How To Get The Most Out Of Twitter

Are you interested in Twitter, but not sure how to get started? My column in today’s The Northwest Herald tells you how to get the most out of Twitter:

If youʼve never used Twitter, itʼs like the headline scrawl across the bottom of your favorite news channel, except that these headlines are written by you and me. Follow someone on Twitter and youʼll receive their latest mini-messages, and you can send mini-messages of your own.

Businesses are using Twitter to keep in contact with customers, advertise events, promote special offers, and grow relationships. Skeptics might doubt that one can do business via Twitter, but my direct experience says it works.

Here’s how you can start using Twitter in just a few easy steps.

1. Sign up for Twitter
Your Twitter name is your identity, so choose wisely. Also make sure you are using strong passwords that are not in use on any other site (especially financial sites or other social media sites like Facebook). Twitter has some nice resources to get you started including Twitter Basics for beginners.

2. Find people to follow
What are you interested in? Most news outlets have Twitter feeds, as do many newspapers, periodicals, television channels… anyone who offers content is offering it on Twitter. Some of your friends and colleagues are using it, too. As you start using Twitter, you’ll gravitate toward people with like interests. For example, a news outlet might retweet a link you like from a blogger, and you might decide to follow the blogger on Twitter for more of the same kind of content. To follow someone, go to their Twitter page and click the Follow button.

3. Send your first tweet
Remember: relevant, concise, and interesting. When in doubt a good quote always works. Retweets that you find interesting also work, but remember, posting too often is as bad as not posting often enough.

Some examples of tweets (sent by yours truly):

4. Invite people to follow you

Start with people you know personally, then the people they are following. You’re most likely to get followers in small trickles rather than big waves. And don’t forget to interact with your followers! Twitter isn’t just headlines, but a multi-way conversation. A conversation might go like this:

5. More Help With Twitter
Here are some additional resources if you need help with Twitter.

Tech Tips articles on Twitter
Search for keyword Twitter and you’ll find my previous articles on the topic.

Twitter Help Center

Chris Brogan: 50 Ideas On Using Twitter For Business

How are you using Twitter for your business? Share in the comments!



  1. Thank you, Lauren!

  2. What are your thoughts on having your FB and your instagram posts show up automatically to your Twitter ?

  3. Caroline – I think it depends on your social media use, but many people find it annoying to see the same message crossposted all over the place. You want to encourage people to stay connected to you via multiple means. If you are going to crosspost, use sparingly and for things you really want to highlight, perhaps a sale (if you run a business) or an important post (if you blog).

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