8 Tips for Getting Started on Twitter

1. Start tweeting straight away
After signing up you need to start tweeting. This helps people who visit your profile page to see your tweets and then decide if they are interested in following you or not

2. What should I tweet about?
You should tweet about things that interest you and things that would interest others. Tweeting
only about the things you are doing day-to-day isn't compelling reading for others. Tweeting links to interesting articles you have read online is a great way to share information with your Twitter network. Using something like Tweet Burner or Tiny URL is handy because it cuts down the characters you need to devote to a URL in your tweet.

3. Start following
You need to start following people so that they know you are on Twitter. When you follow someone, Twitter sends them an email. They can then follow you in return. This is a very common way to start building your Twitter network.
Once you are following a bunch of people you can start to use their tweets. Often their tweets will contain an @
username (this means their tweet is a reply to someone). If you click on that @username you will see the person's Twitter profile. You can then have a read of their tweets and decide if you want to follow them.

4. Twitter search
Do a twitter search for things you are interested in. For examle, I'm about to buy a Canon EOS 450D camera. So recently I did a Twitter search for "EOS 450D" to find people who are talking about this camera. I followed some and started a dialogue with them about the pros and cons of the camera.

5. Browse through Twitter Packs
Twitter Packs is a great wiki that lists Twitterers by topic and by location. For example, there is a Twitter pack (i.e. list) of people who are school teachers, small business owners, and user experience designers (that's me!). There's bound to be something that interests you.

6. Google search
Lots of people have written blogs about interesting people to follow on Twitter. So do a google search for Twitter + (keywords you are interested in). For example: try a search for twitter + web design.

7. Send a direct message when someone follows you
Before long, people will start to follow you. I recommend sending a welcome message to your new followers. Visit their profile page and click on their "message" link in their right hand column. This allows you to send a direct message to just that person.

8. Use third party Twitter tools
Once you get started on Twitter, there's a bunch of third party Twitter tools that you can use to enhance your experience, such as Tweet Later, Friend or Follow, and Qwitter. I'll be posting about these and others next week. In the meantime, tell me if you are already using any Twitter third party tools in the comments below.


Ben Rowe said...

Terrific post Suze,

One more suggestion - get a desktop Twitter client so that you can run twitter in the background without actually having to go there in the browser.

I use twitterize (on a Mac), but there are a whole lot of clients that you can get for free - really improves the twitter experience.

A warning though - it can be a little distracting, and can aid to procrastination.

Stephen Scott said...

Twhirl is a fab little desktop twitter app, allowing multiple account to be open at once and a whole host of other goodies. www.twhirl.org

Craig Thomler said...

Hi Suze,

One key factor about Twitter is to tell people your Twitter handle so they can follow you.

Unfortunately I can't see it publicised in your blog....

(yes I follow you already)