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how-to Archives - Twitter In 30 Minutes: The Book

Multiple Twitter accounts: Is it a good idea?

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I recently received a message from a reader on the topic of operating multiple Twitter accounts. This reader asked if it was a good idea to have more than one Twitter account:

I just finished your book on Twitter in 30 Minutes, and found it to be extremely helpful! You do a great job of making a daunting topic simple! I do have one question: I set up a second account because my life is bifurcated between an educational consulting practice and my family. I plan to finally use Twitter far more effectively than I have done in the past. Am I making a mistake to have two accounts with very different sorts of tweets between them?

My answer: No, it’s not unusual for people to run multiple accounts with different focuses. I have four or five active accounts, including my personal @ilamont, my business @in30minutes and a few other topic areas that interest me. Sometimes I retweet between them if there is overlapping interest.

One thing I would do, however, is make the handles different. If you have two very similar twitter handles based on your name, this may confuse some people who are searching for you, or friends who are recommended to follow you, but are not sure of the right account. So, one account could be @johnsoneducation and the other @johnsoninKC.

The other tip is to start using Tweetdeck (tweetdeck.twitter.com) a Twitter operated Web tool which lets you manage more than one account at a time.

Best way to cut a tweet down to 140 characters?

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I received an email from a reader asking about keeping tweets under 140 characters. Here’s what he said:

“Just finished your book and hopefully set up an account. Think I successfully set. up my first tweet. One question. First draft too long. I couldn’t figure out how to get help to cut it down. Just backspaced and deleted words. Is there another way? Thanks for your great treatise.”

It’s actually a common problem, and one that I deal with every day. I like to express thoughts that may take a whole sentence and use “normal” English grammar, but Twitter is unforgiving — anything over 140 characters will be cut off upon posting. Fortunately, Twitter shows how many characters remain (or are over the limit), which makes figuring out the proper length a little easier.

Here’s what I wrote back:

Thanks for your email! There’s no magic way to cut a tweet down to 140 characters. I usually get very creative with shortcut words (e.g. & instead of and, w/ instead of with, intl instead of international) and drop pronouns. I have also seen people break a long tweet into two tweets, like this:

1. Love how the waiter at Joe’s Italian Bistro took the time to explain how they braise lamb chops
2. Definitely plan on going there again for our anniversary!

I also discussed this issue in Twitter In 30 Minutes, and showed an example of how to creatively cut down a long tweet to the right length. Here’s the long version:

Tweet over 140 characters

 

Here’s the short version:

c4_compose_tweet_compact_small

Keep in mind that links, photos, and hashtags will add to the character count, so you need to leave room for those elements if you want to include. them.

One other thing worth noting: I always try to leave at least 13 characters remaining. Why? Because it makes it possible for anyone to retweet my message without going over (“RT @ilamont: ” requires 13 characters.

How to create a tweet

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The following article about how to create a tweet was excerpted from Twitter In 30 Minutes, by author Ian Lamont. 

Creating a new tweet is a cinch, and Twitter gives you multiple ways to do it. This post explains how to create a tweet using Twitter’s Web or mobile app interfaces for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.

Online

Go to twitter.com and make sure you are logged in. Look for the What’s happening field at the top of the screen, above your home timeline:

  1. Place your cursor in the field, and start typing.
  2. As you type, a counter below the field counts down how many characters you have left. Once you have typed 140 characters, the number will turn negative, meaning the tweet will be truncated to 140 characters unless you manually reduce the overage.
  3. When you are ready to release your tweet to the world, click the Tweet button.

There’s another way to compose a new tweet. In the upper right corner of the browser window, next to your profile icon in the Twitter toolbar, is a rectangular button overlaid with a feather-like icon. Click it to write a new tweet.

How to create a tweet

Twitter app

Twitter’s mobile apps are also easy to use, although they will require you to use a smaller keyboard.

  1. On Apple devices, find the Compose icon, which looks like a small rectangle with a feather lying across it. On Android, look for the What’s happening prompt at the bottom of the home screen, or tap the feather icon.
  2. Use the keyboard or the dictation function on your device to create the tweet. The dictation function can usually be activated by tapping an icon that looks like a microphone. It’s a huge time saver!
  3. Tap the Tweet button when you are ready to send it.

This article about creating tweets using Twitter’s Web and mobile apps was excerpted from Twitter In 30 Minutes, by author Ian Lamont. Download or purchase the book here.