Look at me, I’m tweeting!

Twitter, the funny sounding, micro-blogging, tweet-making, social network gets its name from two sources. Originally known as “twttr”, which was the snippet of short code that developers used as its moniker while creating the program, rapidly transformed itself to “Twitter” meaning “…the tiny sound-or chirp- a bird might make” or similarly, what a “thought” or “idea-burst” might sound like coming from one’s brain at any given moment.

Initially, Twitter was just a glorified text messaging system. But as it went live on the internet in July of 2006 those text messages, or “tweets” were visible to the public and-for the very first time-you could share your thoughts (know matter how short) with a community of like-minded individuals. Immediately, others could read, interact, reply and share your thoughts with their friends and the world!

Building Your Nest
At first, just tweeting something out seemed like a huge accomplishment. I mean, crafting entire thoughts or messages in 140 characters is a skill that some have still yet to master. Go ahead, give it a try… those 140 spaces can go pretty quick!

As Twitter’s user base has grown it has become increasingly more difficult to keep up with the constant flow of information that flies across one’s twitter feed. Keeping track of things that interest you can be a daunting task. To help you, we’ve created a bunch of quick tips so you can master the network and become part of the flock!

Let’s say you want to see what people who love to cook are tweeting about, no problem! Just use a hashtag! A hashtag is a clever way of grouping topics, or a specific subject together in one easy, searchable way.

By using the ‘# ‘character on your keyboard followed by a word or phrase that interests you (e.g., #cooking, #eating, #baking) into the Twitter search box, the program will immediately show you what’s hot or “trending” in the kitchen, your local eatery, or wherever. Next, if you see someone or something you’d like to explore or “follow”, just save that hashtag to a “list” and you can re-visit that portion of your twitter feed to stay in touch with all things food in the future… (Nice!).

Lists are a great way to group a bunch of people or subjects together for constant monitoring and easy reference. Try creating a “Family List”, a “News List” or a “Sports List.” By doing this, all you’ll have to do when you log on is, monitor the lists you’ve created to see what’s happening with your favorite baseball team, the latest news, or your Aunt Jeannie’s girl’s night out. Lists are an easy way to enjoy Twitter.

After you start following people or brands, you may come across a tweet you agree with, find amusing or very interesting. Let’s say you would like to share that tweet with your family, friends or followers. No Problem! Just look for the retweet icon below a specific tweet that you’d like to share, click it and send that baby packing. Etiquette you should use when retweeting? Give recognition to the originator of a specific tweet or, place your own comment onto the tweet as you send it out, this way you’re not taking credit for someone else’s work. Also, don’t forget to thank those who retweet your comments (being friendly or “social”) can go a long way.

Fly! Be Free!
Here’s a quick flight path to follow as you embark on your journey.

Don’t whine on Twitter. People will not follow or “re-tweet” your posts if you’re down or depressing. Twitter should be fun.

Don’t post mundane or nonsensical tweets. No-one wants to know how good your sandwich is, or how tired you are. Be relatable and friendly.

Do post interesting and relevant content. For example, try being the “eyes and ears” of your community. Tweet out a local story about a new building going up, or tell your neighbors about the latest specials at the nearest coffee shop. Become a mini-reporter for your town or village. People may start to rely on you as the “go-to” person in your town for breaking news and information.

Lastly, train yourself to abbreviate your words so you’re able get your point across quickly. It will take some practice but after a while you’ll be a pro.

Remember, short and sweet… that’s the right way to tweet!

john lorefice

John Lorefice is a Digital Media Director, Writer and Video Producer working hard to save the planet, change our political system and drink his share of the worlds coffee supply along the way. Questions, thoughts, comments or business enquiries can be sent to: sociallyexceptional@gmail.com.