Many people have difficulty knowing where to start with twitter and can easily become discouraged because the interface is not intuitive and you can end up shouting in a barrel!
Last February I gave a workshop on twitter which made these suggestions, and you may find them a useful starting point.
- Have a strategy you will implement and MEASURE. If you are using twitter for marketing, for example, a major part of your strategy will involve getting people off twitter onto the phone or your website (or both!)
Here’s the post on having a Twitter Strategy
- Find the people you know on twitter and follow/engage with them (upload email addresses is quickest way). You can practice talking to them first and they will be more forgiving (and will introduce you to others). Introductions are essential to good twitter use for individuals.
Here is a screencast on how to find the people you know on Twitter.
- Make sure you can see all the channels on the twitter site – your home stream, profile(with your details and tweets), mentions (replies), Direct Messages (in and out) and Favourites. See: Twitter: Why Some People Give Up
- Listen (use ‘find people’ and advanced search on http://search.twitter.com) so you don’t need to read everything (you don’t)
- Set up your profile – inhabit your real estate – including your username, photo, profile text (160 characters) a link (make a ‘twitter landing page’ to link to) and your background image. The background is least important because many people won’t see it (because they use twitter on another platform or mobile phone)
- Share – your content and other people’s as relevant to your target (use URL shorteners)
- Engage using replies, retweets and direct messages, but learn about the etiquette first!
If you’re interested in some of these ideas further then you can see the presentation slides here: To Tweet or Not to Tweet slidedeck
I’m planning to run some screencasts explaining more about each of these ideas shortly.