Once you have a Twitter account and profile, the next step is starting to communicate with your fellow Tweeters
The key is remembering that you have exactly 140 characters to share your message!
Keep in mind that if you are hoping others are going to retweet or share your message, staying well below the 140 character limit will allow them to spread your tweet with an added comment or link, without having to edit your original message.
Controlling the length of those URLs is critical to sharing both the web site and the reason beyond why your followers might want to click on the link! There are several programs that will condense the length of a URL for use in Twitter including: is.gd (seen below). Just copy the original URL into the provided text box and hit shorten! and is.gd will provide you with a shortened version.
Here is an example of when it might be nice to use this service:
You find an adorable onsie on Etsy like this one and want to show it to your followers! The link is: http://www.etsy.com/listing/101186728/my-mom-is-blogging-this-baby-bodysuit, but with is.gd, your link is http://is.gd/W13Dzt
(FYI: This is not an affiliate link – but I love this – feel free to buy it for me!)
You want to send out an invite for users to purchase that new book you just reviewed at Amazon, but here’s your affiliate link: http://www.amazon.com/Sams-Teach-Yourself-Twitter-Minutes/dp/0672331241/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363813003&sr=8-1&keywords=sams+teach+yourself+twitter. Fortunately, you are Twitter savvy and know to use is.gd so now your link is: http://is.gd/khIcvq (much better…..and you’ll need that room because as an ethical Tweeter you will also disclose that link as an affiliate link!)
If you are using WordPress and want to Tweet your post, there are several options. There are plugins such as Publicize available with Jetpack by WordPress.com (this is available to wordpress.com and wordpress.org users) that will automatically send out tweets. Do be aware that Facebook can also be set to automatically send out Twitter updates when you make a Facebook post. If you set up automatic tweets from WordPress and Facebook, etc. you may end up with multiple duplicate tweets. I have found that the posts automatically scheduled for Facebook through WordPress or third party social media managers such as Hoot Suite don’t seem to reach as large an audience.
If you choose to enter your Facebook updates manually, but want to have Twitter automatically alert your followers that you have an update, you can set up your Facebook account to automatically send Tweets with each post. On your Facebook page, look to the right under your header and click on the down arrow as seen encircled in yellow in the image below.
Once you click on the down arrow, you will see a screen similar to the screen shot below on the left. If you then click on the plus sign, you will have the option to select “Find More Apps,” as shown in the image below on the right. You will then have the option to “Search for Apps.” Type “Twitter” in the search box and install. This will allow you to setup automatic updates from Facebook to Twitter if you wish. As you can see here, there is also one available for Pinterest.
Note that the link being sent out is now a Facebook link! See example of automatically posted Tweet below:
If you prefer to send out your URL “manually” you can also choose to shorten your link within the WordPress Dashboard by clicking on “Get Shortlink” in your edit post screen as seen here:
There are several other link shortening services available and several other blogging platforms allow you to create shortened URLs or “Shortlinks.” Please feel free to comment below letting me know your preferred method or technique – I might just give it a go!
Posting a Tweet
Often the best way to learn is to do – go ahead and type up a message that you can tweet.
Go to http://twitter.com/ and login if you aren’t already. Enter a tweet in the text box where it says “Compose new Tweet…” as illustrated below:
If you need some inspiration for a first Tweet feel free to try this:
Erika at Prey Species is learning how to use Twitter – http://is.gd/x1Yf58 #TweetingToYou
Once you have entered the text above, click on the blue Tweet button (seen in the image below) and you have successfully communicated via Twitter! Congratulations
***If you are wondering about the “#TweetingToYou” – this is known as a hashtag in “Twitter Speak” and is used for tracking Tweets – stay tuned for the next episode of Tweeting My Way Back to You for more information on hashtags!
Replying to a Tweet
When you utilize “@” in front of a Twitter username, such as @preyspecies the Tweet will be directed to that user. For example in the image below Marketing Barefoot is welcoming me as an affiliate. By including the “@preyspecies” in the post, Marketing Barefoot is ensuring that I will see that Tweet!
In the image below I have included @MarketBarefoot to alert them to my plan to use these Twitter exchanges in my post! Do note that Twitter is not a chat or email application – if a message if extremely important, private, or time sensitive, I would utilize an additional or different platform!
Replying to a Direct Message
If you move your cursor directly over the message, multiple options will appear including Reply and Retweet. If you select Reply as I did in the image below Twitter will automatically include an “@” back to the sender.
In the image above, you can also see that Marketing Barefoot has selected this Tweet as a favorite! The option to Favorite a Tweet will appear alongside the options to Retweet or Reply to a Tweet. Favorites allow you to quickly group Tweets that you want to refer back to, really enjoy, or wish to be able to find quickly!
As a reminder, we are learning together – I am a self taught Tweeter! Reference for most of the information contained in this post can be found in “Sams Teach Yourself Twitter in 10 Minutes,” by Tee Morris. This is an Amazon affiliate link!