Twitter Newbie Tip: Getting Past Stage Fright

If you’re new to Twitter or know someone who is, you’ll want to read this post.

We hear a lot about folks being hesitant to tweet because they’re afraid they’ll look foolish in some way, so instead they just silently observe – yet inside they long to join the fray. Know this: Twitter stage fright is the same as public speaking – you have to get out there and do it. It’s the only way to conquer it.

And we have some advice that will ease your mind.
Twitter is its own social animal. Nothing like Facebook – or even MySpace, for those who supposedly frequent that site, Twitter has a look, feel and interaction etiquette all its own.

The pace of the public feed streaming by can be disconcerting to new tweople – and once they figure out how the whole thing works, the confusion quickly turns to dread for many, with two questions looming large: What should I say? Will anyone notice/talk to me? It’s like the first day of school.

Here’s a tip: If you’re entirely stuck and don’t know what to say, a quick way to both find a topic and find folks to interact with is by jumping on a trending topic. Yes, they can be either lame or rowdy depending on the topic, but if you want to jump right in with something silly, there you go. Take today, for instance – who couldn’t think of SOMETHING to say about McDonalds’ McWings or Lies I Told My Parents?

OR – if you want a more professional route, you can always join in a Twitter chat. There are so many chats happening every day and covering a pretty endless list of topics. You can find out all about them, from how to join one to a master list of available chats here.

And if you start off on the wrong foot and can’t scroll back far enough to see what you did, you can always view your old tweets using one of these services and see how damaging they really were (you worry too much). Note that this will only work until you reach 3,200 tweets – after that point, there’s no going back!

Worst case? You can always delete your profile and those embarrassing tweets will go away . . . eventually. It’s best to learn to laugh at yourself and go with the flow though – or just avoid online participation entirely, as missteps are inevitable.

So tell those wallflowers to get out there and start tweeting!

Have you ever tweeted something you regretted? Tell us about it, if you’re brave!

(Man peeking out photo from Shutterstock)