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Jun 30

So You’ve Signed up for Twitter – Now What?

Did I persuade you to sign up for Twitter after reading my previous post? Or perhaps someone else already persuaded you, but now you don’t know where to begin. Hopefully, you have found some people to follow, and you have gained some followers in return. To help good people find you, here are a couple of things to make sure you do:

  • Look at the user name you created your account with. Are you comfortable using your real name? Would you prefer something that makes you less identifiable? You can go to “Settings” in your Twitter account and change this, so don’t worry if you change your mind later.
  • Post a profile picture. I know you may be uncomfortable with an actual picture of yourself posted on the Internet. If you are, find an icon of something that represents you. Other Twitter folks tend to pass by accounts that have no profile pictures. Some of my Twitter friends have photos of themselves, cartoons of themselves, or a logo. Choose what you are comfortable with. Once again, you can always change this later if you get more brave.
  • Add your location on the “Settings” page. You can be generic – for instance just the state where you live instead of the city and state.
  • Do you have a web site or blog? Be sure to add it as well (“Settings” page again).
  • Fill out your Bio in your profile. Once again, this is on the “Settings” page. You only get 140 characters, but this is good practice for the rest of Twitter! Think about key words that will help draw people with similar interests to your profile. Here is my Twitter Bio:
  • I’m a sixth grade science teacher in North Georgia trying to be the best I can be while using innovative ideas and technology.
  • Start communicating and interacting with your new Twitter buddies!

When you add people to follow, I suggest sending them an @ message. This is a message that will show up on their Twitter feed, even if they are not following you. You just enter their user name after the @ sign (e.g. @janellewilson). Introduce yourself when you sent the @ reply, and you will probably gain a follower as well. It will also help the dialogue begin. You can read your @ replies in your Twitter feed and by going to the “@username” link in the sidebar.

You can also direct message people on Twitter by using ‘D username’ (e.g. D janellewilson). The message will then only be viewable to the person you are replying to. You can also direct message from the “Direct Messages” link in the sidebar. There is a drop down list here with all of your followers.

Hopefully these tips help you proceed towards your love of Twitter. Once you get really into Twitter, you will probably want to find better ways to follow all of your feeds. Ideas and suggestions about how to do this will be included in a post coming soon!

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