I started using Twitter a couple of years ago when I first started blogging. I do believe that if used properly, it can be a great source for discovery and networking. I am writing this article for people that may be new to Twitter (and some that have been on it awhile) to give some advice that will help you in your quest to network on Twitter. No, I am not an expert in Twitter, but I have some experience with it and have manged multiple Twitter accounts (currently I have 4).

Before I get into my list, I want to say that Twitter has become more and more “spammy” and there are tons of “make money on Twitter” scams out there. I am not into that scene at all. Yes it is ok to promote your site and throw links out, but I try to also engage in conversation as well, as a matter of fact, if you don’t mix in re-tweets, replies and basic tweets with your promotional tweets, I will usually get tired of it and unfollow you.

Twitter Must Do’s: twitter_icons

  1. Use Your Name! I first started out on twitter as “thefencepost” because I owned a fence contracting business and I wanted everyone to know what I did, not who I was. I have since sold that business and had to change twitter “handles” so I could promote myself and be more personal. I believe, just like on your blog, putting a personal touch on it will benefit you. I couldn’t fit my whole name so I used my first initial and last name (harder to spell it than it is to say it). But if you want to create a “brand” for yourself then don’t go for a name like “seo master” or “blogger43546″ (been seeing a lot of those lately!) try to fit your name or your brand. I do like handles that use a site name to build brand for it too (like @problogger, or @BloggingTips) because they have clearly already branded that name as themselves.
  2. Upload a Pic! I really hate when I get a follow from someone that hasn’t even taken the time to upload a pic or gravatar or anything and the stock twitter bird is still there. It only takes a minute, upload a pic!
  3. Bio! It is there for a reason, fill it out. Tell me something about yourself, what do you do, hobbies, addictions (I am addicted to my blackberry) etc… This part is SO important, if you haven’t filled out a Bio, I usually won’t follow you unless you are ESPN or Nike or something like that where it is obvious. And please, please, please DON’T use the words “Guru, Expert, Evangelist, or Coach” anywhere in your bio.
  4. No Shortened Links on your profile! This is a dead giveaway that you plan on spamming me with affiliate links.
  5. Use a desktop app like Tweetdeck or Seesmic to keep up with your twitter account, it really makes it so much easier. There are many Twitter Apps to choose from but those two are my favorites.
  6. Stay away from all the “get free followers” sites if you can, the followers you get will have nothing in common with you. I have been using TweetSpinner lately and it finds followers based on targeted keywords that you choose and it doesn’t send out tweets under my account that are spammy. I like it so far.

These are some basics to help get you started, if I missed something feel free to add it below in the comments.

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Filed under: Social Networking

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