So you’ve been encouraged onto Twitter, signed up and created an account. Now what?
If you are brand new to social media, it can all seem a bit daunting, so here’s our top tips to get started…
- Upload a picture – There’s mixed opinion about whether business accounts should post a company logo or a photo of an individual, but everyone agrees that a picture of an egg (Twitter’s default) is a turn-off. You’ve joined Twitter to join the virtual cocktail party. Be aware of the dress code.
- Write a bio – While tweets are restricted to 140 characters, Twitter bios are a slightly more generous 160 characters. Continuing with the cocktail party analogy, think of your bio as how you would like to be introduced to people you would like to connect with… so that conversation doesn’t come to an abrupt end after your introduction!
- Find some peeps (or tweeps as they’re known on Twitter) to follow – Start with the individuals who encouraged you to sign up to Twitter and LinkedIn connections who have given Twitter usernames on their profiles. Assuming you have good relationships with the people you’re LinkedIn to, these follows will result in a trusted and forgiving network during your initial “lurk and learn”.
- Start tweeting – Silence is not golden on Twitter, but do be mindful that tweets are public and it’s difficult to delete your digital footprint. Think “old rules, new tools” – while you wouldn’t go to a physical cocktail party and not utter a single word the whole evening, you equally wouldn’t take centre-stage, grab a microphone, and start broadcasting your dirty laundry to everyone!
- Join the conversation – All means of accessing Twitter, be it the website itself or one of the various apps that sit on top of it, have reply functionality. (Confusingly for newcomers, this capability is officially termed mentions). If you see a question that you can help answer, or a tweet you have a cheeky retort for, hit reply (or mention) and join in. As @benasmith recently tweeted: “It’s called social media. Social. That requires interaction. Acknowledge another party. Don’t broadcast. Engage!”
Enjoy the party If I’ve missed your favourite newbie tip, please leave your advice below…