Don Smith’s Twitter 101 – Twitter as the Daily Read
I’ve had a few colleagues and friends start or try to start using Twitter in the last few months. Since the first few weeks can be tough for Twitter newcomers, they asked me for tips on how I started using Twitter. So here’s my approach:
1. Twitter is not easy at first
a. It takes time, patience, and routine to integrate the news flow into your personal flow
b. Start by using Twitter as a daily read. Don’t worry about posting until you have a habit of returning to Twitter
c. You have to post a picture or avatar. Otherwise Tweeters won’t take you seriously.
2. Find a hook outside of work
a. For me, it was the stock market. I found people I knew from old blogs and communities and followed them. Then I followed who they followed. The nature of the market kept me coming back daily, if not hourly. The discussion during the crash last fall was epic.
b. What are your hobbies? Cooking? Wine? Running? Chances are, you can find a like-minded person or brand on twitter.
3. Use search.twitter.com
a. Going to a conference? Search it to find attendees.
b. Search brand names, places. Twitter only allows 140 characters, so nouns dominate.
4. Probably most important to early adoption – Follow lots of people right away
a. You need 50 at least to keep you coming back
b. At 100 you’ll start to see your follower bucket grow
c. Make sure you follow people who post often. Otherwise you won’t get a good news flow
5. Use power users as editors of Twitter traffic
a. Not sure who to follow? Find someone you like/trust and cherry pick who they follow
b. Rinse and repeat
6. Finally, don’t worry about “missing a day’s worth of news”
a. I pick up the stream whenever I can
b. If I miss something, that’s ok. It sometimes gets recycled and kicked back via ReTweet by someone else
c. Search fills the holes.
At the end of the day, Twitter is a news stream. Read Twitter just like you would read a newspaper. The twist is that you can eventually publish yourself. I’ll save publishing for Twitter 201.
The following Fast Foward Blog post has the most in depth review of Twitter that I have come across. It’s extremely helpful, especially when getting off the ground. FF Blog Twitter Basics