Oct 19 2009

Twitter For Beginners – Useful Steps

Signed Up and Not Sure What to Do Now?

I recently posted something of an introduction to Twitter. In it, I introduced people to Twitter and asked a few questions to the SEO community. I still think people are struggling with where to start when they sign up though. I constantly get questions from friends and family on what Twitter is really about. It’s all about joining the ‘real-time conversation’ on any and everything that interests you. Such a vast collection of information may intimidate many people and I think this is why I’m asked the same question over and over, “What can I do with Twitter, what is it good for?”

Let’s Take a Look at Some of the Things You Can Do With Twitter

Try finding friends you already know first of all. There’s a great built-in tool that’s in Twitter called, Find Friends on Other Networks tool. If you have a AOL, Yahoo!, or Gmail account, Twitter can scan your contacts list and see if anyone you know is on Twitter that
you haven’t yet started following.

See a screenshot below:

There’s also an application online that helps you find who’s tweeting. It’s called Tweepz. There’s another one called Twellow and they both are very similar to a Yellow Pages site for Twitter. With either one, you can type in a topic you’re interested in and see who’s tweeting about that subject in your area and beyond.

The Tweepz.com search feature with 'SEO Denver' search entered.

The Twellow.com search feature shown above.

Yet another method of finding friends on Twitter is through Facebook. The Twitter Facebook App can inform you of which one of your friends is on Twitter and which ones aren’t.

Another great and often overlooked tool to find like-minded people to follow on Twitter is to use Twitter Search. See what people are saying in real time about a certain topic that interests you and begin following these people if you find their tweets interesting.

So as you can see, there are many different ways to find people to follow on Twitter. There’s also a few that I haven’t mentioned or tried yet, but feel free to do so if you so desire. These are WeFollow, Twubble and Twitterel.

This is how the Twitter for Facebook App looks like.

This is how the Twitter for Facebook App looks like.

Find Local Twitter People You Can Network With

I found Twitter great for networking. Along with all of the fore-mentioned methods of finding people, there’s a few other methods to really find worth while people to follow and possibly network with. Twitter Advanced Search allows one to limit results to a nearby location. There’s also other 3rd party apps, such as TwellowHood and Localtweeps.

Connect and Stay In Touch With People on Twitter

Now that you know how to find friends and other people who may share interests similar to yours, try downloading a free Desktop or Mobile Client. Keeping up with your ‘mentions’ and ‘direct messages’ within Twitter is somewhat cumbersome and that’s why I personally use TweetDeck. It helps you keep track of everything going on with your Twitter account even if you have multiple account to take into consideration. They’ve even built in a nice MySpace and Facebook feature to track things going on there as well.

This is how TweetDeck looks for managing Twitter, Facebook and MySpace

This is how TweetDeck looks for managing Twitter, Facebook and MySpace

Other alternatives are Seesmic, and others you can research further in a 19 Twitter Desktop Apps Compared.

People who are on mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPod Touch can check out many of the iPhone Twitter Apps. There’s also web-based Twitter clients available that make Twitter easier to use on other Mobile devices such as Mixero and PeopleBrowsr.

Learn How to use Twitter Like a Pro

Twitter Help is a great place to start. Or there’s the Twitter Support Forum. Mashable.com also has a great Guide Book for Twitter. There’s also the Twitter App Directory where you can see some of the cool things you can do with Twitter. Most of all, enjoy tweeting and make it work for you.

Chris J. Politzki
Studio 119 Degrees Web Design & Development Studio