Last Updated: October 28, 2015 152

How to use Twitter: The Basics

Found In: Social Networks

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, then I am sure that you will have heard of a fantastic little website known as Twitter. Almost everyone nowadays is using it, but for quite a few people twitter can seem very confusing at first. There are a few basics that you will need to know in order to use Twitter effectively, and after you have learned these you will realize that Twitter is actually relatively simple.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a microblogging social platform, meaning that you are limited to 140 characters per post. This may seem limiting at first, but you will get used to it after a while. Twitter posts use a thing known as a “Hashtag” to be found easily, which is basically a “#” symbol with a word directly after it. For instance, if you are posting about the coffee you just drank, you might want to add “#coffee” at any point during your post.

The most effective way to get your posts or “Tweets” noticed is to gain followers. A follower is someone who essentially “subscribes” to your account, meaning that every tweet you make will come up on their dashboard. For someone to follow you, they have to be interested in your tweets.

Is it hard to use?

When I first started using Twitter, it all seemed a little overwhelming. There were so many things to do on it, and I had no idea how to gain followers or even how to follow people myself, but I learned all the basics on my own. It is not really that hard, but it can really help to have a handy guide that teaches you all the basics. That is what this is.

How to Join and Use Twitter

Step One: Navigate your browser to and sign up for an account by filling out the information as instructed. You are required to enter your full name, email address and the password you want to use to log in to your account. You will have to choose a username in the near future, so try to come up with an interesting or witty one now. You want it to be unique, but also easily memorable.

Step Two: Now you will have to choose a profile picture that will be the face of your account on twitter. To upload a picture, all you have to do is click on the dropdown menu located just below your username, click on the “Settings” option, and click “Choose File” to choose a file located on your computers storage.

Step Three: The next thing you should do is write a Bio for your account. This is one of the main things that will attract people to your profile, so try and make it interesting, and possibly humorous. You only have 160 characters to work with, so make every last one count.

Step Four: Choose some people to follow. Head over to the “Public Timeline” to select what other people you would like to follow. You have a lot of options, from celebrities to scientists; anyone who is anyone is on twitter these days. Simply click “Follow” and you will now receive this persons posts direct to your feed.

Step Five: You should now make your first post, or “Tweet”. To post on twitter, all you need to do is click the empty text box and write whatever comes to mind, maybe something like “Hi there, I’m new to Twitter! #new”. Everyone who is following you can see this post, but so can people who search for the hashtag “#new”.

Tips and Tricks

Did you know you can actually schedule Tweets on Twitter? It can really save you a lot of time. It allows you to plan out your tweets for a day, a week or even a month. It is easiest to use a 3rd party twitter app to do this such as Buffer, TweetDeck or Hootsuite, but it can also be done by using regular old Twitter. Just navigate your browser to, login, compose a tweet and then use the scheduling tab. Easy!

Another great thing you can do with Twitter is use the built-in keyboard shortcuts. If you are anything like me, half the time you can’t be bothered using the mouse and would rather keep your lazy little hands on the keyboard, so having keyboard shortcuts really helps. A list of all known shortcuts is below:

  • F: Favourite
  • M: Message
  • R: Reply
  • N: New Tweet
  • T: Retweet
  • L: Close Tweets
  • Enter: Open Tweet Details
  • ?: Shortcuts
  • J: Next Tweet
  • K: Last Tweet
  • .: Load Tweets
  • /: Search
  • Space: Page Down
  • G+H: Home
  • G+C: Connect
  • G+A: Activity
  • G+R: Mentions
  • G+D: Discover
  • G+P: Profile
  • G+F: Favorites
  • G+L: Lists
  • G+M: Messages
  • G+S: Settings
  • G+U: Go to User

The final tip we will give you is how to turn off all twitter emails with a single click. After you have been on twitter for a while the constant emails you receive in relation to it can be very annoying. All you have to do is log on to, visit your profile settings and click on the “Email notifications” tab and click “turn off”. Now you won’t have those annoying emails from Twitter!

Remember, it is better to use everything in moderation. This is true for Twitter also, as in the past there have been many people who have become addicted to Twitter, and are constantly checking their account every minute or so. Don’t get too invested in this website, as it can have an impact on your personal life and relationships with your friends. As long as you don’t obsess over it, Twitter can be a real benefit to your social life.

  • YC2X

    I want twitter account

  • Caseysville03

    It won’t let in log in my Twitter again it’s saying its restricted when I was JUST in it I logged out cause I wanted to log back in cause I was bored and now it won’t let me in my Twitter again

  • Hlengiwe chiliza

    Me twoo

  • Jacqueline Thomas

    What are we talking about