Whether you have never heard of Twitter before or you have and have no idea what people are talking about, this post is for you! Twitter is a great social networking tool that has been called “micro-blogging”. Each “tweet” is 140 characters long, and is a snapshot of life, a tidbit of information, or even a conversation between you and a company, or someone else! Today I’m going to teach you how to set up a Twitter account and then how to use it… don’t worry if it doesn’t make perfect sense at first. As you use it, you will love it!
Step One: Create a Twitter account. Simply go to the website http://www.twitter.com and click “Get Started – Join”. There are only a few questions, and you will need to provide an email address to be associated with the account.
Step Two: Tweet! There will be a square that asks “What are you doing?”. This is where you can post your “tweets”. It can be anything you want it to be… such as a tip, something fun that is going on… maybe something not fun that is going on. It is limited to 140 characters so be brief, but have fun with it.
Step Three: Follow People. Now you can start searching for fun people to follow. At the top of the page there is a link to “find people”. You can search for celebrities, companies, friends, etc! Some of the people that I follow are Palm Inc, Windows, Gizmodo, PC Magazine, Guy Fieri (from the food network), Bobby Flay (also food network), then some “mom” people I have found searching around. I love being “connected” to news from different companies, and being able to keep up on all the current tech! Search for anyone that you would be interested in following… and of course follow me @tech4mommies.
Step Four: Learn the lingo. @____ is a twitter username. Like @tech4mommies is my Twitter username. Whenever you want to reference someone on twitter that is how you do it. If you want them to know you are talking to them or you want to reply to a tweet the @____ needs to be the very first part of your tweet. #_____ is a tag you can use when referencing a specific item. Like when I talk about the Palm Pre I use #palmpre. Friday’s many people will post #ff or #forwardfriday which is when you post different usernames that you enjoy following so other people can follow them too. Next is RT which is short for Retweet. That means either the user is reposting someone else’s tweet or they are requesting for you to repost their tweet. DM stands for Direct Message. If you want to send a more private message to a specifiic user start the message with a capital D and then the username (without the @ symbol). Now that you have the lingo down..
Step Five: Download a Twitter desktop program. I use TweetDeck. What is great about this program is I have 4 columns. First column is for facebook updates, it will give me all of my facebook friends updates, without having to go to the facebook website. Second column is everyone’s tweets that I follow. Third column is for any replies I get to my tweets, and fourth column is my direct messages. It’s a great way to organize the information that comes through on twitter, so it is easier for everyone to understand.
Step Six: Customize, if you are feeling up to it. Going through the settings and you can add some bio information, a picture of yourself, etc. Go crazy, or keep the custom defaults, it’s your site!
Step Seven: HAVE FUN! Get involved in conversations, ask questions, and basically enjoy the world of microblogging!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com