“Tweeting” is also known as micro-blogging. This means you send out daily – sometimes multiple times a day – short posts about what’s on your mind, what you’ve seen or heard, or something you find interesting. What you decide to do with your 140-character limit is up to you.
The Basics of How to Tweet
Sending out a tweet is easy. There are multiple shortcuts all over Twitter where you’re able to compose a new tweet, the easiest being the compose button () in the top-right corner of the header that’s at the top of every page on Twitter.
- Click the compose button () to start composing a new tweet. A small window should pop up, like the one below.
- Click in the white space, and then type in whatever is on your mind. In the bottom right, to the left of the Tweet button, is a character count. It always starts at 140 and counts down so that you’ll always know when you’re running out of space for a tweet. Once you’re done writing, click Tweet to send it into the Twitterverse.
- You can also add photos to a tweet by clicking the Add Photo button in the bottom left. Browse through your computer’s files to find a photo, click it to select it, and then click Open to add it.
Note: Even though a photo doesn’t take up any words, it does take up space, so your character count will still go down.
- If you want to tag someone in the photo, select Who’s In This Photo? To tag up to 10 friends. Tagging someone means that they are either in or somehow related to the photo; their name is attached to the photo and they will be notified if they’ve been tagged. Click in the search bar and then type in a friend’s name or Twitter handle, and then click them when they appear to select them.
- Once you’re done, click Tweet to post your message. Your tweet will look similar to this:
Adding Mentions and Hashtags to Tweets
You can add mentions and hashtags to tweets. To mention someone in a tweet, type the @ symbol, followed by their user name (e.g. “@BarackObama”).
When you’re mentioning someone in a tweet, it means they were involved in what you were tweeting or you want them to be notified of your tweet. When you mention someone, Twitter considers it to be conversational, and your tweet will only show up in your feed, the mentioned person’s feed, and the feeds of followers you both have in common. When you add a period before (e.g. “.@BritneySpears”) your tweet will show up in all of your follower’s feeds.
Using a hashtag (“#”) highlights keywords or topics in your tweet, and makes it easy to search for. This means if you tweet “#tired”, it will be a part of the results for anyone who searches for “tired” in the search box. You can hashtag anything from a word to an event to a phrase (but don’t use spaces for anything you intend to hashtag).
Adding Links to Tweets
You can add links for web pages to tweets if you find an interesting article that you want to share. However, many links are long and don’t leave any room for you to say much else. One way to get around this is to shorten the link using an alternate site.
- Bitly is a good example of a service that can shorten links, so go to www.bitly.com in your web browser.
- Now, all you have to do is copy and paste the web address you want to use for Twitter, then click Shorten.
- Once you’ve shortened it, select Copy to the right to quickly copy your short link.
- Take the link and paste it into your tweet. To paste something you’ve copied, press “Crtl + V” on your keyboard, or right-click your mouse and then left-click Paste.
Tweeting from the Web
Being able to share is what social media is all about. Websites recognize this, and they love it when you promote their content, so many websites are linked to Twitter. It also takes all the guesswork out of shortening a link and trying to find something to say – the site will usually do it all for you at the click of a button.
- Take this page on the website Vogue.com as an example. At the top of the article is the option to share to social media, including Twitter. To tweet this article directly, click the Tweet button here.
- A new window will pop up with your tweet all ready to go – if you’re not already logged in, Twitter may ask you to do so.
- You can also click in the composition box and type in anything else you want to say. Click Tweet when you’re done.
Now you know some of the different ways to tweet, as well as the different types of content that you can tweet!