Top 5 Steps after Joining Twitter

Posted on 22. Mar, 2009 by in Web

twitter-bird-wallpaper1This is probably one of the most important posts I have written so far because I am hoping it will help a lot of people join and use Twitter more efficiently. I have been noticing that a lot of my Facebook friends have been joining Twitter, I am not sure if it because of me trying to sell it to them or because they are hearing the word Twitter all over the place. The bottom line is that Twitter is the future of the Web. It is already the most effective networking tool in my opinion, and it is only getting bigger.

The pattern that I am noticing when my friends and relatives finally take the big step and open a Twitter account is that they open the account, tweet something about not understanding it, and never touch it again. So I thought I would write up a short guide of the first 5 things you should do after registering for Twitter. However, before I get to that, I would like to say to those who have not yet joined, in all seriousness, you are making a mistake. Twitter is, as someone tweeted to me today “Real-time news and industry information, as well as direct access to people you’ve always wanted to meet”.  You can use Twitter for so many different things. It can be your news source, and I am not talking CNN, I am talking real-time live news feed from people who are generally on site. It can be the ultimate job search tool, and I am not talking months to find a job, I am talking 35 -60 seconds if you have built yourself the right network.

A Picture Tweeted by Ashton and Demi on Purim

A Picture Tweeted by Ashton and Demi on Purim, True Story!

You can use Twitter to connect personally with your favorite celebrity, and I am not talking the Facebook kind that is all fake, these are one on one with your favorite celebrity. People like Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Shaq, Ellen, and so many more, actually write real time updates, sometimes with pictures or videos of what they are doing right now.

A Picture Tweeted by Shaq

A Picture Tweeted by Shaq

OK, I have so much more to say about Twitter, but since this is not a sales pitch,  I am just going to say that since I joined, and built myself a solid following of well over 1000 people, I do not go to news sites anymore, i do not google computer questions, I do not read reviews on products, and do not go to user forums, everything I need to know I get through Twitter and in a matter of seconds. So join Twitter, and when you do (it is not a question of if, sooner or later, you will join), here are the first 5 things you should do.

  1. Write a Bio: Write a few lines about yourself, but when doing this, remember this is not Linkedin. Write something interesting about yourself, try to make it witty enough that when someone comes across your Twitter page, they want to follow you. Write who you are, what you do, and do not forget to leave a link to your site/blog.
  2. Post a Picture: This does not need to be a picture of you if you do not want it to be so personal. But just remember the first rule and make it a picture that is interesting enough to make people want to follow you. This step is of utmost importance. I have followed many people, some with more followers than others. Some with better bios than others, I have yet to follow anyone who can not burden themselves enough to post a picture. The default Twitter picture happens to be really ugly, and I think they chose it so people do not leave it the way it is. You must post a picture if you want people to follow you, and if you want to go anywhere with Twitter, you need people to follow you.
  3. Design your Page:  This also is of utmost importance. I wont say that I have never followed anyone who did not have a custom design, but I will say that when someone spent the time and effort to design their page, I follow them much quicker than a person who has not. Like everything else in the Twitter world, there are endless tools to design your Twitter  page. For mine, I used Twitbacks. Anyway, on your Twitter page, you should include your name, contact info, all your social networks, logo, URLs, and make sure you choose normal colors. I have come across Twitter pages that are designed so poorly, it is extremely difficult to read the text. Do I need to tell you what I did when I encoutered such a page?
  4. Connect: Twitter is all about networking. This is an important difference between Facebook and Twitter. You can in theory register for Facebook , post some pictures of the family, a few links, and you are set. You can check back in a month or two. Do that on Twitter, and your Twitter is pretty much useless. I am not saying you need to sit on Twitter all day, you do not, especially with programs that collect your Twitter information for you and present it in a very orderly fashion. You do however need to build a network. If no one is following you, then no one is reading your tweets, then what’s the point? So as I wrote in my last post, there is now an extremely easy way to find people to follow. Wefollow.com. Find a category that interests you, start checking people’s pages out, and following those that appeal to you. A lot of people will follow you back automatically. But generally, in order to get people to follow you, you need to tweet.
  5. Tweet: This is the last out of the 5 steps, but it might be the most important. Tweet, tweet, tweet! Write things. What to write? Well, the box does say “What are you doing?” However, I am a strong believer that Twitter is not really there for you to answer that question. It is more like “What are you thinking?” Are you reading an interesting article? Share it! Cool video? Link to it! A funny picture? Tweet it! Share share share! Cause there to be dialog. That is what it is all about. You need to not write “I just joined Twitter and I do not get it” then leave and come back 3 months later expecting 3,000 people to have followed you. Would you follow a person that has said one sentence in 3 months?

twitter-wallpaper2

There are so many more things I need to say here, but it will have to be in a continuation of this post. Eventually you will need to learn the art of retweeting, which is forwarding a tweet to simplify the concept. You will need to learn about the world of hashtags, and the popular ones, like Followfriday, in which you recommend good people to follow. You will also need to learn the whole reply as opossed to DM.

Then there is the whole Twitter industry, the link shortening sites, the various desktop clients, but the thing you really need to learn is how to tweet effectively, without wasting away all your time. It is possible to become a serious member of the Twitter community while not in any way decreasing the work you do during the day. In fact, it happens quite often that Twitter causes an increase in productivity. All this will have to wait.

So, stop reading this now, and go get registered, then get moving on these steps. You will see that in no time, you will have built yourself a significant network, in which you can ask a question on any topic and get substantial feedback within a matter of seconds.

-Hillel

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45 Responses to “Top 5 Steps after Joining Twitter”

  1. Jess

    22. Mar, 2009

    Great post! Great advice for those new to twitter. It took me 5 minutes of reading this post to learn what I have discovered over the few months I’ve been on twitter. In fact, I am going to heed one of the suggestions and redesign my page, something I have not done since joining twitter.
    You can follow me: @henryralph

  2. Aryeh

    22. Mar, 2009

    I disagree about the page design, you don’t need a fancy page. Looks aren’t everything, just tweet interesting content.

  3. hilzfuld

    22. Mar, 2009

    First impressions! Before you read the tweets, you see the colors and the design. But I hear what you are saying.

  4. Aryeh

    22. Mar, 2009

    Open up the book and read the first page, not just the cover.

  5. Deena

    22. Mar, 2009

    Still trying to figure it out. I’m one of those “I don’t get it” people but since I keep hearing great things from ppl I respect, I’m keeping it up. And still not exactly finding it the most fascinating things online. I’d much rather, read my fb friends’ status updates. At least I know them and understand what they’re talking about. Oh yeah, that’s one of the things on twitter is that it’s like ppl are speaking a different language than me. What’s up with that?

  6. Zvi

    22. Mar, 2009

    Spot on! I couldn’t agree more

  7. RIvka H

    23. Mar, 2009

    FANTASTIC article, Hillel. I have been using Twitter for months, wanting to get into in more but not sure how. Ill update my bio right now…

  8. James Holmes

    23. Mar, 2009

    Hilz- Nice and concise one-on-one. Among the many reasons Twitter is so powerful is that it is so simple to use and I hope that that always remains. If a person new to Twitter follows the recommended five steps and tweets consistently, they will be amazed by the quantity and quality of connections that can be made using this tools. Then to make it effective move to form more personal relationships.

    Nice post!

    James
    http://Twitter.com/AskJamesHolmes

  9. hilzfuld

    23. Mar, 2009

    Hi everyone,
    Thank you all very much for reading, keep reading and tweeting. Deena, keep using Twitter and I guarantee you will understand the @ # and RT language soon enough.
    Zvi and Rivka, thanks so much for your nice words, they are greatly appreciated, seriously!
    James, Twitter amazes me every day and I am always learning new things, thanks for your feedback, keep reading, tweeting, and sharing your insights.

  10. Missy (from G34 Media)

    23. Mar, 2009

    I would say that following people is key. Many times i come across a comment on a blog or on Twitter itself, along the lines of “Twitter is boring” or something like that. Then i click over to the persons profile and they have like 8 followers.

    It will get boring very fast if you only communicate and network with 8 people. LoL. Add people and network away.

  11. Debby Edelstein

    14. Apr, 2009

    Thank you so much your info is so accessible and useful. Didn’t even know about the page design option and so much else. Also really look forward to knowing enough for it not to take up too much time. I have also discovered that I don’t need to follow people automatically if there tweets aren’t relevant for me…
    thanks for being so generous with your knowledge

  12. Lisa Smith

    14. Apr, 2009

    When I joined twitter recently I couldn’t have my requested user name and had to add a numeral to it. I later discovered that I had already registered my username and tweeted just once – something along the lines of; ‘I don’t know what this is all about’ and that was it. Unsurprisingly I had no followers!

    So it was very entertaining to read this post.

    Over the last few weeks I learnt a bit about twitter and have been tweeting and following people and have already benefitted from the experience.

    Recently, I was working on a project to do with social media and wasn’t sure about something so I tweeted @peterfletcher and had an answer to my query in less than 5 mins. Instant free professional advice. I love it!

    @lisacsmith4

  13. hilzfuld

    14. Apr, 2009

    Missy, Debby, and Lisa, thank you so much for your feedback. Feel free to follow me at http://twitter.com/HilzFuld

  14. Paul Carter Jr.

    15. Apr, 2009

    I really enjoyed your blog. Information was presented in a memorable way that works! Twitter is simply changing lives all around the world!

    Once we get past “Phase one” which is simply said, twitter looks interesting, but I don’t understand what this thing can do for me. To: the next phase, “Phase Two” where perhaps you hear the term or name twitter so much that you decide to spend more time observing the activities of Twitter.

    And then you start actually seeing the value of it, and start learning things from various conversations around the country. I am in “Phase Three” What is that exactly? Stay tuned. What me, what us, what others tweet! :) LOL

  15. hilzfuld

    15. Apr, 2009

    Paul, thanks so much for reading, it is an honor to have you read and comment on Tech N’ Marketing. About your comment, well said! Keep reading! :)

  16. Teresa O'Connor

    17. Apr, 2009

    Another great article that really opens your eyes to what Twitter can do. Appreciate your expertise.

    Ten years ago I wrote about the potential of networking opportunities over the Web, but it was all futuristic then. Now it’s actually happening at record speed. Thanks for helping me jump on board. Much obliged.

  17. DeannLR

    27. Apr, 2009

    A BIG FAT THANKS to you for explaining things a bit more in detail. I came to twitter a few months ago via blip.fm, solely to play and share my favorite tracks. I am now slowly looking into twitter…and yes, it is a bit overwhelming…and not always working the way it should either :) but I will not give up and work my way ‘into the core’. Thx again…Deann

    • hilzfuld

      27. Apr, 2009

      Thanks DeannLR for reading and commenting. So happy I could help, makes all the effort I put into these posts worth it. Keep reading :)

  18. Catheline

    30. Apr, 2009

    Excellent article. Pleased that, in my opinion, I’m doing all 5 steps! It is truly one of the great resources available now. Like anything new, there is a learning curve. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with it and everything it offers will be time well spent. In the past week or so I have come in contact with people I never would have otherwise simply by investigating my various interests and following people. And…following people who follow them…and following….well, you get the idea.

    Catheline

  19. hilzfuld

    01. May, 2009

    Catheline, thanks so much for your feedback, it is really appreciated. Are you following me? http://twitter.com/hilzfuld

  20. Casey

    20. Jun, 2009

    Thanks for the input on twitter. It has taken me awhile to figure it out. I am finally there thanks to you and many others that have helped me out.

    I liked this post and found it useful so I shared it with my readers on my blog.

    http://www.yolablogger.com/index/why-use-twitter-benefits-of-twitter

  21. Plate Hangers

    27. Jun, 2009

    Thanks for the information. I found this and the other articles, such as ten-things-you-must-know-before-using-twitter (also had great references to other sites) on this site very helpful as we have just started to use social networks like twitter to spread the word about our disc adhesive plate hangers.

    Hopefully people can now start to follow us here http://twitter.com/AllPlateHangers

  22. Lois

    29. Jun, 2009

    Thanks so much – I have much to learn! But, even as a beginner, Twitter is addictive! http://twitter.com/homeexchangeuk

  23. bhuttu

    24. Jul, 2009

    IMO, the misconception in this article is that it is important to be followed by as many people as possible. I would set my personal goal in following the most interesting people out there. Whenever you want to impose your thoughts on the world, you fail. See communism for more details. Likewise, history’s most proeminent figures (and I’m mainly thinking religion) were not trying to get as many followers as possible. They were simply following ideas.

    Choose your priorities right! ;)

  24. hilzfuld

    24. Jul, 2009

    Bhuttu, thanks for your feedback, but without followers, no one hears your tweets and Twitter ends up being pretty useless. It is true it is not a competition, but followers are necessary to maximize the Twitter experience.

  25. bhuttu

    24. Jul, 2009

    It all depends on how each one sees the maximized experience. Personally, I think learning and finding out are bigger experience maximisers than shouting your thoughts.

    Nothing wrong with sharing, something wrong with imposing. If what you’re sharing is important, people will, eventually find out. Advertising lost its decency a long time ago.

  26. hilzfuld

    25. Jul, 2009

    I agree with you bhuttu but to learn from others and not teach is not what it is about either. I am definitely not talking about advertising…I am talking about constributing to your followers. Thanks for commenting (again) :)

  27. bhuttu

    26. Jul, 2009

    Thanks for being so positive! :)

    You are a reasonable and intelligent man, so it’s nice to spend time on your blog.

    Thing is, I am a little annoyed about using the virtual social networks for their own sake. Looks like we’re all slowly turning into computers. Old fashioned, maybe? :)

  28. Phyllis

    19. Aug, 2009

    Great article.

    And Deena – I help people who are like you – who need a bit more hands on – let’s do it together kind of thing. I teach very small workshops – where everything is shown and expalined and you get a chance to try it all out right there. There are so many people who would enjoy Twitter more if they didn’t have to figure it all out – or just read how it is supposed to work. We all have different learning styles.

  29. hilzfuld

    19. Aug, 2009

    bhuttu and Phyllis, as always, thanks for your feedback, it really means a lot to me to know people read and enjoy my writing….

  30. HappyGrams06

    19. Oct, 2009

    I have been using twitter for a few months now and I keep getting girls with porn sites following me. What is that about. It would be nice to prevent that instead of constantly blocking more and more. I am starting to figure out all the symbols. Your different writings will really help to make this experience easier. Starting to follow more people and now I know how to find more that I find interesting and identify with. Thank you.

  31. Hasankovich

    09. Dec, 2009

    W0w ths website is a b0mb

    • hilzfuld

      09. Dec, 2009

      Thanks, keep reading… :)

  32. Tara Rogers

    20. Dec, 2009

    I have so many guides and tips and blueprints on how to utilize Twitter for fun or for profit…………… (and other social media sites)……… I retweeted this article as it really breaks down the barrier to entering this huge phenomenom and surely after completing your initial suggestions will continue to follow your “obvious” path to creative, tactical, and strategic monetization of Twitter et al. I enjoy utizling emerging technologies, however, I have yet to tap this well of potential as my creative ideas are easily squelched after I watch the tweens battle the celebs in text offs! I look forward to your very candid and grounded approach!

  33. Franshair

    06. Mar, 2010

    Thank s for all the ideas! I have been on twitter for about a year. My name is getting out there! I want more followers!

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