Welcome to How to Use Twitter! This guide is for the beginner Twitter user. I go over the basics of Twitter and how to increase your following. For boosting website traffic and more detailed Twitter tips, refer to my Twitter Guide for Websites. (coming soon)

The Basics:

1.  Twitter is a fast paced social media network. Each user has a name that begins with the @ symbol. For example, I am @CuddleFairy. My account is public so anyone may view my tweets & anyone may follow me. You have the option for a private account, where people must ask your permission to follow you. If you grant permission, then they can see your tweets. If you are a blogger or running a business, the public setting is best for you as you want followers and want people to see your content.

2.  Each Tweet may contain a maximum of 140 characters. You may add a website URL and/or an image, which takes away from the total character allowance.

3.  If you want a particular user to see your tweet, them mention them in your message. For example, if you wanted me to read your tweet, you’d add @CuddleFairy to your tweet. Then, that tweet will show up in my notifications. In the tweet below, I have tagged two bloggers: @moderndadpages & @DomesticMomster.  So, this tweet will show up in their notifications.

twitter 1

4.  The # is a way of grouping topics on Twitter. Above, I have #foodpornthursdays written because that is the name of our recipe linky. We encourage people to add that hashtag to their tweets. When lots of people add the same hashtag then that topic is trending. If you type  #foodpornthursdays into the search box on Twitter, all the related tweets will show up. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people, or to see what is trending.

5.  The little star at the bottom right of a tweet is the Favourite button. If you press that, the tweet is added to your favourite list on your profile page. The tweet above has had 2 favourites.

6.  The center icon with the two arrows forming a square is the Retweet (RT) button. If you hit that then the tweet is shared to your followers and will be shown on your timeline, similar to a Share on Facebook. The tweet above has been retweeted twice.

7.  The left icon with a single arrow pointing to the left is the reply button. If you press that, you are replying to the tweet. The people who were tagged in the tweet will receive a notification of your reply.

8.  Your profile photo is an egg until you upload your own image. You can upload an image for the header as well. Above, you can see little Cuddle Fairy is my profile photo.