twitter 101

5 Ways to Get Started on Twitter

By Communications

A friend of mine is new to Twitter. In fact, he has a new job and as part of the job has been asked to become active in using it to help promote the business. He needs to fast-track to success on Twitter so just for him (hey, this is for my friend Tom, not for you! Stop reading this!) I’ve put together a list of five things Tom can do to get rolling with his Twitter account:

1. Create a bio that more fully tells us who he is and what he does. The bio should include his location and keywords about the business he’s in.

2. Increase the number of people he follows. Since Tom’s business is based in Charlottesville, Va. he should start there. I’ve done some of the work for him, using Tweepz to grab the people in Charlottesville who are active Twitter users.

3. Integrate his Twitter account into his other social platforms. For example, on LinkedIn, include his Twitter handle in the last name field and where LinkedIn lists Twitter in the profile fields as I’ve done with mine below:

4. Start tweeting! Yes this seems obvious but Tom has yet to interact with Twitter followers or the users he’s following, nor has he tweeted about what he’s doing or what he’s thinking.  Be thoughtful. Be interesting. Link to content you think others might find of interest. Be helpful and responsive.

5. Use a management tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. It’s really cumbersome to try to manage a Twitter account when you begin following more than a few users and more than a few begin to follow and interact with you. It is also nice to be able to see, on one screen, your @ replies and direct messages in addition to the steady stream of updates from your friends. Schedule at least an hour a day to log in, catch up and engage with the Twitterverse.

After he gets the hang of this Twitter business, Tom can gauge his success by measuring his Twitter effectiveness using Klout.

Welcome to Twitter, Tom (and the rest of you who are new to tweets); we wish you much success!