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I need to figure out Twitter and I'm LOST!

First thing is to relax and realize you aren't alone! Every single twit that has ever tweeted had the same exact learning curve you do. No matter if they were 14 years or 74 years old, everyone starts out knowing nothing and ends up being a Twitter Rock Star in no time because they know more than the newest person that just got started.  

Open your Internet Explorer on your computer and type in www.Twitter.com and go to the site. You can sign up and I'll give you a crash course in what to do below.

First, I will give you a tour of the site with screenshots. Second, I will answer some Frequently Asked Questions. If you are type A and need to jump ahead, you can skip the screenshots and go straight to the FAQs. Lastly, I'll give you tips on using twitter in your business, including how to protect yourself while using any log-in type website or social networking tool.  

Your Twitter Home Page  


  1. Settings and site navigation - consider this twitter's over all site navigation. It remains unchanging. I will walk you through the individual links further on. When you click "Home" You see what the people you follow are tweeting. When you click "Profile" you see what you have tweeted, the the same thing people following you see when they click @yourtwittername
  2. What's happening? - This is where you Tweet! You post status updates of 140 characters or less here. Anyone in the world can read what you post here. Even if you put @someoneelsesname, it still can be seen by all. Using @anothername just lets them know you were speaking generally in their direction. Think of it as a public statement in a crowded room with great acoustics. They don't get notified you said it, so unless they happen to see the tweet, they won't know you are 'talking' at them.
  3. Follow The "Following" # is how many people you will receive tweets from. The "Followers" # is how many people will receive your tweets. The "Listed" # is how many lists people have added you to, more on this later too.
  4. Tweets This is what the tweets look like to others.
  5. Your personal settings and personal navigation This is where you see who has directed tweets at you, when I click my @HAGJewels link, it shows me any tweets that someone added @HAGJewels to. These tweets aren't fed to your email, you have to look for them here. Direct Messages are messages that do come to your email, they are not broadcast to public, they are like a twitter inbox. Favorites are something you can mark on individual tweets, not people. I don't really find this function useful, so if someone does, please let me know! Retweets are when someone likes what you posted, they 're-tweet' it or post it to all of their followers. If you post a popular tweet, this can be exponential very quickly. When you hear the term it went "viral on the internet" it means it was passed along very quickly and shared often. You also may hear something is "trending on twitter". I'll cover this more later but retweeting is a big part of that.
  6. Search This is where you can see if anyone is tweeting about a specific subject. Lets pretend you want to buy some jewelry findings, you can search for "jewelry findings" in this box and any tweets about that subject will come up. You can search for any keyword or name you can think of.
  7. Saved Searches Twitter gives you the option of saving searches. These are the three I saved - mainly because when I see someone tweet with one of those in their tweet, I will usually re-tweet it for them. Sometimes I don't if I've already just posted a bunch or am on the run. However, most often if you put #WOJ in your post, I will retweet it for you.

Frequently Asked Questions What is the # and @ all about on twitter?
The # is a way to make any word a clickable search. Use it to post a tweet about something you want your followers to click on so they see what others are tweeting about. For example, if you love music and post a tweet with #Music in it, your followers can click where it says #Music and they will see all the tweets that have the word Music in them.

The @ is a way to make a person's twitter name a clickable item. If you post a tweet with @HAGJewels, your followers can click it and it will be a link that takes them to my twitter profile page.

Why are so many url addresses short and strange looking?
Because each post only is allowed 140 characters, many people use outside websites to shorten the url. www.tinyurl.com is one that does this. You put a long url in and it gives a tiny one back. Basically they agree to forward anyone that clicks on the little url to your long url. I don't use these because etsy url's aren't that long and the word etsy in the url is a search term.

What is Follow Friday or #FF all about? #FF is a twitter thing, kind of like a designated market day for some groups or the old village square. Friday Follow you just post #FF and a bunch of @names so that other people know who your favorite people are to follow, then they click those @names and go see if they'd like to follow that person too. It's kind of like a networking brunch on twitter every Friday!

When I post something on Twitter, who can see it? Is it only my followers?
Anyone in the world can see what you post in a tweet. Only your followers will have it fed to them directly. Others may come acrossed it by doing a search in the search box or by someone else re-tweeting your post to their followers. For instance, imagine you just posted a lovely Juliana Necklace and I was looking for Juliana jewelry. When I search for Juliana Necklace, I would see your post, even though I'm not currently a follower.

Since I'm clueless, is there such a thing as "Twitter Etiquette" I should be aware of?
Much the same in the real world, be nice, play well with others, share, say please and thank you. Don't ever post something on facebook, in an email or a tweet, that you wouldn't be proud to see next to your picture the next day in the newspaper on your grandmother's doorstep. When someone retweets your post, reply and say "Thanks for the RT Love!" They showed you 'twitter love' by forwarding you to their followers. If you would like someone to retweet a post for you, start out with "Please RT".

Another area of play nice is, if you are posting a link to something on Etsy, don't put #eBay in the same tweet. If you post something to sell on Rubylane, don't put #eBay or #Etsy in the same tweet, etc. It just feels like phishing to me and may turn others off as well. The exception to this is #WOJ, since you can link any sales site that reciprocates on the www.WallofJewels.com, you can use #WOJ if you have a link there to Etsy, RubyLane, Artfire, or your personal site. You are covered with this one!

Don't use all CAPS - THAT IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING ON THE INTERNET. So try to use caps appropriately or for emphasis.

How do I get Followers?
By Tweeting! No kidding! People find you by searching for things you tweet about. Also if you are part of a group, they probably have a way to track their members twitter names and tweets. For example, The
Etsy Vintage Jewelry Sellers Team keeps a VJSE Twitter List. People can find you on the group list and follow you. Another way is, any user can create an unofficial list of whatever group of people they want. I keep a list of Etsy Sellers, Etsy Jewelry Sellers and Wall of Jewels Members to follow tweets of people from the www.WallofJewels.com. You can follow a list without following each individual person in the list.

I still don't get it. Why would I do this? It seems complicated and time consuming. I don't have time!
It takes less than 1 minute, literally, to copy and paste a link to an Etsy item, the title of the item and a couple of keywords in and hit enter. If you do that only once a day, and only one other person retweets it, it has the effect of handing out 500 to 5,000 business cards that a person can click on to go to your store while they are at their computer. Since Apple hasn't yet created the iCard, clickable business card, Twitter is the very next best thing! So now go get tweetin'!  

Click here for more Advanced Tweeting Tutorials, including Strategies and Tactics for your business!  




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