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Twitter: How to

Ever wondered ‘What is Twitter? How do I tell my tweets from my hashtags?’ Check out this beginner’s guide, the essential Twitter ‘how to’.

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A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO TWITTER IN THE UK

In just a few years, Twitter has grown to cement its place in the international social media scene. It’s a key outlet for the public to interact with friends and family, as well as popular celebrities, athletes, politicians, and other prominent figures. Twitter use in the UK has surged, with more than 10 million Brits now using the service. Here’s a glimpse at how Twitter use in the UK stacks up, and how you can get started if you’re just catching on.

UK TWITTER USE AT A GLANCE

Active Users Growing Rapidly

As of May 2012, the number of active Twitter users in the UK surpassed the 10 million mark, representing a significant portion of global active Twitter users.

UK
10 million active users

Worldwide
140 million active users

>> The UK has the fourth-largest user base, behind the U.S., Brazil, and Japan.


More Brits Tweet Than Read Daily Newspapers

Those 10 million users eclipse consumers of another popular information medium.

More than 10 million Brits use Twitter.

Roughly 9 million Brits buy daily national newspapers.


UK Twitter Users Lead the Way in Mobile

Twitter users in the UK are more inclined to use their mobiles to tweet than other parts of the world.

UK
80% of users log in from mobile phones.

Worldwide
55% of users log in from mobile phones.

 

 

GETTING STARTED

A Bit of Vocabulary

For many of the new users that sign up every day, Twitter can seem like a confusing place at first. The basic lingo will get you started.

Twitter – An online communication platform that lets users share updates in 140 characters or less.

Tweet – Any post transmitted over Twitter.

Follow – When you subscribe to someone’s tweets.

Direct Message (DM) – A private message sent from one user to another.

@Reply – To communicate publicly with another user, put an @ in front of their username and then include the message.

Retweet (RT) – When you share something that someone else tweeted.

Modified Tweet (MT) – When you share something that someone else tweeted but modify it.

Verified Account – Emblem that confirms the account identity of a prominent figure or entity on Twitter.

Hashtag – Marked with a “#” in front, hashtags are a way to organize (and link) keywords or topics.

#FF – A popular hashtag, short for “Follow Friday” used to suggest people others should follow on Twitter.


There’s an App for That

Once you’ve mastered the basics and find you have more followers or tweets to manage, it’s time to bring in a Twitter app to help. There are Twitter clients for nearly all devices that will let you get the most out of the platform.

Here are three popular options.

HootSuite: Connect your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and other accounts to one dashboard to schedule posts and share accounts with others.

TweetDeck: If you just want to focus on Twitter, TweetDeck is the official Twitter client.

CoTweet: More appropriate for business use, CoTweet lets you manage shared Facebook and Twitter accounts as a team from one client.

 

THE UK’S TITANS OF TWITTER


The Power Players: 10 Most Influential UK Users

If you’re just getting started, whom should you follow? The Independent compiled a list of the 100 most influential people who tweet in the UK, based on each person’s Twitter impact.
Richard Branson
Tycoon

  • Sarah Brown
    Campaigner
  • Alan Carr
    Broadcaster
  • Ricky Gervais
    Actor/Comedian
  • Rob Brydon
    Actor/Comedian
  • Chris Moyles
    Broadcaster
  • Jamie Oliver
    Chef
  • Eddie Izzard
    Actor/Comedian
  • Derren Brown
    Illusionist
  • Jack Wilshere
    Footballer

The Popular Crowd: Twitter’s Top UK Tweeters

Who is everyone else following? The Guardian cites the top 10 most popular UK Twitter users and their followers (with figures updated as of 17 July, 2012).

  • Jessie J                                           – 5.0 million followers
    Singer
  • Niall Horan                                       – 4.9 million followers
    One Direction Singer
  • Liam Payne                                          – 4.6 million followers
    One Direction Singer
  • Stephen Fry                                             – 4.5 million followers
    Actor/Writer
  • Lily Rose Cooper (formerly Allen)        – 3.6 million followers
    Singer
  • Emma Watson                             – 3.4 million followers
    Actor
  • Rio Ferdinand                              – 3.1 million followers
    Footballer
  • Ricky Gervais                                           – 2.7 million followers
    Actor/Comedian
  • Holly Willoughby                                    – 2.6 million followers
    TV Host
  • Eddie Izzard                                             – 2.5 million followers
    Actor/Comedian

 

SOURCES: INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, GUARDIAN.CO.UK, TELEGRAPH.CO.UK, READWRITEWEB.COM, MASHABLE.COM


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