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Social 101: Getting Started with Twitter

Welcome to Social 101, the first post in a five-post series about mastering social to build your personal/professional brand eminence. Whether you are new to social or an old pro I hope you find this series valuable!

A few foundational salient points

  • My purview will be that Twitter is used open and publicly for personal and business interactions and that Facebook is used privately for personal interactions only
  • It is assumed that you are at least basically familiar with social and that you see the value of such
  • This series should serve as the start of the conversation, not an end-all guide for your own social proliferation across the different platforms

And now, on to the content!

Social 101: Getting Started with Twitter
While many people have now become accustomed to using Facebook (or Google +) to post and share personal content and photos, the concepts around the why and how to use Twitter are still relatively foreign. So, let’s address some questions!

Why should I use Twitter? I am already on Facebook!
There are four primary reasons why I use, and why I think you, should use Twitter.

  • Build new connections in your industry or area of interest
    • Especially important for people in consultant or relationship-oriented roles. Think of this as expanding your LinkedIn network but with real-time feeds and connections
  • Watch companies and people to gain intelligence
    • Are you responsible for PRM (partner relationship management) or for gathering intelligence to help win deals or just in general have better conversations? Twitter is a great place to go for help!
  • Become and remain educated on industry-of-choice trends and breaking news
    • Even if you are not an early adopter it is critical to remain apprised of new details that emerge in your space
  • Generate new business or nurture existing business leads and contacts
    • It is amazing how easy you can engage new or existing prospects just by searching for them or terms they would be using (more on this in a later post!)

How do I get setup and start connecting and engaging?
For people familiar with Facebook… throw everything you know out the window. Twitter is completely different and should be treated as such. In fact, my Facebook account is completely private and I only allow close friends or family members to be included in my friend list whereas my Twitter account (and personal website) is completely open and public.

  • Decide on and build your persona and complete your Twitter profile (photo, bio, links)
    • I use my twitter account (@coreyrawdon) for both personal and professional use; I see no reason to distance the two; however, should you desire to only use Twitter for one or another decide that going in
  • Listen first, then start posting
    • Find out what people are talking about first then start engaging in the conversation. You do not need a master plan to get started on Twitter, simply start listening. Trust me, the engagement will come naturally
  • Do not be afraid to reply and engage
    • Agree or disagree with someone on a post or thought? Have something to add to the discussion? Post away! Just remember, add some type of value, do not merely “pile on” with a “yes” or similar comment. *IMPORTANT – complete your profile first before you start to do this; people want to do who is mentioning and replying to them
  • Create content and distribute it!
    • Do you write blogs? Find yourself publishing white papers or other research? Twitter is a great way to get the word out about media you’ve produced
  • Know the hashtag verbiage and usage
    • Look up what a hashtag is and then search them on Twitter. Hashtags are not as important as they once were (except in the event of conferences or live-blogging events such as Q&A chats) but they still have relevance

Ok great, I’m ready, but what do I post again?
There are three things you should start posting right away to help get familiar with the platform. Remember, these are guidelines, feel free to take this in your own direction!

  • Tell people about your experiences, expertise and interests – original content
    • This is my favorite type of content to post since it is all about you! Just come out of a great conversation where you learned something new? Share it! Are you viewed as a thought-leader with respect to a certain topic? Start posting tidbits about the topic and get people into the discussion
  • Share links to content and add in your own commentary – other’s content
    • Find a great article or blog and you want to share it? Post it to Twitter! Just remember to add in your own comments on why you are sharing it. People who will start following you want to know why they should care about what you are sharing
  • RT (retweet) the direct content of others
    • Did someone post an awesome tweet that you want to share with your network directly? Simply RT it! Not all content needs extra commentary; when it doesn’t, just share it out!

Now, get out there and create that Twitter account and setup your profile! Then, tune in for my next post on building value with Twitter where I will build off the concepts discussed here.

Let’s continue the conversation! Follow and engage with me on Twitter, leave a comment below, or send me an email via my contact page.

Corey Rawdon

Corey Rawdon

About Corey Rawdon

Prolific stick-figure artist ideating methods and mechanisms to change the world—or at least make a small dent.

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