Different social media sites have different uses, strengths, and advantages. Twitter could be called a ‘real time social networking’ site, a place for sharing information as it happens, and for connecting with others in real time, often resulting in lasting friendships and contacts.
Over the coming year we will be presenting a series of ‘How-to’ articles to teach members how to use this fun, free, and useful tool. It can be a bit intimidating at first, but don’t be put off – with a little effort and some intuitive “feeling your way through”, you’ll soon be able to use Twitter well – and you might even become digitally famous!
If you would like a paper version of this guide download Twitter Basics and print it out. Make sure you come back to this page as the links below do not work on paper!
Creating an Account and making your First Tweet
We’ll kick off this edition with a quick guide to creating a Twitter account, signing in and walking you through the steps to make your very first tweet!
Go to Twitter and sign up for a free account. Do so by entering your name, email address, and desired password in the provided space or simply click on the Sign up for Twitter button.
You will be presented with a similar sign up screen, from here it’s a simple matter of filling in the appropriate fields.
- The first field is your real name. One way others can find you on Twitter is searching your name.
- The next field is your Username. Try to pick a username that is descriptive and unique to you. This will be the name your followers use when sending @ Replies, @Mentions or direct messages. It will also form the web address (or URL) of your Twitter page.
- Next, enter a password.
- Once you have entered a sufficiently strong password, please provide an email address. The email address is used to confirm your account before you can finish the signup process. You can determine whether or not you want to allow others to find you on Twitter by searching for your email address.
- Next, Twitter will try to make suggestions of profiles you should follow to help you build your network. Each time you select an interest, a list of suggested users is generated. Clicking the follow button next to a user’s name will add them to the list of users you are following.
- Twitter will also prompt you to log into Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail. Twitter would then scan your contacts lists and if it finds an email address that is associated with a Twitter profile it returns that profile to you and you can choose to follow it or not. It’s another way of helping you build your Twitter network.
- Twitter will offer you a screen to invite others in your accounts not on Twitter to join. You can skip this step by clicking cancel.
- The last page gives you an opportunity to search for someone specific on Twitter. You can click the blue Next Step button to finish.
Great! You’ve just set up your Twitter account. Now you may begin editing your profile, finding people to follow and even start tweeting. Note that there is a Twitter mobile app which can be installed on your smartphone. Once installed, it’s a simple matter of logging in using the same username and password you used to set up your account.
Learning to use the Twitter lingo
It’s important to understand some of the terms used in twitter. In this edition we’ll explore some of the basic ones you’ll need.
Tweet – a tweet is essentially a post or update containing 140 characters or less, which can include @Mentions to other users, hashtags, external links to websites, or simple regular text.
Hashtag – Prefacing a word with a ‘#’ will create a hashtag. You have likely seen #hashtags everywhere these days. Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and many other social sites use hashtags to create instant connections with other users. A hashtag makes a certain word easily searchable. Some Trending topics will include hashtags, thus making it easier for users to tap into a Twitter-wide conversation regarding a single matter of interest.
Followers/Following – Your Twitter can be as intimate or as big as you choose. People who you choose to follow are those individuals who you will be notified of if they tweet anything. These individuals are people you are Following. People can also choose to follow you, and in this scenario, these individuals will be notified of any new tweets you post. These individuals are your Followers. If your goal is to gather lots of Followers, be sure to keep your posts interesting and relevant. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of following others, either—often times if you follow someone they’ll follow you back.
That’s enough definitions for now; we’ll provide more in another article. Finally, we’ll get you posting your first tweet.
Let’s get Tweeting
To compose a new tweet, simply click on the ‘compose tweet’ button at the very top right corner of the webpage. It looks like this:
A pop up text field will appear, and from here you can type your tweet
You will be able to type your tweet in the textbox (A). You can make @Mentions, referencing another user, create a hashtag and even put links to other websites.
You can also add a picture to your tweet or share your location if it’s relevant. You can do this by clicking on the buttons located below your textbox (B).
You will only be able to post up to 140 characters. There will be a character count down (C) which will help you keep track. If you type too many characters, this countdown will go into negative numbers and you won’t be able to post your tweet until it goes back into positive numbers or hits 0.
Once you’ve composed your tweet, simply click on the ‘Tweet’ button and your tweet will be posted on your feed. That’s it for now! There will be more information in a further post.
In the meantime, don’t be afraid to explore and add details to your profile (A profile photo normally helps).
You can follow tweets from the official provincial twitter feed by searching for @Berkspgl. Here you’ll get the latest updates on any news stories or worthwhile masonic events within the province of Berkshire.
Other Berkshire Twitter accounts include:
@Berks_Mason – W. Bro Mark Davis – Provincial Social Media Officer
@berksgavel – The Travelling Gavel
@BerksPEducation – Berkshire Provincial Education Committee
@LodgeSupport – Lodge Support Team
@BerksLightBlues – Berkshire Light Blues Club – for those yet to receive Provincial Honours
@VMastersBerks – Berkshire Visiting Masters
@HungerfordLodge – Hungerford Lodge 4748
@InghamClark – Ingham Clark Lodge 8164
@ReadingOldBoys – Reading Old Boys Lodge 3545
For help with Twitter or any other form of communication do not hesitate to contact the Berkshire Provincial Communications Team