For those of you new to Twitter this article will serve as a “Quick Start” guide to getting up and running on Twitter. Hope you find the information helpful!
Twitter and other Social Networking applications are all about finding common ground, building a sense of community and shared learning. In order to have an impact on the “Twitterverse,” you must build a portfolio of “followers,” usually comprised of other users having an interest in your tweets. There are some critical things you must do with your twitter account immediately to position yourself for success. At the top of your Twitter Profile Page click on “Settings.” Then review the following:
- Name — Insert your real name, when people visit your Twitter Profile they will recognize you immediately.
- Your Username — If your goal is to brand yourself with other twitter users I recommend creating a username that quickly identifies who you are. For example my username is “MikeMcCurry.” This username also becomes your URL for your public profile. (i.e.http://twitter.com/MikeMcCurry)
- Your Bio — This area of your profile is critically important as it is the first place other users will learn about you. Most Twitter users are looking for a connection. This is your opportunity to define who you are. My Bio reads as follows:
“Creative thinker by nature,Event Mgr by trade,Harley Rider, Musician/Songwriter loves gadgets,bears football & wants to network! Social Media rocks!”
- More Info URL — If you publish a personal blog, or web page put the URL for that site here. It will give users additional resources to learn more about you.
- Your Security Settings — At the bottom of the page is a checkbox for “Protect my Updates.” If you check this box then no one on Twitter will be able to see your posts without your permission. If you wish to remain anonymous then this is useful :). If you want your Twitter voice to be heard then people must have access to your tweets. In my own experience if I come across someone whose updates are protected I do not bother following them, because I gain no value. Most of my Twitter colleagues have a similar philosophy.
- Your Picture — Research has shown many Twitter users are more likely to “follow” someone with a high quality profile picture of themselves. If you are using your Twitter account for business this is a really good idea. Crazy and unusual pictures, or suggestive poses may send the wrong message to prospective followers, depending on your business objective. To add your picture click on the “picture” tab and then select a picture from your computer hard drive to use. The file must be JPG, GIF, or PNG and a maximum size of 700 kb.
- Find Followers — The best place to start is to find family, friends and business colleagues on Twitter. At the top of the Twitter page is a menu selection called “find friends.” Click on that and then type in the first and last name of someone you want to locate. When their name comes up in search result list find the appropriate individual and then click “follow.” If they know you they will most likely follow back. Repeat the same steps to find more users. I recommend a directory that is quite useful to find Twitter users with targeted interests. It is called “Twellow.” Vist this site as it will provide you lots of choices for finding followers. You may also list yourself in this directory for free, which is great exposure for you.
- Post Tweets — After you acquire some followers the best way to make connections and build a following on Twitter is to begin posting tweets. Click on the “home” button at the top of the Twitter page which will transition you to the place where you post tweets and review received tweets from other Twitter followers. Review some tweets from other people first to become acquainted with how the tweet system works. The one rule always is your tweets must be 140 characters or less. The Twitter application will warn you when your post exceeds the character limit. If nothing else Twitter will teach you to write powerful statements with very few words, which is a valuable skill!
- TweetDeck — A wonderful free software application is available on the web significantly enhancing your Twitter experience. It is called TweetDeck. After downloading and installing this software here is a great article providing helpful tips for using the software.
I hope you become as excited as I am about Twitter and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this article. I welcome your feedback.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!