How to get on with Twitter
Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, opinions and news. Simply find the accounts you are interested in and click ‘follow’ to receive those conversations in your Twitter feed.
At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long, but don’t let the small size fool you - you can discover a lot in a little space. You can see photos, videos and conversations directly in Tweets to get the whole story at a glance, and all in one place. See it in action.
How to set up a Twitter account
- Go to https://twitter.com and select ‘sign up for Twitter’
- Fill in the required fields such as your name and email address. You will need to choose a username for your Twitter account and create a password.
- When you are happy with your username and that all the fields are complete select ‘create account’.
- On the same screen there is an option to watch a short 60 second tutorial on how to start using Twitter.
- You will receive an email to the email account you entered to authorise your account. Once your clicked the link ‘confirm your account now’, a new internet page with your Twitter account will open.
- You are now ready to start using Twitter!
Tips to help you set up and start using your account
Think about how you plan to use Twitter. Is it for personal or work use or both? You might want to reflect this in your username.
You will only be able to create an account on Twitter by using an email address that has not already been used and you can’t use the same email address to create two different Twitter accounts.
If you are using Twitter on a public computer, for security purposes make sure you don't select the option ‘keep me signed-in on this computer’.
You can use Twitter on the go if you have a smartphone that has access to the internet. You'll need to download one of the free Twitter apps.
You might want to make your profile a bit more interesting by adding a photo and biography, so that people can find out who you are, what you are tweeting about and why. To do this select the settings (cogs) symbol at the top right and select ‘edit your profile’.
How to tweet
You can pack a surprising amount of information into 140 characters. The tweet below was written by Local Trust at a Big Local spring event in 2013. If we pick the tweet apart we can see just how much information it contains.
The tweet reads:
Amjid from @UnLtd tells #BigLocal spring event about #starpeople ... @NorthShoreAcad (photo below)
You will find the @ symbol at the start of someone’s Twitter address and this is called a Twitter handle. By including @UnLtd and @NorthShoreAcad, Local Trust made a connection to both UnLtd’s and North Shore Academy’s Twitter accounts by using their Twitter handles. Both connections are useful here because Amjid works for UnLtd and the event was at the venue North Shore Academy. Twitter picks this up and sends a notification to that person/organisation on Twitter to tell them that they've been mentioned in a Tweet by Local Trust.
A hashtag (#) symbol is used before a keyword or phrase (no spaces) e.g. #biglocal or #starpeople to categorise Tweets and help them show more easily in a Twitter search. By using #biglocal , Local Trust was asking Twitter to send this tweet to the wider Big Local coversation taking place on Twitter.
Local Trust also included a photograph which was taken on a smart phone during Amjid’s presentation as well as the link to where more information is held about UnLtd’s offer to Big Local areas on Local Trust’s website.