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Twitter 101 & Pro Tips (Part 1)

Here is a real quick blog post to help any physical educators out there who are looking to jumpstart their professional development by joining Twitter.

If you are completely new to Twitter, or if you’re still getting the hang of it, I’ve put together a “Twitter 101” walkthrough (the presentation below) to help you get started on Team #PhysEd’s favourite social network.

If you are an avid Twitter user, here are two quick pro tips I have been using a lot lately that might come in handy:

Making Mentions Easier To Find

When a user replies to a tweet, or directs a tweet at a specific user to spark a conversation, they generate a “Mention”.

A mention created by one user (me) and directed towards another (Amanda)

Mentions are public tweet that typically start with the target user’s username. The problem with mentions is that, although they are public, you will only be able to view mentions in your feed if a) the mention includes your username or b) you follow both of the users involved in the conversation. Because of this, tweets you create that start with a username may not be seen by all of your followers (because they don’t all follow the account you are mentioning).

Here’s how you can get around this:

Let’s say you want to tweet something like “Andy Vasily is full of great ideas!” Now, you know Andy is on Twitter, so you want to include his username to encourage others to follow him. The problem is, if you tweet out “@AndyVasily is full of great ideas” your followers who do not already follow Andy won’t see that tweet unless they go to your profile (which defeats the purpose of including Andy’s username). So what do you do to avoid that from happening? Do this:

See that period at the start of the tweet? Starting a tweet with anything but a username allows you to avoid the whole “missing mentions” problem. Oftentimes, Twitter users will use a period since it is not too distracting. Try this out next time you want to mention an account and make sure all your followers see the tweet!

Tweetstorms

It’s not easy to say everything you need to say within 140 characters. Because of this, we often see people write multiple tweets in a “tweetstorm”. To indicate that the tweets are meant to be read together, users will sometimes include “1/2” and “2/2” to let followers know that there is more to that single tweet.

That being said, there’s a better way of doing this.

You see, marking your tweet with “1/2” works, but it also chews up three characters (which may not seem like a lot, but without them your tweet might look messy). So instead of doing that, just take advantage of Twitter’s threaded conversations feature (a.k.a. the Twitter Green Line). Here’s how:

Next time you want to write a series of tweets, write the first tweet of the series and then reply to your own tweet. Twitter will then pre-populate a tweet starting with your username for you. However, you can delete your username to have a full 140 characters to write. When you post all of your tweets, Twitter will display them grouped together in a threaded conversation.

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 10.45.45 PM

So there you go: A quick 101 and two pro tips. I hope you found these tips as useful as I have!

Thanks for reading and happy teaching!

Joey Feith is a physical education teacher from Canada and the founder of ThePhysicalEducator.com. Be sure to never miss out on any of ThePhysicalEducator.com’s future posts by connecting with us via RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Email.

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Joey Feith is the founder of ThePhysicalEducator.com. He currently teaches elementary physical education at St. George’s School of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

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