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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

So you're new to Twitter? This can be great if you use it properly. Here's how I use it.

What Twitter can do for you.

First of all, it needs to be looked at, either as a hobby, or a good way to spend time in your business for marketing.

I started out on Twitter as my wife has been unwell for over a year and I need to be with her constantly. As a voter for UKIP I thought I would concentrate on politics.

A basic terminology to learn is 'RT' means you have retweeted someone else’s. In other words, you have posted someone else’s tweet to your own followers. If you make changes to a tweet, maybe to correct a bad spelling or reduced superfluous words, then change the 'RT' to 'MT' to signify this.

The reason I mention 'RT' above at this stage is so I could explain what I actually do on Twitter.

I 'RT' every tweet that shows the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and Labour in a bad light. I 'RT' everything that shows UKIP in a good light. I also 'RT' every rule and command from our EU masters that harm UK citizens. There are many, each day!

Humour is important in every phase of life. It is this which separates many people on the right of centre from many people to the left of centre. It is not a hard and fast rule, but is a good generalisation. So every genuinely funny tweet gets the 'RT' treatment.

I also follow Ron Paul, the Libertarian Congressman in the USA and tweet anything Libertarian from my many American followers.

Those who know of my South African origins won't be surprised to find out I follow the DA (Democratic Alliance) over there, and tweet anything good about them and anything bad about the ANC, mostly everything they do seems to be bad nowadays!

Occasionally, I tweet in Afrikaans, but very occasionally as I do not want to aggravate my UK and USA followers. And not all DA members speak “die taal” (the language) nowadays.

I no longer buy daily newspapers, except the Daily Mail on Saturdays. Their magazine has the best laid out television, each day over six pages of information and schedules. But I digress! I see tweets with links to newspaper articles of every description, to every newspaper. I pick only the subjects that interest me, and this helps make up for the time that 'tweeting' takes.

I am surprised at people who follow someone, and then 'unfollow' them within a couple of days if they haven't followed back. In my opinion, this is not what Twitter is all about. I follow people who have similar interests to me, and don't care a jot whether they follow back or not. Approximately 40% 'unfollow' me within a couple of days because of this. However, I'm not in the numbers, or making friends, game. I do this for me, if people want to follow, they are welcome. So far I have retained about 1,200 followers and am happy with this.

The 'Timeline' is the list of public messages folder. This contains the tweets of your followers. Also, extra tweets from people the Twitter computer computes might be of interest to you. If you read their 'profile' (more of this below) and like their photograph, you can hit the follow button.

If someone includes your twitter name in a message (my twitter name is @AmpersUK) then a copy is put in a section marked 'Mentions'. You can also send a DM (Direct Message) which is private and can only be read by you and your recipient. However, you must be following each other for that to work, so you don't get annoying messages from others. It is frowned on to use it too often. There are other sections but this is not meant to be a training manual.

If you want to collect a lot of followers, it is very important to consider your profile carefully. Bear in mind nobody knows who you are, so don't worry about this aspect. Decide what you want out of twitter. You are allowed 160 characters for your profile. Make them tight and make them work for you. Look at many other profiles so you get an idea of what you can write. I have a link in my profile to a website with three pages about me as I am frightened of no man. The photo is of me, the purple hue signifies my politics emphatically. I don't normally follow anyone who hasn't filled out their profile properly.

There are real idiots on Twitter but there is a 'block' button to ensure you no longer see their tweets. I have used it hundreds of times. I block religious nuts, there are very few of them, teens who are very vexing, lefties who are incapable of arguing honestly. I follow quite a few sensible lefties though. Anyway, I am sure you get the picture?

There are thousands of tweets every day but you don't have to read them all! When I log on, I press the button which takes me to the last tweet, and they come in fast and furious so I stay for the allotted time, and then leave. Next time I log on, I press the button to take me straight to the top. Job done! If someone has mentioned me in a tweet, I still see it in the 'mentions' section so don't lose those.

If experienced twitters feel I have left anything important out of this blog, feel free to take me to task in the comments section below.


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