Get Started Using Twitter in One Hour

@saralancaster on TwitterNew to Twitter? Don’t sift through countless articles and tutorials to get the information you need. Follow these seven steps and you’ll be on Twitter within the hour.

1 – Create a Google Alert for your business that notifies you as soon as your name is mentioned on the web. Create alerts for other key terms,too. You should also work with Google Reader to keep up on industry news and information your competitors publish. Both of these resources will help you find inspiration for tweets.

2 – Make a list of 30 tweets to publish over the next month. As a general rule, only 30% of your tweets should be promotional, while the other 70% can be entertaining, informational, and correspondence between you and your followers. Keep in mind that correspondence should not be scheduled. You’ll have to correspond live.

3 – Create your Twitter account. A few important steps here: a) Personalize your Twitter page background and your profile. b) Post the first few tweets on your list. c) Follow your friends and icons.

4 – Go to HootSuite.com and create an account that syncs to your Twitter account. Schedule the remaining posts that you wrote. While HubSpot says that 3-5pm and 9-11pm EST on Thursday and Friday are the best times to tweet, experiment with timing to see what gets the best results. (HootSuite has a very helpful analytics feature.)

5 – Check in on your Twitter profile daily to see who is following you, who has re-tweeted your posts, and what others tweet that interests you.

6 – Build your following. You will get followers by posting a link to your Twitter profile from your Facebook page and your website, but you will also get followers by following people first. Don’t hold back! Follow everyone you’re interested in and organize your favorites using the list feature.

7 – Explore the world of Twitter tools. In addition to HootSuite, some of my favorite Twitter tools include Twitter Kharma (see who does not follow you back and unfollow them if you so choose), TweeParties (join in on Twitter parties), Social Oomph (track keywords on Twitter, among other things), TwitPic (if you plan to post a lot of photos), and TagDef (find out what a particular hash tags means).

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Once you have your Twitter account up and running, come find me @SaraLancaster. Feel free to ask questions with an @ reply or a direct message. And if you aren’t sure what an @ reply or a direct message means, check out the No. 2 Pen social media dictionary.


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