My father loves technology. So now he’s on Twitter.
Of course he isn’t new to Social Media, and he “likes” and comments on Facebook, but Twitter is tricky. I know how hard it was for me to “get it”.
Only 6 months ago I did have an account, but I had no idea what to do with it. Follow @LuMuellerKaul to see my ongoing efforts.
Check this to understand why I even bother. Doesn’t apply to my father, he’s retired and doesn’t seem to be interested in self-promotion. But it can be fun…
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1. Twitter is all about serendipity. I wish I knew who said it, it’s so true: “Facebook makes me hate people I’ve known all my life, Twitter makes me love people I’ve never met.”
2. In the beginning, it’s a good idea to follow the ones who follow you. Exception: spammers.
Just click on “Followers” (from your “Profile”page), then you see the ones who recently followed you. Check out their profiles and their latest tweets. Follow the ones you like.
I don’t follow users who don’t have any tweets, who only tweet quotes or business promotions, and the ones who don’t interact with others.
3. Follow your interest: Use the “search” tool to look for people and topics that interest you, or the area you live in. Just follow a bunch of people that come up if you like what they tweet. Some of them will follow you.
4. Now you have tweets show up in your timeline. Read them. If you see something you really like, hit “retweet”. Or hit “reply” to say something about it.
If you start a tweet with @username, only users who follow both of you can see it in their timeline. It does show up in your profile, though, and it will show up in Google searches. Example: “@LuMuellerKaul leave me alone with your advice, there are plenty of #Twitter101 posts, I don’t need another one”.
If you’d rather say something privately, send a DM (direct message). You can only message people who follow you.
5. Twitter is all about promoting others. The most successful Twitter users, people like @AskAaronLee, @Twylah, @JimConnolly are not only popular because they consistently post valuable content, they also talk about others who do.
I follow a lot of accounts I see mentioned in posts like “Thanks for helping me overcome procrastination @SarahRobinson“.
“@mentions” like that are the best way to recommend another user. If the username is not in the beginning of the post, all your followers see it in their timeline.
6. Share. If you’re on a page you find interesting, post it on Twitter. Say what you think about it before the link!
For example you could tweet: “Can’t they leave Wulff alone? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/world/europe/germany-president-christian-wulff-stops-publication-of-threatening-call-to-bild.html”
Twitter automatically shortens links so you don’t get over the 140 characters.
That should be good to start with! Let me know how it goes…
Readers who are not my father: What do you think? How did you “get it”?