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Twitter for Beginners

Submitted by on Monday, 27 October 2008One Comment

So, you’ve heard of twitter, and want to give it a try… you may have even already taken a look around and thought to yourself “What the$*(H????”.  Why do I care that

@geoffness in some creative meetings – no one sees eye to eye – you just have to leave it and come back at it later in the day or tomorrow.

@MattRissell I’m amazed at how much wisdom people over the age of 70 have… Even if they don’t know what Twitter is :)

Well…. you probably don’t.  The first time I went on twitter was over a year ago at the suggestion of Jeremy Pepper, I joined looked at the random crap in the timelines and just didn’t get it.  I re-joined a few months later, and was suddenly addicted to the wonderfulness that is twitter.  For those interested in joining the addiction, here is what you should know.

What

The easiest way to explain what twitter is is with this video from common craft:

Why?

Well, twitter is good for more than just random commentary on what people are eating and where they are…. Some of the best tweets and things about twitter include:

  • Links to great articles… lots of people only link to their own stuff, but I tend to prefer those who just provide links to great stuff they are reading.
  • News before the news… there was an earthquake in Cincinnati a few months ago.  It took the news about an hour to report on it (they have to get confirmations, etc).  I thought that maybe I had dreamed it (it happened in the middle of the night), but quickly logged in to twitter and found out what had happened.
  • Humor… Lots of people will tweet something funny they find.
  • Stay in the Know… Twitter is a great way to stay in the know on what is going on.  Scanning your stream every few hours will let you know what people are up to.
  • Building Connections… You can “meet” people on twitter much faster than in real life.  It is a great way to find people with similar interests in your area or field.
  • Asking for Help… When I was looking for an SEO firm I twittered, and got TONs of great recommendations. BUT be careful how often you use your social network for these things.
  • Build an audience… more and more people are using twitter to build an audience for their blogs, their causes, their companies, whatever.  If you are using twitter for this purpose BE CAREFUL – you don’t want to be a dirty spammer.

How?

To get started go to twitter and create an account. These are the next steps:

  1. Most people on twitter use their real names as their username (eg. I am @kristaneher) – using your real name will make it easier for people to find you.
  2. Fill in your profile info – many people won’t follow you unless they know a little about who you are and why you might be interesting to them.
  3. Upload a picture – I would recommend not changing your picture too often, as many people scan their twitter feeds looking for the pictures of the people they are interested in – so choose wisely :)
  4. Start following people (see below for who to follow.  Don’t come out of the gate following hundreds of people you don’t know or have nothing in common with.

Who to Follow on Twitter

  • Start with people you know!!! You probably already know at least a few people on twitter.  Start by following them (they will likely follow you back) and try @ ing them (sending a public message intended for them). For example @kristaneher – I just read your blog post and this is my first tweet…
  • The twitter elite/popular – following these people will keep you “in the know” on the broader twitter community.  You can find a list of
  • Do a tweetscan of terms that you are interested in…. it could be socialmedia, PR or groundhogs… you’ll find other people who have tweeted with that word…. this can be a great way to make initial connections with people who have similar interests.
  • Look at who follows who – Once on twitter you’ll see on the right hand side who else that person follows.
  • Look at who the people you know are talking to (or @ing).  This is a great way to expand your circle as you will probably have things in common with them as well.

HAVE FUN

Twitter is supposed to be a fun, social place, so don’t take it too seriously.  That being said, everything you say on twitter will be out there, on the net, potentially forever, so keep that in mind.

Have any other thoughts/tips/experiences on getting started with twitter???  Share them here!!!

One Comment »

  • obelisko said:

    How Can Twitter grow my Spa business?

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