Twitter for the not-so-technologically-savvy
We’ve tenderly stepped into the world of Twitter! And we’d love for you to join us. Before that scares you off: we’re the first to admit that for those who have never used Twitter, it can seem like a whole other language with its strange terminology and abundance of abbreviations. Not too long ago we sat bemused – wondering at the foreign interface. However, now, after two long weeks, we consider ourselves (almost) experts. Now, we’re here to pass on that knowledge to you. Even if we can’t make you a Twitter convert, we hope to explain the basics so that you can have a quick browse from time to time (psst: you don’t even need an account to check out our feed, but you should create one if you want to leave a comment!)
If you’re already a Twitterer – you can skip this and go straight to our Twitter feed. If you tweet us something interesting, we’ll tweet back a picture of one of our bells hanging around the site.
So, little blue birds tweeting about hashtags – What does it all mean?
@ – this sign denotes your public username. For example, ours is @TheBrisleyBell (this is also known as your Twitter handle). If you want to post a comment to someone you should use this sign followed by their name.
Tweet – These are short messages that are limited to 140 characters and are the primary form of communication on Twitter. These are published to your followers but can be found by anyone (by searching a few keywords – more on this down below). A tweet can also include an image, a GIF, a poll, and hashtags…
# – a clickable word or phrase that helps people find public discussions about certain topics or events. For example, if you wanted to know what was happening in Norfolk, you could search for Norfolk and see what people have been posting with that hashtag. If you also wanted to be included in the discussion, you could post a picture of the heritage Norfolk Coast and use the hashtag #Norfolk so that when others search your photo will be found.
Follow/Followers – if you want to always see what someone is tweeting you can decide to follow them. By clicking this button, you will receive their updates as and when it happens on you ‘home’ section. This will ensure that you never miss an update. In just the same manner, people can follow you, and your tweets will become readily available to them – these are known as your followers (yes, it does sound a bit cult-like, but we promise it’s not like that).
Direct messages or DM’s – these messages are private and are sent directly to the person of your choice. These messages are not limited to the 140-character count. You can still send images and videos – similar to an email.
Reply – this is how you respond to Tweets. If you would like to comment on someone’s tweet, click the reply button, and Twitter will automatically add that person’s username. This ensures that the user is notified of your comment. Much like regular tweets, responses are limited to the 140-characters (this needs to include the other person’s username).
Retweet – If you like to share someone else’s Tweet you can choose to retweet it. Not only will this show your support, it will also send this information to the people that follow you. Retweet the things that interest you or tweets that you think will be helpful or noteworthy to your followers.
Like – if you do not want to retweet a post to your followers you can simply like it. You can think of this as ‘bookmarking’ a tweet. All posts you like will appear on the ‘likes’ section of your profile so you can revisit them later. These can also be viewed by other people.
Mentions – clicking the bell icon will take you to your notifications or mentions. Anytime anyone likes, retweets or uses your @ username – you will be notified here, and a list will show where you can review your mentions.
Trends – the trends section will tell you what people are most talking about on Twitter. It regularly updates so you can see the most used hashtags and phrases. This allows you to enter the discussion that is happening worldwide instantly. The ease and spontaneity is what makes Twitter so attractive to so many users.
These are the ten vital features you need to know to make sense of one of the top social media platforms right now. Much like Facebook, Twitter has enabled millions of people around the world to connect and find people instantly. It provides a stage for discussions and debates to begin. It is a powerful and digestible medium that is accessible to everyone.
Have we persuaded you?
Join the conversation and follow us @TheBrisleyBell for live updates of the build.
Still not convinced? Check out this video to see what you could be missing: