A Letter To A Twirgin: 7 Things Every New Twitter User Needs To Know

Dearest Twirgin,

I see your little egg head pop into my Twitter stream and it warms my heart.  I remember the trepidation I felt when I first logged into Twitter Town.  “Who is listening to me?”  “Will anyone care what I say?”  “How do I even find smart people to ‘FOLLOW’?”  and “Who are these strangers following me? Should I be concerned?”

Like any new town, there are warm and welcoming people who are excited to share knowledge with you and show you the ropes, but go down the wrong alley and there are seedy people trying to sell you $10 Gucci handbags (I know…horrifying!)

Twitter experts, social media for business, how to use Twitter
Pssst, Hey You…Twirgin

You will meet many, so-called “social media experts” in Twitter Town; many wanting to sell you some advice, some secret formula to build your Twitter following fast!  Some will promise you thousands of followers in a week. Others will guarantee you will find fame and fortune among the Twitter branches.  Beware tender Twirgin…Beware of sleazy birds.

Pull up a branch young chicklet and allow me to share some advice; advice gathered from other smart birds here in Twitter Land and from an one old bird whose been around awhile.

Social Media Management, Social media for business, How to use Twitter for business, Synapse, engage
An Old Bird Who’s Been Around Awhile

People typically come to Twitter Land looking for smart and engaging conversation with people who have similar interests.  They are looking for interesting content that will help them do their jobs, build a business, or just live happier lives.  These 7 tips will help you attract and engage the right people and enjoy a long and happy life here in Twitter Town:

  1. Create an engaging bio.

    Don’t just tell us where you work or load it with keywords so you will be found.  Let your bio be a great introduction (in 160 characters of course) showcasing your interests, talents and a bit of personality. Take a look at the bios of people as you connect.  What do you find interesting?  What makes a bio look more like a keyword loaded shingle hung outside one of those dark alley doorways?  Here are some that I have found to be GREAT BIOS.

  2. Be sure to crack that eggshell, and load a photo of YOU!

    We want to talk to people.  It is easier for people to connect with someone who is a real person rather than a brand.  Sure there are brands that must use a logo, but then they have to work twice as hard to engage and show human personality!

  3. Don’t auto-follow everyone who follows you.

    Auto-following prevents you from seeing who you are actually connecting with.  If a spammer or porn site follows your updates, they are hoping you will not look at their profile and just automatically follow them back so they can pump (or pimp) their polluted content into your Twitter stream!  Just make a practice of looking each day at the list of new followers, either from tools like SproutSocial that provide you a list of New Followers, or go straight to Twitter.com and click on FOLLOWERS) and follow back the ones that look interesting and SMART!

  4. Don’t send out auto-messages to people who start following you.

    (You might see a theme here–don’t do AUTO anything in Twitter Town.)  Sure automation is great and there are many who will argue with this old bird on this one, but I stand firm on my branch when it comes to this one.  Sending automated messages to new followers is a common practice, but despised non-the-less.  An automated DM (direct message) is about as personal as the pre-printed holiday card you get from an insurance broker you’ve never met (sorry if you are an insurance broker that I have never met and you find that offensive, but that might be why your cards are going straight into the trash upon opening!)  Remember those birds I spoke of that will try and sell you systems to automate everything?  DON’T DO IT!

  5. Don’t be so paranoid that you need to sign up for a service that makes Twitter citizens prove they are REAL people before you follow them back.

    One such annoying service is TrueTwit.  These are for people who are too lazy to check out their new followers for themselves.  It is extremely annoying to get a message telling you that you must first prove you are a real person by clicking on links and typing garbled words into a box just so you can have the privilege of that person following you back.  FORGET ABOUT IT–I immediately unfollow anyone who uses that service.  Sometimes I even send them a message telling them to do their own work.  It’s one of my greatest pet-peeves on Twitter, and Im not the only one who feels this way.

  6. Be interesting and helpful.

    Post a few tips or statements allowing people to see the kind of content you are interested in.  Reply to or ReTweet (forward) content from people as you connect with them.  If you have nothing interesting or helpful to say…sit quiet and consume that smart content coming in from those you are meeting here.  There is no law here in Twitter Town that says you MUST tweet.  Trust me, it is better to sit silent on your keyboard than to start flapping that Twitter beak with useless information about how painful that Epilator hair removal system was when…actually, I would want to know about that so keep talking.

  7. Don’t just broadcast information about YOUR upcoming million dollar seminar, YOUR new book that came out last month, YOUR new sales system or YOUR webinar starting next week.

    You might as well spray yourself with bird repellant because every Twitter bird for a hundred trees will avoid you.  Ask questions to engage people in conversations.  Give input or reply to content posted by others here, AND THEN occasionally let us know how great you are.  Remember, there is never an unpopular listener!

social media for business, how to use Twitter, Twitter for business, social media management, Gina Schreck
It’s Time to FLY!

Now young Twirgin, it is time.  Time for you to spread your tender wings and take flight.  Come by and visit any time–day or night, I’m usually here and I’ll leave the light on in the nest for you.

If you or your organization need help using Twitter or other social media platforms for your business, you can call, tweet or even email our SocialKNX team!  Our flock is always willing to help.  Check out our Facebook Page that offers loads of free content for building your business with social media, and spend some time here on our website checking out all the juicy content.