Are you new to Twitter? Do you want to use it to promote your blog, business, or just follow some interesting people? Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard people new to twitter say they are overwhelmed by it. Don’t be afraid. It’s a great tool and a great way to meet new people. I’ve been using it since 2007 and have some twitter tips for newbies that will ease your fears and help you enjoy this social media tool.
Twitter Tips for Newbies #1 Don’t fear the feed.
You cannot read everything everyone posts unless you are only following two people who only post at 1:00 PM Mountain Time on Mondays. Seriously, just let this one go. Twitter is more about real time. It’s kind of like listening to the radio. You can’t listen to every channel at the same time. You tune in when you feel like it or can. Listen to what’s on, then go about your life.
Twitter Tips for Newbies #2: Lists are your friend
OK, so maybe there are a few people whom you want to follow more closely than say ABC news or Mashable. Make a list and put them on it. Lists are a great way to control the twitter feed and get a deeper experience. Maybe there are some local people you follow and want to chat with more than a few random bloggers 1,500 miles away. Make a list and you can read their feeds separate from the 200 other people, brands, or news outlets you follow.
Twitter Tips for Newbies #3: Follow the news
For the past 5 years, Twitter has been the go to place for me for breaking news. I learned about the earthquake in Japan, Osama bin Laden’s death, and which ever celebrity most recently died via Twitter. Sure, I always made sure whoever was tweeting was a reputable source before I shared the info with anyone else. There have been quite a few news hoaxes, but smart people know to double check before believing something Generic Twitter Dude 1531 shared that sounds unbelievable.
Also, be sure to follow your local news sources as well as national ones. These are great ways to find out why there is smoke filling the sky 5 miles away or if your path to work might be flooded.
Twitter Tips for Newbies #4: Be social
Depending on why you use Twitter in the first place, remember it is social media. People and companies will share links to their blogs, products, and giveaways, but there is almost always a human being on the other side of that tweet. Don’t be afraid to reply to someone who wrote something interesting or even just ask a question. Interact! Even if it’s just a retweet or a favorite, someone will appreciate it.
Twitter Tips for Newbies #5: Have fun
There really is no right or wrong way to use Twitter. You get out of it what you want. I like to say it’s like hanging out at a bar. You can chat with the folks around you or you can just listen. There’s a great opportunity to meet people, especially if you are new in town. I’ve made some really good friends through Twitter, including my husband.
What are your fears about Twitter? What tips would you share with someone just starting out on Twitter?