So You Want To Sign Up For Twitter!
Go to Twitter.com and click the “sign up” button on the far right. Enter your first and last name and then select a username – ideally your full name or some name that represents your personal brand (like DraperyDiva or UnMarketing). Use an underscore (_) if you need to, but try to avoid adding random numbers or characters, like Dave6421 or MonstaLord1XZf. But hey, it’s your username. Do what you want, man.
Next, you will be prompted with “suggestions” for people to follow. If any of these individuals in the various categories presented (business, books, etc.) look interesting to you, feel free to click “follow” next to their name. Otherwise, click “next step: friends.”
At this point in the registration process, you can opt to import your contacts from GMail, Yahoo, AOL or LinkedIn. If you have a contact database within any of these networks, import it and see which of your existing connections are already using Twitter. Otherwise, click “next step: search.”
If you have any friends who you know are using Twitter, but may not have been listed in any of the aforementioned contact databases, you may enter their names in the search box. Go ahead and enter “Cheryl Harrison,” because I’m awesome – I should be the top result. Follow me. Then click “next step: you’re done.”
Now that you have created your account, you will see your main page for Twitter.com. If you didn’t find anyone new to follow through importing or search, you will see a TON of posts from @CherylHarrison. Err… sorry.
Click “settings” in the top right corner. From the main tab you can change your time zone and opt into posting your location with your Tweets – this comes down to privacy. If you’re not comfortable with people knowing what part of town you’re in when you update, don’t do it. DO NOT click “protect my tweets.” Capital letters mean I mean business. Protectiong your Tweets – i.e. making your account private – makes Twitter pretty lame. Just trust me.
Click over to the “Profile” tab and upload an image to be used as your avatar, set your location (i.e. Columbus, Ohio), enter a website link if you have one – or a LinkedIn or Facebook profile if you don’t – and craft a bio. You only have 160 characters for your bio, so be creative, use relevant keywords (i.e. speaker) and show a bit of your personality.
For example, here’s my bio:
- I am a good idea.™ Lover of craft beer, video games w/ plastic instruments, karaoke & music theatre. Columbus fangirl. Digital content creator & curator.
And here are a few randomly selected bios from my friends:
- RedHeadWriting: Writer, disruptive presence, devil’s advocate (the devil, on occasion), snarkmeister, hash tag abuser in a 10 step program because I can’t commit to 12.
- Kris1010: over-sharer, over-analyzer, condiment hater, loyal Steelers/OSU/CBJ fan, won’t accept anything less than 6’3
- Brandie: arrogant coconut
- ikeif: Front End Developer. Father to two awesome boys. Hopeless romantic. My opinions are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer. Suck it, Trebek. PEACE!
See the theme hear? Yeah, me either. Good luck with that.
Click back to “home” from the top navigation. In the box that says “what’s happening,” post your very first Tweet. “Signing up for Twitter after reading an awesome how-to guide from @CherylHarrison” will work JUST fine if you can’t think of anything else to say.
I’m not going to get into what to post, or when, or why – there are a million articles that can give you ideas for that. Though there aren’t any rules for Twitter in my opinion. It all depends on what you’re trying to do. And anyway, I only promised to get you properly signed up with this post (again assuming Twitter hasn’t changed anything by the time you find this.)
I didn’t promise to tell you what to do next. :)
Oh come now, I couldn’t really leave you hanging. Here are some tips from Chris Brogan. But you might need to play around on Twitter before a lot of that makes sense.