OK, I admit it. I’m a bit of a Twitter Noob. In fact, up until last week, I was still referring to myself as a Twitter ‘Newbie’ which just goes to show you how green I still am. The last few months have been nothing short of scary as I attempted to ‘put myself out there’ and use Twitter for the first time. I do believe it’s a wonderful tool for making connections, advancing your business and getting all the latest breaking news.
But scary. Twitter is so scary! The first time you log on…all those @ signs! All those # signs! What the heck does it all mean? I bit my nails into non-existence trying to decide who to follow…wondering why some weird-0 sporting a picture of a big joint and living halfway around the world was following me? Oh yes, Twitter world can be a frightening landscape for us Noobs. Which is why I decided to share my top 10 tips for Noobs (that’s people who are new to the whole Twitter things) and hopefully make someone’s first attempt at tweeting a little less painful:
1. Don’t be an egg-head. In other words, upload a picture of yourself ‘cuz if you don’t twitter will use a boring old egg shape and no one will want to follow or interact with you. A real photo is best (don’t judge – I’m getting there!). But at the very least put some kind of photo of a person up there.
2. Say something…even if you think it’s stupid. Most twitter Noobs are guilty of not tweeting anything. Spending way too much time reading and spending way too much time worrying that they won’t have a clue what to say. In all honesty, you probably won’t say the right things at first. But who cares? You only learn by trying. So think of something interesting you want to share and tweet. Often.
3. Don’t be annoying and salesy! Even if your sole purpose for using twitter is to promote your website/business. No one wants to read your sales pitch over and over, day after day. It’s the fastest way to get your butt kicked off someone’s follow list. My best advice? Say something provocative once in awhile. It will get you the most engagement – which is exactly what you want!
4. Make friends! Seriously – this is my best advice. Respond to other people’s tweets. A lot. You’ll soon discover that you love it when other people reply or retweet to your posts…so make sure you reply or retweet to theirs too!
5. Don’t beg for followers. Follow only those people you are genuinely interested in hearing from. Don’t ‘auto-follow’ every single person that follows you. Do follow back those people who seem interesting to you. Start by following your own friends…they will definitely follow you back. Then make sure you follow your potential ‘customers’. By interacting to their Tweets they will get to know and love you. Finally – don’t forget to follow your competitors. It’s important to see what ‘everybody else’ is doing. They also might become people you want to partner with someday – so be kind!
7. Read some of the twitter rules. You can take a course but there is also plenty of free advice available on the net. Figure out what hashtags are, how to use them, try making a ‘twoosh’, find out what #ff stands for! When in doubt – Google it. Then try using some of these techniques yourself. (Pssst – if you have no clue what I’m talking about – you’re a Noob like me…now get to work looking this stuff up!)
8. Be nice. One day you’ll be a Twitter Expert being followed by a nervous Noob. Remember how it feels.
9. Don’t give up! When you first start tweeting no one will respond. You’re gonna feel like this is all a big fat useless waste of time (and, in the beginning, we all spend waaaay too much time reading tweets). Keep at it and eventually it will start working for you.
10. Resist the vortex of wasting time. I can say that, but it will still happen to you. It happens to all Noobs. You’ll read tweets, google stuff, visit people’s links, look up Who to Follow, post stuff, when suddenly – BAM. You’ve wasted 5 hours of your day and accomplished nothing. Oops. Laugh it off, plan a tiny amount of time that you’ll spend on Twitter tomorrow and get back to work – you have some catching up to do!
So from one Noob to another…these are some of the hard lessons I’ve learned by diving into my Twitter Account and seeing if I would sink or if I could swim. So far I’m repeating Dory’s Mantra (from the movie finding Nemo): “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…just keep swimming…” and it seems to be working. You see, I actually have a client that I met through Twitter. Noob or not – something must be working!
All the best and good luck, fellow tweeters!