What’s your view? Twitter basics #1 – getting your profile right

I’m about to lead a series of workshops for staff around social media use in our organisation so am in preparing mode.

Some staff will need to start at the very beginning. So here we go with Twitter basics tips – have a read and tell me your thoughts including anything I’ve missed.

10 great Twitter basics tips
  1. Get out of your shell. Put a picture of you on your profile, not the Twitter egg. I want to see who I am following. This also suggests ‘Twitter novice’, so give the right impression with a nice snap. Try and use a head shot because you don’t get much space to show us your gnashers and best pose.
  2. Not photogenic? Nonsense; but if it makes you feel better, use a tool to edit your picture. You could use a tool such as Instagram to turn an OK photo into a retro style photo. This might sound like double-Dutch. If it doesn’t and you’re not a fan of Instagram try Snapseed (download from app stores), Pixir-o-matic (which has way more features than Instagram) or Flickr.
  3. Add a header picture too. Give me a bit more context to you or what you do by adding a header picture. This could represent you at work or a hobby or interest. It doesn’t matter, but you want people to follow and engage with you so by sharing a bit more about your life we can like you – and therefore follow you – more willingly. Also connected to…
  4. Complete your biography. Call me dull, but I like a biography that’s simple and tells me what that person does as a job or their interests. Or what they will share content about on Twitter. It helps me understand more about you and if I would like to follow you. I’m not a fan of the over pretentious ones that remain unfathomable to us mere mortals…or indeed a blank space. I don’t tend to follow blank spaces, they don’t have much value usually.
  5. Do something. I’m not a fan of people who sit on Twitter to just watch others; that’s not very engaging is it? But if you’re not sure where to start, follow people or organisations you are interested in and see what they do. You’ll pick up the gist in no time.
  6. Not sure who to follow? Twitter will tell you which are popular accounts to follow so you could start there. Use the search bar and type in a person on organisation you think you might be interested in. Follow friends you know are on Twitter. Also have a look in the #Discover section at the top of the page. Once you start doing this, Twitter will also recommend similar people so it really just flows from there.
  7. Your first tweet. Have a think and then type your Tweet into the box at the top of your Home timeline, or click the Tweet button in the top navigation bar – but remember you only have 140 characters to get your point across. Twitter will count down what you have left, which is very handy. When you’re done, click the ‘Tweet’ button and enjoy the moment. You can retweet others and share their content with your followers too – it’s good to have a balance of your views and sharing the views of others.
  8. Mention and reply to others. Get a conversation going or draw others’ attention to content by mentioning them in your tweet using their @ name – if you reply to someone’s tweet, Twitter will automatically put their @ name at the start of your message.
  9. Use hashtags to categorise content. The hashtag # symbol can be used anywhere in your tweet so people can search for content around that subject and make them show more easily in subject area discussions. They are also used for Twitter chats; common ones around NHS topics include #WeNurses (for the nursing community) #hellomynameis (Dr Kate Grainger’s campaign) #NHSChangeDay (March change activity event), for example.
  10. Manage your notifications. Once you get going you need to consider when you ask Twitter to tell you what’s going on around your Twitter community. Depending on your settings you could get an alert, such as an email or online notification, every time someone follows or mentions you, when your tweets are retweeted, or when someone sends you a direct message, or favourites your tweet…I could go on so have a look in your profile settings and perhaps review this depending on how many notifications you would prefer to receive.

Twitter also has a huge area with lots of guides and Q&As that can also help you out.

So why not just have a go and see how you get on?

Have I missed anything useful – please let me know by posting a comment, thanks!