5 tips to getting started on Twitter

Twitter is now one of the biggest social media platforms around. Founded in 2006, it’s a fast moving, snappy tweeting, interactive hub that is favoured by busy entrepreneurs and celebrities alike… but for those very reasons it can also inundate those who are new to it.

If you’d like to make the most of this great social media platform, here are 5 tips to getting you started on Twitter.

#1: Set up your profile

TwitterWhen you first sign up to Twitter you will be asked to create a username (or ‘handle’). It’s the name you become known as and is prefixed with the ‘@’ sign. You only get 10 – 15 characters for this, so make sure you stick to your own name or business name. If they’re not available, look to add extra information, such as where you live or what you do (i.e. ‘UK’ or ‘VA’).

You then can move onto your bio. Again, you need to keep this short, as you only have 160 characters. Look to add keywords that your ideal clients may be searching for, for example. ‘admin’, ‘support’ and ‘assistant’.

Finally, make sure you upload your own photo for your profile image. This not only helps your profile look better (as the default ‘egg’ doesn’t look great!) but it also helps portray a professional image.

#2: Understand the toolbar

Along your top toolbar you have three options: ‘Home’ ‘Notifications’ and ‘Messages’. Home is where you will find the main feed. It will be pretty quiet when you first join, as you aren’t connected with many people – but bear in mind that it will get busier, the more people you follow! When someone interacts with you, it will notify you of this interaction in the ‘notification’ area. This include all replies, retweets, favourites and tweets to you. Finally, if they send you a private message, it will appear in your ‘Messages’ area. These are the only messages no one, except you, can see.

#3: Tweeting

TwitterAll posts in Twitter are called ‘tweets’. They’re short status updates of under 140 characters. Once you’ve opened your account, why not send out a tweet to announce your arrival onto Twitter? Although everyone will see your tweets, you don’t necessarily have to keep them ‘business-like’.

People love to know what others think, feel and do, so include some personable tweets that share a bit about you as an individual – what your hobbies are, books you’re reading, places you’re visiting etc. You can intermingle these with the more business orientated tweets, such as what you do, who you help and what you love about your work day etc.

Finally, look to keep the balance between the different types of tweets healthy. Look to only post ‘salesy’ type tweets a 1/3 of the time – and keep the rest as pure interaction and entertainment etc.

#4: Find people to follow

Now you’ve sent out your first tweet celebrate! Share the details of your new Twitter account on your other social media accounts and invite them to follow you.

Twitter FollowersYou can also use the search bar at the top of the screen to search for people you may know and use keywords to find people in your niche etc. Another way to find people is using the ‘#Discover’ button on the top toolbar. Here you’ll be given the option to either select ‘who to follow’ or the ‘popular accounts’.

#5: Get involved!

The main thing with Twitter is to actually get involved. Look to start a conversation, reply to others and generally interact! Look to retweet and reply to those tweets that interest you. A retweet (prefixed with #RT) is where you share someone else’s comment with your followers. You can also highlight those tweets that are your favourites, by hitting the ‘star’ icon underneath them.

You can also send a tweet to a specific person, by selecting their profile, selecting the cog icon and clicking on the ‘tweet to’ button – it will put their username at the front of your tweet – but remember, this type of tweet will still be seen by everyone. If you want to private message someone, you have the option to ‘send a direct message’ within that same cog icon.

Twitter may be fast moving but it’s also a great tool for building your visibility and gaining new clients. These 5 tips will help you get started on building a profile and finding people to connect with – but to get the most from it you really do need to just get stuck in!

Are you ready to jump into Twitter? Have you been putting it off and now want to get started? Maybe you’ve been using it for a while and have some great Twitter tips to share with those who are new to it? Why not share your tips and advice on Twitter in the comments box below… and remember to follow me on Twitter too!

Images courtesy of Stuart Miles (loud hailer image) & jscreationzs (social interaction image)/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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