Since Twitter was founded in 2006, the platform has grown to more than 270 million active users over the course of time and several new features have been added. While you might think you know your way around a hashtag, the following Twitter hacks will turn you into a true power user. Try a few of them and start unlocking some of the more advanced features of one of the most popular social media platforms.
At first glance, it appears like a simple keyword-based tool, but the search bar on Twitter.com does a lot more than you might think. By using special characters called "operators" in your text search, you can uncover all sorts of new insights and weed out results that you aren't interested in seeing.
For instance, if you search for "coffee :(" you will get a list of posts about coffee that have a negative sentiment. Adding the ":(" at the end of your search tells Twitter that you are looking for negative sentiment. And yes, if you search for "coffee :)" you will see posts with positive sentiment. There are many other ways to search, from exact phrases to posts with questions in them to searching for tweets that contain one word but do not contain another one.
Ready for more? Twitter's Help Center offers a page that explains some of the search operators.
(Twitter's search operators allow you to do some complex searches directly from the search field.)
Does that sound like too much to memorize? If you'd like to perform advanced searches on Twitter but don't want to have to remember all the search operators, go to the advanced search page and you can select your options there.
(The advanced search tool offers the ability to search using many of the search operators you would otherwise need to memorize or type into the text search field. It makes performing complex searches easy.)
Take a (keyboard) shortcut
By using one of Twitter's several keyboard shortcuts, you can quickly perform some commonly used actions by simply pressing one or two keys on your keyboard. This can come in handy by preventing you from having to navigate Twitter's interface.
Let's start with the basics. From the Twitter home page, hit the "n" key and you'll see the "Compose New Tweet" window pop up. In this case, "n" stands for "new tweet."
Want to see all of them quickly? Just go to Twitter.com and press "?" and the following will appear:
(This keyboard shortcuts list is available any time you are on Twitter.com by simply pressing the "?" key.)
Choose your timing wisely
Did you know that you can actually schedule when your tweets will go out through Twitter.com, similar to Hootsuite or other tools? Just go to the Twitter Ads page and click the "compose tweet" button. You'll see the following:
(The Twitter scheduling tool is helpful for advertisers and non-advertisers alike, and offers a simple calendar tool that ensures your posts are viewed at the optimal times.)
This tool that was created primarily for those advertising with promoted posts on Twitter, is actually available to all registered users whether you are a paying customer or not. Start using this feature to make sure that your posts fall within optimal times for you. While the generally recommended times to tweet are between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST, Monday through Thursday, make sure that you measure and analyze your unique set of followers' usage and habits.
Measure twice, tweet once
Speaking of measurement, did you know that Twitter also gives you access to analytics on the last several months of your tweet history? You can view your most popular tweets, demographic information about your followers, and a lot more by going to Twitter's Analytics page.
This tool can help you learn more about your followers' interests, locations, and who they follow. You can also get more insights into what tweets your followers find the most helpful, engaging, or thought-provoking.
(Twitter's analytics tool provides helpful information about specific tweets, engagement, and followers over time, and demographic information on your followers.)
You can also get reports for the last 28 days or choose statistics by month for the last five months. With this view of analytics on Twitter, you can start making better decisions about what, how, and when you tweet, as well as what your followers find interesting.
Advanced: Twitter life hacks
All of the previous examples are available right on Twitter.com. This next example is a little more advanced, but those of you willing to experiment a little more will find this one pretty interesting.
If you're ready to move to the next level, get ready to use Twitter to perform real-world tasks. Whether you want it to make a pot of coffee or operate a remote dog feeder, working with Twitter's API opens up a whole new world of possibilities. By using a technology called Arduino and Twitter's API, you can get pretty creative and innovative.
For instance, the Twitter coffee maker starts brewing coffee when you send a tweet to a specific handle. A switch on a computer hooked up to the coffee machine receives the tweet and turns the coffeemaker on. If you don't think that's handy, perhaps you don't drink as much coffee as I do!
While these tasks take a little more effort than simply going to Twitter.com, you can see that there is almost no limit to what you can to with a tweet once you are able to connect it to real-world devices.
As you can see, there is a lot available through Twitter.com and the various interfaces provided within. By using some of these Twitter hacks effectively, you can learn more about your audiences, find things easier, and perform commonly-used actions much quicker. It might even make you reconsider some of the third-party tools you are using to interact with Twitter.
If you are feeling a bit more adventurous and want to break out your soldering iron, there are even some real-world actions you can perform using Twitter's API.
With these hacks and a strong content strategy, you'll be unstoppable in your efforts to dominate Twitter. Happy tweeting!
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