- Alyssa Moni
- Blue Verifying Check
- Direct Message
- Indiana Unversity
- Jessica Cunnington
- Lauren Spierer
- Middle East
- San Francisco
- Social Media
- Tweet Button
How-To: Utilize Twitter as a College Student
We have all heard of the website Twitter, and you may even have a Twitter account. But what is it really and how can you start making your mark on the Twittersphere? This blog is your manual to all things Twitter!
Twitter.com: a social media and microblogging website owned and operated by Twitter, Inc. It was launched in 2006 out of San Francisco, and has now grown to an estimated 200 million users.
Tweet: a 140 character text-based post that appears on your profile and your followers' homepage. In Facebook terms, a tweet is like a status update, which appears on your profile and in your friends' news feed. You can also include pictures and links.
Handle: your Twitter username. Be creative if you want! You can always publish your real name on your profile.
Bio: a 160 character blurb about yourself, like a favorite quote, fun fact, what you are studying, or even why you are on Twitter!
Following/Followers: In the search bar, you can look up friends, celebrities, or news organizations that you would like to "follow." Most public figures and companies you can "friend," in Facebook terms, without them having to accept you first. If you request to follow a private account, the account holder will have to make an approval before you can view their page and tweets. Once you begin following an account, those tweets start appearing on your homepage. Eventually, Twitter will give you suggestions of who else to follow based on who you follow already.
Blue Verifying Check: When you search any public figure, look for the Blue Verifying Check to make sure you are following his or her actual Twitter account and not just a fake account or fan's account.
"@"/Mention: add the @ symbol followed by a user's handle to shout out to one of your followers in a Tweet. In Facebook terms, it is like you tagging someone or something in a post. Your follower will get a notification that you Tweeted about them, and the Tweet itself will appear on your profile and on your followers' homepages. For example, I just mentioned Jessica when I tweeted "@JessCunnington and I are working on our first blog for FNCU about Twitter."
Retweet: If you see a Tweet you like on your homepage, you can press the Rewtweet button to publish that same Tweet on your profile. Another way of Rewtweeting, is to copy and paste the content of that Tweet and add "RT:" before it. Make sure to mention whoever Tweeted the original content first. For example, "Check this out RT: @FoxNews: These photos that appear to defy gravity, taken by Natsumi Hayashi, will surely get you over mid-Monday blues "
"#"/Hashtag: Anywhere in your Tweet you can add a # followed by a word or phrase that is a funny, serious, or "Trending" topic. It acts like a filing cabinet that groups your Tweets with others that have the same hashtag. Some examples include #justsayin or #Weinergate. Often conferences or events have their own hashtags so that everyone attending or Tweeting about them can have their own separate forum.
Trend: When a hashtag becomes very popular, it will show up on the right-hand side of your homepage as a Trend. Trends can change daily and offer good insight into what Tweeters are Tweeting about for that day.
Direct Message: Again, in Facebook terms, this would be an Inbox message. Be careful not to mistakenly post a Direct Message as a Tweet like former Congressman Weiner did! But you still only have 140 characters.
Twitter Tweet Button: On most websites, an article or video will have this button in order for you to easily share it in a Tweet on your profile without copying and pasting the URL. By clicking on the Twitter Tweet Button, Twitter will automatically open and start a Tweet for you with that URL in it. Twitter is nice and shortens the URL for you so you still have enough characters to work with in your Tweet's content.
Twitter Apps: Go download these now for you iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, or smart phone so you can use Twitter on the go and not just on your laptop or desktop computer.
So how can you put all of this new-found knowledge about Twitter to use?
-Decide if you want your Twitter to be personal (just for you and your friends to see) or professional (for you and your colleagues/future employers). Jessica and I use our Facebook accounts for our personal use, and keep our Twitter accounts public for anyone to see. As Broadcast Journalism students, we often Retweet news organizations and Tweet about current events.
-Use Twitter to network. It is a lot more informal than Facebook, so if you meet a potential employer at an event, school, or an internship, feel free to go follow him or her on Twitter and maybe even mention him or her in a Tweet thanking them for the experience.
-One Tweet can go viral, like a really awesome YouTube video. Many of the revolutions in the Middle East began because people used Twitter and Facebook to get the word out about meeting places for protests. Even in the case of Lauren Spierer, the missing Indiana University student, Twitter is being used by her family and friends to inform people about her disappearance in hopes of receiving tips to help find her.
-Businesses can also use Twitter to broadcast their sales and promotions, so keep an eye out for good deals on flights, food, and lots of other goods and services by following your favorite businesses.
-If you have a favorite charity, by following it on Twitter and Retweeting or Mentioning it, you can help to get your followers involved in your cause.
-Stay informed and up to date on current events by following @FoxNews and other news organizations to be the first to hear about breaking news.
- Follow people from around the world to learn about different cultures and lifestyles, and before you know it, they will be following you back to learn about the American way of life. Globalization is only growing stronger, so the more you can learn about other nations and their people, the better.
-And last but not least, use Twitter to have some fun! Tweet about your travels, the people you meet, and your passions.
Recently, we read an article that called New York City the Twitter Capital of the World. Come check back next week as we take to the streets of Manhattan to see if that is true!