Tech corner

A beginner’s guide to Twitter

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The popular microblogging platform has been on the scene for years now and seen many developments. If you don’t have an account yet, that doesn't mean you've missed the boat. We’ve put together a few essential Twitter tips to ensure that you'll be a pro-tweeter in no time.

The popular microblogging platform has been on the scene for years now and seen many developments. If you don’t have an account yet, that doesn't mean you've missed the boat. We’ve put together a few essential Twitter tips to ensure that you'll be a pro-tweeter in no time.

 

Create your account

Creating a Twitter profile is easy. All you need is your email address (or mobile phone number) and a password of your choosing. You’ll then choose a username, which can be a maximum of 15 characters long and can be changed at any point. All that remains is for you to add a profile photo and you’re ready to start following and interacting with people, brands and events.

 

Decide whether you want your profile to be private or public

Unlike Facebook, everything on Twitter is public by default. However, you can easily make your own private experience by locking your account. Turning this setting on means you will have to manually give permission to anyone who wants to follow you if you'd like them to be able to see your tweets and communicate with you. With a private account, only the people who you've allocated permission will see your tweets.

However, if you choose to make your account private, it means your followers won’t be able to retweet and share your posts, so if you’re looking to gain a bigger following, it’s best to keep it public.

 

Choose what you want your Twitter to portray

People use Twitter for many different purposes. There are aspiring comedians making hilarious posts in just 280 characters, artists sharing their work and offering commissions, businesses with both small and huge followings using their accounts to promote products and offers, and people who just use the site as a way to talk to friends and express their feelings.

Decide whether you want your Twitter to be used for one specific purpose, or if you simply fancy it as something like an online diary, where you can share anything you fancy, be it a cat meme or a rant about your day. And of course, you can always change your style as you go along.

 

Utilise the direct messaging feature

Almost all social media sites these days have a feature that allows you to quickly message a friend or follower privately. On Twitter, you can use their direct messaging feature to send existing tweets to friends, whether it’s one of your own that they missed or one you saw on your feed that you think they’ll enjoy.

The messaging feature is also handy for getting in touch with brands. For example, if you’ve ordered something from an online store and there’s an issue with delivery, you can simply direct message the store’s Twitter and they’ll get back to you ASAP - much easier and more convenient than a phone call.

 

Get clued up on retweets

Retweeting is a quick and efficient way of sharing other people’s content. You can retweet posts from friends or strangers, get involved with online competitions to win free stuff, and share real time news updates to alert followers that might not be aware of events.

You can also quote tweet content from others, meaning that your additional commentary will be added to the original post and shared on your profile.

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