Tips for Managing Twitter

Almost every day, the news reports on tweets from politicians, celebrities and sometimes even an unknown little girl (@alabedBana) in Aleppo. While many people are familiar with Twitter and even have an account, some people rarely check their accounts because of the overwhelming number of Tweets, disagreeable discussion, or the difficulty in finding relevant conversations. There are plenty of built-in tools to make Twitter a great resource. Here a few tips that can help make this tool much more effective for connecting with people, discovering new ideas, and enjoying a hardy laugh.

In 2006, I attended the SXSW Conference when Twitter was debuting. It wasn’t totally clear how to use Twitter and people were exploring all sorts applications. Big screen monitors were set up all over the conference halls and in the lectures. Twitter was used to help facilitate question and answer, organize meetups, crack jokes, and even give feedback about the event. This beginning was so exciting, but over time my Twitter feed felt like one big spam feed of people pitching their services or a venue for never-ending arguments. Eventually, Twitter slipped into the background and I rarely ever checked the feed. When I applied some of the following simple adjustments to my feed, I rediscovered the unique adaptability of Twitter to my interests. Hopefully these tips will help you rediscover Twitter as well.

Create Lists Based on Common Theme – You can easily create lists that group Tweets by Friends, Colleagues, Specific Interests (humor, film, charities, etc.), News, Shopping and much more. Simply tap “Me” on the bottom right of the Twitter app. Then tap the gear icon to the right of your picture. Choose “Lists” from the drop-down menu. Now you’ll see all the lists you’ve created or followed. Simply tap a list to open and view Tweets. Or you can tap the “+” in the upper right to create a new list. Lists can be private for only you or public if you want to attract followers around a specific theme. Now when you use the Twitter app, you can view content through specific lists and see only the content that interests you.

Block or Mute Unwanted Content – If you see undesirable content, you can Block the Twitter account or temporarily mute it. Muting does not unfollow an account and does not inform the user you’ve muted theme. Plus, they can still Direct Message you. Block prevents a user and/or Twitter account from sending you Tweets, sending you a Direct Message or following your Tweets. To Mute or Block an Account, go to the Account Profile page, tap the gear icon beside profile picture, and choose Mute, Block or Report.

Use Multiple Twitter Accounts – Twitter now lets you sign in with multiple accounts, so you can have a personal account, a business account and even a school account. Tap “Me” in the bottom right corner. Select the people icon to the left of the “Edit profile” button.

Search – Twitter can search users with a specific name, topics, and tweets. You can utilize search operators for fine-tuned searches, plus the website version of Twitter offers Advance search for highly specialized searches (see Twitter Search to learn more about search operators and advanced search.

Twitter Clients – There are a variety of Twitter apps for your smartphone. For most people, the free Twitter app will meet all your needs. I bought several apps and tested them. Now I am convinced that for most people, the basic Twitter app is easier to use and free.

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