BLOG: An Introduction to Managing a Twitter Account
There is no escaping social media nowadays (if you are reading this you might have navigated to it via Twitter) as it has infested our private and business lives with growth hitting 1Billion+ and showing no sign of relenting. It feels like jump on board or get left behind for some, but there really is no need to stay away.
I’m a relative ‘newbie’ to Twitter, having opened my account about 4 years ago and didn’t actually tweet for another year. I was sceptical about the actually benefit – Do I care what someone has had for their dinner, etc. but this really is a fallacy. You will find almost every business/news outlet/blogger on Twitter ready for you to digest as much information as you wish. Like everything, you’ll need to self-filter the truth from the ‘not-so-true’, but you are in control – follow polar opposites for a variety of views, etc and then tailor your news feed as you see fit – The world is your oyster!
So, here is a quick guide to starting on Twitter and understanding who can see what (basic rule to stick with: EVERYONE can see EVERYTHING).
So, you want to be on Twitter? Hit the link below and you will be on the Twitter home screen:
Create an account (New to Twitter?) and you are set!
Once logged in you will be presented with the following screen:
- This is the main profile. You can view Followers and Following. These will be set to zero to start with, but you can use the search field to locate keywords or usernames. TIME produced a (mostly American) top 140 list but a good starting point would be find someone you know/like/respect and then view their followers. You can view this info on anyone’s Twitter account, so useful to see who ‘similar orgs’ are following as well, if running this for a business.
- This is your Timeline showing all activity of the people you follow. This is where you can interact directly with someone or just sit back and read/digest. You can also Retweet’ (share) any info you like that will then go to your Followers. Mark as a ‘Favourite’ and it will save it, much the same as you would a web browser, or just hit Reply to get involved with the conversation.
TIP: If you start a tweet with @<whoever> (or reply) it will only be seen directly by that person and those that follow you and @<whoever>. If you put a ‘full stop’ at the start it will show on all your followers’ timeline. Remember, it is still public, in that all Twitter profiles are open so the tweet could be ‘Googled’ if someone should wish.
- This is YOUR profile. Some tips here on setting image, etc. but we’ll continue with the ‘what’s and where’s.
You can keep track of tweets you have sent, as well as who is now following you. Beware of SPAM BOTS as you will inevitably collect some – Usually just a default ‘egg’ profile pic, but to be sure check the profile for tweets sent. Looking at them you can soon tell if they are human or not – Obviously, never click on the links for suspicious people.
Lists – A group (gaggle or twaggle?) of Twitter users that show their Twitter feed only. A handy way to collect interesting topics through the waves of Tweets you may see each day.
That, in a nutshell, is it – Like anything, always better to experience and play. You don’t have to engage immediately (or ever) so follow a few bods and see if you like what you see.
Good Luck and just remember Twitter is public – If you can read it so can everyone else!