Twitter is an amazing tool for finding and getting to know interesting people including partners, suppliers and potential customers. But if you haven’t used it before, how do you start? Best thing is to dive in and give it a go, but this tweet below prompted me today to jot down a few thoughts.
I need some support to get my account rolling, can i get any support? @readysetstartup @eternallyreal @katelalu @epicstartupscan ?
— A Young Entrepreneur (@IMGEntrepreneur) November 2, 2012
This is what I would like to tell A Young Entrepreneur and other Twitter newbies if I could fit it in 140 characters:
How to get started on Twitter
Establish some credibility
Take some time setting up your account before you worry about getting followers. Pay attention to your bio and personal details. This is critical information that people use to make a judgement about whether to follow you or not. In particular:
- Use a headshot so you look like a real person not a bot or a faceless company.
- Write a credible bio. Something quirky may be clever, but it’s not particularly helpful in quickly assessing what kind of person you are and whether you would be interesting to get to know.
- Include your location. After all, real people do live somewhere!
Add valuable content
Besides your bio, potential followers will look at your content to decide whether they would like to follow you. You need to give them a reason to hit the follow button. Personally, I like to follow people who have interesting content and who genuinely interact with others. I tend not to follow people who only tweet out ads about their own (or someone else’s) business or who only make inane comments or have a huge number of quotes.
So how do you start building valuable content on your profile? Here’s a few ideas:
- Follow a few people who you think are interesting and retweet some of their tweets that you particularly like.
- Retweet interesting content you find on the web
- Write your own tweets.
Interact & be a real person
Start interacting with your followers and others and show you are a real person. Twitter is great in that you can tweet to anyone by using their Twitter handle in your comment. So make use of this thoughtfully without spamming.
- Follow people you already know in real life and communicate with them on Twitter
- Ask a question to someone you’ve always admired – they might answer you.
- Use the same courtesy and consideration that you would if you were communicating face to face. A thank you never goes astray if someone retweets your content.
- Start a conversation with new followers and learn something about them.
- Be yourself.
So there you are. Go and have some fun. But before you do, click on the Follow button in the tweet above and give A Young Entrepreneur some love.
I’ve switched my main focus from Facebook to Twitter now and it has definitely paid off. I love reaching out to people who might be interested in ethically produced products, and building a relationship with like-minded people. It’s also a great place to get news and inspirations.