Saturday, 7 August 2010

Twitter - what's it all about then?

I have spent the last few days in blatant self-promotion for Tickled Pink Crafts.  We have our own fan page on Facebook (thanks to Miss Tickled) and have joined Twitter.

I have successfully tweeted 74 times as I write this and am following lots of interesting people - mainly Mummy bloggers, crafty people and jewellery makers - but, and this is a big but...........I haven't got a clue what it's all about.  What's a "retweet" and how do I make comments on them?  What are all these words preceded by a #?  How do people find me?  Is it just for chatting?  Can I tweet anyone?  I am sure that I will get used to it in time, but if I am following you and I commit a Twitter faux-pas, please forgive me and chalk it up to inexperience.


  1. Retweet = is someone passing on someone else's message so you are crediting the source. In Twitter now, if you click retweet on the web version, it will just RT the tweet to all your followers but not allow you to edit.

    If however you get something like TweetDeck to manage twitter (and I highly recommend TD, been using it over a year and love it!) you can set it to allow you to choose whether to RT in this way or edit it before sending.

    If you want someone to RT your stuff, try to ensure you've got about 20 chars spare.

    The words preceded by # are hashtags. Anyone can start one and what it allows you to do is track all mentions of this tag in Twitters public timeline. A common one is #blog - if you click on this, it will show you all the recent public tweets that mention this tag and perhaps you could find new blogs to read. Equally, if a silly game is going the rounds (welshfilms seem to be doing the rounds today) you can click on the tag and see what other people are coming up with.

    People find you by either searching for you if you've allowed this in your settings, and I think you can set it so they can search for your email address. Alternatively, if you get mentioned in a #FF (FollowFriday - where people recommend others to follow), people may just decide to follow you.

    Is twitter just for chatting? It's a mixture of EVERYTHING. Some of it is chat, some of it is people promoting their blog or their website, some of it is people thinking aloud. Don't just do one of any of this. The important thing is to interact with people. Just be yourself basically.

    You can tweet just about anyone, by replying to their tweets. The only exception to this is if the person has blocked you. Some people protect their tweets but I think you can still send them a tweet even if you are not following them - tho you might not see the reply! Any tweet that mentions their name with an @ at the beginning will show up in their timeline. Some will reply to you unless you are spamming them and some may decide to start following you.

    Don't worry too much about any of this and don't over think it. Once you're a bit more used to it, consider getting something like TweetDeck as it is very easy to use and manage once you get used to it. It certainly transformed my twitter experience, I have to say and you'll see that a lot of people use it.

  2. Kate, that is such a good explanation! I love Twitter and agree that it works equally well for aimless chat as it does for business promotion or networking.

  3. Thank you ladies. Have been throwing myself into a bit this afternoon and might be getting there!! xx

  4. I'm still fairly new to twitter myself so found Kate's explanation really interesting too. I used to think that Twitter was a bit silly but I noticed that loads of bloggers seemed to be on it so I joined and now I'm a little bit addicted myself. I used it to promote my latest blog posts but mainly for random rambling and chat! I have to idea about the etiquette of following people or how on earth some people have 100s and 1000s of followers!