Tim O'Rahilly Life Coaching
Twitter Thursday

Twitter Thursday #1: Twitter Basics



Welcome to TWITTER THURSDAY, my new blog stream. I have developed a passionate belief in the power and potential of social media in its various forms. While the Internet and Social Media in particular often gets a bad press, I believe that if used well it has the ability to bring people together in a very real way. Social media can build meaningful relationships, cement long-lasting friendships and build Social Capital for its users. (I will return in future to the topic of Social Capital, but this must not be confused with the transactional thinking of sales and marketing efforts via the social networks.)

The simplest of all the current social networks is the communication site TWITTER. This is instant, flexible communication and has become a global phenomenon with over 200 million users generating 65 million tweets a day. Twitter differs from the presentation sites like Facebook or Linked In since it was conceived of as a micro-blogging site. It is primarily a communication channel, allowing its users to post information or updates about what they are doing within a 140 character limit. Any other Twitter users who have chosen to FOLLOW you will instantly see your TWEETS. Likewise, updates from all those whom you have chosen to follow will appear in your message stream or TIMELINE.



An example of a Twitter Timeline in action! The tweets of everybody you are following will be displayed here.

If you want to be a part of this great community it could not be easier to get started. Over the next few weeks I want to show you the basics of how to get tweeting and then how to get the most out of your Twitter experience.

To make your Twitter account, go to www.twitter.com and look for the SIGN UP tab or use the sign-up field right on the main page. Here you can enter your details and very quickly get your account set up. At this stage you need to think about a user name. Take a moment to consider what you want to use your account for. If you are intending to use it for yourself or for your own small business, then I strongly recommend using your own name if it is available. Whatever name you decide on, it must also fit within the limit of 15 characters for Twitter usernames. I will come back to the power of your personal brand at a later date, and of course you can change your username at any time.

During the sign up stage it will also be worth taking a little time to work on your concise biography and on choosing a clear photo for your profile picture.

You may well already know friends who have Twitter profiles, so you might choose to start by following them. If you just want one user to get you started then my username is timorahilly, and I will be happy to help you learn the ropes. It is easy to search for other friends or even celebrities to FOLLOW, and you will quickly build up a small network. Once your account has been created, you will be ready to take the plunge and send your first TWEET. Spend some time looking at what others are Tweeting about. This might inspire you further. I tweet and RETWEET several times a day, but tend to avoid the ‘Just going for a shower’ style of messaging.

A sample Tweet. The number of characters you have left is displayed beside the 'Tweet!' button.

Next week we will look at the basic tools such as RETWEETS, MENTIONS, REPLIES, DIRECT MESSAGES, SEARCHES, LISTS and the power of the HASHTAG (#).

Future posts will cover all important strategies for following, attracting followers, using the Twitter search engine as well as using Twitter to promote you and your business

1 Comment

  1. Very Nice and simple, but meaningful blog!
    better than a complicated lecture,, i would like to know more about how to get the best use out of Twitter, learning what to type instead of how to type!
    Thanks again!

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