by Kelly Lucas, marketing and social media manager
You’ve finally decided to try “the Twitter” about which all the kids are raving. You go to the main website, enter your email and create a Twitter name, or “handle,” and sit back to wait for the magic to happen. So now what?
While this one post won’t give you all the answers to really taking advantage of your Twitter account, we’ve compiled a few quick tips to help get you started and on your way to becoming social media savvy.
Pick your avatar wisely. Your profile picture, otherwise known as an avatar, is one of the first things people see when they view your Twitter profile. The pictures are pretty small when in the Twitter news feed. People have the ability to click on your picture and view the full size version, but not everyone will take the time to do this. Choose a picture that even when very small is still clear and identifiable. It’s also advisable to steer clear of pictures with obscene material or ones that might come back to haunt you if the wrong person viewed it.
Take the time to create a background. Another major visual on your Twitter profile is your background image. Twitter has preset designs that you can use, with the standard being the “blue clouds” background. But since these are available to everyone, that means A LOT of people will have the same background as you do. If you are using your Twitter account for business purposes, you try to differentiate yourself. You can Google “Twitter backgrounds” and find tons of free backgrounds that have been created by artists and designers. However, if you have the ability to create your own, that is best. There are tutorials online for creating a background in pretty much any program, or you can always hire someone to create one that will look professional and reinforce your branding.
Tweet something interesting before you ever follow anyone. Most people sign up for a Twitter account and immediately start following other people and then wonder why no one follows them back. If you’ve not yet tweeted anything, someone visiting your profile will have nothing upon which to base an opinion and move right along. Before you follow anyone, take the time to tweet several items, whatever it is that you want to be known for, so that when you do start following other Twitter members, they’ll be able to see what you’re about. And please, whatever you do, do not do the obligatory first tweet, “Hey, just trying out this Twitter thing” or any variation thereof.
Participate in the trending topics. As long as you can make them work within the boundaries of what you wish to accomplish, participate in the trending topics. On the right side of your Twitter page, you’ll find a list of items that are trending in people’s tweets. Often, people will search for tweets containing this hot topic and start online conversations. You can take this opportunity to jump into the middle of a hot conversation and potentially make new connections and gain new followers. You can adjust the topics to be those that are trending locally or worldwide, whatever works best for you.
These are just a few ideas to help get you started with your new Twitter account. I’ll create more posts in the future with some more ideas to help you maximize your participation in the online world. If you’ve got questions about anything in particular, let me know in the comments, and I may even use your question to dictate the next post. Happy Tweeting!