We have looked at a LOT of information about Twitter this week, and we’ll finish out the week with our final post on the anatomy of the home page.
Yesterday, we continued our conversation about the left hand column, which focuses on the tweets in your stream, replies, retweets, searches, and lists (which I’ll cover in a later post). So today, we’re going to take a look at the right hand column.
The right hand column serves as a sort of Twitter snapshot for the day, from your perspective.
Let’s see what this looks like:
At the top of this column is a count of how many tweets you have posted. For me, this is 14,394 (I know, it’s a lot). This number is hyperlinked, so that when you click on it, you’re taken to your profile page, which includes more information about you:
Back on the right hand column of the home page, the next line down is your most recent tweet, including when it was sent. The time on this is also hyperlinked, and you can click on that for more information:
The right hand column then has a quick overview of how many people you are following and are following you – I am following 2,343 people, and I’m being followed by 3,409 people. Beneath these numbers, I can see the avatars of the five most recent accounts that I’ve followed and been followed by. I can click on any of these pictures to see that person’s profile information:
And I can also click on either of the numbers to see the full list of those I’m following…
And for those who follow me!
From each of these pages, you can see that I can follow people (which I’m already doing on the "following" page), and I have that same drop down menu next to each of their profile information:
I can @ message this person, add them to a list, block them, or report them for spam. You’ll also note that on each of these pages, I can see the Twitter name, full name, and profile information of each of the accounts that I’m following or are following me.
In case I may have missed someone who followed me, and I would find following them useful, this is a good place to start. It’s also a good way to review the people you’re following and unfollow anyone that is no longer useful to you. You do this by just clicking the "Following" button next to their profile, which turns into "Unfollow" when you mouseover it.
Below the numbers of followers and followees, we have "Trends."
Trends are the current topics that are showing up most often in people’s tweets. As you can see, my list of trends defaults to those in the US. If I’d like to change this, I can click on "Change" and a new window pops up:
I can either select from this group of locations within the US, or I can click on "Worldwide" at the top – I can then stay with the general "worldwide" trends, by clicking the "x" in the upper right corner of the window, or I can select one of the countries that is listed.
I’ll go back to US for now.
When we look at the trends, you’ll notice that the top one is "promoted" – that means that a company has paid Twitter to push this to the top of the list, and it’s not necessarily a "most talked about" topic. The others are organically generated, so in my mind, they have greater value.
You’ll also notice that some of these have hashtags and some don’t – Twitter changed their search capabilities over a year ago to better search keywords without requiring the hash.
So let’s take a look at a couple of the trends – I’m wishing I wrote this post yesterday morning, when Daniel Craig was trending (he’s my favorite actor), but we’ll just have to make do with the options we have. We’ll take a look at both a hashtag trend and a non-hashtag trend.
The first one, "#LiesThatAlwaysWorked" is a hashtag trend. To see what people are saying about that, we’ll click on it – doing so works effectively like a Twitter search, in that you’re brought to a page that lists all the tweets referencing that hashtag. It includes tweets from people that you are not following:
Hashtag trends like these are normally clever phrases or jokes that people are putting up – like participating in some big email chain that you add to. They can be fun and funny, and as you can see, they can fit in well for a brand if you have someone clever behind the account – a la Superman Tweets.
You have the option of saving this search, as we did yesterday, if you wanted to be able to come back to it.
Now, we’ll look at a non-hashtag trend, also by clicking on the trend link –
I love Christmas, yes, even in November, so we’re taking a look at this one. You can see all recent tweets mentioning Christmas, and this again, acts just like a search. Additionally, in the upper right hand corner, you can see that there are people results for the term "Christmas" as well – you can follow these accounts right from this page.
Now, I’m sure for many of you, there’s not a lot of use in following Christmas-related accounts. But I’m sure you can see what the business applications of this would be in helping you to find relevant accounts. I’ve found that developing my list of accounts to follow has been a very organic process, which happens as I come across interesting people being retweeted or shared through trends like this.
Trends will often be terms or people that are currently in popular media, and unless you’re into celebrities, they may not have relevance to you. But they can also be important news items, which will have relevance to you – such as the IMF, mentioned above – so it can be a good idea to take a look at these periodically.
And finally, the last thing we’ll talk about on the home page is the "Twitter Tweet Button," which, as Twitter says is "the easiest way for users to share links from your website."
To learn more, we’ll click on that link:
This gets into the more technical aspects of creating and including a Twitter button on your website, so I’m not going to get into that – but if you want a Twitter button, let your IT or webhosts know that this is where they can get it, and have them walk you through the steps so that you have the options that you’d like.
That’s all on Twitter for this week! Tune in next week for more on engaging, lists, and maybe even some third party applications that will make your use of Twitter FAR more efficient! Have a great weekend everyone!