You’re probably feeling an initial resistance to Twitter, even after getting to know what Twitter is. After all, you don’t know any of the jargon, you don’t know where to start and you’re probably wondering whether it’s a waste of your time. You’ve actually got nothing to worry about, and as long as you stick to the following guidelines and chat with a stranger, you’ll be tweeting like a pro in no time.
Setting up your account
Head over to Twitter and click on the big yellow “Sign Up” button. Enter your all the required fields and set your preferences. When filling in your username, use the closest variation of your name that you can and not some crazy invented name. People feel a more personal connection when interacting with someone using their real name, and might not trust you as much or interact with you if your username is Iluvbeer69.
Let’s move on to your profile. Here, add a nice picture of yourself and show the Twitterverse who you are. Next up, add your location and website if you have one, and write in a little something about yourself in the bio section. Remember, people interact with people. This will also help you connect with like-minded people and engage in meaningful conversations.
Lastly, go to the design tab and choose a background, or head over to Themeleon for some alternatives. Your Twitter profile is all bout you. Use it to have fun, express yourself and show the world who you really are!
Become a follower
Your profile’s set up, now it’s time to start following some people. You can click on the find people tab and find people, companies and celebrities you know are on Twitter or you could make use of Twitter directories. I use Wefollow, Twellow, and Justtweetit. These sites are useful in that they let you follow people according to your location and your interests. Follow and observe the people that interest you the most and pay attention to their tweets.
Join the conversation
You should have plenty tweets showing up in your feed now. See if anything really interests you, and interact wherever you can. Don’t be afraid to reply to tweets and engage with people. If someone has a question, and you know the answer, go ahead and share it. Type one of your favourite topics in the search bar and dive into the conversation. Is there a tweet that you really enjoyed? Retweet it, add a comment to it and share it with your followers. Retweeting is a form of acknowledgement on Twitter, and everybody loves to be retweeted.
Use a Twitter Client
Using the Twitter website can be a little hard to manage. There are a few Twitter clients out there that make Twitter a lot easier, by letting you have more control of your feeds. While there are many Twitter specific desktop applications, there are many clients that provide the integration of the major social networks into one platform, the most popular ones being Tweetdeck (a cross-platform desktop client), HootSuite (a web-based application), and Seesmic (a web-based and desktop client.)
With an ever-growing amount of internet usage coming from mobile phones, and most of that usage directed towards social media, there’s no doubt that you’ll be tweeting on the run. All it takes is a mobile Twitter client, a 3G or WiFi connection and you’re ready to tweet from anywhere. While there are plenty third party Twitter applications for most smartphone platforms, Twitter has released official apps for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android.
Now that you’ve started following people and you’re engaging with them, keep at it. Initially things will be a little slow, but the more you interact, the more followers you’ll gain, even if it’s just one really good tweet a day, or a retweeted link.