Seven tips for twitter newbies

tweet_rally_r1_c1Now that Oprah is on twitter will the soccer moms surely follow? That’s the expectation and buzz among twitter veterans. Supposedly 10 percent of the population is now actively tweeting. So for the other 90 percent, here are seven tips I’ve learned that may help you if you’re a newbie to twitter.

1. Fill out your profile.  Be sure to describe yourself. your work and/or your passions in your profile. When others view you and decide whether or not to follow you that is the first place  they will look. If there’s nothing there they may not follow you back. Furthermore, a profile helps determine if indeed there is someone you clearly do NOT want to have following you.  Then you can block them if necessary (I’ve only had to do this a handful of times.)

2. Use a nice photo or likeness of yourself. People relate to people as human beings and like to look at pictures of one another. It helps in relationship building as well as in building your personal brand.

3. Do not lock your updates. If you are afraid of who might be following you please reference #1 above.

4. Share, Share, Share.  Twitter is all about being helpful and friendly to others. It’s about relationship building. Share pertinent information and links. I have found that the good twitter karma always comes around.

5. Blatant advertisers are pests. Please read my previous post “How twitter is like the Junior Prom.” You know who you are!

6. Use to follow trends. This is a really handy search that keeps me up on “the news” often before the traditional media has caught on.

7. #Followfriday.  On Fridays you will see people using the hashtag #followfriday. They will post the twitter names of interesting people who they enjoy following and you can then follow those people. It’s one more part of the  positive twitter karma.

(Oh, and bonus tip to Oprah and other newbies: Just like on e-mail, please do not post  in all cap’s. People will think you are shouting.)

Hope this helps you and happy tweeting!


  • @todayinart says:

    Good post Mel. I would add, find a twitter client that you like and use it instead of the web. twitter’s website is okay, but it is cumbersome to use and keep up with. Using a twitter client will allows you to control your account from your desktop and let you know when you have updates. Here are some that I have found useful:

    And my current favorite:

    Available for your mac or iPhone.

    • maryellenmiller says:

      Excellent points Jeff. I really appreciate you adding to this. I remember discussing twhirl with you back when we worked in the same space. Now we’re out here on the web space working together!

  • Interesting post. I find that twitter for me is more useful for market research than actually for generating buyers for my online business. Agree with you on the blatant advertising thing. I just sort this out by blocking them. Usually works 😉

  • Julie says:

    I followed a link that someone sent me to sign up for Twitter. The first day it seemed to work but when I tried to sign in from another computer it did not work. I tried to reset my password and that did not work. Finally, I came home and signed it with a saved password–when I did, some guy’s picture was posted on my page and all of the people I was following and were following me were deleted. Then I tried to login again and it said that my username was jomarcoelho. I think this could be a serious problem of someone trying to steal my identity/passwords but I cannot get anyone from Twitter to respond to my emails sent to help. Do you have any ideas about how to get a response from Twitter?

  • maryellenmiller says:

    Julie, Please let me know if those tips I sent you via e-mail worked. The first one was the link to “help” on twitter and secondly to just start a new twitter account if all else failed. Wishing you the best! Happy tweeting.

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