You're On Twitter - Now What?

Congratulations! You signed up on Twitter, found a suitable username (I hope), and you're ready to go. Thing is, what do you do now? What do you say? Who do you say it to? What the hell are hashtags*?!

Let's start with 5 simple things you can do:

*Say something: * Why are you on Twitter? Do you have something to say of importance or do you want people to find out more about you/your business? Introduce yourself, let us know what you do, what you like, if you're also on Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram/Linkedin.

Search & follow:

At the top of the page, there's a search bar. So say I want to find a house painter in Nashville, I type in "house painter nashville" and sift through the results.

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Use search to find people who do what you do, or people looking for your services.

I also like to look for websites/blogs I enjoy and follow so go to your bookmarks and find the ones on Twitter and follow them.

If you're a business then find your clients, peers and colleagues. Same thing, go to their website or do a search at the top of the page Find your competitors and follow them.

People will look through the list of who you follow to get an idea of what you like to do or what you're into so if you like sports or a certain TV show and you want to connect with other people who are like you, definitely follow away.

Tell people you're on Twitter

Add the Twitter logo to your website and link to your profile so people who visit will know you're also on there. You can find a logo to use on Twitter's "About" page. Link

Link to your profile on Twitter. Then, start telling your friends by including your new social media profile in your email newsletter, on Facebook, even in your email signature!

Add your Twitter profile link to your other profiles so your followers there can find you as well.

Tell people you already know - Your friends and colleagues are great support systems to start getting a base follower count going. Use those connections, email them and tell them how to find you!

Follow back and say thank you:

Getting a few followers trickling in? Great! Direct Message them and say thanks for following. Against all instinct, don't program your tweets to say the same thing each time or  instantly try to sell them on something. Go check out their most recent tweets and if there's something you can respond to in a more personable way, do so.

For example, my newest follower is local, family-owned business, Specs Optical. Their last tweet said they were moving their business to a new location and they're really excited. So instead of saying "Thanks for the follow, check out how I can help you with social media at my website blahblah" like too many people do, I said, "Good luck with the move! Hope all goes smoothly, will have to visit soon. Thank you for following"

Call me sappy but I prefer getting a message like that than a stock, hey thanks, here's what I do, me, me, me DM.

I know you may not always have time to respond one-by-one, but there's no rule that says you have to answer at immediately either. Most people appreciate a sincere response even if it's a couple of days later. As for following back, sometimes people don't vibe with you, sometimes they do - you're not required to follow them all back but try to especially when you're first starting out.

Note: Don't be rude and follow people and then unfollow them when they follow you back. Don't listen to people who say that having a follower count number higher than the people you follow - it's not true. You can follow as many as you want to or don't want to but it doesn't make you look more important or cooler if your numbers don't match.

Talk TO people, not at them.

I grow weary when I follow a business and all they do is talk about their sales, specials or pricing. Ok, you sell something, tell me something else I don't know. Offer tips and show that you're an authority on your trade. Are you a stylist? Tell us less fashionable people about trends, styling tips or send us to your favorite do-it-yourself resources.

Did someone ask you a question? Answer, don't leave them hanging. Do they have a complaint? Acknowledge it. If you're representing a company or business and don't have full authority to offer something, at the very least let them know their grievances are heard and that you/your company will look into it, especially if it's a legitimate claim. 

Go ahead and try these five things and see where your progress takes you! As for hashtags, we'll delve into that another day. But if you need to know now, feel free to contact me and we can talk about this and even elaborate on a few of these basic steps to really get you going on Twitter.

In the next You're On Twitter - Now What? installment, I'll delve a little deeper into hashtags, bios and your profile picture/cover picture. Click here to make sure you don't miss it!