As a follow up to our previous piece on Why You Should be on Twitter, it’s now time to talk a bit about what you should do once you sign up and start using the service.

Get a good client

The Twitter web client, while convenient, is weak. Although it has been recently upgraded to make it easier to interact with followers, it still lacks the robustness of some well-established Twitter clients for your computer and mobile device. Better Twitter clients, such as those listed below, grant you extensive control over your Twitter conversations and make it easier to keep an eye on a key group of people.

For PC:

TweetDeck (free)
twhirl (free)

For Mac:

TweetDeck (free)
Tweetie (free or $20)

For iPhone:

TweetDeck (free)
Twitterific (free or $15)

For Windows Phone:

Twikini ($5)

For BlackBerry:

TwitterBerry (free)
TinyTwitter (free)

For Android:

Twidroid (free)
Swift (free)

Learn the talk

Twitter has its own language, and it’s vital that you catch on to this language if you want to be successful on Twitter. If you’re using a third party Twitter program, you’ll have a much easier time speaking the right language. Here are the three Twitter phrases that you should master.

The @reply

You can send an @reply if you want to chat directly with someone (meaning, substitute the word “reply” for their Twitter handle). Using the @reply is like sending a public IM. Anyone that follows you will see your @reply, so make sure whatever you say can be made public. If you want to keep things private, send someone a direct message (you can do this by using the direct message button in your Twitter client, or by typing a string like “D @TechnoBuffalo”.


The procedure for @replying someone is easy. If see someone make an interesting tweet or they’ve ask a question to their followers (perhaps someone needs a recommendation on which netbook to buy), you can type @[name] and the tweet, or, as shown above, you can hit the reply button within your Twitter client that is located on or near the tweet in question.

When the person goes to look at their @replies, they will see what you sent them.

The ReTweet

If you see someone on Twitter make a particularly interesting tweet (perhaps they provided a link to a provocative article, or they made a funny remark), you can repost, or retweet, what they’ve said. RT’ing will add their name to the tweet with the “@” symbol, granting them credit for their tweet.


The procedure for doing this is just the same as an @reply, but you add the letters “RT” before the @reply. Most Twitter clients have a ReTweet button built in, as shown above.

The #Hashtag

When there’s an important topic that is getting a lot of discuss in the Twitterseverse…perhaps a big national news story, or a happening in the life of a major celebrity, it will make the Trending Topic list on Twitter’s search page. Many people use the number sign to designate a trending topic, like “#TechnoBuffalo”.

In the next post, we’ll tell you how to get more followers.