Twitter seems a bit overwhelming when you start but twitter chats are a great way to get your feet wet.
The first thing you’ll need to do is get a twitter handle. Your twitter account will be how people find you and send you tweets (or messages) – when you talk about twitter names you always use the ‘@’ sign before your name. For example mine is @ApplesForACure. I chose the name because it’s fun and easy to read. Think about a small phrase or name that suits you or suits a project or cause you want to promote or talk about. Remember – when setting up your account name – the words are strung together so using caps to help people be able to read your name helps and if you don’t set it up that way to begin with you can’t go back and change it… so @applesforacure vs. @ApplesForACure can make a difference. You can also set a profile pic so that you give yourself a bit of personality – this is something you can change but remember the image is what people see first so striking images make great twitter pics!
Tips about Tweeting
As you get familiar with twitter – you will begin to understand the way a tweet is put together but initially it all looks like gibberish. Here are some tips to get you going. I’ll be adding more advanced info later.
- You have to use the @ before the persons handle you are trying to direct your message to. So if I want to send my friend Amanda a message I will compose something like this:
@UnitedVAS Great article on your blog today http://bit.ly/ec7muP about the Why’s of #Spondylitis #rheum
The message is directed to Amanda because her handle comes right at the beginning of the tweet. I made a comment and put in a link (more on shortening links later – but shortening a link is important because on twitter you only get 140 characters to get your message across) And at the end I’ve placed a # or hashtag before the key words. So – why the hashtag? People search on terms to wade through the millions of tweets that are happening all the time. They are also key in twitter chats. For our chats we will use #spondy. You will need to place #spondy someplace in your tweet so that you show up in the conversation.
A tweet I might make in our AS twitter chat might look like this:
Topic 1: What is the worst thing about living with AS? #spondy
I am directing it to everyone so there are no handle @’s and I’ve included the #spondy hashtag.
Using Tweet Chat
You can also use Tweet Chat – check out the below website once you have your twitter account setup. When you use Tweet Chat – the hashtag you are following for the conversation gets added at the end of your tweet automatically. This is also a super way to just follow the conversation and lurk. Lurking is absolutely allowable and encouraged in the world of twitter. You can see what is happening and not have to participate until you feel comfortable doing so.
Hope this all helps. I look forward to having some great #spondy chats! – Jenna