guiding colleagues know I am rather obsessed with social media and am always
going on about how Twitter or Facebook and of course blogging are good for
getting your name (and walks) known.
Twitter and its myriad associated terms may make people think it is more
complicated than it is so I have finally put together a bit of a beginner’s
guide and hope that after reading this others will open up a Twitter account
and start tweeting.
wonder how Twitter can help you so much as you are limited to 140 characters
per tweet but it is amazing once you know how.
by going to the sign up page of www.twitter.com
and creating yourself a Twitter ID. This needs to be l4 characters or less.
was too many letters so we are “WminsterGuides”.
You don’t have to put your real name on the sign-up page but whatever you put
will appear next to your Twitter ID on your tweets. “WminsterGuides” is
“Westminster Guides” but my personal Twitter page “WWalks” has my real name next to it. If
you use your real name in this way people that don’t know your Twitter ID will still
be able to find you.
are signed up create a short profile stating what you do and ideally include a
link to your website. It is also preferable to have a photo to show you’re
serious about Twitter. You could maybe use a logo if you don’t want to use a
How to start
you are following anyone and have no followers it’s best to do one or two
tweets introducing yourself so potential followers can see who you are. You could just say something about a walk
coming up or have a link to your website. If people look at your profile and
you haven’t tweeted yet they are less likely to follow you.
click on “Home” you will see “Compose new
tweet” just below your profile on the left hand side. The tweets on the right
hand side will be those of the people you are following. [I had planned a series of screen shots but am fighting with them to appear in the correct place so have had to abandon them!]
What to Tweet
about walks coming up but I also tweet about things I find of interest in London and think worth
sharing. Reply to others’ tweets (the option to “reply” is underneath each
tweet), get involved and share information. If people realise you are willing
to share they are more likely to reciprocate.
have 140 characters so you need to shorten links to websites. There are various
tools that can do this for you – eg bitly.com
(you can then track how many times the links are clicked on).
right of “Home” you have “@Connect” which shows interactions. If you click on
this you will see who has followed you, favourited your tweets or re-tweeted
When either of my Twitter
accounts gets a new follower or is mentioned in a tweet I am notified by email
and text message. Click on the drop-down arrow at the top to the right of the
“Search” box and then click “Settings” to tailor it to your preferences.
Who to Follow
start following people they will in most cases follow you back. However don’t
automatically follow everyone that follows you. Check out their tweets first –
are you interested in what they have to say or could they be useful to you.
It’s also worth checking when they last tweeted – anything more than a few
months ago means their account is probably dormant.
lots of information about who to follow here.
Westminster Guides’ case I started off following lots of museums, London themed websites such as Ian Visits, Londonist
and London Historians, hotels,
enthusiasts and also fellow Westminster Guides. For my personal @WWalks Twitter account I also follow
lots of food and drink related profiles as most of my walks are themed this
way. If you click on @WminsterGuides then “Following” this
will give you some suggestions.
It's impossible to read every single tweet of the people you follow. I dip in and out, re-tweet
things of interest and generally those that follow me do this in return.
Recently I tweeted about Local London Guiding Day (free walks with London's specialist guides on 13th October) saying “Save the Date”. This
was re-tweeted by @aboutlondon to
almost 16,000 followers.
ever seen adverts with a “#” in front of a phrase and wondered what it meant.
Well, this is a hashtag and is a way of categorising tweets. If you are
attending a talk or conference there is likely to be a specific hashtag so all
tweets about the event that include that hashtag will be grouped together. More
info on hash tags is here.
that you will see the most is #FF – this means “Follow Friday” and the Twitter
user will list a number of Twitter accounts he/she is recommending.
Dos and Don’ts
Do share other people’s tweets by
re-tweeting. Underneath their tweet you have the option to Reply, Favourite or
Re-tweet. Hopefully they will do likewise with your tweets.
Do send thank you tweets to people. If
you’ve enjoyed the theatre, a walk or an event of some kind (even if not
related to guiding) send the organisation a tweet (although make sure you don’t
start your tweet off with their ID* ) and you will find that in 9 cases out of
10 they will re-tweet your tweet to their followers which should hopefully give
you wider exposure. You can then do the same if you receive similar tweets!
at least one character (even just a dot) before “@[name] otherwise your tweets will only get a very limited audience. name
d at least one character (even just a dot) before "o websites.
Don'n Guiding Day saying Save the Date. This was re-tweet
Do Favourite other people’s tweets.
This is like a bookmark which you can come back to. People looking at your
profile can also see your favourites so know more about you.
Do tweet at varying times of the day
about an upcoming walk but don’t repeat too many times which is boring for your
Don’t just promote yourself. This is
boring for your followers and they are likely to unfollow you.
Don’t send a series of the same tweet to
lots of individual organisations. This is very annoying for your followers who
will see this same message however many times you send it and are likely to
Don’t say thank
you individually to all your followers for following you. This has actually put
me off following people as the majority of their tweets are acknowledgments for
Protected or not protected
a public forum. Anything you tweet can be found by anyone whether or not they
are on Twitter themselves. If you are not keen on this you can make your tweets
protected. This would mean that only your followers (who have all in this case
been individually approved by yourself) would see your tweets. To my mind this
defeats the object of Twitter which is to gain a large audience in a short
time. However if you do want to find out more about protecting your tweets
details are here.
this article I’ve realised there is so much to say about Twitter and it is hard
to know how much information to give. Hopefully the above will give you enough to start. If you do want more information this website goes into much more detail.
and I look forward to seeing tweets from some more Westminster Guides soon!
Follow @WminsterGuides and/ or
@WWalks and I will definitely follow you back!
The author of this blog (Joanna
Moncrieff) is a qualified City of Westminster Tour Guide who
specialises in food and drink themed walks in the West End.
Details of all her bookable private walks are listed here and upcoming public walks are here.
Labels: Free walks, Twitter, Westminster Guides