You may have heard of Twitter, but asking yourself, how and why would I use it? There are a number of reasons why you would join the Twitter community, the most common being to meet new people, to keep in touch with friends and family or as a promotional tool for your business website, products or services. But, for those of you wanting to know how to get started on Twitter, I have come up with an introductory 14 step guide covering the basics.
- If you have not already done so, go to Twitter and sign up for an account
- Pick a suitable username, preferably your real name or business / brand name if representing a company.
- Once signed up, add your name (or company name), one line bio and a link to your website.
- Upload a picture of yourself or company logo.
- Customise your Twitter profile selecting suitable images and design colours,
- Do your first tweet. Don’t make it too long though as you only have a maximum of 140 characters.
- Browse and follow friends, colleagues and interesting people. Even browse and follow their followers and the people they are following.
- Participate in conversations by sharing interesting tweets. You can easily do this by adding RT before the tweet followed by @(their username). You will also see a retweet button below every tweet.
- You may not always want to visit the Twitter website to send or reply to tweets so an efficient alternative is to download a Twitter client. From there, you can create searches based on your name or company, form groups of friends, colleagues and industry people and reply to tweets. Two popular clients include TweetDeck and Twhirl.
- There may be times when you want to share a picture with your followers. Twitpic is an easy tool for sharing pictures, you just log in using your twitter account details and upload your photo. It’s that simple!
- Find even more people to follow using Twitter people search, Mr. Tweet (a site that recommends people for you to follow), directories such as WeFollow and Twellow.
- As you only have a maximum of 140 characters for every tweet, a useful tool that will save you space is an url shortener. I tend to use bit.ly for shortening my urls.
- Let people know that you are on Twitter by adding widgets to your blog or website. You can create a Twitterfeed to send new blog posts directly to Twitter, add widgets to list your latest tweets or people mentioning you or your company.
- Now all that’s left for you to do is to start tweeting, but remember to keep them interesting and relevant and get involved in conversations by retweeting and sending plenty of @ replies.
Feel free to follow us on Twitter @blogwebsites and share any other Twitter tools you use by leaving a comment below.
Further Twitter resources to help you get started: