Twitter Tutorial for #gno Newbies!
Tried #gno and got overwhelmed? Felt like no matter how many times you tweeted, no one responded to you? Have never tried #gno before and want a little Twitter tutorial before joining the par-tay? Well, you've come to the right place.
Here are some tips that will make your #gno experience be a little more enjoyable.
Get Set Up on Twitter
If you're not already set up on Twitter, hop on over there and get an account. Here are some tips for setting up your account as well as some key things to know once you jump on.
- Choose a username that reflects who you are and that isn't too long.
- Use a head shot of yourself as your avatar. If you want to promote your business on Twitter either set up two separate accounts or include your logo with your head shot. Kodak does a great job of this. Click here to see how: http://twitter.com/kodakCB.
- Make sure and include a bio of yourself in your profile, letting people know a bit about you.
Once you're all set up on Twitter, note the following:
- When using Twitter, you must refresh often to see new tweets streaming in. Some third-party technologies, like Tweetgrid, stream continuously, making it so you do not have to refresh, but on Twitter you do.
- If you'd like to see public tweets directed to you, click on the @replies in your Twitter home page sidebar. It will have the @ sign next to your Twitter ID (e.g., @jylmomIF).
- If you'd like to see private tweets to you, click on the Direct Messages in your sidebar.
- You will want to check your @replies often to see who is tweeting to you and to respond to them. You can select for your Direct Messages to be sent to your e-mail inbox, alerting you when you should check them.
- How you choose to follow people is up to you (auto follow, selectively follow, etc.). My opinion is to follow as many people as possible. I am not suggesting you shouldn't filter, but I am recommending a liberal following policy—the more the merrier. You can get a quick glimpse of your followers and see whether or not you'd like to follow them back by clicking on "followers" in your sidebar.
Set Your Expectations
- The overwhelm really does go away. #GNO is crazy fast! Tweetgrid especially seems crazy at first with tweets flying in four columns. The good news is that the overwhelm goes away after a few parties and as you actively tweet. Just jump in, keep with it, and you will be amazed how quickly you get the hang of it and make friends.
- Twitter has its own rules of etiquette, which include breaking traditional etiquette rules. During #gno, it is perfectly acceptable to:
- Join in on other's conversations.
- Go off on tangents.
- Shorten words to fit a complete thought in 140 characters, and talk to complete and utter strangers.
- The more you use people's Twitter IDs as you tweet to them (e.g., @jylmomIF), the more likely they are to see and reply to your tweet(s). Note: Many people do not check their direct messages (DMs) until after the party, so @replying to them (using their Twitter ID) is typically the best way to reach people.
- Not everyone will see and respond to all of your tweets. Between 250 and 500 people are tweeting during #gno for a total of between 2,500 and 6,000 tweets in a 2-hour time period. Until you get to know people (and I promise that you will if you keep attending the parties), know that it takes a lot of tweeting for people to see you and that not everyone will see or respond to your tweets at first. Just keep tweeting!
I have tried many third-party Twitter applications for #gno. Tweetgrid is by far my favorite and here is why:
- You can adjust the pace. Using the blue settings bar underneath the header of each column, you can adjust the pace the tweets appear. This means that if it is going too fast for you, you can slow down the pace until you get the hang of things.
- You can stop the stream in each column. Next to the header of each column is a search and a stop button. Using the stop button, you can freeze a column until you catch up on the stream. Then press that button again to start up the flow.
- It has lots of amazing icons that make tweeting easier and automatic. In the tweet boxes themselves, there are many icons I love:
- The blue left arrow is for replying to someone, automatically entering their Twitter IDs for you.
- The blue right arrow is for retweeting a tweet you find worth repeating/sharing.
- The star is for saving favorite tweets. The chat bubble allows you to DM people.
- The magnifying glass allows you to search for people. I haven't used this during #gno, but feel free to give it a try.
- Another one I don't really use during #gno is the next icon, which is for e-mailing.
- And saving the best for last, my favorite icon appears when you click on someone's avatar (not their name). The box expands, showing their profile along with a human icon. When you click on this icon, you can instantly follow that individual. If you are already following him or her, a notice will pop up telling you so. It is a terrific way to follow other #gno guys and gals!
Enjoy the Party
Whether you passively or actively participate in #gno, remember the key is to have fun! You'll learn a ton of information, will be able to follow some amazing people, will be introduced or will learn more about some fantastic brands, and most importantly, you'll build some terrific online relationships with other Mom It Forward women!
If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact me at momitforward [at] gmail [dot] com.