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Twitter Help - Understanding Twitter Home Page

If you have followed through on all the steps I showed you in the first section of this book, you should now have a pretty impressive home page to look at.

 

While I am sure you probably have plenty of ideas for some more tweets to post, now would be a good time to take a closer look at your home page to understand what the various parts can tell you.

 

Underneath your username, you will have your location and bio.  You will also be able to see a link to your website or blog.  And underneath that you will notice there are three things listed one after the other.  Each one has a number underneath it that you can click on too.  Let’s look at these in a bit more depth.

 

 

FOLLOWING

 

 

These are all the people you are following on Twitter.  If you click on that number you will get a complete list of them to view.  You can click on this number on other people’s home pages too – which is a big clue to how you can find lots of relevant people to follow!

 

 

FOLLOWERS

 

 

These are all the people who are following you.  Once again, clicking on the number brings up a list of them all.  You can review this from time to time to see whether anyone is following you that you are not following in return.  You don’t have to follow everyone… but reciprocity is a nice thing.

 

 

UPDATES

 

‘Updates’ basically refers to how many tweets you have posted on your Twitter account.  Every new message you write and publish will push this figure up by one.

 

Some people celebrate milestones as they reach them.  You might occasionally see someone announcing their 100th or even 1000th tweet and beyond.  If you do this, it’s a nice idea to thank your followers for inspiring you to keep tweeting!

 

If you click on this figure, it will take you into a page which lists all your own tweets.  And of course, anyone else visiting your home page will be able to see these too.

 

 

@USERNAME

 

 

This used to be the ‘replies’ tab, but the team at Twitter have changed it so you can now see every single tweet on the site which has your username in it.

 

This is actually more beneficial because there may be occasions when people do not actually reply to you, but they do mention you in one of their own tweets.  You can see whether you are making a name for yourself or not.

 

But the main reason to be interested in this tab is because Twitter users can reply to tweets that other users have made.  Let’s say for example that you went ahead and published the tweet which said “Made $357 in affiliate sales today – will share more info in future tweets.”

 

Someone may have read that and been very interested in what you had to say.  So they look to the right hand side of your message and see two things – a star symbol (which lets them favorite that tweet if they wish) and a curved arrow symbol, which if they click on it will let them reply to you.

 

Their reply will appear on their home page and in their own timeline, and it will still be visible to be read by everyone else.  But it will also appear in your @username tab, which is why it is worthwhile to check this page every now and then to see whether anyone has any questions for you.  Engaging in conversation with other users is one sure way to build up more followers as well, as we will find out later on.

 

And let’s face it, if you aren’t going to interact with anyone on a regular basis, you won’t achieve the results you are looking for.

 

 

DIRECT MESSAGES

 

 

This is a neat feature of Twitter that allows you some security and privacy, should you need it.

 

Basically there may be times when you want to ask another member something that you don’t want the world as a whole to see.  The best example of this is if you were looking for someone to provide a service. 

 

Let’s say you wanted to find a designer to create that unique background for your Twitter home page.  You may have started following a few people who could possibly provide that service for you.  In this case you might want to send a direct message to one of them, asking if they could do it and if so, how much for.

 

They can then reply directly back to you in the same manner.  This would mean you could actually exchange email addresses without letting the whole of Twitter know what they are!  This is quite a common practice, so it’s good to know what direct messages are there for.

 

And once again, make sure you check your messages from time to time, just as you check your @username tab.  Incidentally on your settings page under the notices tab, you can elect to receive emails whenever someone starts following you, or sends you a direct message.  I recommend you tick this, unless your followers start coming in lorry loads at a time.  It means that you are less likely to miss any important DMs, as direct messages are often referred to.

 

It is also a nice gesture to send someone a direct message if they have started following you.  This is easy if you get a steady stream of followers.  But if they start arriving en masse you may need to try out a third party (and usually free) software solution that allows you to send direct messages to a number of people at once.

 

For my money, auto DMing is less preferable to the personal touch however.

 

 

FAVORITES

 

 

One of the great things about Twitter is the number of resources you can glean from it.  A good example of this are links to other websites which may prove useful.

 

Writers often post links to websites and blogs they think other writers will like.  Internet marketers do the same for their comrades.  So do moms, freelancers, self employed people, businessmen… and so on.  Everyone you can think of has interests and most of the dedicated users on Twitter actually like to share them.

 

But of course once you start following a lot of people and your own tweets start appearing in the public timeline as well, it can be very difficult to keep track of the tweets you like.

 

That’s why we have favorites.  Remember a while back I mentioned those two symbols you will see next to every single tweet posted by another person?  There is the arrow for responding directly to a tweet, and there is a star.  If you click on that star it will turn yellow, and it will also go onto your favorites’ page.  So the next time you need to refer to that particular tweet, or you want to retrieve that web address, you can go to your favorites page to do it.

 

It’s much easier than going through all your old tweets to find it!


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