#FDOM19: How to Use Twitter
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#FDOM19: How to Use Twitter

Hi everyone. I want to walk you through
some basic steps or basic things about Twitter. For those of you who already
use the social network you know you’re probably gonna know some
of this stuff – hopefully you’ll learn at least something new out of this or at
the very least fine-tune your personal usage right now and you know maybe
reshape the way you think about Twitter and the way you use Twitter, not only for
reflecting yourself and what you’re interested in but also you know
hopefully down the way down the road finding a job or putting yourself in the
best light when it comes to potential employers or things like that. So one
thing you’ll notice or one thing you hear about Twitter a lot and I’ll just
use my own personal account here for an example is that there’s too much going
on – that’s one of the most common complaints about Twitter and that’s one
of the reasons why many people have or one of the reasons many people have
attributed to Twitter’s lack of growth over the past couple years is that
people try it out, there’s too much going on and so they leave really quickly
because they can’t figure it out. So let’s break down some of those things to
avoid those headaches that might potentially fall upon new users and
let’s you know let’s really take a look at the basics and break it down to the
nitty gritty to talk about what all this stuff is. So let’s start first up here
and this is of course the web view we’ll see the mobile view here in just a
second but you’ve got your profile up there so if you click on my username
right there @daleblasingame that’ll take you to a bigger look at profile
which we’ll look at here in just a second. You’ve got how many times you’ve
tweeted, how many people you’re following, how many followers you have, down here is
the trending topics – these are what people are talking about. I think I have
mine set up nationally but you can change that down to a local level or a
global level whatever is interesting to you, you can
go ahead and change those. Here’s where you actually tweet, so in the what’s
happening box that’s where you would start to type things, you click on the
little picture icon you can upload a picture,
Twitter’s gotten really big into gifs as you know over the past couple years so
there’s an automatic gif button there now too where you can search
through Twitter’s library of gifs from there. Here’s where the tweets come up -now
Twitter is not one of the networks that has an algorithm but it kind of has an
algorithm alright so here’s what I mean by that – Twitter for the most start most
part still puts everything in reverse chronological order meaning based on the
people you follow you’re gonna see tweets from the most recent down to the
least reason. Now Twitter is playing around with some minor algorithm changes
so when you see things like things you may have missed or tweets you might be
interested in, those are not technically part of your timeline but they’re
showing up in your timeline – you can hide those and you can give Twitter feedback
that you don’t want to see those but those are you know those are kind of
Twitter’s entry into the algorithm world and we’ll be talking a lot about
algorithms throughout the semester, trying to figure out what content you’ll
see and when you see it and why you see it. Up here moments is Twitter’s kind of
greatest hits so people can put together moments. Twitter can put together moments
of big events. Notifications is what you would click to see if people are
engaging with you or people are following you, things like that – so that’s
where you would see that. And then messages as DMs, so direct messages
between one or a group of people – remember they’re supposed to be direct,
they’re supposed to be private between that one person and the other person or
that one person in the group – that doesn’t always mean that’s the case but
that is kind of the meaning behind those. Sure there is a lot going on on the
screen but really when you break it down it’s pretty simple to understand – and
then the last thing that I want to point to is Twitter has a fantastic search
option – above all else Twitter’s strength in my opinion is its
search function which is great for advertisers, it’s great for public
relations firms, it’s great for news people, it’s great for all of us who are
in mass comm because we can truly find out what people are talking about so
well it will walk you through more as we continue on in this semester
but just know that Twitter has a very very very strong search function. Twitter
upped its character limit 280 characters – you know again as with most changes on
social networks, people freaked out at first and then you get used to it.
I’ve personally enjoyed the 280 change – I didn’t necessarily think I was gonna
enjoy it at first but it does allow a little more breadth, a little more detail
in your tweets, so that’s been a good thing. So now let’s look at our actual
profiles and again I’ll use mine as an example and not saying mine is perfect
by any means but I’ll just use mine and as an example. So some things to consider
for those of you who are gonna be joining Twitter for the first time or if
you’re interested in making your profile better – one is your username so I
realize not everyone is capable of getting their full first and last name
as their username – I’m pretty lucky that I have a fairly rare name so mine was
available back in 2009 when I joined Twitter – but try that. That should
probably be your first option when it comes to picking a username – if not that
then maybe your first initial last initial, first initial middle
initial last name or first name last name and last initial – try some options
with your real name to try and do that. I mean Twitter’s more than ten years old
now so you know it’s gonna be hard to register names especially when you think
about brands coming on you know sometimes it gets a little tricky with
that so keep that in mind some things to watch out for when you’re thinking about
your username. Please no sexual innuendo – that is not going to be a good
look for you down the road. These will pop up in the first page of
search results for your names so keep that in mind and you don’t want Big Boy
69 or something like that popping up as one of the first things associated with
you. Try to also avoid long strings of numbers – numbers are just really hard to
understand or get correct. So a couple things to keep in mind as you’re trying
to get your username down. From there you have your profile and you have a hundred
and sixty characters here so here’s my best advice for your profile –
I would tell you I think your profile should give people a reason to
understand what it is you tweet about. So my profile on Twitter is very different
from my profile on Instagram – so on Twitter I write there that I teach at
Texas State, I tweet a lot about not just classes but also about Texas State in
general so I want people to know what it is and why I’m talking about that at all
times. I have my news background there which I again I tweet about the news
industry quite a bit. I also do social media consulting for a marketing company
that I helped found in San Antonio so again I tweet about a lot of social
media topics and then finally I have my travel stuff there which I tweet a ton
about travel as well – so those are really in a nutshell the main things that I
tweet about and so I have my bio or my profile letting people know that that’s
what they can expect if they follow me. From there you have your profile photo
which I would tell you make it a photo that you’re proud of – I’m not the best
example here because I would tell you should be one where you can see your
face. This is kind of a far away shot for me but this is my favorite picture of
Lucy and I so I’ve had that as my profile for quite awhile. You don’t have
to have a professional headshot as your photo but it should be one where people
can recognize you. You also have your cover photo which is that photo that
goes a long way across the screen – this again I think should be something that
reflects you and what it is you tweet about. This happens to be one of my
favorite pictures I’ve ever taken – it was in Montana so I’ve kind of had that as
my profile photo for about five years or my cover photo for about five years now
it’s probably time to change it but that’s currently still what I have. When
it comes to your location, a couple things to keep in mind – one put your
actual city there, don’t put The 512, don’t put San Marvelous, don’t put
SMTX or ATX. The reason I would caution you against that is because if you were
truly trying to market yourself as a personal brand using social media in a
way to maybe help you get a job or at least show your creativity and what
you’re all about, all people who are viewing your profile
from the outside have no idea where that is – you know people in Austin or San
Marcos might know that but people in New York City or Los Angeles or anywhere
else are gonna have no idea – so help people out and learn about you by simply
putting your actual real city in there. You do get one link in your Twitter
profile so make it count. I have mine going back to my personal site and you
all now will or you will very soon have a site your FDOM website will be
created here in the next couple of weeks in labs so you will have a link there
if you don’t already have a link and you will have something worth putting there.
I do want to quickly walk you through the mobile view because I do realize a
lot of you all will be using Twitter solely on mobile. A couple of things to
keep in mind obviously your view is gonna be condensed right – so here’s my
timeline. You can see it’s down based on you know the last tweets you might see
anywhere from two to three tweets in your timeline. If you click on the little
magnifying glass at the bottom, you get the search functionality which we talked
about – it’s kind of a combination of search and trending topics, so that’s one
difference with mobile. Your notifications is the little alarm bell
at the bottom so again you have that and then your profile obviously same size,
same look just more condensed as you would obviously expect with a mobile
version of that. So some things to keep in mind as we continue to work on
improving our social media skills throughout the semester and really
throughout your career. I mean it’s a continuous thing that you have to stay
on top of. One thing I will mention – Twitter does have a pretty in-depth Help
section. If you just do a Google search for Twitter Help, you will find it lots
of you know rules regulations, tips and tricks – things along those lines. If
you’re ever confused by anything please look it up rather than just not knowing.
One thing I really hope you will learn throughout your time in college is that
you know self learning is often what’s going to fuel a lot of
your stuff. I’m sure we’re gonna cover a lot of stuff in classes but I hope
you’re inspired to also go and learn on your own and figure these things out. So
that’s just a real quick primer on Twitter – hopefully that helped answer a
few questions or at least helps you sharpen up some things and good luck
with your assignment.

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