Browsing Beginner's Guide

New to Twitter? Check out our Beginner’s Guide for all the basics.

Ten People All Twitter Beginners Should be Following

In this post Mark Hayward (follow @mark_hayward) provides a list of ten people that all twitter beginners should be following. If you have other “must follow” recommendations for beginners, please feel free to put them in the comments.

Did you just take the big leap and open your first Twitter account? Is it for work, business, or pleasure?

A few months ago I joined Twitter, primarily as a way to network, but also to help people, and as a way to promote Train for Humanity and my small business.

When you start using Twitter for the first time it can feel a bit overwhelming, almost like entering a really crowded train station during rush hour on a Friday afternoon. There are lots of conversations and commotion going on everywhere, but you are in the station by yourself, an outsider, and certainly not a participant.
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Don’t Be A Twitter Snob, Focus on Friendships

Relationships are at the heart of good use of Flickr. Today Vera Raposo (follow her at @veraraposo) from Small Business Branding shares some tips on being more relational with Twitter.

Recently at my site I put out a question to my readers, “Are You A Twitter Snob?” It was something I’ve been thinking about for some time. It really started to annoy me when people would join Twitter, have all these followers and then never follow people back. It also was bothering me that people are just not taking the time to reply back to others. The post really turned more into a rant than anything but I think it got a good point across. After my rant was done I figured, now I really need to take the time to come up with some positive ways we can connect with others on Twitter.

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Here are five of the more common ways we can build relationships with others via the use of Twitter.

1. Connect with Friends & Family

Whether you’re a stay at home mom, small business owner, or just looking for some friendly conversation, Twitter is a great place to forge new friendships. You can easily begin following those with similar interests and before you know it, you’ve made friends from all over the world.

Ever wonder what happened to your best buds in high school or college? Twitter has been used to connect with old friends from the past as well. Unlike MySpace or Facebook type sites, Twitter makes it easy to talk with others in real time instead of leaving a message and waiting for your friends to sign on and reply.

Are you a military family who moves a lot? Do you attend college in a different state than your family lives? Do you travel for work? If you spend time away from your family and would like a way to keep in touch that is more personal than email, try Twitter.

2. Find Work

Many times Twitter users post employment or freelance opportunities. They may need a freelance writer to put together a few articles for them or a graphics designer to create images for their website. Other Twitter users also post about jobs they know of that might interest their followers.

3. Gain New Customers and Clients

As a business owner, you should already know that word of mouth advertising is one of the best and least expensive ways to gain new business. With Twitter it’s not uncommon to see business owners plugging their own products to their followers. Perhaps even better, is when others who have used the product begin talking about it to their followers?

By following those in your target market on Twitter, you put yourself in a position to find out exactly what it is they need. What better way to do market research and maybe even make a few friends in the process. Just no spamming pretty please..

4. Find Products or Services You’re In Need of

As a consumer, word of mouth plays a big factor in whether or not you decide to buy a product. By communicating with other Twitter users, you learn what businesses are worth buying from and which to steer clear of. Twitter users will gladly share their opinions of products or services that they’ve used in the past.

Looking for a particular product or service and have trouble finding it? Don’t fret; your Twitter pals can more than likely lend a hand. Just sign in and ask your followers if they know where you can find it.

5. Form Partnerships

Because Twitter includes people from all over the world, the chances of meeting someone you may not have ever come in connect with otherwise, are high. You might have an affiliate program that fits the needs of a website owner half way across the globe.

There have also been many business partnerships blossom on Twitter. Do you have a passion for something, but don’t have all the skills necessary to make it a money making reality alone? Following those with the same interests can lead to turning your dream into actuality by forming a joint venture.

Twitter is a powerhouse on the Internet when it comes to forming relationships with others. Whether you’re just looking for some conversation, want to keep abreast of the latest news around the world, or are looking for thoughts and opinions a particular item, the site has a way of giving you what you seek through those who use it. Relationships are what make the world go around and when you aren’t limited to a small area, but instead have the entire world to connect with, the possibility of forming lasting relationships is a promising one. :-)

11 Ways to Use Twitter to Help Your Site Go Viral

How can Twitter be used to help spread the word of your website or blog? Today Jeff Printy, Creator of Write or Die (follow him @DrWicked.

Twitter is one of the most satisfying ways to spread your website or idea. In addition to referrals, you can also gain loyal users, expert opinions, and possibly friends. It’s unlike any other medium in its ability to propagate interesting things. Word of mouth has always been the best advertising and Twitter is the best vehicle on the internet for word of mouth.

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Here are some things you can do to get people Tweeting about your site.

1. Learn to explain the concept of your website in 140 characters or less.

Less than 100 characters if possible, to leave room for the URL. The second part of this is to pay attention after the launch not to just who is Tweeting, but how. If people are describing your site in a different way than you are, that give you a good idea of which parts they find useful. This is honesty that you cannot buy with market research.

2. When describing your site, leave something to the imagination.

Give Twitterers a reason to click and find out more. My tagline is “If you stop writing, there will be consequences,” that’s 46 characters, which leaves me more than enough room for the title of my site and the URL.

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Twitter as Dinner Conversation: A Guide to Using Replies

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In this post Chuck Westbrook (follow him @cwestbrook) looks uses the analogy of Dinner Conversation to explain the basics of different types of communication on Twitter. Image by Thomas Hawk

Twitter is a lot like a dinner with a large group of friends at a big table in a busy restaurant. Everyone is chatting, there’s a lot being said, and if you’re not focused on a particular conversation, it sounds downright noisy. So just like a large group setting in real life, there are some conventions about how people tune in to listen and the most effective ways to be sociable.

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10 Easy Steps for Twitter Beginners

In this guest post Aira Bongco (@airabongco) shares 10 tips for Beginners who are just getting into Twitter.

So you just signed up for Twitter. You make your first tweet and you realize you don’t have any followers. “What a dumb idea!” You say. “Who the hell would be interested in what I’m doing anyway?”

Don’t worry. You’re normal. That is a sign that you are a Twitter beginner. A lot of us Twitter users (or addicts) went through the same questioning routine. And look at us now. We’re geeks who are on Twitter all day and night and we can’t stop tweeting.

So you want to be like us? It’s not that hard really. Just follow these simple steps.

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1. Set up your profile

The first thing you need to do is to set up that profile. See that bar on top of your twitter page? Click Settings and start filling up your profile. The notable areas in here are URL, bio, picture and design. Put up a link to your site or blog in here along with a brief description. Upload a picture to differentiate yourself from the others and then tweak your Twitter design. Like any other social networking site, it is important to completely express what you are or what you stand for in your profile.

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Make a Tweet Plan to Get the Most from Twitter

Do you have a Twitter Plan? I don’t – but when Nicole Nicolay (@nik_nik) from My Tech Opinion told me about hers I asked her to write it up as a post. It won’t be for everyone but for those who like a little structure – a Twitter Plan might help. Here’s Nicole’s tutorial.

Is there rhyme to your twitter reason? Do you have a plan when it comes to your tweets, or are you a spontaneous tweeter? Believe it or not, there can be a happy medium.

If you let it, Twitter can easily steal your time and work efficiency. And as much I enjoy conversing with others in the comforts of my home office, it can be extremely distracting if you are tuned into Twitter all day long. So how do you stop diluting your work day but also take advantage of this rockin’ social media channel… especially, if it’s not in your regular job description (if it is, lucky you)? Simply put, you need a Tweet Plan. With a Tweet Plan you can pre-organize and categorize your tweets for future use… keeping you more on track during your work day. Hey, you plan your blog posts, why not your tweets?!

FOLLOWING YOUR OWN TWEET PLAN

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Defining Twitter Goals: A Tip for Successful Use of Twitter

Twitter-Goals.jpgDo you know what you are aiming to achieve with Twitter? Do you have Goals in mind as you Tweet?

Here is an instant messaging exchange that I had with a TwiTip reader yesterday.

Reader: “I want to grow my Twitter follower numbers? Can you help me!”
Darren: “Can I ask you a question?”
Reader: “Sure”
Darren: “Why do you want more followers?”
Reader: “Everyone wants more followers don’t they? I want to be more connected and to have more followers.”
Darren: “Let me ask another question – Why are you using Twitter?”
Reader: “I am using Twitter to get more connections. I want to connect with as many people as I can.”
Darren: “But why? What’s the purpose of that?”
Reader: “Because it means I’m a more powerful Twitter user. Tell me, how do I get more followers?”
Darren: “I’m still not sure why you want more followers or why you’re using Twitter?”
Reader: “That doesn’t matter – I just want more followers.”

This conversation went on for another few minutes – I won’t bore you with the details (we went in circles) but I think it illustrates an issue that I see many Twitter users having – they don’t know why they’re using the medium.

I can relate to this. In my own early days of using Twitter I didn’t really know why I was using it either. I saw everyone else doing it and while I was a little skeptical of the medium thought I ’should’ at least give it a go. I had no real outcomes in mind and as a result – it showed in my Tweeting.

My first few days (if not weeks) of using Twitter were unfocussed and scattered. As a result I didn’t really ‘achieve’ much. Sure I found a few followers – but because I didn’t know what I wanted to get out of Twitter I didn’t really get much.

It took me a while – but I slowly realized that I needed to be more focused in my use of Twitter and to work out what outcomes I was hoping for.

Being successful at something is very hard if you don’t know what you want to achieve. It’s much easier to hit your target…. if you know what it is.
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Why We Love Twitter

A few months ago I asked my Twitter followers why they loved Twitter. This video is a compilation of their responses.