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Twitter for Beginners – 5 tips to getting started

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I love Twitter. I love the the race of conversations, the sheer information, the knowledge, the community.

The drawback of Twitter is the same thing that makes it so fantastic: it draws you in, makes you addicted and can take up a lot of your time because there is so much going on, so many links to great articles, so many wonderful conversations. There is support if you need it, answers to questions if you have them, someone awake in the middle of the night if you are too, someone to give you a hug if you want one. There is information on top of information, so much in fact that you could probably spend a whole day busy on Twitter. If you’re not already on Twitter, I really recommend it.

As most of my readers are not bloggers, I thought I would write a quick Twitter for Beginners.

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Twitter for Beginners – 5 tips to getting started

Start tweeting! Don’t wait to have followers to do this. You might want to connect with family and friends or find people who work in a particular industry or who tweet about particular subjects. Think about what you want to use Twitter for (maybe all of the above) and think of something relevant to say in an update.

At the same time you will want to find like-minded people to follow: find a subject area (you can search by hashtags, for example #ballet or #XFactor) and see who is talking about those subjects. Or follow bloggers who blog about a certain topic, for example @mashable if you are into social media. Then look at who they follow or follow the suggestions that Twitter makes.

Start a conversation: tweet something and you may find that one of your followers responds. Ask a question because people on Twitter love to help. Another way to get into conversation is to respond to someone else’s tweet, particularly if they have asked a question. They may respond to your tweet, if they do – great. If they don’t, don’t lose heart, find another conversation and try again. If you find you’re not getting many responses try to look for people who don’t have thousands of followers.

The community aspect of Twitter is really important and most people really appreciate you RTing (retweeting their tweets) if they have asked (it will say please RT at the end of their tweet) or if you find their tweet interesting. If someone RTs your tweet it is good to thank them.

If you’re finding it a bit overwhelming or you have limited time, you can use lists to break it down a bit. Your lists can be private or public. When I’ve checked the current tweets in my timeline, I usually go to my private favourites list to see what my favourite tweeters are saying. I also have a public CyberMummy conference attendees list and I usually check there to get to know some of the tweeters that I will be meeting in June.

I follow some really fantastic people, mostly mummybloggers, if you want to take a look to get started. Once you have a bit of experience there are lots of tools to help you make the most of Twitter, but I’ll save that for another post. For now, jump in and have fun!

What do you think of Twitter?

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Welcome to the Friday Club Carnival, a weekly carnival held here. This week’s Carnival is all about Twitter and here are the other entries in this carnival. There is lots of valuable information about Twitter here so please click through and enjoy the posts from these Twitter users:

Nova at Cherished By Me posts Tweet Tweet

Hayley at Simply Hayley posts Twitter :: Tips to stay safe!

Heather at SAHM Loving It posts Twitter World – The Extended Friday Follow #ff

Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family posts Twitterholics Anonymous….

Susanne at Ghostwritermummy posts Twitter

Kelly from Domestic Goddesque posts The Twitterverse

Maggy at Red Ted Art posts Nothing To Do with Anything and Everything.

Updated:
Jax at Making It Up posts Belated Bleating.

Jules at I need curtains for the window in my head…. posts Chirpy Chirpy Tweet Tweet :)

Waterbirthplease tweets Twit!

Photo: The Next Web

14 comments… add one

  • Jules January 14, 2011, 4:06 pm

    Hi Ella,
    I’ve written a piece about Twitter, should I email it to you so you can see if it’s ok? :)
    Jules x

    • ella January 14, 2011, 4:51 pm

      I’m afraid you’ve missed the link-up with all the other bloggers Jules – you needed to email the link to the published post by noon today, sorry. But if you still want to post it on your blog now, I am very happy to link back to it from my blog :)

  • CherishedByMe January 14, 2011, 8:57 pm

    Great tips! I didn’t know you could make lists private….not that I’ve got the hang of lists anyway. I will attempt to try them. :)

    • ella January 14, 2011, 9:15 pm

      Lists really help me keep track of what different groups of people are saying.

    • Cass January 15, 2011, 12:31 pm

      I love my bloggers list – it makes keeping up so much easier.

      • ella January 15, 2011, 12:44 pm

        Lists really help don’t they, otherwise everything goes by so fast and I miss so much!

  • Cass January 15, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I know what you mean about Twitter drawing you in, it’s the sense of community that does it, I think.

    • ella January 15, 2011, 12:44 pm

      The community aspect is wonderful.

  • Minty January 15, 2011, 12:41 pm

    Brilliant list! Wish I’d had that a couple of weeks ago! x

    • ella January 15, 2011, 12:44 pm

      Thank you. I hope it helps anyone just starting out on Twitter, or thinking of doing so. x

  • Mommy January 16, 2011, 7:04 am

    Thank you, thank you for this great 101 for new Tweeters like me. Off to read the other posts now…

    • ella January 17, 2011, 5:21 pm

      Oh, so lovely that I might have helped someone! Thank you for saying that :)

  • maggy, red ted art January 16, 2011, 10:58 am

    Thanks for a fab carnival!

    Maggy

    • ella January 17, 2011, 5:20 pm

      You’re welcome, thanks for taking part :)

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