Tweet like a Bird – An Inquest on TWITTER

Twitter is text based Social Media tool targeted at enhancing communication between people within and across the globe. It has proven itself to be a revolutionary way of sharing information and communicating thoughts and opinions to a possibly infinite population perpetually.

To get started with Twitter, you create an account with an existing e-mail address, a chosen password and a few personal details to enhance your profile. Your Twitter profile and specified interests may determine what kind of individuals and /or organizations you will attract to your Twitter network, so it is needful and beneficial to be clear and concise.

 

In Twitter world, your username or alias is preceded with an “@” sign. Your alias is determined by you when you are creating your Twitter account. It may or may not be the same as the username of your email address. For example; Let us assume you register with an email like fela.obi@xmail.com, your Twitter alias could be @felaobi or it could be@flabi or @anythingelseyoulike.

The main terms to note are Followers and Following. Followers are people who follow your tweets because they know you personally or believe you are an interesting and intelligent person worth lending their attention. You also become a Follower when you do the same to someone else. To follow anyone, you simply click on the “Follow” button by the name of the individual or organization you are interested in following.

Like we have mentioned earlier ; Twitter is text-based but something else to note is your tweets can be no longer than 140 characters, however the good news is you can tweet as often as you want, in-fact the more the tweets the better (but be careful not to become a spammer, as this will cause people to un-follow you).

QUALITY
Using Twitter qualitatively is a sure way to grow your Digital Influence, all that is required is that you share information that is original (not necessarily originally yours), correct, helpful and relevant. Your tweets can include links to sites, blogs or items for purchase, profiles, videos or even images. Tweets should not be vulgar or abusive. Tweets should educate, enlighten and inspire your followers.

LINGUA/TERMINOLOGY

Tweets
A tweet is the foundation of all engagement on twitter, it is nothing more than a message sent on twitter, in order to be able to tweet you obviously must have a twitter account. Twitter can serve as a good communication tool between you and friends so one way to build your follow base is to invite friends and contacts who already have twitter accounts to follow you or to create twitter accounts as well.

Due to the fact that Twitter is designed to rely on cellphone text messages, it has a few limitations such as;

* Tweets can have only 140 characters
(With the advent of third-party desktop, mobile and web-based applications like TweetDeck, UberSocial, TwitLonger, you can now post longer than 140 characters but the original Twitter design limits the display to just 140 characters still and includes a link for your followers to view the full tweet.)

* Tweets can only contain text except when using third-party desktop, mobile and web-based applications

* Web addresses 30 characters in length or longer such as http://www.theplatformnigeria.com/register within Twitter’s system are converted to tiny URLs in order to conserve space. You can also use a third-party service such as bit.ly, so in this example our bit.ly URL will be http://bit.ly/Sm9Ka

Twitter allows you the option to effortlessly opt-out of any network you feel is inappropriate or spamming you by you simply “un-following” such a member or members as the case may be.

REPLIES & MENTIONS
One of Twitter’s aims is to foster communication and interaction and some of the ways to go about reaping the benefits of this objective in particular is by using Twitter’s “@Reply” and “@Mention”.

@Reply
A Twitter reply is basically you responding to an existing tweet that may interest you and you would like to engage the sender with respects to this tweet. Your reply will and should always begin with @username (you insert the username of whoever you are responding to) e.g. @theplatformng, @samgf, @AnandWrites, @sarahcuda, @jaredcohen. Any tweet that is a reply to you will show up in your Mentions tab when you login to your twitter account.

To Post a reply on Twitter:
* Locate the tweet you want to reply to in your timeline(List of all tweets from the peole you follow)

* Move your mouse over the message and click the reply icon

* Complete your tweet in the pop-up box and click “Tweet” to send it

@Mentions
Mentions are any Twitter updates that has a user’s username located anywhere in the body of the tweet, replies are also considered mentions. When tweeting and you use more that one person’s name in your update using the @username format, all those people will see the update in their personal Mentions tab when they login to their Twitter accounts.

Twitter users will see all mentions posted by someone they follow (all mentions are treated like regular Tweets).If someone sends you a reply and you are not following the user, the reply will not appear on your Home timeline. Instead, the reply will appear in your Mentions timeline.

A Twitter Mention

HASHTAGS
Twitter is a platform where a great deal of the interactions are organic, one of the products of this type of organic interaction is the hashtag (#). The hashtag (# symbol) is used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet.

Examples of hashtags are:
#EngageTheFuture
#thinkingoutofthebox8
#NaijaVotes

A hashtag is designed in such a manner that if anyone does a search for that hashtag, they may find your tweet containing that particular hashtag. The best practice is to not have more than 3 hashtags in any given tweet and always use hashtags relevant to the topic you are tweeting about

To get better information about any hashtag, visit www.hashtags.org. The site offers popular hashtags used on Twitter and allows you look at small pretty graphs and you can learn if a hashtag of your choice exists

In order to create a hashtag, just add the (#) symbol beside the keyword of your choice e.g. #EngageTheFuture and send it within your tweet.

RETWEETS
Many times on Twitter, when you encounter a tweet you may want to share it with your followers. Enter the “RETWEET”.

A Retweet is in essence a reply to a tweet that includes the original message. You can either do this manually by typing “Your message RT @theplatformng” or by hovering over the tweet and clicking on the “Retweet” button.

Within your timeline, a tweet you have retweeted is identified by the retweet icon

Remember, Twitter is all about you, what you are doing, what you are thinking and how you feel. Tweeting an article you just happened across is not nearly so meaningful as tweeting an article that really said something to you.

DIRECT MESSAGES (DM)
Apart from sending out general tweets, you can send private messages popularly called “Direct Messages” to other people on Twitter, the only requirement is that they must be your followers. You can not send DMs to people who do not follow you and in turn people who follow you can send you DMs

Because Twitter was designed as a mobile-inclined application, you can also send Direct messages from your mobile phone but in order to do this you must first activate your mobile phone to receive and send updates to Twitter

TWEETS FROM A MOBILE PHONE
To active your mobile phone for Twitter updates;
1. Login to your twitter account
2. Click on Settings
3. Click on the “MOBILE” tab
4. Specify your mobile settings and click start

To send a DM using your mobile phone, open a text message window and use the following syntax;

d username type your message e.g;
d theplatformng My registration was a success. Thanks

Send the message to 40404, the message will automatically be updated on Twitter

An article written for The Platform Nigeria

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