment you click on it)
- Once you have finished and hit enter, the Send button will turn blue. Press it to send your message.
Note that you can receive messages from anyone on Twitter you are currently following – but if they are not following you, you cannot initiate a message.
A Word of Caution:
If you use Twitter’s own link shortening service within your direct message, be aware that t.co messages are not private, but public.
Twitter uses its own link shortening service automatically if you are doing things like uploading photographs, and you cannot opt out.
You can still use link shortening services like bit.ly in your tweets.
Use direct messages wisely and sparingly. Remember that people use Twitter because of its immediacy and convenience. Having to go check out a private message because you’ve received a notification in your email inbox is not something that Twitter users enjoy doing unless there’s a really good reason.
Step 6. Keeping Yourself Secure on Twitter
Remember that Twitter is a highly public platform, and (as with social networks like Facebook) don’t share anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to read – no matter how carefully you observe the rules. Glitches happen. Social sites get hacked. Play it safe.
Beyond that, be aware that Twitter has no control over URLs tweets send you to. These links could send you straight to sites loaded with questionable content or malware.
The same goes for links in headers, so if a profile looks the slightest bit suspicious, better to avoid clicking through.
Twitter Support has provided an excellent article on basic Twitter safe practices, so do check it out for further tips.
Step 7. Twitter for Mobile
Using Twitter via your mobile has a completely different pile of tips and tricks yet again. These differ depending on your mobile device, so be sure to check out the Twitter Help Section for mobile apps and tips.
(Choose the sections relevant to your mobile device and preferences.)
Step 8. Adding the Twitter Button to your website
There are many apps you can use to maximize your Twitter experience and Twitter reach – but whichever you ultimately choose, be sure to add a tweet button to your website.
Adding a Twitter button is the easiest thing in the world, so there’s no excuse for not doing it right away!
- Make sure you are logged into your Twitter account
- Go to the button generator
- Choose your button
- Once you select a radio button, customization options will open up. Select the options you want, test your button and copy-paste the code right into your website HTML or WordPress blog text widget
It doesn’t matter what content you share or how you share it on Twitter: The important thing is to start sharing.
After all, getting the conversation going is what it’s all about!