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Do you feel like you are not getting much out of Twitter?

Here are 5 ways to make Twitter more valuable to your life.

1 – Send @Reply Messages

The magic of Twitter is the @Reply. What is an @reply you ask? Whenever someone starts a tweet with @username then that is an @reply. The only people who see the @reply are people who are following both the sender and the receiver. This allows dynamic and spontaneous conversations between groups of friends without causing noise to those outside the group. It also reduces spam so you don’t see chit chat between people you don’t know.

For example, if you started a tweet with @AuthorTech then the message would go to our Twitter account. It would also show up for people who are following you and @AuthorTech.

2 – Use Hashtags

A hashtag works a lot like an @reply but with a topic instead of a person. So, lets say that you wanted to read the buzz about the TV show 24. If you did a twitter search for #24 you would see all the chitchat about 24. The cool thing about hash tags is that you can make a hash tag about anything you want.

For example, at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers conference last year we had #mthermon about Mount Hermon. All you had to do to keep up with the Mount Hermon chitchat was follow the #mthermon hash tag.

3 – Use a 3rd Party App

Most twitter users don’t go to Generally only newbies uses the web to “do” twitter. The reason is that Twitter easier and faster to use with a third party app. A third party app is a program that installs on your computer that makes twitter easier to use.

Twitter App Recommendation:

  • TwitterFox – This app plugs into the firefox browser and is dead simple to use.
  • Tweet Deck – This is the app that the power users use. It can split incoming tweets into multiple threads. You can use it to group your friends.

4 – Put Twitter on Your Phone

Twitter is fun to use from your computer. But it is way fun to use on the road. Mobile twitter makes keeping in touch easier. It also allows for spontaneous coordination. Tweets like “Hey everyone, I am going to the 7pm showing of The Hobbit. Anyone want to come?” are most valuable if people have mobile access to Twitter.

Guide: How to get Twitter on your phone.

5 – Setup a Twitter Skin

Another way to get more out of Twitter is to use a Twitter Skin. A Twitter skin is the picture that goes behind your twitter page. For example at You will see the friendly author tech robot on the right hand side. We will have a post in the future on how to create a Twitter Skin.

Bonus Tip – ReTweet Great Tweets

Many people don’t know what to say on Twitter. Thats where Retweeting comes in. Retweeting is for Twitter what forwarding is for email. So if you see a great tweet you can retweet it out to your followers. All you need to do to send a retweet is copy the Tweet and past it into the message field. Then add “RT @ThierUsername” at the beginning. Sometimes people will add a hashtag to their retweets as well.

Here is a tweet I sent out a few hours ago:

authortech_bigger“New blog post: 5 Tips to Getting The Most Out of Twitter

As you can see its a fairly plain post. No hash tags. Nothing fancy.

Here is a recent retweet that @BookPros sent to his or her followers. Notice how BookPros adds value to the Tweet

bookpros_b_bigger“RT @AuthorTech New blog post: 5 Tips to Getting The Most Out of Twitter // Great tips for those still new to #Twitter.”

Everything in bold was added by @BookPros.

What do you think?

Feel free to practice these tips and let us know how it goes.

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