“…baby step onto the elevator… baby step into the elevator… I’m *in* the elevator. [doors close] AHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
Many of my friends seem to be utterly flabbergasted by the concept of Twitter. One may sign up, tweet one or two things, then leave it dormant for months, even a year. Others try then forget about it or simply do not integrate it into their lives as a habit.
Like most things in life that are overwhelming, the best approach is to break them into small, achievable tasks. Not all of these steps have to be performed in the same day; however, breaking them down makes it less overwhelming, at least.
- Decide what email address you want associated with your twitter account. One email per account. You may want a new account, if so, setup a new email.
- Make a list of possible Twitter names; they may not be available.
- Decide what your avatar (profile picture) will be and have it handy to upload. If you are using a logo, it should be square.
- Write a 160 character or less bio to put on your account.
- Avoid spammy language like “looking for fun,” “likes long walks on the beach,” or “social media guru.” (Oops, you got me on that last one.)
- Go to Twitter.com and create an account.
- Follow their prompts for your email address, password, and username.
- Upload your profile picture.
- Put in your website. If you do not have a website, you can consider using your facebook URL or you can leave it blank.
- Type in your bio.
- Change the background to Anything but the default clouds. ANYTHING.
- If you have a background image you’d like to use you’ll want the left side to be 250 pixels by 675 pixels or the whole thing 1800 x 1000 max.
- You may need to fiddle around with this.
- 9/26/12 Update: I noticed that Twitter integrates Themelon for free
- Or use free twitter background sites such as:
- Steps 6-10 are in this Screencast.
- Tweet SOMETHING, Anything. A quote. “This is my first tweet.” Anything. Spammers are getting very clever these days and it’s becoming difficult to discern. A tweet helps. See screencast here.
- Find someone to follow and follow them. Do this at least five times. Look at their list of followers, are any of them interesting to you? (Screencast on following by interest is here.)
- Make lists: news, friends, whatever. When you follow someone, put them on your list. Read Carol Stephen’s post on why lists are useful: ”Twitter Lists for the Power User ”and my post “Organizing Your Twitter Stream With Lists.”
- Make it a regular habit (daily at least) to check your twitter account, thank those who have mentioned you, and follow back within reason.
- My Screencast Series on Twitter from Scratch with PeddlingPetals
- Mashable | How to Create Twitter Backgrounds
- Jessica Hische | mom, this is how twitter works
- Carol Stephen | What’s In A Name: Before You Begin Tweeting
- Chatterbachs | How to Make Your Twitter Account Look Like a Spam Account (satire)
- Michael Hyatt | Answers to the Top 10 Twitter Objections
- Bridget’s Twitter Tips (pdf)