Twitter can be amazing when it comes to getting information in next to real-time from celebrities, companies, news organisations, emergency services and just average everyday people.  Sometimes to get the most of something new – like Twitter – you need to dig a little deeper into the features available and this Twitter Tip will help you do just that.

Emergency Notifications turned on for the NSW RFS account

Emergency Notifications turned on for the NSW RFS account

Late last year Twitter announced in Australia the emergency alert system which allows users to follow specific emergency service organisations like the Police or Rural Fire Services and set them up with an “alert”.  Pressing this little button means that when that account sends a “Critical” tweet you will get a notification or pop-up on your mobile device – not dissimilar to an incoming SMS.

This means you won’t miss critical information as it is sent out.

Fantastic feature.  Here’s how to enable something similar for accounts you are most keen to hear from or are monitoring.

The problem with Twitter is there is just so much information.  If you are following a few hundred Twitter accounts you will easily miss hundreds or thousands of tweets if you don’t log-in to the website or open the app regularly throughout the day.

"STAR" means mobile notifications are on

“STAR” means mobile notifications are on

Imagine you’re keen to hear from @EFTM on twitter, our tweet goes out at 8pm, you were on Twitter at 6pm, and you’re on it again the following day at 10am, but you’ve missed that tweet from 8pm – because you’re not scrolling all the way back to where you last left off.

The answer is simple – open up the @EFTM profile on your mobile app, and press the STAR on the profile page.  On the Twitter website simply click the little “settings” cog next to the “Following” button.

Whenever that account tweets, you’ll get a notification on your mobile phone.

Turning on mobile notifications via the Twitter website

Turning on mobile notifications via the Twitter website

This is less than ideal for accounts that tweet a lot.  But for some high-profile personalities, politicians, celebrities, or brands – you may want to get the notification as a way of luring you back to Twitter and not missing what they have to say.

If you’re the competitive type, you might monitor your competitor accounts, or if you’re more interested in the infrequent tweets of an individual it works just as well there.

Give it a try, might improve the way Twitter works for you!