A friend recently asked me if I would type out a quick twitter-for-dummies list for him, like the 10 MUST-KNOW things when getting started with Twitter. I couldn’t stick to just 10–had to make it 12! Check out the list I’ve compiled below. Even if you’ve been using Twitter for a while, I’m sure you’ll learn some new things you didn’t already know.
Here are 12 essential tips to getting started with Twitter:
- Time. Set aside a certain amount of time each day to spend on Twitter, even if only 20 minutes. As with acquiring most new skills, using Twitter regularly is one of the best ways to get the hang of it.
- Tools. Using a tool like Hootsuite or TweetDeck can be very useful, once you’ve gotten the basic gist of using Twitter because they allow you to track your Twitter feed, @ replies, lists, keywords all in one place. For example, if you’re using Twitter to promote your graphic design business, you’ll want to set up some lists to track certain keywords where people might be looking for the type of services you offer so you can be there to respond and offer help.
- Hashtags. Use hashtags where applicable so people can find you and discover your content. If you are familiar with Instagram, you know how easily you can be discovered for certain keywords, just by including them in a hashtag with each post.
- Pros. Follow important people in your industry and a few of your favorite expert tweeters to see what they’re doing, how they tweet and to keep up with the best news and information in your industry and in the twitterverse.
- Engage. The best way to network well on Twitter is to engage with fellow tweeps–if you see someone asking for help and you know the answer, pipe up and join the conversation when the chance arises.
- Mashable Guide. Read Mashable’s Twitter Guide Book–it will help A LOT. This is the best twitter guide out there (that I’m aware of) and the one I used to get started.
- Twitter Search. Here’s some helpful information I prepared a while back to help you get started and use twitter search to find applicable people and conversations:Content Marketing on Twitter: Find your Niche and Build your Network
- Small Business. Read these really good, quick tips on using Twitter for small business:8 Essential Twitter Rules for Small Businesses
- Chat Parties. Check out a Twitter chat party for a topic or cause you’re interested in. They’re a quick, fun easy way to quickly network with a bunch of good, like-minded people on Twitter.
- Follow/Unfollow. Decide what approach you’ll adopt towards followers and following people back. Big whigs usually don’t follow anyone back, or very few people (e.g. top journalists, celebrities, etc.). I choose follow back everyone who follows me that doesn’t look like a spammer (you can usually tell if they don’t have their bio filled out or if they have a fake looking icon or if they don’t have many tweets). You’ll want to send out a few tweets and get your bio set up so people can see you’re legit.
- Follower Maintenance. If you go the route I do and follow everyone back, you’ll want to use a service like friendorfollow.com once a week or so to unfollow people who have followed you, that you’ve followed back, but who have unfollowed you. Make sense? A lot of people just follow a bunch of people to get followers and then unfollow them. And if you’re following a lot more than are following you, you have to wait before your can follow more people back… that’s why weekly/monthly maintenance of your followers is important.
- Lists. You can create both private and public lists to follow people. Examples of private lists: a list of your business competitors you want to keep tabs on, but don’t necessarily want to follow (you don’t have to follow someone to add them to a list). You can create public lists to organize all the people you follow, e.g. Top Designers, Design Businesses, News, Top Journalists, Influential, Inspirational, Music, Venues, etc.
There you have it. Which tips did you find most helpful? What tips would you add? Feel free to chip in in the comments below.
Post by Charissa Grandin