What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online social networking service for individuals and organisations to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People post Tweets, which may contain photos, videos, links and up to 140 characters of text. These messages are posted to your profile, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search. Registered users can read and post tweets, whilst those who are unregistered can only read them.
When you create an account you choose a username which becomes your twitter handle “@username”. To find other twitter users you can search for people by name or @username and follow them. Twitter will suggest users who are similar to those you follow to help you make more connections. Following a user means you have chosen to receive their new messages every time they post; these will scroll with time so you might need to search through your homepage to find tweets from specific users.
If someone chooses to follow your tweets then Twitter will notify you; if you decide that they are not someone you would like to read your updates then you can decide to block them but this is mostly used to prevent spam or problem behaviour. Your twitter homepage shows your Following and Followers; you can also see these lists for every other user you are connected to.
What are the benefits of Tweeting?
People come to Twitter to discover what’s happening in the world right now, to share information instantly, and to connect with people and businesses around the globe. It is a fluid place where discussions and debates flourish and where new ideas can be floated and experimented with. Used effectively, Twitter allows you to follow and interact with people outside of your personal network to raise the profile of your organisation and build valuable connections.
Tweeters are interested in social justice and in championing causes; by being a part of these conversations you can better understand the issues and passions of those in your locality and engage with people you would never encounter in your normal life.
How to Tweet
The best way to learn how to tweet is to tweet; you can’t go wrong and you will learn skills as you experiment. But the basics include three simple steps:
- Post 140 characters about your day, for example “writing a blog post for Faith in the Community about twitter”
- Reply to someone else’s tweet to enter into a conversation, for example “@FitCWokingham I am looking forward to reading your post”
- Retweet a tweet you like and want your followers to see, for example “RT @FitCWokingham have written a really useful post about twitter”
Online Mission: Would you like some training?
We are putting together a one day workshop to increase your confidence and use of social media. We are keeping the cost of as low as possible and expect it to be £25. This day will be entirely practical, allowing participants to learn from the experience of creating a video, uploading it to YouTube, Tweeting about it and sharing it on Facebook. Fill in the form below if you would like to be kept informed or have any questions about what the day.