Twitter: A Beginners Guide

A beginner's guide
A beginner's guide

You only have 140 characters, including punctuation and spaces, so use them wisely. While some shortening of words is acceptable, try to avoid using text speak on Twitter – you’re not writing a text message after all.

So you’ve created a Twitter account, you may have even connected with some people and are seeing their updates. If you already know some people on Twitter you may be having conversations, but other than using Twitter as another form of instant messaging what more can you do?

A lot depends on why you signed up for Twitter and what you want to get out of it, which brings us to our first step:

 Why Are You Here?

Why are you using Twitter? Did you sign up to follow celebrities, because your friends are on Twitter or maybe you thought you could use Twitter to promote your business? Any of these are valid, but each means you will mean you will be looking to use Twitter slightly differently once you have got the hang of it.

Having your goals in mind will help you make some choices during the further steps below. You don’t have to use Twitter every day, in fact you never need send a message at all. You can just use Twitter to monitor what others are saying, like your competitors.

Profile Image

If you are using Twitter for business you will want to ensure you have a professional looking image as your profile picture. If your Titter account is representing your business then your company logo would be the best to use. If you are using Twitter to represent you as a person then a photo of you would be preferable. There is no better feeling at a business event than people recognising you because of your Twitter profile picture – it makes networking all that much easier.

Complete Your Bio

Who are you? What do you do? What are you interested in?

These are all questions you should answer in your bio – but be warned – you only have 160 characters. If you want people to follow you they’ll need a good reason to do so, regardless of whether you’re using Twitter for business or not. Make your bio fun, not just factual, and you’re likely to get more followers.

Tomorrow we take a look at what to do when you are ready to start Tweeting…