Five Tips for Getting Started On Twitter

After a recent presentation on using social media to promote event attendance, I received some questions from folks who were mystified by Twitter.  At first, I, too, was stymied by Twitter and none of my friends or colleagues were into it.

I tucked into a couple of books and online resources that were most helpful to me.  I’m sharing them here in hopes that they’ll be helpful to you as well.  Remember:  you only have 140 characters to convey your message!  Get to the point!

1)             Twitter Glossary:  The glossary is a great reference tool for Twitter-speak, especially for those who are new to the platform.

2)             Hashtag Directory:  While a number of these are available, I like tagdef.  This, too, is a great resource for newbies who aren’t sure what different hashtags mean.  Remember, a hashtag helps group content under a certain name or topic; another way to think of hashtags is as keywords.  Hashtags are always followed by the “#” sign.  Users can make up and add their own hashtags to the directory as well.

3)             Reposting Links:  Since web links can be lengthy, it’s wise to shorten them to save on characters since you only have 140 to convey your message.  I like TinyURL.

4)             Twitter Search:  Need a quick overview of what’s trending or being tweeted on a specific topic?  Try Twitter Search.  Not only does it list popular trending topics, but it also offers a search bar so that you can search on your topic of choice.

5)             Read Twitterville, by Shel Israel:  This is one of the first Twitter-related books I read and it was extremely helpful.

My best advice?  Start by following some people, industry publications and even your competitors to get a vibe for how they post.  If you like what they’re doing, emulate their style.  When posting, remember that what you’re posting is public unless you send a direct message so practice the same care as you would with an email!

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