are you new to TwitterIf you’re new to Twitter, it usually takes some time to get your head around it. I know it took me five attempts over about six months before I got going. So here’s a few little hints that might help you enjoy Twitter sooner.

Twitter is texting/SMS gone mad. You can contact friends, family, or the entire planet. At the beginning you’ll need to find two elements. Some people to chat with, and some people to be informed or entertained by. The best place to do this is with Twitter Search, or the ‘Who To Follow’ suggestions on your Twitter home page. At first try to go half and half but don’t try to follow too many at the beginning otherwise it is all too confusing. Start with about 1-200.

Users with very a large following and are only following a few are normally celebrity or media, so follow to be informed. To find some new friends, look for users with a more balanced follower/following ratio of between 500-3000. These are usually active Tweeter and fun to hook up with. (Just check their last tweets to see if you’ll get on!)

Then download a good Twitter desktop application as they are much better than the Twitter home page. Try Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Seismic among a number of others. Then once your set, start reading a few tweets, respond to a few and get your feet wet.

There are two types of Tweet. A mention which is public and preceded by the @ symbol and a direct message (DM) which is private and preceded by a ‘d’.

Just remember that a public Tweet can end up anywhere, even on Google, so be polite.

Once you have sent and received a few tweets and made a few contacts, you’ll find that more experienced users are always ready to help. So don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Twitter is fun and a great way to meet people with similar interests and also to get attention for your cause, blog, book or whatever. It’s also a marketing jungle, so you will need to do a bit of sorting once you’re up and running.

But be patient, it’s worth the effort.

Books By Derek Haines
Derek’s Vandal Blog
Derek on Twitter

The Newbies Idiot Guide To Twitter
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11 thoughts on “The Newbies Idiot Guide To Twitter

  • 09/06/2011 at 3:09 pm

    LOL! You are right on all accounts…Loved the title! LMAO

  • 09/06/2011 at 3:12 pm

    Loved your poll…I often wondered how many people had thought of this. A coffee from Starbucks costs $4+ while an ebook can cost as little as $0.99. Those who claim books cost a lot, may want to think again.

  • 09/06/2011 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks for your comments Maria. But now I think i should be selling coffee instead of writing books!!

  • 09/06/2011 at 5:26 pm

    Coffee, black,NOW! :)

  • 09/06/2011 at 5:33 pm

    Comin' up Jack! With biscuits? :)

  • 09/06/2011 at 10:07 pm

    Derek thank you so much for this it will really help out… matthew885

  • 09/06/2011 at 10:15 pm

    Glad to help Matthew. Have fun :)

  • 10/06/2011 at 3:26 am

    Very good advice for the "newbie's" Derek. I might add something that I did when I started on Twitter; Spam! Like many, I didn't "get it" in the beginning & kept spewing out all me, me, me…trying to sell, sell, sell! Wrong! Don't do it; it is "Social Media" for, as you said; exchanging information & developing relationships with your followers ☮~Anne

  • 10/06/2011 at 7:18 am

    So true Anne. As a starving author I did exactly the same at the beginning. It was too tempting. But you learn fast that 'BUY MY BOOK NOW' doesn't work and the immediate loss of followers makes you wake up fast. Social Media is about building trust. That takes time, patience and goodwill. Thanks for your comment.

  • 10/06/2011 at 7:54 am

    Not a minute too late! Good read, and useful too. Cheers.

  • 11/06/2011 at 9:19 am

    Really very useful article, Derek, thank you for sharing your hard found experience. Have to say some of your advice I had already began to understand from my own observation, but useful to have confirmation from a more experienced Twit :-).

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