Twitter is a very good way to keep in touch with your local community. It enables to you post messages to your followers and keep them informed about what is happening in your town, parish or community council.
These messages are called ‘Tweets‘ and are limited to 280 characters. You can also post pictures or short videos.
To set up a Twitter account, go to https://twitter.com and click the blue button on the right of the screen that says ‘Sign up‘.
On the next screen you will be asked for your name and phone number. You should use the name of your council as the Name. If you don’t want to add your phone number, you can use your email instead. Don’t worry these won’t be displayed publicly.
The next screen ‘Customize your experience‘ has some options that are optional.
Step 3: Create your account – just click the blue ‘Sign up ‘ button at the bottom of this screen to set up your account. You will be sent a verification code, either to your phone or email, depending on which one you used to register in step 2. Enter the verification code and click the ‘Next’ blue button at the top right of the screen.
Note: if you copy and paste the verification code, be careful not to pick up any spaces at the end of the code – if you do, you will get a messages saying the code was incorrect.
On the next screen you will be asked to add a Password.
The following screens will let you pick a profile picture and add a short description. You can click the ‘skip for now’ link you don’t have one and add this later.
The screen asking ‘What are you interested in‘ will show different options you can select. Twitter will show you suggestions of accounts to follow based on your choice here. Again you can click the ‘Skip for now‘ link.
The ‘Suggestions for you to follow‘ screen will show popular accounts that you may wish to follow. If there are any that interest you, just click the ‘Follow‘ button next to the account. Don’t worry, you can add more people/accounts to follow at a later date, or can ‘unfollow’ accounts you have followed. Click the ‘Next‘ button when you are ready to move on.
The next screen allows you to turn on notifications. This will allow Twitter to send you an email or phone notification when certain events happen, such as when someone follows you or comments on you tweets. You have the option to ‘Allow notifications’ or ‘Skip for now‘. Again, you can change these settings at a later date.
Finally you will be directed to your home screen. This has Home at the top and a box that says ‘What’s Happening‘. To write you first tweet, just click in the box. When you are happy with your tween, click the blue ‘Tweet‘ button.
In the next couple of months we’ll go into more detail about how to optimise your account and how to grow your following.