Social media: Twitter

1. Vocabulary

  • Tweet
    message in Twitter, visible for everyone and indexated by Google, unless you protect your profile (not recommendable)
  • Tweep
    someone who is active on Twitter
  • Retweet (RT)
    you tweet an interesting tweet from someone else (add symbol)
  • Favorite (∗)
    this option had dozens of meanings. The most common are:

    • I like this
    • I agree with you
    • I want to read this later
    • I want to keep this information for further use
  • Hashtag #
    clicking on a word with this tag you can view all tweets with the same hashtag, even from tweeps you don’t follow. It can be useful to use the hashtag #hollowcore on a very regular basis. For seminars or conferences it can be interesting to create a hashtag. Participants ánd others can follow this hashtag to stay informed about the conference, e.g. #IPHA2015. This hashtag can be communicated in the programme for all participants. Before launching a hashtag you better check whether the intended hashtag is already in use for something else (The hashtag #Perugia2015 is already used for Perugia cultural capital). You can’t ‘own’ a hashtag.
  • Timeline (TL)
    list of tweets from al the tweeps you follow, in chronological order.
  • DM (direct message)
    allows you to send a private message to a tweep. No one else can see this.

2. Create an account

  1. Go to: http://www.twitter.com
  2. Fill in your (company) name, this is NOT your user name!
  3. Fill in your email address and create a password.
    • Note: One email address can’t be the used for more than one twitter account.
    • Note: The password should contain at least 6 characters.
  4. In the next screen you can choose a user name with a maximum of 15 characters.
    • Note: a professional account with a user name like @sweethoney lacks credibility…
  5. Now we are asked to start following people but we want to create a decent profile before letting others know we’re on Twitter so let’s skip this.
  6. Add a profile picture (dimensions 400 X 400 pixels). This can be your personal picture or the logo of your organization.
  7. Add a header picture (dimensions 1500 X 500 pixels). This can be related to your product or you can take just a neutral picture. (see @IPHA_hollowcore)
  8. Add a short biography (maximum 160 characters).
    • If you have an organizational account, you can shortly describe your business and add a link to your company website.
    • If you have a personal account, you can describe whether your tweets are professional or private or both. You can indicate whether your tweets are your own opinion or your company’s view. You can also refer to your LinkedIn-profile.
      • Note: A biography is not compulsory but it helps other tweeps to know what they can expect from you.

3. Start following people & organizations

  1. Search @IPHA_hollowcore
  2. Click on ‘follow’
  3. Look who @IPHA_hollowcore is following
  4. Follow the interesting/relevant accounts in this list
  5. Look who is following @IPHA_hollowcore (followers)
  6. Follow the interesting/relevant accounts in this list
  7. You can also use the search button to find other tweeps
    • Notes:
      • Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, following someone on Twitter doesn’t mean the other tweep follows you back automatically.
      • The process of following and unfollowing people is rather organic:
        • People start following you, you look at their tweets and decide whether they might be interesting to follow as well.
        • Tweeps you follow retweet tweets from a third party. If the tweet looks interesting, you can check the profile and the tweets of this person/organization and start following.
        • You can always unfollow other tweeps if their tweets are no longer relevant to you.

4. Start tweeting

  1. A tweet contains maximum 140 characters. It can include hashtags, links and pictures.
  2. Be concise in your message and link to more information on your website. Url’s can be quite long. Use the websites ow.ly or bit.ly to schrink your url.
  3. A tweet with a picture creates more impact in a timeline. The ideal dimensions are 440 x 220 pixels. A picture usually counts for 23 characters.
  4. A tweet with a hashtag allows your tweet to be seen by people who don’t follow you but are interested in the subject you’re tweeting about. This can lead to new followers. (don’t exaggerate with hashtags in one tweet).
  5. All your tweets are shown in the timeline of your followers (difference with Facebook!)
  6. Apart from sending out a tweet yourself, you can:
    • retweet an interesting tweet from another tweep to your followers (Twitter allows nowadays to add a comment to the retweet) (retweet icon). Encourage your members by retweeting interesting tweets they send or by commenting on what they tweet.
    • Participate in discussions on hollowcore.
    • Rectify wrong information that is tweeted on hollowcore.
    • Reply on a tweet. This can lead to interesting conversations. (reply icon) If you reply to one tweep by just clicking on the reply-icon (the tweet then starts with a @), only tweeps who follow both you and the person you’re replying to, can see this answer in their timeline. If you want all your followers to see your reply, you can add a dot at the start of your tweet.

Twitter Strategy

The ideal mix is:

  • 1/3 own information
  • 1/3 reaction on other tweets
  • 1/3 retweets