Well yesterday’s post about 4 things you might not know how to do on Facebook was very popular so today I’m going to share 4 useful tips about Twitter. The first 2 many of you will already know about, the 3rd some may know, but I saved the best for last as it is the tip that people always say “I DID NOT KNOW THAT!” when I tell them in person.
- Your Twitter Account Settings
Click the gear icon at the top right of Twitter when you are logged in to get to your Twitter account settings. See the green arrows pointing to it on the image below? This is where most, but not all, of your customization, privacy, and settings can be found.
- Twitter Security and Privacy
Within your Twitter settings you will find the Security and Privacy section listed on the left of the screen (see the green arrow pointing at it below). A few key points here:
- Tweet Privacy: Some of you are still using “Protect my Tweets”. I am sure there are a few people who have good reason for this but the bulk of Twitter users should NOT have this marked. If you are trying to participate in Twitter chats and possibly win prizes you definitely do NOT want this box checked!
- Tweet Location: This is a personal call on whether or not you want your location attached to your tweets. I personally keep this turned off.
- Personalization: This setting lets Twitter fine tune your Twitter experience based on websites you visit. There is good and bad with this, just like on any site. Since I work in social media I keep this off because I do not want it filtered based on work I am doing.
- Trend Settings
This is one of the items that is not in your regular settings. Instead, on the main page of Twitter, when you are logged in, look for the trending list on the lower left side of the screen and click “CHANGE” to open the Trends option box as shown below. I opt to see trends for the United States. At the bottom you will see a button about tailored trends – if you opt for this it is based on what interests you. For a regular person it can be useful, for any of you who work in social media like me it will give you a false sense of what is trending based on what you are tweeting a lot of. I suggest anyone who hosts Twitter parties or works in social media to turn OFF tailored trends.
- Twitter Via Text Messaging!
I saved the best for last. People freak out when I tell them about this. It is not new to Twitter, in fact it has been around since the start I believe. While most of us have smartphones with apps for Twitter, those apps can suck down your battery juice quickly. A quicker method with energy savings is to tweet via SMS (text message).First go into your settings and go to Mobile to make sure you are set up with your cell phone number on your account. You can also select what kinds of text notifications you want to receive. I always have direct messages set to send me a text on my phone so I am sure that I see them.
Using Twitter via text message is as easy as sending a text to 40404 for those in the USA (for other countries see the shortcode list). I do this when I am at events often and I just want to send out tweets about what is happening quickly. It saves me time and battery life! You can also turn some settings on and off by sending commands via text message to Twitter.
- ON – this will turn all of your Twitter updates and notifications on (use with caution)
- OFF – this will turn all of your Twitter updates and notifications off
- No command, just your message – send this via text to Twitter and they post it to your account for you
- “attach photo” – if you have MMS messaging with your cell provider you can attach an image to your text to Twitter and it will be sent out to your Twitter feed also. No special commands are needed. Note that it is sent as a link and Twitter reserves 20 characters for this so your tweet must be 120 characters or less when including a photo
- @username then your message – sends someone a tweet (seen publically)
- d username then your message – sends direct message to user. Note that there is a space between “d” and “username” and there is no @ symbol used.
- SET MENTIONS ON – will send you a notification text each time your Twitter username is mentioned by someone you follow
- SET MENTIONS ALL – will send you a notification text each time your Twitter username is mentioned by anyone, even those you do not follow
- SET MENTIONS OFF – turns off notifications of tweets that mention your Twitter username
- SET MESSAGES ON – turns on notification texts of direct messages you receive. NOTE – it is easy to forget and reply to these in the text – it will go to your public Twitter feed if you do not include the d username first!
- SET MESSAGES OFF – turns off notification texts of direct messages.
- FOLLOW username – his will allow you to quickly follow someone new, it does also send you texts when that person tweets though.
- LEAVE username – you will still be following someone, but this command turns off text message notifications for each tweet they send out
- UNFOLLOW username – unfollows that user.
- WHOIS username – text this to get profile info for any public user on Twitter.
- GET username – text this command to receive a notification of the latest Twitter update posted by that person.
- STATS username – get a text with the user’s number of followers, how many they follow, and their bio info
- HELP – if you forget any of the commands just sent Twitter a help text and it will respond with useful information
- BLOCK username – to block someone
- REPORT username – to report a user as spam
Did you learn anything new about Twitter from this post? Do you have any other tips to share or any questions about using Twitter?
Oh and if you do not already, please follow me @RobynsWorld on Twitter![signoff]
© 2014, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.