I’ve heard many active Facebook users complain that they just “don’t get” Twitter. I remember that feeling. Three years ago when a colleague introduced me to Twitter and told me we were going to start using it for our company, I resisted. I just didn’t get it. Although I was an active Facebook user for many years, I recognized that the culture of the Twitter community was different and I simply didn’t understand it. I needed to ease myself into the Twitter community, and here are a few of the steps I took to do that:
- I added a profile picture, bio, link to my website and created a custom background (which is easier than it sounds, I talked about that in this post).
- I started following people I found interesting and watched what they were tweeting.
- I made an effort to begin tweeting something every day – even just one message per day to begin working it into my daily routine.
- I learned what all of those funny looking characters meant (# @ FF). I wrote a post about that recently that you can read here.
- I set up some automatic feeds like from my blog to Twitter to help me tweet more often without having to do more work.
- I set up a Google alert to watch for the things I would want to announce to my audience and started tweeting those things (like book reviews and author interviews).
- I began interacting with other Tweeps (Twitter users). When I saw a question I could answer or something interesting I could comment on, I began to develop conversations with others folks.
Being a Twitter user now for about 3 years, I find it a lot of fun and a great way to build connections with people in ways I could never have imagined before. I have reconnected with old friends and interacted with high level bloggers/tweeters like @Problogger (during the Super Bowl!) and @Portentint (who will be interviewed on this blog soon).
For people who are dabbling in Twitter or trying to figure out what it’s all about, just for fun or for business or book promotion purposes, my best advice is jump in! Make an effort to check Twitter once a day for a just 15 minutes. Tweet something, retweet something you see that’s interesting, reply to messages if you have any and just ease yourself in. Eventually you will get comfortable with it and have fun!
Once you’re up and running, you can follow me on Twitter @kellyschuknecht.