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Zen Peacekeeper’s Guide to Twitter: 10 easy steps to get started

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 by Marianne Elliott

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Twitter-radish Last week I started a series of short posts sharing what I know about Twitter.

If you missed it, you can read the first post here: What is Twitter and how does it work?

These Twitter posts will pop up once a week and although I have some ideas about the topics they’ll cover, please feel free to leave a comment with any of your burning questions about Twitter.

Ten easy steps to get started on Twitter.

As I explained last week, Twitter works by choosing whose Twitter feeds you want to follow. Once you’ve joined Twitter you can find people who you are likely to be interested in by checking out their profiles. But there are so many people on Twitter that you’ll want some ways to get straight to the people with whom you have most in common.

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Find one or two people with whom you already know you share interests. You can search for them by name or email address. Once you find them, follow them.
  2. Look at who they are following. You can see this if you go to their profile page. On the right hand side of the page is a link that will show you everyone they are following. You may find lots of other people who are interesting to you this way.
  3. See if they have any lists.

Twitter lists are a great way for people to collect together all the people they like to follow in a particular category. For example I have a yoga list, a Buddhist list, a writing list, an Afghanistan list, a list of people who are changing the world, and something I call my ‘kindred-spirits‘ list, which is people who may not fit into any of the previous categories but with whom I feel a strong common ground.

I’ll talk more about lists in a future post, including telling you how to make a list. But for now, they are a good place to find people to follow.

But First: Fill in Your Profile and Start Tweeting

Before you start following hundreds of people, make sure that you post some updates of your own. As soon as you follow someone, they will have the chance to visit your profile and decide whether or not to follow you back. It helps them if you’ve already shown your colours by posting at least a few Tweets that give a good flavour of what you are all about.

Also – make sure to fill in your profile and to post a photo. I won’t ever follow anyone who doesn’t have a description of themselves in their profile and a photo. There are too many automated Twitter robots out there and my filter, to make sure that there is a real person behind the Tweet, is to look at their profile.

So here are your ten easy steps to get started on Twitter

  1. Sign up to Twitter
  2. If possible, use your real name.
  3. If your real name is taken then use a name that relates to your blog or that says something about who you are.
  4. Fill in your profile, give people a sense of who you are and what you are about.
  5. Upload a photo – show people that there is a real person behind the account.
  6. Send a few updates – they should reflect your interests, your sense of humour, your personality.
  7. If you have a blog or a Facebook account you can let people know that you are now on Twitter so that they can follow you.
  8. Find a few people who you already know either in real life or through their blogs. Follow them.
  9. Check out who they are following and see if they have any lists to find more people who you would like to follow. Follow them too.
  10. Start out by following no more than 40 or 50 people and then give them a chance to follow you back. It’s better to build your Twitter feed slowly and build your own followers at the same time.

That’s it for now! Ten easy steps to get started on Twitter.

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5 Responses to "Zen Peacekeeper’s Guide to Twitter: 10 easy steps to get started"

  1. Nice and simple, I like it. I’ll be pointing people to this post instead of explaining over and over. 🙂

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