Sunday, March 15, 2009

Twitter for Newbies


I know a whole bunch of people who started Twitter accounts, tweeted once or twice (or zero times) and never returned to it. They don't know what they're missing - this is one of the most effective ways to network across the globe.

I started a Twitter account eight months before I ever posted an update. I thought it was weird that they wanted to know what I w
as doing (Walking my dog? Like, who cares?). And when I looked at other people's pages, they made little sense (because I was only seeing half of their conversations).

I heard so much about why I should use Twitter for business, but it was confusing. So many @'s and RT's and #'s - what the heck? I thought everyone knew the special Twitter code but me!

Well, I have come a long way with using Twitter, and I want to share what I learned with all of you twerps who aren't using it yet.

Here are a few simple rules that will help you use this weird Twitter thing:

1) Who are you?
When you create your profile, be sure to give an accurate and compelling description of what you do - your career and your interests - and give it a little personality too. When you scan through Twitter users, their description will pop up. Be interesting! If we share interests or if you seem interesting, people will follow you.

2) Be visible

Nothing pegs you as a novice more than not having a profile pic. Upload one right away. People will stumble across your profile - even if you aren't active. An interesting profile statement and pic will invite them to follow you, and on Twitter, that's what you want! Followers = influence, and in the business world, especially, influence is what we want.

3) Follow!
The most important rule of Twitter is to be interested! I started by following a few of my followers back. Then you can start interacting with them and the Twitter experience starts to make more sense.
A good percentage of the people you follow will hopefully follow you back. This is a great opportunity! By being compelling, you will entice more people to follow you. It's a great platform builder!

4) Seek out like-minded others
To find other people to follow, use and key in things you're interested in. Follow some of the people you find.

5) Connect to Facebook
If you're on Facebook, by all means, use this app to connect your FB status to Twitter. When I connected the two, it all clic
ked for me. If you're a blogger, you can also add your Twitter feed to your blog. Why do this? If people read your blog and they are also on Twitter, you can increase your number of followers. {Note: I learned Twitter this way, but I don't recommend doing it - you will drive your FB friends crazy! Keep them separate, but the app gives the ability to connect your Twitter to your FB status by typing #fb at the end of a tweet you want to post to Facebook.}

6) What do you tweet about?
Nothing turns people off more than someone constantly pushing products or self-promoting blog posts. Keep it interesting. My tweets are a mixture of what I'm doing, watching, buying, products I like, what's in the news, or just my stream of consciousness - as any of you who follows me knows quite well.

7) Mobile Tweeting
iPhones and BlackBerrys have Twitter applications you can
add and then you can tweet from anywhere. I go between TwitterBerry and BlackBird. You can also tweet via text.

8) Managing Twitter
Installing a program like TweetDeck will help you manage your Twitter connections, especially when you start following a lot of people.

Since there is no reason to be afraid of Twitter any longer, get tweetin' already, everyone! People want to know what you're doing!! Enquiring minds want to know!

Check me out here:

@ - Precedes a user name link when using Twitter (I am @kristenkaleal)

RT - Retweet. When someone tweets something interesting, that's the way to give them proper credit and share it with your followers. For instance:

kkaleal RT @twitterusername Pretend I'm sharing something interesting here.
That's me retweeting what @twitterusername said.

# - hashtag - this helps you follow topics on Twitter when you use

And if you need further explanation, watch this!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Great article for newbies like me! Very helpful!