I Created a Twitter Account, Now What?
I Got on Twitter... Now What??
Why Get on Twitter?
I assume since you created an account on twitter, you actually want to be there. There are a lot of reasons to get on twitter; most basically, it's a great community and it's fun to chat with people from all over the world. However, it can also be a great benefit to you for many different reasons.
Build your brand. If you have a business or a blog, twitter can be a great source of traffic and networking. It really is an amazing tool.
So if you're here, stick around. I'll help you get started. A lot of people have asked me how I got so many followers and how I use this website. Since I've answered those questions for several people, I thought I should write a hub and then others can find out exactly what to do after they set up their twitter account.
What to Tweet?
Just tweet. Seriously. I'll help you in a second, but let me tell you first that you must tweet if you want to make something of this twitter account you just started. At this point, what you tweet isn't quite as important as that you tweet . Many people start an account and then abandon it. Don't be like that. Just start tweeting and we'll worry about being profound later.
I once took a Morrison class on Internet Marketing and their Twitter Expert (JB? JD? BJ?) said, "If you tweet it, they will come." (He was talking about followers.)
In her book, Mom Blogging for Dummies, Wendy Piersall suggests committing to the following ratio of twitter content:
10% Self Promotion (tweet about your latest blog post or a sale at your shop)
20% Promoting others (share great work / products by others!)
30% Be a Resource to the Community (share helpful articles your audience would appreciate)
40% Conversations ("interactions to reinforce your brand" - talk to others!)
I think those are the best suggestions of what to tweet. Of course, funny tweets get a lot of attention so give being witty a try too. :)
What is your Niche?
I don't want to spend a whole lot of time on this, as it's not quite as important on twitter as it is on a blog, but it's still something to think about.
What audience are you trying to reach? What kind of person could relate to your tweets? What do you tweet about? These are questions to help you figure out your niche.
For example, I am a Mom Blogger... motherhood is my general niche. Beneath this rather broad umbrella term are more specific niches (nichi?): child nutrition, activities for children, homeschooling, etc.
You could write about sports, celebrities, how-tos, crafting, home improvement, etc. A lot of people on twitter just have general accounts and simply tweet about their lives and all of the things they're interested in. For twitter, I think that's great.
How to Get Followers
First some warnings:
* When it comes to followers, you're looking for quality not quantity.
* Be wary of accounts that promise 5,000 followers in 5 days, etc.
* Stay within Twitter's Terms and Conditions.
* Twitter does have follow limits.
Twitter is on the lookout - and rightly so - for spammers. No one wants to get spammed or hacked by another twitter account. Twitter will not hesitate to ban you if they think you are spamming others.
One of their rules is 'no churning.' To churn is to follow and unfollow a great number of people in a short amount of time. So be careful not to do that.
That being said, twitter does have a follow limit, so keep the ratio of followers / following tight. This means you will have to unfollow people from time to time.
Here's What I Did
I followed friends from my blog - other mom bloggers, people in my niche, people I actually like. Then I followed their followers. This is how you build community. If you like person A, there's a good chance you'll like the people that also like person A. Make sense?
I also followed followers of companies I like. The Children's Place is a great little clothing shop for kids. I'd bet that a lot of their followers are other moms so I would suggest going there and following those people too. If you like movies, go follow all of Redbox's followers because they like movies too. Do you see where I'm going with this?
Follow other people like yourself mostly. Big companies and celebrities probably won't follow you back, but other regular people might. It's not 100%, but it is twitter etiquette to follow people back.
Some People NOT to Follow
I don't follow any of the following because they either don't care about their twitter account and therefore won't be on to converse with you or help you in any way - OR - they could be spammers.
* People with eggs as pictures (you know the generic twitter-assigned avatar?)
* People who didn't write a bio
* People who have 0 or close to 0 tweets
* People who are following 2,000 but don't have any followers
* People with scantily-clad women as profile pictures
* People who haven't tweeted in a week or two
Who to Unfollow
Don't do this often and definitely don't do it right after you've followed a bunch of people, but every once in a while, clean out your following list.
I unfollow these types of users:
* People who aren't following me
* People who have left twitter or haven't tweeted in several days / weeks
* People who aren't in my niche
* Companies I'm no longer interested in
Many people will follow you back, but many won't. Thank people who are kind enough to follow you (this information will show up on your feed). Talk to your new followers! On twitter, you are free to tweet anyone and jump into conversations; it's like a big public chat room. If someone asks a question, try to give them a good and helpful answer. Be valuable on twitter and add something to every conversation you join in.
What's up with those #Hashtags?
Hashtags on twitter are great! It's like putting your tweet into a category (or categories). Use a hashtag to give the general idea of what your tweet is about.
Great for Searching!
You can find others talking about what you're talking about! If you're in the motherhood niche, like me you can search #motherhood or #kids and see what people are talking about if they used those hashtags.
Try this little trick as well:
"motherhood :)" Use the quotes and put a smiley face after the interest you're searching for. In this way you can find only the positive tweets about your subject. I don't really like to follow people who say nasty things about motherhood so this little tactic helps me quite a bit. You can also find other fans this way. For example, I'm a HUGE redwings fan so I can type "redwings :)" and find others who love that team as much as I do.
Can be Hilarious
If you're creative, you can come up with some great ways to write hilarious tweets. @HonestToddler is one of the funniest twitter accounts I have yet to find. Here's one of his classic tweets where he uses a hashtag to make what he was saying even funnier:
Was asked what I learned from time out. Didn't have an answer. Still got out on parole. #cantstopwinning— Honest Toddler (@HonestToddler) January 15, 2013
You'll Get the Hang of it!
Seriously, just get on there and start tweeting. See what others are saying. Find people who interest you. Go from there.
When you're ready, check out my post, How to Get Tweeps to Click on your Tweets. Then, we can start talking about the next steps.