I tried Twitter a few times over the years and never really “Got it”! It wasn’t until I became frustrated with Facebook and the way people use it (see my last post about this) that I decided to give Twitter another go. I really didn’t understand it and found the limited characters annoying. Now I really like Twitter and I dip in and out of it several times a day. I have made so great online contacts and found it a place where others want to help!
I thought I would talk about some of the things I found hard and mistakes I made in the hope that someone reading this might find it useful. 

Jump in to conversations –  This took me a while to get my head around. It seemed far too forward for me. Especially if there was a conversation already established. But more and more people told me it was fine. it is what Twitter is about. Jump in and chat! Once I did that I found an amazing group of people that I chat to almost daily and we have shared posts and advice on blogging between each other. It has become a real network.

Links V Engagement –  This was a fine balance that I hope I have now achieved. I was told Twitter is great for sharing blog posts and business related content. It is a great marketing tool. Which is true! But people won’t follow you for long if you only schedule posts to come up on your feed and offer nothing in the way of engagement. People tend to feel a bit spammed. People like to know who you are and connect with you on a personal level, not just on what you are selling or your brand image. Be funny and post about aspects of life that others might relate to. Chat with people and join in on poles. Then add a sprinkling of advertising and blog promotions.

The mute button – Sometimes chats can become MEGATHREADS! Well they do with my lot so something that has come up for those not wanting to leave their phone for an hour and come back to 200 notifications, can mute a thread using a little drop down arrow on the right of a message. If you want to mute the whole thing then remember to go all the way back to the original tweet and mute that one. Then you will not be notified of all the subsequent comments.

Auto-DM (Automated Direct messages) – Some people use like these but most seem to HATE them! This is a message that is sent to your direct messages box from someone after you follow them. It is a bit of a thank you for following me which is nice…. but then they follow up with a list of their social media accounts and blog links  that you might might want to look at or a pitch on how they can help you in some way with your business or life. If you decide to use one of these then please think hard about what you might like to receive. I think a simple “Thanks for the follow and I look forward to chatting” is more than enough. Anything else and you just feel like one of many that are being sent a fishing message with the hope of a bite!

Lists –  This one is still new to me. You can create lists on your feed so that certain groups of people are all in one news feed. So for example, I have a list of people that tweet about Early Years and the EYFS. I can look on that list and it filters out everyone who I have not added. I have another for nature based tweets and another for tweets about my local area. So far it seems a useful tool. 

Hashtags # –  These I knew about but had no idea how to use. Basically if you include a hashtag then people who are interested in a topic can find your post and interact with you. So fro me i use #EYFS #EarlyYears #nature #ForestSchool tags a lot because these are things I post about and I am interested in. I can then click on that hashtag and it will tale me to a list of tweets that use it. I can interact and find new people to follow and others can find me and my posts. They make sense on Twitter and are a useful tool to find new people to engage with and like minded people to follow.

I think that about covers the things I found tricky and hopefully helps anyone who is about to try out Twitter or who is new to Twitter! 

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