Five Steps To Get Started On Twitter

As the new AllTwitter writer, I thought it would be appropriate to start off by sharing some of my top tips for people new to Twitter or those looking for a refresher course on the basics.

It’s been a little while since AllTwitter published Five Tips for Twitter Newbies, and at the rate social media refines and updates itself, it’s not too soon for an update.

Here are five easy steps to get started on Twitter. If you’re a long-time user, use the steps as an excuse to assess whether your Twitter M.O. needs tweaking.

Choose a Handle

Your Twitter username is your identity on the platform, and you want people to be able to find you. Best practice is to choose a Twitter handle close to your name or brand, like @JaneDoe or @Cajun_Cafe. Alternatively, use your handle to reflect your expertise, like @PhillyAdPro. Keep in mind you have a 15-character limit.

Write a Bio

Your 160-character Twitter bio is just as important. Make sure you use search-friendly keywords that enable people to a) find you, and b) understand who you are. Be creative but precise.

Rock Your Profile Picture

As we’ve shared before, your Twitter profile pic is like speed dating. Make an immediate impression with the photo you choose, whether it’s a smiling headshot or an image representative of what you do – a chef in a kitchen wearing her chef whites; an adventure racer mid-marathon.

Get Connected

Tailor your Twitter stream to reflect your interests. On your profile page, you’ll find a customized list of Who to Follow. You can also import contacts from email. Browse Twitter by category to discover users based on topic, or tap into third-party sites like, or

And, You’re Off!

Once you join Twitter, commit to sending consistent, succinct and high-quality tweets into the Twittersphere. That ideally means tweeting at least two or three times a day, and using your 140 characters to some end. No one cares what you ate for breakfast; but if you’re a foodie, they might care if you ate an omelet made from local eggs and you link to the website of the farmshare you participate in. Use hashtags to join a conversation or help your followers identify what message you’re sending. Engage with Twitter users by responding thoughtfully.

Perhaps most importantly, keep tweets short to leave room for people to reply to yours, and to avoid clogging up people’s Twitter streams to the point of being an annoyance.

The more you tweet, the more comfortable you’ll get. And the more invaluable you’ll find the new community you just joined.

Further required reading: 10 Must-Learn Lessons For Twitter Newbies.

What do you think? Do you feel better prepped for tweeting?

(Bird image from Shutterstock)