One of my oldest friends finally joined Twitter this month and admitted that she didn’t have a clue what to do, so I thought I’d be useful and do a little guide to how to use Twitter. To some of you this will be flipping obvious, but I’m going to throw in a few tips that are relevant to blogging and Twitter too that may help those who have already nailed the basics with Twitter, who might be looking for some new ideas.
So, apologies in advance to anyone who thinks this is all flipping obvious stuff, but I hope someone will find it useful…
Awesome Twitter Illustration from Edwards McGowan
1. What should my Twitter name be?
First off be sensible with your Twitter handle choice, short is better as it takes up fewer characters and something simple so people can spell it. Simple handles make it easier to network with too. Make the choice early on, what’s the aim of your account? Is it personal, professional or both? Tailor your username and content accordingly.
Blogger Tip: you might think you want to keep your personal and bigger accounts separate, but think about realistically do you have time for two? I have everything in one account because it means I can make one account awesome instead of (previously) three accounts and struggle to develop them all equally.
If you’re going to have multiple accounts, I recommend making sure they are completely unlinked too, if they have similar names, it makes it confusing for people when they are searching for you.
2. What do I write in my Twitter profile?
Make sure your upload a profile photo ASAP, people don’t trust ‘eggs’ on Twitter and it doesn’t look professional. Doesn’t need to be a photo of you, but choose something relevant and recognisable.
Fill in your profile fully, include a location, even if it’s vague. Think about how you want people to be able to find you and what keywords are relevant to that. This is your first impression on Twitter make the most of it. Your profile description and location are how people will find you to follow you, so it’s important that it’s accurate.
Blogger Tip: Can you believe that some bloggers still don’t include their URL here?! It’s essential if you want to promote your blog on Twitter. Why wouldn’t you? If you’ve got space add your Facebook page too in shortened URL form for extra clicks.
3. Who can read my Tweets?
If you’ve got a public profile which I would strongly recommend for anyone with anything to promote, everyone in the world can see your tweets and some of your history. So, be wise about what you say and think about how you come across to others on your Twitter. If you have a private account, only people who follow you can see your content, which may be more appropriate for people wanting personal accounts.
Blogger Tip: remember that potential employers and brands/ PRs who may work with you will check your Tweets. You may want to be careful what you make public! Over sharing, swearing, brand slandering and bitchiness will reflect badly. On the other hand, if that is truly, honestly you, keep doing it but don’t complain about it if no one wants to be associated with you.
4. What should I tweet?
Initially, think of your Twitter posts as instant status updates as on Facebook. But remember that you want people to be interested in what you have to say, so maybe avoid overdoing mundane and over sharing tweets on a regular basis unless this is what you’re looking for!
When you get going you can use the @ mention to engage in conversation with others, DM for private messages and Retweets to share tweets you love. A good balance of interaction and original posts is a good thing to aim for.
Blogger Tip: Retweeting and @ mentioning brands and other bloggers is a great way to get noticed and to start a conversation with someone who could ultimately become a follower and help you grow your Twitter and personal network. Don’t be afraid to @ mention brands, even if it’s something negative, it’s great to get involved with brands and make the most of this communication channel for this.
I hope that helped some of you and I apologise to anyone who found that completely stating the blooming obvious, but I hope it is useful to someone.
What tips would you share about Twitter?
Is there anything that you’d like to know about Twitter?
Let me know your thoughts and ideas in a comment or Tweet me @JayneJRead