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.
In this 6-minute Twitter tutorial, learn how to turn off some or all Twitter notifications using the Twitter Web interface or the Twitter mobile app (iPhone is shown, but process is similar for the iPad). The narrator of the Twitter tutorial is Ian Lamont, the author of Twitter In 30 Minutes.
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 chops2. 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:
Here’s the short version:
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.
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.
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:
- Place your cursor in the field, and start typing.
- 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.
- 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.
Twitter’s mobile apps are also easy to use, although they will require you to use a smaller keyboard.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
The following article about following people on Twitter was excerpted from Twitter In 30 Minutes, by author Ian Lamont.
So you’ve signed up for Twitter, reserved your Twitter handle, set up a profile, and are ready to seize Twitter by the beak. This requires tweeting (described in Chapter 4), but you also want to see what other people are tweeting about and sharing on Twitter.
To see other people’s tweets, you’ll need to start following people. If you don’t, Twitter will seem empty and boring, and you will quickly lose interest.
As described earlier in this guide, Twitter encourages new users to follow celebrity accounts. Twitter also urges users to upload their address books, and will try to match the email addresses of friends and other contacts with existing Twitter accounts.
But what if you want to follow a Twitter account after you have registered? The following sections explain how.
Once you are registered for Twitter and have logged in, clicking on another person’s Twitter handle will reveal that person’s Twitter profile. Each profile contains a Follow button. Click it to follow the account. Once you do that, that person’s tweets will start appearing in your home timeline.
Below is an example of @marty_walsh, the Twitter profile of Boston’s mayor. You can visit his profile by typing twitter.com/marty_walsh into the address bar of your browser. The Follow button is located below the description:
If you click the button, all the recent tweets created by Mayor Walsh and his staff will start showing up in your home timeline. Your home timeline consists of tweets from all of the Twitter accounts you follow. The more accounts you follow, the more tweets you will see in your timeline.
If you are using the Twitter app on your mobile device, tapping the handle of a Twitter user will reveal his or her profile. Click the Follow button (look for the silhouette icon with a plus symbol) to start following them:
Alternately, you can use the Twitter app’s search feature to find specific accounts to follow:
- At the top of the screen, you will see an icon that looks like a magnifying glass. Tap it to open the search feature.
- In the field provided, type the account name of the person or organization you want to follow.
- The names of likely accounts will start to automatically populate the search field.
- Once you have found the right account, click the Follow button.
This article was excerpted from Twitter In 30 Minutes, by author Ian Lamont. Download or purchase the book here.
The following article about Twitter on Android phones was excerpted from Twitter In 30 Minutes, by author Ian Lamont. Download or purchase the Twitter book here.
Registering Twitter on an Android phone or tablet is quick. You will need to download the Twitter mobile app first, though. Twitter makes apps for most mobile Android platforms, including:
The Twitter app for Android devices is closely integrated with the phone’s operating system, which can make registration easier. Note that you may see some variations in the interface, depending on which flavor of Android you use.
Here’s how to get started:
- Open Google Play on your Android device (phone, tablet, etc.) and search for Twitter.
- Tap the Install button.
- Google Play will show you which features the Twitter app will be able to access. You must approve this to continue the installation process.
- Open the app.
You will see something like this:
For this device, Twitter used the email address associated with the Google Play account (and the phone) to start the registration process. Tap Sign up a different account to register with a different email address.
The registration screen has fields for Name, Email, Username (which will determine your Twitter handle) and phone number. It’s almost identical to the iOS version. However, the Android interface for tweeting, adding people, and changing your profile is quite different than iOS (if you’re coming from an iPhone).
The Android Twitter app for phones and tablets will prompt new users to customize their profiles with photos and a brief bio. It’s very convenient, as you can use selfies and other photos taken with the phone’s camera. To edit your profile, follow these steps:
- Open the Android app, and click the More Actions icon (three dots in the upper right corner of the screen).
- Tap your Twitter handle.
- Tap the Edit profile button.
This article was excerpted from Twitter In 30 Minutes, by author Ian Lamont. Download or purchase the book here.
Once upon a time, Twitter settings were very easy to access via the Twitter toolbar on Twitter.com or via the mobile app. Now they are buried. This short post and video will show you how to access Twitter settings on the Web and an iPhone, and will also show you some of the options that are available via Twitter settings.
Note that the Web-based settings panel for Twitter is far more complete than what’s available via the mobile app. On the other hand, there are settings on the mobile app that just pertain to the mobile device you are using.
Here’s the short video which explains where to access Twitter settings:
I am revisiting this issue because I hear a lot of frustration from people who are wondering why their email inboxes and mobile phone screens are filling up with notifications from Twitter. Some of Twitter notifications are useful — direct messages, or when your content has been retweeted — but some are useless. Others are useful or interesting, but can be overwhelming because there are so many of them.
The video below shows how to turn off Web and email notifications using the Twitter.com settings area. I also explore the Twitter notifications settings on the Twitter mobile app for iOS/iPhone, which is similar to the iPad interface. There are some similarities with the Android Twitter app, too.
My general advice for mobile users is to A) check the phone’s general settings > Notifications to turn on/off the types of notifications associated with the Twitter app (for instance, in iOS, banner or lock screen notifications) and B) in the Twitter app itself, look for the gear icon to get into the app settings.
One other note about Twitter email notifications: These generally show up in multiple places — your email inbox on your desktop, and on your mobile phone. Be sure to tackle them when you adjust the individual notifications on Twitter.com.
Without further ado, here’s the video that explains it all. When you are finished, please consider sharing it or liking it:
A challenge faced by many new Twitter users is how to find people on Twitter. As I mentioned in my book, Twitter In 30 Minutes, while it’s possible to find people you know by syncing an address book to Twitter (and indeed, Twitter encourages users to do so) there are significant drawbacks, including the fact that you’re giving important personal information to a for-profit corporation. And even if you do upload your address book, people who are not on it may be hard to find on Twitter. And what about people you don’t know?
The video below explains how to locate specific personal, business, and speciality accounts on Twitter. It’s not foolproof, but it can help you use Twitter search more effectively, particularly when it comes to people with common names. I also use an example of a specialty account — Grumpy Cat’s twitter feed — which has many imitators. How do you determine which account is the real Grumpy Cat?