Category Archives: Twitter

#HowAreYou?

 

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So it’s National Adoption Week.  Time to celebrate adoption, isn’t it?

Sometimes adoptive parents can find this a tough week, filled with lots of promotion, painting a very positive image of adoption,  especially if their own family life is challenging and difficult. I understand that BAAF have created the theme of “siblings” for NAW14, which very importantly more adopters are needed for.  However, as a community of many adopters as well as adoptees and practitioners, I think it is important for us to decide how we want to celebrate this week.

During a chat on twitter this week, two of our community, @take2mums and @adoptingd, came up with the excellent idea of encouraging support for each other with the question “how are you?”.

So the idea is, that during this National Adoption Week we look at our twitter feed or followers lists and choose 5 different people to contact and check in with. We can all use the hashtag #HowAreYou

You can do it every day or on just one day when you know you might have the time to converse with someone.

You might say something like

“Hi there hope you’re ok today #HowAreYou

I think it’s a brilliant idea, which follows on perfectly from the recent #TakingCare conference. This online community is growing by the day and we should have a say as to how we want to celebrate adoption and the many people involved in adopting.

 So take to your twitter feed this week and simply ask #HowAreYou.

How to tweet without being on Twitter

Have you ever noticed those tweets that seem to perfectly coincide with the time you sit down with a cuppa? Or just as you’ve got home from the school run?

Some of the most interesting blog posts I read are those I find through clicking on a tweeted link that pops onto my feed between 9.05am and 10am. A lot of the other interesting ones come through around 8.30pm when I’m sitting relaxing after getting the kids to bed.

Did you ever wonder how that happens? I mean, surely people aren’t just sitting there ready to send those tweets at precisely the right time are they?

I’ve recently started using Twuffer, an app designed to allow you to schedule tweets so you can send them exactly when you need to, without being anywhere near a phone or computer. This is especially useful if you know (from your blog stats) what sort of time your readers usually visit your blog because you can target your tweets – especially with those containing links to your blog – when you know your readers are online.
Similarly if you have blog posts scheduled for e.g when you’re on holiday, you can still promote your post by scheduling a tweet or 5, for whilst you’re away.
Screenshot 2014-09-17 11.30.23
And in all honesty, we use it on The Adoption Social because we’re busy mums who can’t always be on Twitter. But we want to share our posts and other information with you throughout the day rather than bombarding you for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening!

So Twuffer. Log in with your Twitter account and it’ll ask permission to post on Twitter on your behalf. Simply type your tweet in the box, and select your date and time below it. Hit schedule tweet and it’s done!
You can view all your scheduled tweets, see which have been posted, and which have failed (usually through duplication rather than any errors). Screenshot 2014-09-17 11.30.14It’s free to use, and unbelievably easy. If you’re pasting links to your posts in, you might want to shorten them first, else they take up the Twitter character limit – here’s a post on how to use Bitly to do just that.

There’s nothing like interaction though, so don’t schedule all your tweets – make sure you actually converse, retweet and share…but do remember this useful tool.

How to make the most of 140 characters

Twitter.

Some of us love it, some of us hate it. However you feel about it, there’s no denying that many use it for support.
For bloggers, it provides a useful way of sharing our posts. Simple – copy and paste a link to your blogpost, tell people a bit about what they can expect from the post, then hit publish right?

Except for some of us the blog post’s URL is so long, there’s not much left of those 140 pesky little characters that Twitter allow us. That’s not something to complain about, because quite frankly if Twitter allowed longer tweets, they wouldn’t be tweets would they? They’d be full on birdsong. However, if you have a blog with a long name, a category name, then a post with a long title, 140 characters is just not going to give you enough space to tease your readers, grab attention or even add a hashtag.

So what to do?
Today, I’m going to tell you about link shortening. There are quite a few websites out there that offer this service and a quick search online will give you lots of results. However, the one that I prefer is Bitly. And that’s because it’s easy, free, and I can see how popular a given link is.

It’s free and simple to shorten a link. Head to Bitly.com, paste in the long version of your link, hit ‘Shorten’ and voila, you’ll have a short link that you can copy and paste, using up less of your precious character allowance.

For statistics, and when I say statistics, I mean you can see exactly how many people have used the shortened link to visit your post, you’ll need to create a free account.
For the purposes of this post I’ve opened a new account for The Adoption Social. To do the same, simply head over to Bitly.com, click on  ‘Sign up For Free’.
bitly homepageThen you’ll see a screen like this, where you can register either by email, Facebook or Twitter. I used our Twitter account, because it seemed as easy as any other, and because we’ll mostly be using shortened bitly links on Twitter.

Screenshot 2014-04-04 13.54.57

After following the instructions (i.e allowing access to your Twitter account, and inputting your email address) you’ll go to your Bitly homepage. It’s a bit like a dashboard of all the short links you’ve made. You can search through them here – useful if you create lots.

As with those without accounts, simply paste your long link in, and Bitly will convert it to a short link for you. Just hit copy to copy the link onto your computer’s clipboard, then hit Ctrl+V to paste into your tweet. So simple. (From this dashboard though, you can not only copy, but share and email your Bitly links too).

Under each Bitly link you’ll also see the number of clicks that link has had. See below – I only created these links a couple of minutes ago, and haven’t shared them, so you’ll see they’ve had 0 clicks. This will help you see which of your links have been most popular. Screenshot 2014-04-04 13.58.21Here you can also change the privacy of your links from public to private. You can create bundles of bitly links which you can keep private or share with friends. You can add notes against each link. You can even develop a network of your own.

For me though, just being able to conserve some of my Twitter characters for some interesting text is a good enough reason to use this site.

If you use other link shortening sites, please do share them below – tell us your favourites and why.

Making Twitter manageable

Time to talk Twitter – and how to turn it into bite-sized chunks!

It’s a bit overwhelming sometimes isn’t it? You’ve got a couple of hundred followers, maybe more and in turn, you’re following another couple of hundred and your timeline is stacked full of tweets that – although you want to – you know you’re never going to be able to keep up with.

And then there are those odd days where you might not want to see a load of adoption related tweets – you’ve opened up Twitter for a bit of light relief and just want to see a few giggly tweets from your favourite comedians.

So, how can you a) keep up, and b) filter out tweets (and tweeters) for a bit?

Lists

No, no, you don’t have to sit there with a paper and pen (thought you can if you want) to make a list of your favourite tweeters!
Twitter has this handy little tool that allows you to make online lists of people that you’re following – you can make one or lots, you can make them private or public.

Finding the list section on Twitter

Log into Twitter. Click on the settings icon in the corner and you’ll see the drop down list appear, then click on ‘lists’.

How to find lists

If you haven’t set any up yet, there’ll be nothing here, but you can see that so far we’ve set up 3 lists on The Adoption Social’s account.

Getting organised

So, have a think about how you want to organise your Twitter feeds. Perhaps you have favourite tweeters….you could put them in a list. Perhaps you want to keep all your adoption related contacts together, so set up a list for them. You might want to put all your blogger friends in another list, or even family members in another.
This is whether the public/private thing comes in. If you don’t want the world knowing who is related to you, then I suggest you set a family list as private. If you’re setting up a favourites list, but don’t want to offend everyone else who isn’t your favourite, you could set that up as private too. Your public lists can be seen by other people so just be aware of that.

 Setting up a list

In the image above, can you see a button called ‘Create List’ above our list titles? Click on it.
You’ll see this:Creating a new list

Here you can fill in the details of the list. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Once you’ve hit ‘Save list’ it’ll appear in your list of lists.

Then you can set about adding members to it.

Adding tweeters to a list

To add people to a list, click on the list title. Here you’ll see a search box and you can type in the names of the tweeters you want to include. I find this a bit fiddly, and tend to forget people.
So I do it via the ‘Following page’. This is the page where you can see all your followers and you can select a list for each and every person (if you wanted), or can easily scroll through and add the right people to your lists.Adding to your list

This is what your following page looks like. Click on that little person icon, then ‘add/remove from lists’. The following page

From there you’ll see a pop-up box and you can select the tick boxes beside the list you want to include that tweeter in.

You can do this for every single person you follow if you like, and categorise them into one of a number of lists, or you can just add to a few important lists. Then when you log into twitter you can either view your whole timeline, or you can view just one or two lists which makes it all much more manageable.

Do you think you might give it a go? If you need more help, then drop us a line we’re happy to help.

Making friends on Twitter

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Previously we did an article on how to set up your twitter account, with special considerations you might want to make when tweeting about adoption, you can find out more here.

Here we aim to give you some tips for getting around twitter and how to find other people to tweet with.

 

HOW TO FIND PEOPLE TO TWEET WITH
Twitter will make recommendations for people to tweet with in your side bar. If you click on the name or picture (the avatar) it will take you through to their profile, where a brief bio will give you information that might help you decide if you’d like to follow them

If you are looking to tweet with people who share a particular interest, like adoption, you can use the search tool in the top bar. Type in adoption and then select people in the bar to the left, and a list of those involved in adoption will come up. This will include organisations as well as individuals.

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Another way is to access the following or followers list of another person. Select a person, group or organisation in which you are interested in, go to their profile and click on following or followers. From this list you will be able to select those you might want follow with a single click.

We have a twitter blogroll on the site, down on the right hand side of the page, scroll down and you will find lots of great adoption folk to follow.

THE BEST WAY TO ENSURE YOU GET FOLLOWERS AND FOLLOW BACKS
Make sure you fill in your bio and include an avatar image (sometimes known as an avi). People will be suspicious of you if you don’t provide even a small amount of personal information or present a personality. None of the information needs to be too informative or personal, but it will be how people identify with you. Maybe list hobbies and likes and if you want to tweet about adoption, mention it in your bio.

If you have a blog include it in your bio and remember to include your twitter tag on your blog, it’s easy to add a follow button in your sidebar. To see how to do it follow the link below.

https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons

If you have a blog to promote it is also a good idea to incorporate the name of it into your twitter tag, that way people can instantly link them together. 

What you tweet about will also influence  whether people follow you. It’s up to you what you tweet about but people will be more drawn to you if you appear friendly. 

Comment on other people’s tweets, if you have a relevant reply, and retweet posts that you feel may be of interest to your own followers.

The favourite tag is used by many as the “like” button is on Facebook, to indicate that you agree with a comment or just “like” it.

If you read other peoples blogs leave comments on their posts and if you really like them share them on twitter, people will often check you out if you support them and follow you in reply.

There are no hard and fast rules for tweeting but remember to tweet with others as you would like to be tweeted with yourself.