So now we’ve got our profiles set, and we’re building our followers. I’d like to talk about engagement as we did during the LinkedIn series, but first, I think it’s important to understand the Twitter home page. Because Twitter does seem to have a strange language all of it’s own, I want to make sure that it’s all understandable as we move through the tutorials. One of the best recommendations I can give you though, is to play around with Twitter as much as possible – with all of the various social media platforms out there, I’ve found that diving in is one of the best ways to learn what Twitter is all about.
But along with testing out Twitter on your own, let’s check out the home page now that we have some people we’re following.
This is the home page. I’m using my existing Twitter account to show this to you, since it’s well-established and includes a lot of people that I’m following. We’ll talk first about the column on the left:
At the top, you can see the familiar "What’s Happening?" box, which we talked about the other day – this is where you can type your tweets. As I mentioned, within your tweets, you can also include a photo and location if you would like:
Let’s talk about how we would do that. If I wanted to add a photo, first, I’d make a comment about it so that my followers would have a reason to look at it.
(As an aside, normally, I like my daytime/workweek tweets to be work-related, but unless I’m at a conference, I usually don’t have work-related photos).
Next, I’ll click the camera icon on the bottom left so I can include a photo. This will pop up a new window, so that you can browse to and select your photo. Once you’ve selected it, it will appear underneath your tweet text.
You can see that Twitter indicates that the image will appear as a link in your tweet.
Now, at this point, we could click "Tweet" to send out the tweet. Or we can also include a location if we’d like. For the purposes of the tutorial, let’s do both in the same tweet.
Clicking the location icon will pop up a new window:
This box gives us information on using locations in tweets, so let’s click "Turn location on."
This will then automatically populate your location with where Twitter thinks you are:
But, you have the ability to change locations if you would like – you just click on the arrow that appears when you mouseover the location for a new menu:
Here, you can see that I can select a nearby city if one is closer to where I actually am, or I can search for a neighborhood or city. I can also turn off the location for this tweet.
I’ll stick with Manahawkin for now, and click "Tweet" to publish my tweet, photo and location.
You can see that the new tweet now appears in your timeline!
And the timeline is the next thing we’ll talk about. Just below the "What’s Happening?" box, you can see that there are five tabs – timeline, @mentions, retweets, searches and lists.
The first of these is the timeline, and that is the most recent tweets from you and the people that you are following:
Here, you can see what some of my followers have been tweeting. On the leftmost side of each tweet, you’ll see the profile picture, which can also be called an avatar, that the person has chosen to represent them. Next to that is their twitter name, like "donnaseyle" and "KenKaminesky."
Just next to that, still on the top line, is the person’s full name. That way, you know who you’re talking to, even if their Twitter name doesn’t include their full name.
The second line, or in some cases, the next two lines, are the tweets. As you can see, there are various things that can be included with them. For example, SoloPracticeU includes a link, which is highlighted in red. Mondaq does as well. They first give a description of the link, which encourages their followers to click on it, and then the link itself.
You may notice that NoNonsenseLawyr has included some words with #, which are also highlighted in red. These are hashtags, which are keywords or phrases that become easily searchable and filtered when you include the # symbol.
For example, let’s say we want to see all of the tweets relating to the #employee hashtag. We click on that, and it gives us a page of all of the recent tweets that include #employee:
As I mentioned previously, the Legal Marketing Association uses #LMAMKT as their hashtag, and there are many others out there, including #lawyers. We’ll look at some ways that these might be useful to you when we look at some of the third party applications like TweetDeck.
You may also have noticed the RT in front of some of the tweets:
These days there are two kinds of retweets (you’ll remember that we talked about RT/retweets here) – the classic or original retweet, and the new retweet.
The classic kind appears above – This is when the text of the original message, plus the original tweeter’s name is within the text of your tweet. It enables you to add your thoughts to the message, as long as it doesn’t exceed 140 characters.
The new kind of retweet looks like this:
It looks like a regular tweet, but I don’t follow the thegothamgal – and I can see at the top that there is a circle of arrows that indicates it was retweeted by 85Broads. In this kind of retweet, the original tweet is posted to your followers in its entirety. This is particularly useful when the tweet is too long to also include the person’s Twitter name and the RT.
The timeline is not just for reading though – you can interact with it. As you can see above, when you mouseover the tweet, some options appear at the bottom, next to the time that the tweet was sent. These include favorite, retweet, and reply.
When you favorite a tweet, it saves it to your favorites so that you can refer back to it later. This is helpful since Twitter only keeps tweets for so long, so if you’d like to see something again in the future, make sure to favorite it – you do that by clicking on the word "Favorite."
You can also Retweet the person’s post from here. Let’s take a look at doing that. First, I’ll find something that I would want to retweet:
I love Jill’s tweet about gratitude, so I’ll hit "Retweet" on that.
This gives me a pop up window to confirm that I want to retweet this to my followers. Within the Twiiter interface online, we can only use the new retweet method.
I click "Retweet" to confirm, and then it appears in my tweet stream!
You can see that there’s a little green triangle in the upper left corner, indicating that it’s a retweet, along with the circle of arrows next to my Twitter name after Jill’s name.
And that’s a retweet!
Finally, we can also "reply." Replying is a bit of a misnomer, because it’s one of two functions that this has – when you reply, it puts a @ symbol in front of the person’s name, which will then come up in their list of replies (more on that later). But you can also use it to mention someone – it does come up in their list of replies, but it acts more as a comment than as a reply.
But let’s look at how that works. We’ll click "Reply" on Jill’s tweet, so I can tell her that I love her idea for a November of gratitude. This pops up a new window:
As you can see, it puts Jill’s Twitter name, with the @ symbol in a tweet box so that I can message her. It also includes the tweet that I’m responding to below, so I don’t have to remember what it said.
You can see that i only have 130 characters, because Jill’s name at the @ symbol take up 10 characters.
Also of note – this is a public tweet. That means that if anyone goes to your page, they’ll see the messages that I’ve sent to Jill in my tweet stream. It will come up in their tweet stream if they follow both me and Jill. If I wanted to ensure that everyone in my tweet stream saw the @ message, I could also put a period in front of the @. There are private messages or DMs, which we’ll talk more about later, but for now, just know to be careful what you’re including in public messages.
I’ll send Jill a quick note and click "Tweet." And my reply is sent!
As you can see, there is a LOT of information on the home page, and a lot you can do with it. We’ll end here for today, but tomorrow, we’ll be looking at the other tabs on this page. Happy tweeting!