Twitter

Sign up for twitter

Account creation

To begin using Twitter, you must first create an account. To create an account:

  • Create a Page Go to www.twitter.com, and locate the field titled: "New to Twitter? Sign up” in the full name category, enter your full name or the department for which you are creating an account. (this is important, people will be able to see the name and search for you via your name, so make it legitimate. I.E. John Smith or SMU Admissions.)
  • Select an email to sign up with and create a password. This will take you to a new page with the information you provided available for your review.
  • The next important step is to choose your username. This is also referred to as your twitter handle. (NOTE: the simpler your handle, the easier it is for people to find and follow you.)
  • After that click the yellow “create my account” button and you have successfully created a Twitter account.
  • Twitter will now direct you through a series of instructions to populate your twitter account. The next steps are to select a profile picture. (This is important! The picture adds credibility and authenticity to your account.)
  • You are now given the option to follow other people or organizations on twitter. You get to control what type of content you see and what you don’t see. You can choose to see what celebrities or famous people (ie. the President) are doing and you can follow news organizations for the latest and breaking news. Who you follow is your choice. You don’t have to read every tweet that shows up on your feed, just the ones that appeal to you the most! Follow other organizations or people in your profession; this is a great way to stay current on what is happening in your field or even what some of your colleagues at other organizations are doing. So go ahead, follow people, if you don’t like what you see,or feel they are becoming spam, you can easily choose to unfollow them!

Creating content

It’s now time to create content and send a tweet!

  • First, note that you have a maximum of 140 characters in a tweet. Sending two tweets to continue your first one is not good form and is a good way to turn away your target audience. The best tweets are short and sweet.
  • The key is to get people talking. Tweeting personally is for saying what's on your mind, voicing an opinion about something, or sharing a picture or an interesting article you read online. Professionally, share pictures, articles, fun facts, office events or happenings. The point is to have a consistent and persistent presence online, so that your target audience (be it current students, prospective students, parents, faculty, friends, etc) sees you and the content you produce. Remember that not every tweet you send out will be seen by all of your followers. Tweeting once a day in the morning at the same time is not a successful way to reach a wide audience.
  • There is a blue button that allows you to compose a tweet.
  • Pictures, videos, and articles are all very popular. Share blog posts or journal entries through links. To share a picture, click on the camera icon in the compose tweet screen. You will have the option to browse either your computer or your mobile phone’s collection of photos (Or even take a new photo straight from your mobile phone). Simply select which photo you would like to use and it will be uploaded (much like an email attachment) and attached to your tweet in the form of a short link. (Note: This shortened link counts towards your 140 character limit!) Now all that’s left is to say something either about the picture or even just “Check this out!”. You want to intrigue people and capture their interest in a way that they will want to click the link. For a great example of this, use this same process with links or videos for great success!

Interaction

One of the most important things to understand about Twitter and all social media is interaction. Responding to messages, retweeting others, mentioning other people, and favoriting tweets is a great way to boost your social media presence. There are multiple way in which to interact with people on twitter:

  • Direct messages: direct messages are private, much like an email or Facebook message. You can privately reply with 140 characters or less to someone's question, or direct them to another platform or method for which to explain something.
  • Replies/mentions. To mention someone else in a tweet, that is to say, to direct your tweet at them, you simply type “@” and then their twitter handle and they will receive a notification that they were mentioned by you and it will appear in their news feed. If you are mentioned by someone else, say @newstudent1 tweets: “just applied to @smuadmisions, hope i get in.” then it would be smu admissions job to interact with that tweet in some way. A good way is to retweet with the addition of a comment.
  • Retweet: To take an existing tweet from another user, and tweet it out from your account, giving credit to them for the tweet. Retweet anything you would like to pass on or think is fun and/or useful. To retweet someone else's content, you can either press the retweet button(two arrows going in a circle) or copy the text of their tweet and apply an RT @whatevertheirhandleis to beginning of their content. The second method allows you to add a comment to the retweet before their content. An example would be “Can’t wait to have you here RT @newstudent1 just applied to @smuadmisions, hope i get in.”
  • Favoriting tweets is becoming more and more common as a way of acknowledging a tweet by someone else. Similar to a like on facebook, you simply click the star button and you have favorited the tweet. A list of your favorited tweets shows up on your profile for others to see if they so choose, but really it is a form of letting the person who tweeted know that you liked what they had to say, be it because it was funny or valuable to a discussion or topic.