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Twitter for Beginners

Submitted by on Monday, 27 October 2008One Comment

So, you’ve heard of twitter, and want to give it a try… you may have even already taken a look around and thought to yourself “What the$*(H????”.¬† Why do I care that

@geoffness in some creative meetings – no one sees eye to eye – you just have to leave it and come back at it later in the day or tomorrow.

@MattRissell I’m amazed at how much wisdom people over the age of 70 have… Even if they don’t know what Twitter is ūüôā

Well…. you probably don’t.¬† The first time I went on twitter was over a year ago at the suggestion of Jeremy Pepper, I joined looked at the random crap in the timelines and just didn’t get it.¬† I re-joined a few months later, and was suddenly addicted to the wonderfulness that is twitter.¬† For those interested in joining the addiction, here is what you should know.


The easiest way to explain what twitter is is with this video from common craft:


Well, twitter is good for more than just random commentary on what people are eating and where they are…. Some of the best tweets and things about twitter include:

  • Links to great articles… lots of people only link to their own stuff, but I tend to prefer those who just provide links to great stuff they are reading.
  • News before the news… there was an earthquake in Cincinnati a few months ago.¬† It took the news about an hour to report on it (they have to get confirmations, etc).¬† I thought that maybe I had dreamed it (it happened in the middle of the night), but quickly logged in to twitter and found out what had happened.
  • Humor… Lots of people will tweet something funny they find.
  • Stay in the Know… Twitter is a great way to stay in the know on what is going on.¬† Scanning your stream every few hours will let you know what people are up to.
  • Building Connections… You can “meet” people on twitter much faster than in real life.¬† It is a great way to find people with similar interests in your area or field.
  • Asking for Help… When I was looking for an SEO firm I twittered, and got TONs of great recommendations. BUT be careful how often you use your social network for these things.
  • Build an audience… more and more people are using twitter to build an audience for their blogs, their causes, their companies, whatever.¬† If you are using twitter for this purpose BE CAREFUL – you don’t want to be a dirty spammer.


To get started go to twitter and create an account. These are the next steps:

  1. Most people on twitter use their real names as their username (eg. I am @kristaneher) – using your real name will make it easier for people to find you.
  2. Fill in your profile info – many people won’t follow you unless they know a little about who you are and why you might be interesting to them.
  3. Upload a picture – I would recommend not changing your picture too often, as many people scan their twitter feeds looking for the pictures of the people they are interested in – so choose wisely ūüôā
  4. Start following people (see below for who to follow.¬† Don’t come out of the gate following hundreds of people you don’t know or have nothing in common with.

Who to Follow on Twitter

  • Start with people you know!!! You probably already know at least a few people on twitter.¬† Start by following them (they will likely follow you back) and try @ ing them (sending a public message intended for them). For example @kristaneher – I just read your blog post and this is my first tweet…
  • The twitter elite/popular – following these people will keep you “in the know” on the broader twitter community.¬† You can find a list of
  • Do a tweetscan of terms that you are interested in…. it could be socialmedia, PR or groundhogs… you’ll find other people who have tweeted with that word…. this can be a great way to make initial connections with people who have similar interests.
  • Look at who follows who – Once on twitter you’ll see on the right hand side who else that person follows.
  • Look at who the people you know are talking to (or @ing).¬† This is a great way to expand your circle as you will probably have things in common with them as well.


Twitter is supposed to be a fun, social place, so don’t take it too seriously.¬† That being said, everything you say on twitter will be out there, on the net, potentially forever, so keep that in mind.

Have any other thoughts/tips/experiences on getting started with twitter???  Share them here!!!

One Comment »

  • obelisko said:

    How Can Twitter grow my Spa business?