Four Tips for Using Twitter
Monday, June 21, 2010
It may seem daunting, but Twitter is easy and fun, if you follow a few simple tips. Andy Cutler
shares what he learned to get you started.
One. Find a Guide
In my case, Jack Templin took me aside to teach me the ropes (i.e., setting up my account, learning how to search for those I wish to Follow, ReTweeting, recognizing someone in a Tweet, etc.). Find someone who has more experience than you on Twitter and ask them to sit down with you over a coffee to teach you the basics, and how to make the most of your 140-characters allotted per Tweet.
Two. Get Organized
One of the postive ripple effects of the burgeoning social media scene is that free applications (or apps) geared towards the user experience are being developed continually. One of my favorites is TweetDeck
. In Tweetdeck, I can arrange all those that I follow into multiple columns with column names. For example, I have columns for news outlets that I am following. So, instead of logging onto one news outlet's Web page at a time, I have streaming news in one of my TweetDeck: BBC
, New York Times
as well as my local news outlets; packaged more conveniently for me. I can create separate columns to track information I want to keep up with on the subjects I care most about (e.g., entrepreneurship, social enterprise, education, social media, environment, arts and design, etc.) and people writing about the city where I reside (#PVD and #Providence) in individualized columns.
Three. Take the Time to Explore
Take the time to get to know to Twitter, TweetDeck and other applications. Play with them. Don’t worry, while you cannot edit a Tweet, you can always delete one if you’d like. Everyone using Twitter has done that at least once. Explore your Followers, who they are Following. You can use such tools as Twellow
(the Twitter Yellow Pages) to search for the individuals and subjects you are most interested in Following.
Four. Follow vs. Followed
Remember, it’s not just how many Followers you have, it’s how you use them—or in this case, what information you’d like to get from them. In Twitter, you choose to Follow and other choose to Follow you. Think of it this way, how many Followers do you have in Miami? You are going there next week on business and would like to see if those individuals could give you restaurant recommendations, tips on places to go and things to see while in town in addition to the information they share with you through their Tweets. You can segment those who you are Following and those that are Following you any way you want: by geography, subject matter, etc. Be creative in the way you view your Twitter universe.
Andy Cutler is a partner at Cutler & Company, and can be found on Twitter at http://twitter.com/andypvd
Enjoy this post? Share it with others.