Joining Twitter, however, is just the first step, and one that studies show, many take, only to leave their account inactive for years to follow. This is unfortunate for many reasons, but even those that are active on Twitter often forget the basics, the fundamental aspects of the platform that many look for when deciding who to follow on Twitter. So without further ado, here are the first five things you should do once you decide to take the leap and join Twitter.
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Can we all just agree that Twitter, as a platform, is a force to reckoned with, or at least one that should not be ignored? If you do not agree with that statement and have not joined Twitter, you are genuinely missing out on one of the most interesting products the web has known, at least from a sociological perspective, not to mention Twitter’s value as a source of useful information.
“OK, I decided on my goals, wrote a bio, added a picture, and followed cool folks, there I’m done.” Yeah, no. Now is when the fun begins. Share interesting content, engage with people, build relationships, be human (yourself, not another human), and to sum up your strategy on Twitter, no matter what your goals are? Provide value. Do that for an extended period of time, and you’ll get it. Trust me, you’ll fall in love, but give it time…
In the early years of Twitter, something I heard a lot of was an argument people are now making about Google+. “No one is there. My feed is empty.” My reply? “Hey Einstein, your feed is empty because you are following two and a half people. Follow some interesting people and guess what will happen? Your Twitter feed will populate itself!” “But who do I follow?” Ah, the million dollar question, which brings us back to point number one. What are your goals? Interested in sports? Follow athletes or sports commentators. Tech? Tech pundits. See where I am going here? Follow your interests—they surely have representation on Twitter. I guarantee it.
When writing this post, I did as I often do and asked on Twitter what people thought were the first things one should do after joining Twitter. 95% of the responses were to add a profile picture instead of the default egg icon. Yes, your face (or company logo perhaps?) should be there somewhere if you want to communicate that you are serious and not a spammer or someone that logs in to Twitter once a year to promote something. Just add a nice profile picture. Was that so difficult?
There has been quite a bit of research conducted about the first thing people look for when stumbling onto someone’s Twitter profile. The bio is in the top two. Again, if your goal on Twitter is to use the platform professionally, then your bio should communicate that. If you are looking to build your career as a comedian, you might want to add a touch of humor in your bio. I think you get the point, you know what they say about first impressions and if in real life, your face is the first thing people see, on Twitter, it’s your bio.
Before you even get started, you need to sit down and have a serious heart to heart with yourself. What are your goals in tweeting? You want to create a personal brand or perhaps, you want to become a glorified RSS feed. Do you want to connect with influencers or do you want to connect with friends? Each of those requires a different voice. Now, no one says you can’t use Twitter for more than one purpose, in fact, it is encouraged, but if you are using it professionally, you might not want to tweet drunk pictures of yourself, or even share very personal details about your life. The point is, think about your audience and remember who you are talking to when tweeting.