How to Use Twitter for the Bowdoin Community

How To Set Up An Account

  1. Go to Click “Sign Up.”
  2. Use an e-mail you feel comfortable with. If you forget your password, this is the e-mail it will be sent to in order to retrieve it.
  3. Decide on a username. It can be something as simple as your name, but it’s possible some names will already be used. If you want to check if a name is in use, go to If your name is Professor Nikola Tesla, you could try nikolatesla, ProfessorTesla, ProfTesla, or some combination of those. If you want to come up with something creative that represents you, go for it!
  4. Pick a password that you will remember, a combination of letters and at least one capital letter and one number.
  5. Click Sign Up and voila you’re done.

Getting Started

  1. When you sign in, you will need to set up your profile. Click on the left hand side where you see a little egg next to your name. At the next screen, click “edit profile.”
  2. Now you can change your header photo, profile photo, name, and bio. These images are up to you, but it’s good to at least have a personal photo as your square profile image on the left.
  3. Fill in a little bit about yourself. It can be as simple as “I teach [blank] at Bowdoin College.” It’s a good idea to supply a link here, and it can go to your departmental website if that’s what you want. Don’t forget to save profile.
  4. If you want to change privacy options or change your notifications (i.e. you don’t want notifications about people replying to you), go to the top right hand corner where you see a little picture of an egg (or your new image). Click on that and go down to settings. On the left hand side all of those options will show and you can browse and learn how to use them.

How Do I Tweet?

On the top right of your home screen is “tweet.” Click on that. Fill in what you want to tweet. You have only 140 characters to express yourself, so use them wisely. You can write multiple tweets if you have more to say. Pictures can be embedded.

Twitter Tips and Information

Why Twitter?

Understand your reasons for using Twitter. Research? Reading? Sharing information? Networking? Who are you interested in connecting with? Twitter is an excellent way to keep up to date with things that are happening in the world or the interests you have. If you are just taking part in a single day for work, you can use it and then remove your account afterward. But it may be beneficial to stay on and see the opportunities Twitter has to offer.

What terms do I need to know?

There are a few that you will hear frequently.

@ – Using this symbol with someone’s username in a tweet (i.e. @bowdoincollege) will alert them that you are mentioning them on Twitter. It’s a way to reach out and engage another user in a conversation. Note: If you begin a tweet with the @[username], be aware that only you and the person(s) you @ will see the conversation in their feeds. It is not a private tweet, but just doesn’t show up in all of your followers’ feeds.

Hashtag (#) – Hashtag is the # symbol. It is used for hashtag campaigns and also to follow movements and trends. When you use it, anyone following that particular hashtag will see your tweet. You can search for hashtags in the search engine at the top. Look for popular hashtags like #TBT (Throw Back Thursday, old photos of people they share), #ClimateChange, or #BlackLivesMatter. You can read and reply to any of these tweet and using it yourself makes you part of the conversation.

Retweet (RT) – If you see a tweet that you like and want to share it with your followers, you can “retweet” it. This is the button under the tweet that looks like two arrows making a little box. When you RT something, it will show up to your followers and on your own feed.

Favorite – Right below a tweet is a star. If you click that, it means you liked the tweet. It will be catalogued on your profile so you can look through your favorites later, and it’s a good way to keep track of links or conversations you want to go back to. It’s also a sign of solidarity when people favorite your tweets.

Practice, practice, practice!
Twitter takes practice. Investing a small amount of time each day will make a big difference in your comfort level and success with Twitter.

Plan to spend 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon or evening reviewing your Twitter feed. Initially, plan some longer blocks of time for research and discovery and finding people to follow.

Put the Twitter app on your mobile device

Put the Twitter app on your phone and tablet. It’s easy to grab 5-10 minutes on Twitter when you’re out of the office and away from your computer. You can tweet from anywhere once it’s on your mobile devices.

Twitter lists

Twitter lists are a useful way to organize accounts you follow. For example, you may want to see only a stream of news in the morning and then monitor what your peers are tweeting about during the afternoon.

Lists you create can be public or private. You can also subscribe to lists that others have created. Subscribing to a list is not the same as following everyone on that list. And, you don’t have to follow someone to put them on a list.

Talk with Chelsea Doyle for more information about using lists and the differences between following, creating lists, and subscribing to lists.

A note about privacy

Unless you have a protected Twitter account (not recommended in most cases), all of your activity is public, with the exception of direct messages. Anyone can see your tweets, who you follow, as well as your lists (unless you set them as private).

Helpful toolsets

Install the Twitter app on your phone and tablet.

If you plan to look at Twitter often on your computer, and especially as you become a more experienced with it, consider managing your account with a tool such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. You can simultaneously monitor several streams of information and save yourself time. You can also schedule tweets in advance.

Guidelines for Bowdoin employees on social media

If you identify yourself as affiliated with Bowdoin (and even if you don’t), please take note of Bowdoin’s guidelines for employees on social media:

Questions? Need help?

Contact our Digital Community Manager Chelsea Doyle ( if you have additional questions or would like more help getting started on Twitter. Follow the main account @BowdoinCollege if you are curious to see wha