Your Twitter Account

How do you set up your Twitter account?  Twitter has a great tutorial that walks you through this as you’re setting it up.  There are a few things to think about along the way though.

Twitter Terminology:

  • Twitter Handle (Username): Your Twitter name which begins with the @ symbol. Consider as part of your branding strategy.  Consider length (less than 15 characters best).
  • Tweet: Your message in 140 characters.
  • Re-Tweet: Sharing the message with one’s followers.
  • Followers: People who view what you say-they don’t need permission unless you change your security settings.
  • Tweep: People who tweet.

Tip 1:  Consider Your Brand

Who are you to your constituents/customers?  We may not think about branding ourselves, but we may have done this without thinking about it if we have a certain name for our news columns, TV/radio, or other media spots.  For example, my news column was “Jenny’s REESources”.  I chose to keep this brand across all my platforms since my customers already saw me as this brand…I just shortened it to “jenreesources”.  Lindsay Chichester is known as “agwithdrlindsay”.  Alice Henneman is know by her name.  Whatever you choose to use, be consistent so you can be easily found across any media platform you use and have a brand that will make sense and be easy for others to remember.

Tip 2:  Complete Your Twitter Profile

twitter profile

Your Twitter profile includes a “header photo”, profile photo of you, your name, a description of who you are and what you tweet about, where you are located, and can include a link to your county extension website or blog site. I do not follow anyone who has not taken the time to complete their Twitter profile. This is so important for people to know you are legitimate and to know what to expect from you on Twitter. I’ve changed my header photo and background graphics over time. My current header photo was created using the “collage” feature in PicMonkey, but you can keep it simple with one main photo too.

Tip 3:  Understanding the Toolbar

twitter toolbar2

The following buttons show up in your Twitter toolbar. The “home” screen shows you all the tweets of people you are following. “Notifications” shows you each time you have been retweeted or mentioned in a tweet. “Discover” allows you to search Twitter for what is “trending” and for “hashtags” (key words people search for on Twitter). “Me” is your profile and your tweets. “Search” allows you to search for any person or topic on twitter. “Direct Messages” are 140 character emails sent directly to you. BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THESE! It is best not to click on links sent in messages (even from your followers) unless you are sure they aren’t spam. This is the #1 way people’s Twitter accounts get hacked. The “settings wheel” is for Twitter settings where you can change anything within your account or profile. The box with a feather pen symbol is where you can “compose a new tweet”.

Tip 4:  Who to Follow

followerstwitter

How do you know who to follow? Check out a trusted Twitter profile like @unlextension, click “following” within their profile, and look at who they are following. Simply click “follow” on anyone you also would like to start following. When Twitter first started, it was recommended to follow everyone back who followed you. I do not recommend this. It’s important to make sure you truly know the person, and if you don’t, that they seem like a person you would want to view tweets from. Ask yourself: Do they have a profile picture, cover photo, description of themselves, AND view what they are tweeting about before you choose to follow someone. I also like to see if other people I trust are also following the person.  Sometimes people seem pretty legit at first when you follow them, but then you question if you want their tweets anymore. Know you can also unfollow anyone at any time by simply clicking the “following” button on their profile and it will turn from blue to green.

Check out the next post to view “Making Twitter Work for You!”

Additional Resources:

Setting Up Twitter Account

Creating Twitter Account Screenshots

2014 Fall Conference Twitter Presentation

About jenreesources

I'm the Crops and Water Extension Educator for York and Seward counties in Nebraska with a focus in irrigated crop production and plant pathology.
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