Not Knowing How To Use Twitter Properly

RandomBlog2011 Challenge, PostADay2011, PostAWeek2011, Twitter, Tweet

How do I use it?

I joined Twitter recently so I’m not exactly well versed on how to use it properly. This is what’s bugging me today!

And if I want to get the most of what Twitter has to offer I figured I should probably start doing some more reading on it.

As a matter of fact, I don’t know the ins and outs of Facebook either but since it seems that Twitter is easier to use I decided to tackle this one first and leave Facebook for another day.

When I first joined Twitter I did a search on how to use it and this is one of the first things I found and checked out. It’s cute and done with humour. This is their take on these two social networks.

mom, this is how twitter works. | not just for moms!.

Twitter Vs. Facebook

Twitter is different from Facebook because it has an opt-in take on friending vs. an opt-out like Facebook. If you accept a friend request on Facebook, you automatically “follow” each other (Facebook does not use “following” but has a newsfeed that is quite similar to twitter). This means that if you have 200 Facebook friends, you can potentially see 200 people’s news in your feed …
On twitter, you can be followed by 2,000 people but only see 50 people in your feed—50 people you CHOSE to follow. The main difference between the two is that Twitter is much more simplified. There is a character limit to posts, there are no picture or video libraries, and no complicated profiles, relationship statuses, etc.

Now she just said there are no picture or video libraries but I remember my daughter mentioning how she uses TwitPic to post photos. I guess that’s something else that needs to get checked out.

I was thinking about adding a poll today but I’m finding that a lot of bloggers don’t like answering polls, but will answer questions in the comments. So that’s what I’m doing today!

I have a couple of questions about using Twitter and I want to know what you do and how you handle certain situations because I’m definitely the Twitter newbie on this one.

Some people say that you should reply and acknowledge the people who follow you but then others say it’s not necessary to reply.

What do you do?
Do you reply to everyone who follows you or just the ones you know personally?

Another thing I’m not sure about is this entire following bit. I know it’s all the craze about how many you have following you but what’s the deal with that?

Do you automatically follow everyone that follows you
or just the people you know or think might be interesting to follow?

Do you expect others to follow you back?

Does anyone really have the time to read all the tweets?

I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say about these questions.

_________________________________________

Silly me. After just talking about how people don’t like answering polls I’m asking you to please visit Ryan at INSIGHT and vote on the two polls he has for the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Week #1 Weekly Photo Voting – Boundaries

Week #2 Weekly Photo Voting – CURIOSITY

This is what’s bugging me today!

🙂

Quote for today

What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity.
In the end there are no certain answers.
Martina Horner, President of Radcliffe College

© 2010-2011 Things in life I find annoying

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  1. March 7, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    I don’t use Twitter mostly because I don’t understand it. So I’m looking forward to reading people’s comments here and having more info to make up my mind about it.
    It’s my lazy way of doing research?

    • March 7, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      Hi Joss, I’m looking forward to reading the comments too.

      Unless of course today’s the day that people decide they don’t like commenting either!! 😉

  2. March 7, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Frankly speaking Twitter is a completely new experience 4 me coz Im a total Fb freak. There’s not a day without me checking into fb. I hardly use twitter so I guess Im not the right person to answer d questions.
    But u spoke abt Fb & Twitter. Im sure a lotta ppl are gonna kill me 4 dis but I find Fb much better than twitter in its functionality as well as ease of use as well as content.

    • March 7, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      Hi Ryan, Facebook does have more to offer than Twitter but I’m not exactly sure that it’s easier to use.

      Or it could be it’s because I don’t know all the tricks on how to best use Facebook. 🙂

  3. Brenda
    March 7, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    I absolutely love Twitter, actually more than faceboook however, I can’t get my friends to make the convert because they are “timid” in learning something new. I following a number of local ppl whom I just know on twitter, nascar drivers, football players, local government, news, etc on twitter. If I see a tweets thats interesting, I’ll comment on it, despite if I actually know the person. There’s a lot of interesting things out there and ppl for that. ❤ Good topic!

    • March 7, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      Thanks Brenda, we would still be living in caves if people didn’t try new things. I signed on to Twitter because of my blog otherwise I’m not sure if I would have.

      I used it last year to follow updates from reporters who were in the courtroom for a major case that happened in Ontario. I think it was the first time a ever judge allowed it.

  4. March 7, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Twitter has its uses and to be honest I’ve picked up some great information, found some great blogs, and even won a competion!

    I use Tweetdeck (www.tweetdeck.com) in conjunction with Twitter (twitter.com) Tweetdeck you don’t have to follow people to read their tweets PROVIDING they make use of the #tag.
    For example #postaday2011 When you are tweeting your “post a day post” you should prefix your post with this hashtag. You can create columns for example #postaday2011 #recipes #competitions anything you choose. Tweets then appear in the appropriate columns
    Twitter.com I use to create searches, create lists both public and private and check my followers etc

    Another point about Twitter, tweets are picked up by the search engines so don’t retweet exactly the same message daily as you will be penalised by google…

    Facebook I hate Facebook…it’s too intrusive. It’s good if your blog is commercial and you will pick up additional followers. Depends on how you set it up of course 🙂 I went to join one blog group (forget the name)but you can only do so if you have a facebook account.

    Hope this helps a little…

    I never thought I would be the one to wax lyrical re Twitter 😳

    PiP

    • March 7, 2011 at 4:10 PM

      Thanks PiP, you’ve given me some great information there. I think I know who to go to now if I have any other questions on Twitter.

      For the search engines, are you saying that the tweet shouldn’t always start with say the same hashtag (#tag? 🙂

      • March 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        No…it should not say the same thing every day.

        ie
        #recipes I love carrots [url]
        #recipes I love carrots [url]
        #recipes I love carrots [url]

        I am gradually learning…

        • March 8, 2011 at 7:01 AM

          Thanks PiP, I will start mixing it up in the future. 🙂

  5. March 7, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    My reply won’t be of any help I’m afraid because I’ve tried both and since shut my accounts down on both because I just don’t feel the need to read about everyone’s every move, nor do I want them to know mine.
    As a communication tool it just wasn’t for me in the long term, I prefer to pick up the phone or visit someone if I want to know how they’re doing.

    However, for generating traffic to your blog or anywhere else you want to draw people to, FB and Twitter are great for that purpose and it’s fairly quick to do.
    Good luck and don’t let me put you off!

    • March 7, 2011 at 4:25 PM

      Hi N&P thats what I thought initially…I even knew when Paris Hilton was going to bed! I deleted all the hangers on and created my own list. I now only tweet my posts, retweet anything I find of interest and retweet my buddies posts. I have picked up lots of followers recently and they do visit my blog posts via twitter.

      • March 7, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Hi PiP, you are definitely now my “go to” person for Twitter. 🙂

    • March 7, 2011 at 4:27 PM

      Hi Marcia, it’s nice to see you’re still around reading.

      Your reply has helped because you did say both Twitter and Facebook are good for traffic generation.

      I also know a lot of people who use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends that are spread out not just across the country but around the world.

      I guess it all depends on how people want to use them. 🙂

  6. Dillon
    March 7, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I have both a Facebook and a Twitter account. I only use Facebook for my own family and friends. I occasionally publish something from my blog there, but it is completely separate from my blog (and completely set to private). That’s why my Gravatar doesn’t link to it.

    Twitter I basically only use to follow people (like musicians) to keep up with what they’re up to. My account there is public, but it’s pretty boring since I don’t really post much. (I used to occasionally, but between FB and now WP I have enough online outlets without posting on Twitter. Plus, I never quite figured out what to put on there. Maybe I’ll start using WP’s publishing feature to publish there.) Lately, I’ve been on Twitter even less that I’ve been on WP, so I’m pretty behind on reading Tweets. Facebook I’m on every day, but like I said, that’s all family and friends — people I know personally.

    • March 7, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      Hi Dillon, I’m finding it interesting to read how people are using Twitter and Facebook.

      Twitter is a good tool to use for following updates on news, musicians etc. but I what I can’t understand is why people feel they have to tweet about everything they do. 🙂

  7. March 7, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    I don’t twitter. Or tweet.

    Good luck, Rose.

    • March 7, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      You might check out Kristen Lamb’s blog . . . she teaches Twitter and Social networking:

      http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/twitter-tuesday-7/

      • March 7, 2011 at 5:15 PM

        From your first comment it didn’t look like you could offer much help but here you are now giving me a great blog to read.

        Just took a quick look but it’s definitely work going back to for more of a read. She even has some suggestions on how to help Twitter newbies.

        Thank you so much for the link. 🙂

        • March 7, 2011 at 5:22 PM

          I didn’t think of her blog right away because I skip over her Twitter Tuesday posts.

          She’s an excellent and entertaining writer.

  8. March 7, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    I wrote this post a little while back – you may find it helpful as you continue using Twitter. Twitter was #1 for me because of the ease of use, but recently I have been working more with my FB fan page…not my personal page so much, but the fan page.
    http://therunninggarlic.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/whats-all-the-twitter/

    I do need to fine tune my Twitter follows down more since some lost my interest, but that takes time, so do follow people but only ones that interest you.
    Debbie 🙂

    • March 7, 2011 at 7:10 PM

      Thanks for the link to your post. It turns out I have it in Google Reader since I’m subscribed to your RSS feed. I’m going to give it a good read later.

      I think I’m going to concentrate on Twitter for now because it does seem so much easier to learn and manage.

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  9. March 8, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Well I am a facebook addict…so I am good with that, but I am just figuring twitter out too…thanks PIP for the info on it 🙂 good to know…

    • March 8, 2011 at 7:03 AM

      Hi Princess, I guess I will keep you in mind when I have any Facebook questions. 🙂

  10. March 8, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    I use FB mostly to keep in touch with family and friends – when your family is spread all over the globe as mine is, it seems easier for all concerned to keep in touch through FB. Having said that, when I write a post, I use the Publicize feature in WP for Facebook and Twitter – and I have had a good response from my FB friends about my blog.

    Also, if you are promoting a business, you can make a separate Fan Page on FB for your business – it’s a great way of getting traffic to your site; my hubby is in the process of constructing his Fan Page at the moment.

    I also have a Twitter account but hardly use it except to re-tweet my posts from here and sometimes my friends posts. I don’t really understand it.

    • March 8, 2011 at 7:09 AM

      Hi Barb, Facebook has it’s advantages but I’m just finding it so complicated right now and I don’t have a lot of time to spend on it. That’s why I’m concentrating on Twitter first.

      There’s been some pretty decent Twitter advice given here in the comments and the links people are posting look like they have some good information and definitely worth reading. I know I will be reading all of them. 🙂

  11. March 8, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    I have follow everyone who follows me first
    I just read the twitters that I am following when I have a warning by my iPhone

    • March 8, 2011 at 7:24 AM

      Hi Edson, you must be getting a lot of tweets. I’m just getting started and I just don’t have the time to read all the tweets that do come through from the ones I’m following now. Thanks for letting me know what you do. 🙂

  12. March 8, 2011 at 5:08 AM

    Golly – what a huge response already!

    my son has two twitter accounts. one for work which he says saves him loads of time and a social one which he won’t let me have. He says it’s private. He says only Tweet if you have something profound to say or no one will pay any attention to you.

    I think i’ll stick with FB as it takes too long to decide whether something is profound enough! and i don’t have time to do one more thing in my life until something goes…..

    • March 8, 2011 at 7:26 AM

      Hi Jenny, thanks for letting me know how you feel about both Facebook and Twitter. 🙂

  13. March 8, 2011 at 6:00 AM

    Hey Rose. I tinkered with Twitter about a year ago but never really got into it, so I’ve just got myself back on the waggon at twitter.com/Noob_cake.

    Now all I have to do is figure out how to use it effectively! So i’ll be watching this post with beady eyes!

    • March 8, 2011 at 7:30 AM

      Hi Noobcake, I have a feeling you’re not the only one watching the replies and looking for tips. PiP, has already given us a few.

      The links being provided have some good information too. Make sure you check them out. 🙂

  14. March 8, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    I have been on Twitter for over an year now and I can tell you its the best place I have found on the web to make new connections and even friends. You can easily find people with similar interests.

    Its absolutely not necessary to acknowledge everyone who follows you. It all about courtesy, if they tweet that they are following you and mention you in a tweet, then its polite to reply.

    A person’s follower count is in no way a measure of a person. I personally don’t care about how many I have, what matters to me is my interactions with the one I do have.

    Thats the main difference between Facebook and Twitter. You said it yourself, in facebook, its a two-way friendship, but in Twitter its completely up to you whether you want to see a person’s updates.

    I don’t expect anyone to follow me back unless my updates spark their interest.

    No one stays updated on all tweets in their timeline, most people just scroll through the past hour’s updates and reply/retweet the ones they found intriguing.

    BTW here are a couple of links :

    http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/weblog/2008/12/the-5-stages-of.html

    http://www.shanenickerson.com/46-stages-of-twitter

    And a corrigendum : Most people make this mistake, its called tweeting not twittering.

    Hope the above wasn’t too long. Finally, here is a famous quote on twitter :

    Facebook has the people you went to high school with. Twitter has the people you wish you went to high school with.

    • March 8, 2011 at 7:40 AM

      Thanks Akshay, a comment is never too long when it’s filled with great information like yours is. I guess because they only have 140 characters on Twitter all the fluff is left out and all you get is the important info.

      I like your views on what you should and shouldn’t with followers and tweets. You’ve been a big help.

      Thanks for the quote, I do believe that’s true. 🙂

  15. March 8, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    Thanks, Rose. Happy to be of help 🙂

    • March 8, 2011 at 7:46 AM

      Hi Akshay, I’m now following you @AgentAkki 😎

  16. March 8, 2011 at 8:05 AM

    I joined it because I read that it was good to promote your blog posts on but I really don’t get the point of Twitter or Facebook. I think FB wants to rule the world. I deleted my FB account some time ago. Think I will delete my Twitter too. Just can’t see the usefulness of it.

    • March 8, 2011 at 8:35 AM

      Hi Tony, From what I’m reading I wouldn’t be too quick on deleting your Twitter account.

      It looks like Twitter can help promote your blog if you learn how to use it properly which I’m trying to do. PiP, Piglet in Portugal, is finding it very useful and so does Akshay.

      Give it some time and see what happens. 🙂

  17. March 8, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    I have both a Facebook and a Twitter account.
    But my friends don’t use them.So I don’t really enjoy them yet.
    From now I want to find some friends somewhere.

    Otherwise I don’t have enough time to study them.
    Now I enjoy only blogging. 🙂

    • March 8, 2011 at 9:42 AM

      Hi Cocomino, Enjoy the blogging for now. You’re doing great writing in English.

      Take a better look at Twitter and Facebook when you have more time. I think it’s best to tackle one new thing at a time. 🙂

  18. March 8, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    I’m not a twitter user at all so I can’t help with this one!

    • March 8, 2011 at 3:32 PM

      Hi Shell, not a problem. I’ve been getting some great information in the comments and now I have plenty of reading to do. 🙂

  19. March 9, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    This is all really helpful. What a great comments section!

    • March 9, 2011 at 4:38 AM

      Welcome Megan and thanks for subscribing.

      Everyone has been great offering their tips and links on how to use Twitter. There is a lot to go through and it’s all quite helpful.

      I’m finding that asking your readers questions is better than using a poll sometimes. 🙂

  20. March 10, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Do you reply to everyone who follows you or just the ones you know personally?
    Short answer: No
    But, if you want to build up a network, then you probably should. But just make sure you read their tweets just to be sure its not a spam account.

    Another thing I’m not sure about is this entire following bit. I know it’s all the craze about how many you have following you but what’s the deal with that?
    I follow those who I find interesting. So if someone follows me, they must find some value in my tweets. But now everyone is just looking at the numbers that the value of those numbers have diminished.

    Do you automatically follow everyone that follows you or just the people you know or think might be interesting to follow?
    No, I practically ignore most of those follow mails because most of the time, they its just spam accounts. Before following someone, I check what they have tweeted till now. Tweets like eating dinner, going out etc usually result in me not following them.

    Do you expect others to follow you back?
    Not really. It is all about supply and demand. I am looking for tweets that will enrich me, which means, those who I follow have better knowledge than me. They don’t gain much from following me.

    Does anyone really have the time to read all the tweets?
    Only if you are unemployeed. But if you think someones tweet should not be missed, then set up SMS notification.

    • March 10, 2011 at 1:07 PM

      Thanks Sunil, you’re a wealth of information. Thanks for answering all my questions.

      From all the responses I’m getting a better idea now of what I should and shouldn’t be doing on Twitter and with my Tweets.

      This is much better than asking one or two questions in a poll. 😎

  21. March 11, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Good Morning Rose!

    Wow! I have learned a lot by just reading the comments! 🙂

    I use to be a big fan of FB –was on it all the time, reading other people’s statuses and playing mindless games. That became old and now I use FB to keep in touch with family and friends – both online friends and those I’ve met in person. Currently my high school committee is using it as a tool for our 20th reunion. We’ve been sending names of those who might not have a FB account so the committee can send out invitations to all of us. I do have FB attached to my blog, which is helpful to those who are less computer savvy and not sure how to get to my blog. Now all they do is click the link and they get to see what exciting things I’m writing about. 😉

    I had joined Twitter to keep up to date on some musicians and authors I follow. I also follow my church updates on it, which came in handy when the weather became nasty and some services had to be canceled or moved to a later time.

    I do have my Twitter connected to my blog. I have no real reason other than it was there and sometimes I actually post on my Twitter. I felt my blog page looked empty compared to so many others and decided what the heck. I noticed some of my family and friends who follow me on Twitter do not have a FB account; which means regardless of where they “see” me, they might end up in the same place. Though I believe I would have to type in the blog link within my tweet… 😐

    It’s all a learning process and the more the merrier. I’ve been following some bloggers on twitter and it’s nice when I’m not at my computer, I can click the link and waa-laa, I’m at their blog. 🙂 Oh that makes my heart go all a flutter! As for me following those who follow me, it depends if I know them, if the name or topic specific interests me or if I just click “follow” for the fun of it. Sometimes I have un-followed some tweets because they were not what they were claiming to be. I was not impressed, but thankfully, they are no longer in my tweet life.

    Interesting topic, very real and very much needed (by me)! Thanks for posting it. 🙂

    Enjoy your day! MJ

    • March 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      Hi MJ, there is a wealth of information in the comments.

      It’s interesting reading how people are using Facebook and Twitter, whether it’s for family and friends, to promote their blog or a little of both.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it and I needed the information too! Picked up a few tips. 🙂

  22. March 13, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    Thanks for suggesting your blog to me. I hope you get your head around Twitter. I find it a lot of fun and learn a lot from it.
    Please continue to read my blog http://suzanneday.wordpress.com/ and I will of course keep reading yours.

    • March 13, 2011 at 7:49 AM

      Welcome Suzanne, thanks for visiting and I will be back. I’ve already read your post on McD and thought you might be interested in another post I wrote just a few days ago. 🙂

      A Fat Tax! – It Won’t Work

  23. Jackie Paulson 1966
    March 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Ok I admit I have twitter, but not use to it. I am not “into It” twitter. I guess I do it because everyone else does. I really don’t think people read mine or click on my links or tweets or retweets.

    • March 15, 2011 at 3:22 AM

      Hi Jackie, I don’t know how you would have time for it with all the blogs you have. 🙂

      I’m finding that the more I’m on Twitter, the more comfortable I am with it and I’m seeing hits coming from Twitter. 🙂

  24. May 19, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    Hi Rose, I was looking for something else and came across your blog. Just curious, what do you think of twitter now? I initially didn’t think much of it but now that a lot of my friends are on it it’s more fun that FB. There’s loads of traffic jam where I live so it comes handy as we wait for the traffic to move 🙂

  1. March 8, 2011 at 11:58 AM
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