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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Simple Steps For Twitter Success - Newbies

Want to market yourself, company, brand, products, services ______ (whatever) on Twitter and not sure how?

Keep hearing all this buzz about Twitter and don't get why you should care?

You should care because as far as I can tell, Twitter is insanely effective FREE advertising & networking which can lead to colleague relationships you never expected.

I've won give-a-ways on twitter, gotten web design advice, made friends, even interacted with celebrities. It's freakin awesome even if you're not using it for business.

However, if you don't understand how to jump into twitter... Set up an account and never use it, obviously it won't do you any good.

I suggest setting up your profile on the web but after that there are many apps for your phone to interface with Twitter (which can be more convenient for some than using the website). I like the free iPhone app Twitter offers for the most part.

Here are the simple steps to making Twitter work for you.

1. Sign up (for free) and pick your username - something that represents you or your brand. Be sure to give it a lot of thought because after you have built up followers it will be confusing for them if you change it.

2. Upload a picture and customize the design BEFORE building up who you follow & followers. No reason to put the cart before the horse... have a nice profile established first. There are many easy template programs that allow anyone to have a spiffy profile. That generic egg picture that shows up by default does nothing for your image. Even if you don't want your avatar to be YOU, it can be a logo or anything representing you.

3. Search for friends that are already on Twitter. You might be surprised!

4. Search for more to follow. The more you follow, the more interesting your twitter stream (or feed) will be. If you only follow 2 people, you're not going to get ANYTHING out of this. Use the twitter search on all the topics related to your interests, your business, etc. Most any large business, company, etc. has a twitter account (though not all know how to work it).
The more you follow, the more will follow you. (And if no one follows you, all this work will be for nothing.)

5. KEEP SEARCHING and refining who you follow. Look at who your friends follow and who esteemed colleagues follow. You can browse interest topics and sometimes Twitter even has some good suggestions for you.

6. INTERACT with who you follow - A LOT (as least as much as you post about your topics). Retweet posts that you like and others will be more likely to retweet your posts in the future.

If you are just spouting your ads, message, blog posts, feelings without ever responding to others, no one will want to follow you. When they read your tweets, all they will see is "STUFF ABOUT ME... ME ME ME ME ME! I don't care about you, read about ME!"

7. Learn the lingo... Here are some terms that should definitely be understood:

On Friday's, #FF (Follow Friday) is a good way to promote people you follow (and in turn, you will get promoted too). Follow Friday is like a great big twitter love-in.

Hashtags - The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet.

DM - Direct Message (rather than go through @ replies, send a private message to someone).

@ - this symbol precedes a twitter username and turns it into a link to that person's profile. When you reply to someone on twitter, it's called an @ mention.

Favorites - any tweet you see that you like and want to reference later can be added to your favorites by clicking the "favorite" star on the tweet.

RT - Retweet - sharing someone else's tweet.

Trending Topics - topics being discussed most currently on twitter.

After you've been using it a while and feel comfortable with Twitter, check out all the MANY tools available that integrate with Twitter. (IF you're ready to learn and get more out of the experience).

You can also start organizing everyone you follow into lists (when you follow a lot like I do, lists are essential!)

And hey if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them!

Happy Tweeting!

@niellemc

3 comments:

  1. Some excellent tips!

    I find the biggest thing that newbies don't do is to simply follow people (and then interact with them, as you say). How will they know about you if you don't go looking for them?

    If there's someone you really enjoy following, then you probably have something in common with folks who also follow that person. (wow, clumsiest sentence ever) I have met some great folks by perusing followers of Felicia Day, for instance. We turned out to all be fans of cute sassy chicks with honest-to-goddess geek cred, and then it turned out we mutually liked other stuff, too.

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  2. yeah I've stumbled across all kinds of cool geeks (like yourself! :) just because of following people like Felicia day.
    Thanks for your comments!

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  3. I wish I had a dollar for every person who said, "Twitter is lame and boring." Well... you're lame and boring because you chose who to follow! But of course I never SAY that to them. :)

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