New Public Relations, Social Media — 9 Simple Steps to Create Your Own Twitter Account — This really is for beginners!
Learn Social Media with Laurie DunlopTwitter. It’s in the news. Your favorite talk show hosts talk about it. Political cartoonists illustrate it. Politicians, celebrities, and family physicians now “Tweet.” While the wave of popularity continues to evolve you can jump in and engage potential customers in this new social media platform.
It takes some commitment, but Twittering is fun and educational. You can benefit from an endless stream of resources, and better yet, set yourself up as a credible resource within your area of expertise.
(Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time. A “Tweet” is the mini blog entry you type, in 140 characters or less.)
When you type “Twitter for Beginners” into a search engine, a long list of results reveals blog posts and articles to get started; however I found many of the postings do not necessarily mean the true “I don’t know where to start” beginner. In this post I assume you are a true newbie just as I was a few months ago. Read these step-by-step instructions to create your Twitter account today!
Link to Twitter’s sign-up page.
Keep a few things in mind when you create an account.
Your username is what people see when they read your Tweets. If you plan to use your Twitter account for business, you might want to use your business name. If your business is large and several employees Twitter for work too, then you might use your own name or one related to your business. Try not to use a stream of nonsense letters because your Twitter name is part of your brand or identity.
Once you create your account, select settings and personalize your Twitter account for your identity.
The first tab under settings, account, includes fields such as your user name, email address, time zone, location, and language. You can also enter a one line bio. This bio should include the words you want people to use to find you, so if you plan to Twitter about your association’s mission of saving the world from the passive voice in writing, then include that in your bio. When potential followers type “passive writing” into search, your profile appears.
The password tab allows you to change your password. Self-explanatory, right!
The devices tab is where you enter your mobile phone number so you can Twitter from your cell phone, iPhone, Blackberry, etc.
Notices is the tab where you make selections for which items get emailed to your account. If you want to receive notification of new followers, direct messages, and @replies, make the appropriate selections here.
The picture tab is where you upload your photo, logo, or icon that represents your Twitter profile. I use my own picture for my personal profile and the NetStrategies logo for our company profile. This again is part of your branding and I suggest you use a distinctive photo.
The final tab in the settings section is design. Twitter offers a variety of free sample designs. Most Twitter aficionados recommend you upload your own background design. Create your own by uploading a digital image. You could tile it, which is what I did. Get as creative as you like. Some folks even hire a designer. This again is part of your branding. Play around with a few to see what works. Keep in mind that the stream of Twitter updates blocks a significant portion of the screen.
You can now begin to Tweet! Take a few days to add posts for practice. Look around within Twitter to investigate the search function (found at the very bottom of the page), blog (bottom of page), and find people feature. Once you have a rhythm, take advantage of the many applications available to manage your Twittering.
Twitter just posted their own Twitter 101 Guide for Beginners!
Next week learn about a few Twitter applications I use to find followers, track and measure keywords, manage accounts simultaneously, and schedule Tweets.
By Laurie Dunlop
May 12th, 2009 at 10:10 am