It’s easy to sign up for Twitter. Right there on the homepage, you’ll notice the signup box: just enter your full name, email, and password and you’re on your way.
But what happens after you click the confirmation number in that email, and you’re treading into the open waters of hundreds of millions of other accounts, billions of tweets a week, and those weird little hashtags you’ve seen from time to time?
Here are three essential things you need to do right after you sign up for Twitter, to get the most out of our favorite 140-character network.
If you are truly brand-spanking new to Twitter, go through the tutorial they give you after you sign up. If you follow this to the end, you’ll learn what a tweet is, you’ll follow at least five accounts, and you’ll dig through your contact list to see who is already on Twitter. These are all useful lessons, so don’t skip them if you’re a Twitter newbie!
After you’ve completed the tutorial and confirmed your Twitter account through your email, we suggest you immediately do the following:
Fill out your bio
If you want people to follow you on Twitter, it is absolutely necessary that you have a complete bio. Accounts that have not filled out their bio are often seen as spam accounts by fellow Twitter-ers, and you don’t want to be lumped into that category.
To complete your bio, click the silhouette icon in the top right corner of Twitter. In the dropdown menu, click “Settings”. On your settings page, navigate to “Profile” on the left hand side. This is where you’ll be able to upload a profile picture, change or enter your real name, add a location, a website, and describe yourself and your reason for being on Twitter in 160 characters or less.
Start following accounts in your niche
You might’ve begun following some folks already through the Twitter tutorial, but you’ve got to follow more than 5 accounts to get the most out of Twitter. Plus, you want to follow accounts in your niche or area of interest. Following accounts that are relevant to your interests, your business, or your reason for being on Twitter will allow you to network with and learn from influential people in your niche.
Try using Twitter’s search to look for keywords that people in your niche might be using, or check out Listorious to search through a directory of Twitter users, categorized by topics like social media, music and business.
And if you’re interested in getting followers yourself, check out Shea’s guide here.
Send out your first tweet
So now you have a completed bio, you’re following a handful of interesting accounts, and you probably have a few followers yourself. It’s time to start tweeting!
Twitter is the social information network. It’s important to always try to give your followers something of value in each tweet – an interesting idea, a relevant link, an out-of-the-box opinion.
Writing a great tweet isn’t easy (but thankfully we have a guide to writing the perfect tweet!) and it will take time to get the hand of it. But on Twitter, you learn by doing, so jump in, write a tweet introducing yourself to the Twitter-sphere, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Twitter pro in no time.