17 Things To Know Before You Join Twitter

28 Sep

http://phiredesign.deviantart.com/art/Twitter-Icon-103468482Does it seem like everyone is on Twitter?  As much as the media or your company’s social media manager would like you to believe, everyone in the world hasn’t yet embraced Twitter.  That doesn’t mean you get a pass – Twitter is growing at a phenomenal rate and there’s still a chance to make a splash.

  1. Add an icon. Once you upload an icon stick with it.  Twitter users ID tweets from the icon even more than a username.
  2. Personalize your background. You can have fun with this and change as often as you like.  Not a deal breaker if you use a default background but there’s always an opportunity to advertise your brand.  Don’t think you have a brand because this is a personal account? Well, you’re wrong because you’re always advertising your personal brand. 24/7/365.
  3. Fill out your bio. Whether it says your title @ work or something like “mom who loves ice cream.” If you don’t identify yourself, tweeps won’t follow you fearing you’re a spambot or marketer.
  4. Retweet. If you want to get followed back by a power user, retweet their content 3  – 4 times a week. They’ll start seeing your name and reward you with a follow.
  5. Say “Thank You.”  If someone RTs your link or suggests your account to follow, say thank you.  You can do this once a day or once a week.  Less is more in this case, but a thank you is greatly appreciated.
  6. Use your real name. If you can’t use it for your handle, then definitely put it in your bio.
  7. Make your account public. If people can’t find/follow you, they can’t find your links.
  8. Follow people you find interesting. Sounds easy, right? Ashton Kutcher has well over 2 million followers and most of what he tweets is nonsense.
  9. Don’t be afraid to unfollow. It happens.  You follow someone because everyone follows them or they had a random funny tweet.  2 months later they pop up in your stream and you think “what the hell was I thinking?” It doesn’t matter what you were thinking.  Just click unfollow.  As long as you’re not doing it on a daily basis (or refollowing people after you’ve unfollowed) there’s nothing spammy about it.
  10. Don’t autofollow or send auto direct messages. Just don’t do it – even if you’re a spammer or a marketer.  It’s the most annoying behavior.
  11. Don’t worry about the total number of followers you have. Aim for quality, not quantity.
  12. Sign up for directories. You can add yourself to as many or as few as you like, but the more you publicize your account the more traffic you’ll get to it.
  13. Use Twitter apps. Thanks to open source there are so many great apps out there to find users, find out which of your users are valuable, etc.  The best site to explore these apps is oneforty.com. Nice design, ratings, some reviews.  Very up-to-date.
  14. Tweet other relevant links you find around the web, or through other tweeps. And remember: Any link you tweet is pretty much seen as an endorsement from you, so don’t betray your followers’ trust by tweeting willy-nilly.
  15. Throw in personal tweets, so that people know there’s a person behind that link machine. What’s a personal tweet? “It’s raining cats and dog in NYC.” “My cat’s breath smells like cat food.”
  16. Have conversations. People like to follow tweeps who they feel they can engage with.
  17. Don’t expect the celebrities or news organizations to follow you back or engage with you. There are some that engage more than others, but in general these accounts tend to be operated by a variety of people who rarely interact. @Alyssa_Milano is never going to return my follow and that’s just fine.  I still enjoy reading her feed.

3 Responses to “17 Things To Know Before You Join Twitter”

  1. zquiet 06/20/2013 at 9:33 am #

    Hi there, after reading this awesome article i am also happy to share my familiarity here with colleagues.


  1. Tweets that mention 17 Things To Know Before You Join Twitter « Miss Social Media -- Topsy.com - 09/28/2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lyzl, Nicole Perri, Marya C. Alexander, Alyshia Hansen, Tony Hastings and others. Tony Hastings said: RT @Nixie: 17 Things To Know Before You Join Twitter: http://wp.me/pOXOR-a […]

  2. How To Deal With Twitter Slander « Miss Social Media - 02/16/2011

    […] said before that one of the rules you should know before joining Twitter is to not fear the unfollow. It’s really ok, despite what automated responses may say about […]

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