Twitter 101: 8 Things You NEED to Do When You Sign Up

Everyone is signing up to Twitter these days, and many go down in flames after a few confusing minutes. Here are a few pointers from a Twitter addict such as myself. I hope it helps! And don’t just follow Saad and Mikati, follow real tweeps who are awesome.

1- Sign Up on Twitter.com

This should be fairly simple to accomplish by yourselves, if you find it hard, then please stick to Facebook and spare everyone the horror.

NO!

2- ADD A PHOTO

I never follow a twitter account without a photo. It doesn’t have to be your photo in a bikini, just not the generic egg thing twitter places by default. So, please, before you start following people and expecting them to follow you back, add a photo (I posted images on how to do that, just look for my mouse cursor) and fill your bio.

3- FILL YOUR BIO

Your bio should be somewhat revealing about who you are. Being funny is an added plus, being cocky is a huge minus. For example, calling yourself an “expert” or “guru” is sort of arrogant and makes you look silly. That’s for people to decide, not you. Being ambiguous is up to you too, but I’d rather get an idea what you’d be tweeting about before clicking follow.

As for location, it’s nice to add your actual city, like Beirut or NYC, but if you’re paranoid about your safety, then go ahead and put barf-inducing stuff like “planet earth” or “somewhere over the rainbow” and feel cute =P

4- Get Accustomed to the Vocabulary

  • Tweet – the 140 character message you send
  • Tweep – a friend you have from twitter
  • Following – if you follow someone on twitter, his or her tweets will appear in your feed
  • Followers – the people who follow your tweets
  • @ – The @ symbol followed by a username means you are addressing that person (mentioning him/her), for example @GinoRaidy will appear as a reply to me in my @GinoRaidy “mentions” tab
  • # – The # symbol is put before a word or name of interest, for example #GinosBlog, so when someone clicks that hashtag on twitter or a twitter-based search engine, all the tweets containing #GinosBlog will appear in a separate feed. This is super-useful if you’re following a particular event or story, like #jan25 for the Egyptian “revolution” or “#oscars” for the Oscar awards.
  • Direct Message – a DM is sorta like an FB message, which can only be seen by the sender and receiver. The catch is, they have to be following each other. Take your “chats” to the DM, people don’t like their timelines filled with chit-chat.
  • Trending Topic – is a topic being tweeted about the most around the world.
  • Lists – you or others can compile people you follow into lists, such as “lebanon” or “biology”  allowing you to see a feed exclusively from the people you add in that specific interest/location/etc.

5- Start Tweeting

Before you start following people and expect them to follow you back, you might as well post a few interesting tweets. “Hello” or “I don’t understand this” aren’t good examples. Why not share a nice post you read somewhere? Or a funny photo, or something that will actually make visiting your profile worth people’s time.

6- Find Interesting Tweeps

People who’ve been on Twitter for a while, tend to follow only the best accounts they’ve come across. I for one, routinely clear up my following list, removing inactive accounts, accounts that spam and just simply annoying accounts. So the 1100-something people I follow, are all awesome, so flip through it and follow the ones you find interesting too. That’s how you begin building up your following list, and eventually your follower list.

7- Follow-Unfollow Etiquette

Which means you don’t have to follow back, and the other person doesn’t need to follow you. But, general Twitter etiquette dictates you follow back users who follow you. Give them a chance, maybe you’ll enjoy their updates, if not, you can always unfollow.

8- Twitter Clients

Very few people use Twitter.com. That’s because most os us tweet on the move via our mobile devices. That’s where Twitter clients come in. They’re apps which replace Twitter and allow you to customize the way you tweet, read and interact. I personally recommend Tweetdeck (I used it on Mac and Android) it’s so awesome, that Twitter bough it =P. There’s also Hootsuite, Echofon and the official Twitter app for iPad and Android which I’d also recommend.

Now you’re ready to tweet! Follow me on @GinoRaidy and follow the blog on @GinosBlog!

Comments

  1. Jim Ramsey Khoury says

    For any fellow Android users, I myself recommend checking out either Twicca or Plume. Both awesome apps.

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