In the last issue I gave you some tips on Instagram and this is my final article – about Twitter. Like
Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is another way of sharing information via your smartphone, tablet or
computer, with the main difference being that you are limited to only 140 characters of text (although
there is talk of an increase in this limit being tested shortly). It started as a text-only platform, but now
you can share links, images, and video as well. It is often regarded as more immediate than other
As before here are a few tips on getting going. Twitter.com has a comprehensive online help centre
that can give more detailed information and advice.
Setting up an account is straightforward. Depending on what you are using; computer, tablet, or
mobile there may be slight differences but essentially…
Go to http://twitter.com or download the app and find the Sign Up box:
- Enter your name, phone number, and a password.
- Click sign up.
- You may have to verify your phone number by a text message sent to your mobile with a code. Enter
the verification code in the box provided.
- Once you’ve signed up, you can select a username – type your own or choose one Twitter suggests.
- Double-check everything.
- Click Create my account.
Much like other social media platforms each user has a Profile. To set up or alter yours go to your
profile page, then click on Edit Profile. Here you will be able to add profile and header images, your
name, a short biography, your location, birthday, website link etc if you would like. As always bear in
mind how much information you would like to make public. Once you are happy with your changes
click on Save Profile.
POSTING A TWEET
To tweet click on the Tweet button at the top of your screen then type away. Make sure you check it
and don’t go over the character limit (you will see the number of available characters remaining at the
bottom of the box) before clicking on the tweet button in the bottom right corner. NB You cannot edit
a tweet once it has been posted, however, you can delete your own tweets if you make a mistake.
To add an image or video, click on the image button at the bottom left of the tweet box. Select an
image or video from your library/gallery on your device and Twitter will add it to your tweet.
To add a web link, go to the web page you would like to link to (perhaps there’s an event you want to
mention), go to the top of the page then click on and copy the entire URL (the web page address).
Paste this link into your tweet and write your copy. Twitter will shorten the link to only 23 characters
regardless of the original link’s length. Your followers will be able to click on the link immediately to
see what you are mentioning, Twitter often includes a preview in your message.
If you want to mention another Twitter user in your tweet use their username preceded by the @
symbol e.g. @scottishpotters. The user you have mentioned in your tweet will receive a notification
of the mention, and other followers of your tweets will be able to click on their username to go their
Once you have signed up you can start following other Twitter users. Once you follow someone you
will see that person’s tweets on your home timeline, much like on Facebook and Instagram. There are
a number of ways to find and follow people…
If you see someone mentioned in another person’s tweet that interests you, click on their username.
This will take you to their profile page, click on the follow button at the top of their page and their
tweets will now appear in your timeline.
To search for someone you know, click on the search button (magnifying glass) at the bottom of your
screen. Type the name of the person you are searching for at the top. A list of people with similar
names will come up below. Click on one that might be the person you are looking for. This will take
you to their profile page where you can double check you have the correct account. If it is then click
You can also connect with people that you already know by using the Connect button at the top right
of the search page. This will show you a list of your existing contacts that are also using Twitter. Click
on the ones you would like to follow.
INTERACTING WITH OTHERS
Liking another person’s tweet is simple – you just tap the heart symbol at the bottom of their tweet and
it will turn red. You can find all of your likes by clicking on the likes tab on your profile page.
If you like a tweet and would like to share it with your followers then click on the double arrows at the
bottom of their tweet and it will turn green.
If you would like to respond to another person’s tweet click on the single arrow/speech bubble at the
bottom of their tweet. You can the write them a public message which will automatically start with
their username. Your message can be seen by anyone.
If you would like to send a private reply then click on the direct message (envelope) button at the
bottom of their tweet. Your message can only be seen by you and the intended recipient.
I have mentioned hashtagging before, but as it was initially started on Twitter I will refresh your
memory. A hashtag is any word or phrase immediately preceded by the # symbol. When you click or tap
on a hashtag, you’ll see other Tweets containing the same keyword or topic. Adding hashtags such as
#pottery or #ceramics within your tweets may allow other users to find you and follow you. Don’t forget
to add #scottishpotters to any posts you might want us to find and share!
Security & Privacy
Security and privacy are very important online. As always, think carefully about the information you
When you start using Twitter, your tweets are automatically public, and anyone can view and interact
with your Tweets. If you prefer you can chose to protect your tweets by altering your account settings.
If you protect your tweets you will receive a request each time a new person wants to
follow you. Having a protected account can be good for a personal account, but if you want to
increase your following and expand your business I would recommend keeping your account public.
There are a few things you can do to alter your experience on Twitter. For varied reasons you may
wish to unfollow, mute, block or report other users.
To unfollow someone is simple – perhaps because you no longer find their tweets of interest. Go to
their profile page and click the unfollow button in the top right corner. Their tweets will no longer
appear in your timeline.
To mute someone is what you can do if you do not want to stop following a person, but may prefer
not to see their tweets for a while. Blocking someone means that neither they or you will be able to
follow each other. Both blocking and muting are reversible.
Go to Twitter.com to find out more about these options.
A FINAL NOTE: ALGORITHMS
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter used to show users’ posts in chronological order but most now use
computer algorithms to ‘enhance users’ experience’. These platforms, which are free to join have
become increasingly popular and are using advertising to fund their continued existence. The
algorithms push popular posts and adverts to the top of your timeline; something that is not entirely
popular with everyone. To help combat this it is good practice to interact with your followers as much
as possible. Liking a post will push it towards the top of the feed. Writing a comment helps even
more. You will find that if you support others, they will respond in kind.
This is the last of my articles on social media. I hope the above helps you get going on Twitter and that
you have found them helpful. Don’t forget for much more detailed information please go to the Help
Centre at Twitter.com