After looking at Google Analytics (and seeing some traffic for ‘basic twitter tips’ queries) I’ve decided to write a quick into for new users. I’ve written a post on Twitter tips for companies but it doesn’t get down to some of the granular level necessary for new users who may be feeling overwhelmed.
Here’s the real down and dirty version for brand new users. I’ve presented it in a step-by-step process starting with signing up for a new account. If you already have an account you might find my “Twitter 102” post more helpful. Either way, I love hearing from you if this is helpful or if you hate it.
Sign up for an account
- Visit https://twitter.com/signup to sign up for a new account.
- Enter your full name and/or company name.
- Pick a simple account name. (@yourname is a lot better than @firstinitiallastname25767676. Not only does it look less “spammy” but it will be a lot easier for people to remember when they are search for you AND while they are in conversation with you online.)
- Pick a password
- Enter your email address (Note: you’re only allowed one Twitter account per email address)
Find sources that interest you
- Account tab:
- Always make sure the “Protect my tweets” box is Unchecked.
- Notices tab:
- turn off ‘new follower alert’ (it will get old soon).
- Profile tab:
- Add a picture of your choice – keep it professional and something you’ll want to keep for a long time. People will come to recognize your thumbnail picture as often as your name so consider how you want to brand yourself.
- Update the location if you choose.
- Update the web address – Your blog address is good, a Twitter-specific landing page is best. Note: using your Twitter address is not very helpful.
- Update your bio. Keep it professional but add some personality. Be keyword considerate but don’t use it just for keyword jamming.
- Design tab
- Update the background with one of Twitters’s images or, better yet, update with your own. A more customized page will not only help differentiate you but can be utilized to provide more information about yourself and at a minimum shows the “Twitterverse” your dedication to Twitter.
Using the link in the top right there are several methods for finding people to follow.
- Browse Suggestions (identical to step #2, above)
- Find friends (Scan your contactst for friends/coworkers, etc.)
- Invite by Email – invite specific people to join Twitter.
- Find on Twitter – Search for what interests you (i.e. SEM, bicycles, online marketing, etc)
- Consider why you are on Twitter. What is your goal of using Twitter and who do you want to follow you? Write your Tweets as if they are reading – eventually they will.
- Do you want to network for a new job, keep up on industry news, or simply discuss your favorite hobby? Whatever you decide, make sure your goal in mind.
- Use Twitter as an opportunity to “sell” yourself – it’s a way to demonstrate your knowledge to potential hiring managers while they passively listen.
- Spammers aside, if someone engages you and follows you it probably means they’re interested in what you’re discussing. You should follow them back as they’ll probably post similar content you might be interested in.
- Just like in normal social situations, relationships take time to develop. Do not expect someone to open up just because you follow them.
That’s the quick and dirty version of it. Like most things in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Feel free to drop a comment below or, better yet, shoot me a note @MattSolar. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how I can improve this post or your Twitter experience!