Baby Steps to the Tweet: A beginner’s guide to starting your Twitter Account

Twitter Bird…baby step onto the elevator… baby step into the elevator… I’m *in* the elevator. [doors close] AHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Bob Wiley What About Bob?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Make a list of possible Twitter names; they may not be available.
  3. You will need three graphics: avatar (profile picture – square), header photo, and background.  Have them handy to upload when you start the sign-up process.  I like to make a folder that is called “Twitter Images” and have it easy to find (desktop).
  4. 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.)
  5. Go to and create an account.
  6. Follow their prompts for your email address, password, and username.
  7. Upload your profile picture.
  8. Put in  your website.  If you do not have a website, you can consider using your facebook URL or you can leave it blank.
  9. Type in your bio.
  10. They allow you to have a header photo. You’ll need something for that.  (Update 4/8/14 – Twitter is changing its look (again). The Header Photo image size should be 1500×500 pixels.
  11. Change the background to Anything but the default clouds. ANYTHING.
  12. Steps 6-10 are in this Screencast.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.)
  15. 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.”
  16. Make it a regular habit (daily at least) to check your twitter account, thank those who have mentioned you, and follow back within reason.

More Resources:

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