The popularity of Twitter has sparked a whole new level of communication. Being able to communicate well in 140 characters can be a challenge, but before we even talk about that, there are a few basics to remember:
1) Have a profile picture: Leaving the default icon on your profile is just… well… lazy! Put something up that is uniquely you. An actual picture would be best, but if you are feeling shy, at least put up your logo or something that is representative of you.
2) Your web site URL: If you don’t have a web site, then the alternative would be a link to a social networking profile (yes, even MySpace counts). Something that will give people a closer insight of who you are.
3) Fill out your profile / bio section: This is easy and very important. You must have something to share about yourself, even if it is your favorite hobbies. Leaving this section blank does nothing to motivate people to follow you.
4) Post some tweets prior to asking for followers: How else are people going to know what you are about or hope to share? Requesting followers with no tweet history is like saying “Hi, I’d like you to buy this widget. I don’t know what this widget is or does but you need one.”
5) Your user name: This should have been first… Select a user name that is either 1) Your name, 2) Your company name or 3) Representative of what you are sharing.
Here’s the deal: Twitter is a great platform to position yourself as an expert in your field. It is a great platform for sharing links and information relevant to what you specialize in. Yes, there are spammers – the web has them in every corner, but, if you want people to trust you, at least take the time to do the basics above.
I get a lot of people expecting me to follow them back when they follow me. I always look at their profiles first to see what they are about. If I believe that they have something to share that will increase my awareness in a particular topic, I follow them. But if they look like spammers – or people just trying to bloat their following then I do not.
It’s about sharing, about benefiting the community, about engagement (sometimes entertainment), it’s about being authentic. If that’s not what you are about – then you need to ask yourself why you want to be in this space in the first place.
Do you twitter? What do you share?
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