If you haven’t checked out my Twitter Starter Page, you might want to go ahead and do that before reading this post. You have to have a pretty basic understanding of how to use Twitter before you can really start using it effectively.
Sometimes however, you might need a little bump in followers to start getting the interaction you need.
How do I get my Twitter account up to par with the rest of the Twitter population?
A lot of people make one huge mistake when starting their first Twitter Account. They use a greasemonkey script or twitter adder to follow thousands of people in hopes of acquiring a quick following.
There are two things critically wrong with this approach:
- Your Twitter stream is way crowded to engage in quality conversations and keep up to date on key users
- Other Twitter users may write you off as spam and not follow you back
So here is an alternative approach that will help you develop a solid productive following that will allow for fruitful conversations.
Jon Bishop’s 5 Step Twitter Starter Program
Step 1: Set up your Twitter profile with a unique background, bio, location, URL and Photo. This is an important step to subconsciously show you are committed to using Twitter.
Step 2: Post a couple of Tweets to get the ball rolling. This can be anything from the standard “Finally on Twitter” to the more specific “Jon Bishop really helped me get this Twitter thing going”.
Step 3: Find some Local Tweeps. Check out TwellowHood and follow roughly 20 interesting Twitter users that live in your area. As they follow you back, it might be a good idea to check out their blogs and see what they’re about. This would be a good time to try out your @reply skills to comment on how amazing their blogs are or simply the fact that you guys are from the same area.
Step 4: Find some like minded Tweeps. I use Twitter Search to find other Twitter users who share the same interests as me. It’s also a great way to check up on who is talking about my blog posts or my company
Step 5: Interact, then repeat steps 3 and 4. As your following grows you should try and stay very active by participating in conversations as well as providing your own updates on life, thoughts and the world.
That’s really all there is to it. It might be a good idea to try and keep your Followers to Following ratio as even as possible. It gives you a sense of authenticity that is really crucial in a social media environment.
19 replies on “Starting a Twitter Account from Scratch”
Good advice for Twitter newbies! I’d also recommend http://Twellow.com and http://twitterpacks.pbwiki.com/ which are great resources for finding people on Twitter.I’ve written quite a bit about this subject on my blog and also catalog a list of great Twitter 101 advice on http://delicious.com/wss23/twitter101
I covered some other services for finding people on Twitter on another post. This is a system I have put in place that has proven successful every time thus far.
Those other services are great for finding new people but sometimes new tweeps get trigger happy and will add too many people at once. My system is aimed at slowing the process down and forcing a more thoughtful approach.
Nice step by step guide, thanks Jon. I agree with all your approach and not a mass approach in the beginning. As it does reflect very badly on the twitterer (?) and their site. It’s a long slow process, but I’m glad in any case, because it’s a great way to network and to find like minded people – Emma
Great to see a simple, easy to understand guide that also emphasizes the “social” aspects – you know, manners and what not. You might also be interested in trying out ping.fm. This is a service I read about last week (in beta test) that allows you to log in one place and post updates to facebook, myspace, twitter and other social networking sites all at once.
Thanks for the kind words.
Ping.fm is a great service, however, it does take away from the twitter experience a bit if used too much. For example there are a lot of people who will post to Twitter, Plurk, Rejaw, Identi.ca and Kwippy all at the same time and they never check responses to that post across all of the sites.
The idea is to create relationships and to do that we need to get away from the traditional methods of spray and pray.
Nice post thanks for the information, keep it.
Right on the money. It’s the relationships you gain from using twitter that build the business. But you have to do it for the sake of the relationship and not for the money or it doesn’t count. You’re blessed far more for giving without expectations.
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Thank you very much for this incredibly well written editorial!
trying to figure out this twitter thing once again.
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Good post. Question for you: At what point do you stop worrying about keeping the ratio even? In my case, I’ve got about 1,100 followers but only follow around 575. I have no desire to follow 1,100 people. That was different when I was around 300, but that ship sailed a long time ago. Is there a magic number?
Don’t worry about keeping it even. Worry more about the quality of your followers. I’ve found focusing more on what I want to get out of Twitter vs just having a ton of followers helps me get more out of it.
Once you feel like you are following too many people, rather than unfollowing a bunch, just organize them into Twitter lists. I track 4 or 5 lists through TweetDeck rather than sorting through my mega stream of 4000 people.