The new year is here, resolutions are made and you probably want to kick this 2014 off by starting your new twitter account. You'll be amazed at how much you'll get within a few weeks. But once you have familiarized yourself with the twitter jargon and its basics, you can take a look at these tips in order to succeed with twitter and interact with people you probably don't even face in a day to day basis. Here are basic (and best) tips to actively engage and get the most out of this growing social media atmosphere:
1. Build a Strong Profile
This is key. Having a short and effective bio is, at least to me, essential when it comes to follow people. I always read this to have a sense of who the person (or organization, etc) is. The intro should serve as an elevator pitch to introduce yourself to the world. Yes, you can introduce yourself in that few characters. Also, the profile picture counts. Few are the hours that should pass before you change that default egg-like profile picture of yours. Personalize your profile so that people get a visual idea of who you are and that you're worth following. If you have a blog or a personal site, even better.
2. Think of the Hashtags
Countless times I have seen people using many hashtags. Hashtags are an effective way of airing your tweet in a public conversation; a wise twitter user, though, will target specific hashtags and will leave space in the tweet for others to retweet with comments. Equally important is to think of a hashtag that's short and specific. For instance, certain events may have a specific hashtag for attendees to tweet. I currently tweet with hastags like #photography or #education; this may sound too broad so perhaps it is worth following the hashtag #portraitphotography if you're interested in that specific field.
3. Think before you RT
This is crucial too. I usually click on the link or read the tweet multiple times before I retweet it. Let's say the tweet is about a controversial topic (like gun ownership) well you may want to think about what position that tweet is putting on your back. If it is an informative tweet the it may be okay to do it but if it is a position (specially a strong and radical one) then you may want to think about it carefully.
4. Don't Get Too Personal
Twitter is used for many productive reasons. But, it is true in some cases and that's why tweeting relevant and specific things will get you more followers. People follow you because they know you're a resource; not because you tweet about what you do all the time. A good mix is always good. I always think that people should know that you have a life just like everyone else and therefore occasionally tweet things that are beyond your niche.
Now, even if you consider these good tips, there are more out there on the web.
Image: User Fumi Yamazaki on Flickr
I am an ePortfolio instructor working in New York City. I am also a student in the MA program in educational psychology at Hunter College. In my current position, I instruct students how to develop and build their ePortfolio to showcase their academic skills. I also collaborate in professional development seminars with faculty members from various departments on building the curriculum to teach the first year seminar experience. Read more about me.