Five steps for getting started on Twitter


I got a lot of positive comments on my Four Step Plan for Getting Started in Social Media. It reminded me that people are at all different levels of knowledge and interest in social media. When you spend all day thinking about it and using it, it's easy to forget that lots of people still want the basics.

So, here are some basic steps for getting started on Twitter:

What Twitter is good for

• Many of the advantages of blogging in a short, quick format.

• You can support your other communications channels and activities by promoting them on Twitter.

Hashtags allow you to gain a presence in and around events, conferences and issues.

Twitter search can show you who’s talking about what.

• It’s still a relatively small community in many professions, allowing you to make connections.

What Twitter is not good for

• Twitter is a tool, not a strategy.

• You have to be interesting to get followers; it’s not the place for heavy-handed sales pitches.

• It’s a firehose, and it’s getting worse. You need filtering tools to find the value (TweetDeck, Seesmic Desktop, Hootsuite).

Getting started on Twitter

Create an account, using your real name, and set up your profile.

• Use the search function to find people to follow in your industry, and follow who they're following.

• Get to know the standards of the community and the way people use it.

• Think about all the useful and interesting information you encounter every day.

• Start contributing.


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