Phillip's Guide To Twitter

9th April 2014


Thanks so much for sending me a Tweet. The reason I've sent you here is because you've asked a question that I get asked a lot and this is much faster than having to write my answers out over and over. Please don't worry that you have asked that sort of a question, I don't mind at all, I did exactly the same! When I joined Twitter I felt like I'd just started at a new school.

You might also be a Twitter veteran and know exactly what you're doing, in which case you'll understand my reasons for this page.

Anyway, scroll down until you see something that might answer your question.

Getting started

Twitter is a fantastic community, and people are usually more than happy to help. As with most communities there are some who don't want to be bothered, are too busy or who keep themselves to themselves. If you encounter that, be polite and move on! The whole thing works around you following those who interest you, and being followed by those interested in what you have to say.

Click on stuff, have a look around, you won't break it! Once you feel more comfortable you can change your background and add a picture or update your profile - experiment. At the top you'll see 'Me', click on that, that's what other people see when they look at your profile.

Something to bear in mind when you join, put a profile pic up as quickly as possible and say something! If someone (me) spots a silent account in their followers, with no tweets and a random letter @ for instance @kljhffszgd you could get blocked before you even start!

Who you should follow

To subscribe to someone’s tweets you must ‘follow’ them. You can follow whoever you like and complete strangers will probably follow you if they like what you say, or you share a common interest. At first it can be very quiet! You'll need to search out people you find interesting, do that by looking at the suggestions in the ‘Who to follow' box on the left hand side of your home page.

You might look for your favourite celeb, but BEWARE OF FAKES. There are a lot of fakes here; sometimes it's obvious, sometimes they are very clever. Even I am really wary of celebs if I don't have a guarantee it's them.
The best way to guarantee a celebrity is genuine on twitter is to look for a little blue badge with a white tick next to their name on their profile page. This means the individual has proven who they are and the profile has been verified by the people at Twitter.

Etiquette for following
You can follow celebs here- it's legal and it's not stalking. Just be aware of asking them the obvious questions, or you may end up on another one of these pages.

You might want to just follow those in the public eye, that's fine of course, but it's much more fun to follow a cross section of different people. Pretty much everyone likes a follow, so if you see someone tweet something fun/interesting, follow them, they might do it again. Talk to them and they might follow you.

It's not about numbers! I have lots of people following me, when I started, it was just a handful, but it was just as much fun to discover new people in those early days.

If you want to find something whether it's a person or people of similar interests go to Twitter search, it should point you in the right direction. Another useful site to experiment with is TwitterLocal.

You can find people who are talking about the same topics as you by typing the key term in the search bar (top right hand corner) or by taking a look at what’s ‘trending’. There are two ways to do this. Firstly you can look at the ‘Trends’ box (below ‘Who to follow’) to see the top ten topics being tweeted about. Secondly you can click the ‘#Discover’ button at the top of the page. This will show you what is happening on Twitter now, and is tailored specifically to you.

Getting me to follow you
I try to be fair with follows; I'm pretty random if I'm honest. Sometimes I'll go mad and have a follow session, sometimes I'll just randomly follow you for no good reason, feel free to ask for a follow but don't be angry/sad/despondent/disappointed if I don't, again - it's not personal, it's just time and numbers. If I follow you I will also see what you say, so don't be too shocked if I jump in on your conversation.

Your Newsfeed

At the top of your page you’ll see ‘Home’, if you click on this it will take you to your main feed. Your feed is a compilation of tweets from everyone you follow.

You can also create ‘lists’ to separate the people you follow into different categories. This will create feeds which only include tweets from the people within that list. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by other people.

Sending a Tweet

You are limited in how much you say at any one time by the 140 character limit. When you type, you will see the counter below the little box count down. When it goes red you have written too much, anything written after the counter goes red won't be seen. You could write the most beautiful prose, but only the first 140 characters will ever be seen! As you progress you will eventually experience the euphoria of saying exactly what you want to say in exactly 140 characters! You might think I'm mad, but I bet you do!!

If you want a specific person to see you’re tweet you must ‘mention’ them by putting @ in front of their name. If you type @Schofe anywhere in your Tweet it WILL end up in my @replies and if I'm looking at that point (I get hundreds per day) I WILL see it, even if you say: "I think @Schofe is talking rubbish" I'll get that too! Please don't ask me if you're doing it right or if I can see you, if you put @Schofe in front, the answer is yes.
Do you think the question you have asked might already have been answered? Of course, you might be the first to ask it, but just in case, check back on my older Tweets to see if the question has been answered. I'm not too strict on this, but you're more likely to get an answer to something new.

I may not reply, but that is not because I don't like you or I'm not interested, it's purely because I can't answer everyone. It is not an ‘interesting competition' we talk about everything here, however you're unlikely to get a reply if you're rude; life's too short.

Direct messages

You can only DM if both parties are following each other, then you put a D instead of the @ and then a space and then the name: D schofe. That is a private comment that nobody else can see other than the person you sent it too. When you receive a DM a notification will appear over the envelope icon in the top right hand corner. Some people like to use them but I would prefer it if you didn't DM me, purely because I like to keep my conversations open to all. There may be a time when you really need to (or I'll DM you). Let's leave it to our own discretion.

Re-Tweeting (RT) and Favouriting

If you see RT in a tweet that means it's been ‘retweeted’, or forwarded, by someone. This is a way of showing you endorse something someone else has tweeted. Another way to show you like something that has been tweeted is to ‘favourite’ it. You can do this by clicking on the little star icon directly below the tweet.

To see who has favourite or retweeted your Tweets click on the bell ‘notifications’ icon at the top of your page. This feed also shows you when someone has mentioned you in a Tweet or when you have gained new followers.

Charites/endorsements/interviews/personal appearances
I use Twitter for fun and to keep those who choose to follow me up to date with what I'm doing. I don't look for or want to be offered work here! If you need to contact me professionally please look at the contacts page of this website to make an approach (where we might even say yes!!). Charities are even trickier. I don't have the time needed to vet you! That may sound harsh, but with so many followers, sadly, comes responsibility. I can't endorse a charity, good cause or website that just might turn out to be bogus. I would be mortified if I pointed anyone in the direction of something that was anything but 100% above board.

To that end I'm afraid that I must point you to the contacts page of this website where an official approach must be made for me to get involved with a charity. I must also point out that I'm a patron of lots of charities and at the moment I'm not looking for more. I'm really very sorry, but I hope you understand.

Pictures and Videos

It's really easy to post your pictures and videos on Twitter. There are all sorts of ways, including Twitpic, Instagram and Vine. However you can also add pictures directly to Twitter as you Tweet.

When you compose a tweet in the ‘Compose new Tweet’ box you should see a camera icon directly below with ‘Add photo’. Click on the icon to browse your photos and select the one you wish to open. This will then attach your picture to the Tweet.

You'll notice that sometimes I use TweetDeck. It's a very easy way to manage all your Tweets, and it updates on its own. It's very simple to use, just Google 'Tweetdeck' and follow the instructions. It will put a bird icon on your desktop and will Tweet at you merrily to tell you of updates. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I love it! There are other programmes available that do similar things, but I prefer this one.

Using Twitter on different devices
There are a number of different ways I use Twitter, depending on where I am. These are the ones I've found that I like the best.

On my iPhone/iPod touch - yes I've got ‘em both - both Twitterfon and Tweetie are brilliant apps to download and are very easy to use.

As discussed I use TweetDeck at home, or my ordinary profile page, depending on where I am.
I also Tweet occasionally from the set of This Morning. If you watch you'll probably notice the little white Samsung Netbook on the table, that's how I do it... unless I'm using the computer in the make-up room before the show!

Spelling and Grammar
Finally, spelling and grammar! This for me (and a lot of people I've spoken to) is a big issue.
Can you imagine making a minor, accidental slip of the finger and then having a great wave of tweets telling you (sometimes for hours) that you've spelt something wrong? It is probably the one single thing on Twitter guaranteed to REALLY get under my skin. Though you might be genuinely outraged, don't do it!!!

Sometimes I tweet very very quickly, in a TV studio, with 5 seconds to spare. My finger may slip, my phone, iPad or computer may spell check incorrectly just as I hit send... there are many different reasons.

The last thing I or anyone else needs is 5,000 gloating, smug replies from the spelling police! It might be a technical error or it might be a genuine moment when I've got it wrong, I wouldn't dream of correcting you, think twice before you pounce on me, chill out. We're not at school!

I really hope this is helpful and that you've found what you wanted. Feel free to have a look at the rest of the website, you'll find my blog, videos I've posted and lots of other stuff. Enjoy

Follow Phillip on Twitter @schofe.

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  • Thanks for the twitter help guide much appreciated .from a new twitter user.

  • I've been 'on' twitter for some time but been more than a little befuddled by it (a word you don't use every day!) Thanks so much for clearing it up for me! Louise.

  • Great show Philip Schofield you are doing a wonderful well as good causes it is all so interesting (pity Chris Moyles is so full of himself) Good luck Sue

  • Thanks for the twitter tips Phillip! Been following the Knights of Music hope you do more dates! AND PLEASE PLEASE DO A SONG FROM JOSEPH!xx

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