Top tips for Twitter newbies

8 Jan

Twitter for newbiesYesterday was my first Twanniversary. Hooray! In anticipation of that milestone, I asked the lovely Twitter people what tips they’d give to someone new to Twitter. What would they have wanted to know when they first joined Twitter? And I received some really helpful suggestions.

Many were familiar, some were definitely news to me, and some I’d forgotten and was grateful to be reminded of. Here’s a link to the Storify story with the tweets collated. A selection of helpful tweets appears below (but many more are in the Storify story).

But first, here’s my own top tip for Twitter newbies: ask yourself what you want to get from Twitter and then use Twitter in a way that helps you to achieve that purpose. Why are you using Twitter? What aim do you have in mind? What can Twitter do for you? This will (or should) inform what sort of tweeter you are, from choosing your Twitter name, writing your Twitter bio and choosing your profile picture (avatar) to the topics you tweet about, who you follow and who you connect with.

People use Twitter in many different ways. For instance, you might be looking to connect with like-minded people as a support network. Or you may want to develop your online network as part of career development, or to promote your (or your employer’s) business, or raise awareness of a particular issue. Or perhaps you just want an anonymous outlet for your sarcasm or a fun personal account where you can tweet along with cyber friends to favourite TV programmes and hear breaking news stories, serious and silly. Last year’s “Essex lion” story was a goTwitter Essex Lion police tweetod example of of the sort of fun to be had on Twitter.

You might even want to have have more than one Twitter account and use them for different purposes. For instance, you could use a pseudonymous (pen name) account to connect with people with similar issues anonymously and at the same time have a Twitter account in your own name where you stick to tweeting about stuff that will develop your career profile.

Twitter can soak up a lot of time for no good reason, or even damage your reputation or land you with a lawsuit! But, when used wisely, there are a lot of benefits to using it. So choose what sort of tweeter you want to be and be that tweeter.

And now, here’s a selection of the top Helpful tipsTwitter tips from some of my favourite tweeters (here’s a link to a Storify story with a whole lot more – well worth a read):


“If you’re nervous lurk for a while to get a feel for the Twitterverse.” Helenpleb (@helenlp)


Feel free to ask people and twitter as a whole questions. We like communication and connection.” Roiben (@roiben)


Follow people you’re interested in because they’ll be the people who help you learn. Who you follow influences what you find out.” MarkOneinFour (@MarkOneinFour)
“Follow at least some people who’s views u don’t instinctively agree with” BC (@444blackcat)
140 characters leaves lots of room for confusion. Try not to get annoyed or angry with others who may misunderstand you.” Anne Marie Cunningham (@amcunningham)

“Like begets like. Be interesting and interested, kind and respectful, funny and sceptical.” Jonathon Tomlinson (@mellojonny) quoting Mark Brown (@MarkOneinFour)


“Retweeting is the best compliment you can give someone. Kim Garst(@KimGarst)


“ Listen. Don’t worry too much about follower numbers. Don’t worry about missing stuff. Jump into conversation. And remember manners: behind every avatar is a person with feelings. Don’t forget a public timeline is public.” Ermintrude 2 (@Ermintrude2)


Finally, here’s a link to the Storify story with all the tweets collated in one place. If you have your own top tip or two, feel free to add them by commenting below. Happy tweeting!




2 Responses to “Top tips for Twitter newbies”


  1. Tweet chats | Sectioned - 13 October 2013

    […] Top tips for Twitter newbies – My blog from earlier in the year […]

  2. Tweet chats part 2: what to expect and some do’s and don’ts | Sectioned - 3 November 2013

    […] Top tips for Twitter newbies – My blog from earlier in the year […]

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