Getting Started on Twitter

Originally posted by Jared at Getting Started on Twitter – Week 1 on January 9, 2013.

TwitterI get students in both of my classes to use Twitter during the semester. Sometimes there’s a little trepidation. Some people don’t see the point (or potential) of Twitter right away.

I think you have to be involved on the platform for a while before you start realizing what all the fuss is about. I tell my students it takes up to 28 days. [Not sure where I heard this.] That’s up to four weeks before you’re a native tweeter. But you have to actually get involved during those four weeks.

Everybody has to start somewhere. Here are some of my suggestions for week 1.

Log In

Seems pretty basic, but it’s easy to forget when you’ve got a lot of other things on the go and it’s not part of your routine. Try logging in at least twice a day. It doesn’t have to be for long — maybe 10 minutes or so.

Read through some of the tweets that are being posted, but don’t try to read everything. Get a feel for how people are communicating. If you don’t understand something, write it down and ask a friend later (in class or elsewhere).

Get Your Feet Wet

See a tweet you really like? Retweet it to your followers.

See a question you know how to answer? Post a quick reply.

Once you’ve logged in a few times, start retweeting and posting replies at least once or twice a session. Don’t look for a “perfect” opportunity. Just give it a try.

When you’re comfortable, start posting your own tweets too.

Follow the Tweeters

I tell my students to follow at least 50 people in the first week. Some newcomers think that’s a lot. (Wait until week 2.)

It’s really hard to get the hang of Twitter when you aren’t following very many people. (Most) people don’t tweet all the time, so you want to follow a fair number of people and organizations so that you see lots of activity and diversity.


What other advice or tips should we give to new tweeters? What do you wish you knew when you got started?

If you’re a new tweeter, what has your experience been so far?

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