Lessons From My 1st Week On Twitter

easternbluebird0811.jpg

Picture from Birds of Oklahoma

It has now been exactly one week since I joined Twitter, and so I thought I’d let you all know how I’m getting on with it.  I’d like to say right off, that it has exceeded my expectations and I will be continuing to tweet.  Here are my stats after one week:

  • Updates:  44
  • Following: 22
  • Followers: 13

As with all new things, I’ve had a pretty steep learning curve.  I know that there are a lot of people who read this blog are not a part of Twitter, whether that’s because they believe they don’t have time for it, or because they are put off by the prospect of others microblogging about daily minutiae.  These were also concerns of mine, but what I’d like to do in this post is explain why my fears were unfounded and to give a few pointers to those either considering trying it out or who are new to it too.

One of the best things about joining Twitter is that I’ve met some really interesting people through it.  I’ve now subscribed to their blogs, and I enjoy reading what they have to say both on Twitter and on their blog.  Similarly, I would like to think that those who have discovered me through Twitter enjoy what I write.  It has certainly brought new people to my blog, who may not have discovered it otherwise.  As for the endless noise of Twitter – you don’t have to tune into it if you don’t want to.  You will only be sent the tweets from those that you follow, and you decide who to follow.

Now, on to my lessons learned over this last week:

  • Upload a photo or image to use on your profile.  I can only speak for myself, but I am so much more likely to check out someone’s tweets, and then possibly choose to follow them, if they have a photo instead of the generic Twitter image.
  • Write a short bio which renders you unique.  When you move your mouse over someone’s photo, their bio appears and that, along with the image, is your first impression.  Make sure the first impression you leave is memorable.
  • Don’t limit your tweets to blog post broadcasts.  Twitter is a platform which facilitates microblogging, and, as with all blogging, it should be a conversation.  By using @username you can reply to other’s tweets in order to answer question, recommend links etc.
  • Provide content.  I’ve been using Twitter to share TED talks that I’ve watched, inspirational quotes, photos that I’ve liked.  If you only use Twitter to reply to others then it can seem a little cliquish, and I tend to take it as an indication that you won’t be contributing a lot of new content.
  • Use direct messaging to continue conversations.  As a way to negotiate the balance between content and replies, use direct messaging.  In this way you can keep up a dialogue without drowning out your content.
  • Remember to promote others as well as yourself.  By using tinyurl you can condense links to fit into your 140 character limit.  When I find a post that I like, I stumble it first, and then I make it into a tinyurl before including it in a Twitter post.  This shows that you are engaged in your niche and that you are not solely interested in yourself and your own blog.

I hope this has been of some help to those just beginning their Twitter journey, as I am, or if you’re considering having a go at it. I would love to hear what lessons you have learned from Twitter.  Also, if you have any questions about it, I’ll do my best to answer them or give you advice on where to find an answer.

Piqued your interest?

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January 28, 2008. Inspiration.

10 Comments

  1. Penelope Anne replied:

    As much as I love you sweets, I will not become a Tweet, or Twit…I won’t join, how’s that? I have to stop feeding my online addiction. My kids will never get educated otherwise.

  2. amypalko replied:

    Fair enough, Penelope. Just as long as you continue to blog and comment, I’ll be happy 🙂

  3. Joanna Young replied:

    Hi Amy, I had you down as a long-time tweeter, you do it so naturally and gracefully!

    I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and the way you write and think this week 🙂

    Joanna

  4. On a Limb with Claudia replied:

    Arg…. I did twitter for a while and got a little overwhelmed with it. I found it so distracting that I had to stop using it. I’m impressed with your conquering of this unknown territory.

  5. amypalko replied:

    What a lovely compliment, Joanna. Thank you! Your words are so encouraging for a Twitter newbie 🙂

    I think you have to be quite disciplined with it, Claudia. If you’re not careful, it could so easily distract from getting on with things.

  6. toni replied:

    I’m a Twitter too! While I enjoy updating my twits, I also like reading what my contacts are up to. It’s a joy replying to their comments and getting a conversation going that way too!

    And may I add you to my Twitter contacts? I’m macaronigirl. 😉

  7. amypalko replied:

    I’ll add you now, Toni!

  8. diane replied:

    Amy,

    I’ve been on Twitter since September and now consider it indispensable. The people I “converse” with online are, in some ways, more real to me than my school colleagues.

    You’ve learned a lot so quickly!

    It will be a pleasure to get to know you better.

    diane

  9. amypalko replied:

    I’m glad I’ve found you on Twitter, Diane. Your link for the dino site was very much appreciated by my kids as well as me 🙂

  10. How Twitter Helped Me Meet My Deadline « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] If you are new to Twitter, then you might want to check out my post on lessons from my first week of Twitter.  Oh, and if you want to follow me, click here. […]

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