5 Handy Twitter Tricks You May Not Know About

I tend to think of Twitter as being a super-simple application: you type 140 characters into a box, hit "tweet," and that's pretty much that.

Of course, there's a lot more to the micro-blogging platform than just informing your friends what you're eating for lunch (#beetsalad with spinach and feta, thank you very much)—and as those of us who were mildly startled by the recent interface update know, Twitter isn't content to sit back and let things get overly familiar.

Whether you use it for keeping up with friends or for industry-wide social media monitoring, Twitter likely has a few tricks up its sleeve you weren't aware of. Here are 5 tips for making the most of your tweets (lunch-related or otherwise):

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Follow With a Click.

Did you know you can add a "Follow Button" to your site that lets people become followers with a single click? It's a simple piece of HTML code you embed into your website, and you can customize the button by making it light or dark, big or small, and choosing whether or not it shows how many followers you have.

Find New Folks to Follow.


Click "Who to Follow" in the lefthand sidebar of Twitter, then "View All." There you'll get "Find Friends" where you can look for people you may have missed—or, choose "Browse Categories" to search by topics you're interested in.

Search Like a Pro.


The Twitter Advanced Search is a pretty powerful tool for finding exactly what you're looking for. You can look for specific tweets from specific people, or search for topics by location. "Used treadmill for sale" in "Portland, Oregon," for instance.

Check for Unauthorized Access.

Most of the applications that you've authorized via Twitter are totally benign (they include things like Twitter for iPhone, Flipboard, bit.ly, etc.), but if your account is being super weird or spammy, it might be time to double-check that you haven't accidentally authorized something you shouldn't have. Click the drop-down arrow next to your username in the top right corner of the page, choose Settings, then click the "Apps" tab on the left sidebar to see a list of everything that's able to access your Twitter account.

Tweet Securely.


When you enable HTTPS, Twitter secures the transmissions between your computer and Twitter.com. Why is this cool? For one thing, if you're using Twitter via the coffeeshop public Wi-Fi, an encrypted connection will help ensure some dillweed doesn't hijack your account. Make sure HTTPS is on by going to Settings, then selecting Account and scrolling down.

Did you know about all these tips? Have any of your own to share?


Image via Twitter

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