For those of you unfamiliar with how Twitter works, you probably feel like you’re reading a foreign language as the tweets multiply across your screen. In some aspects, Tweeters are communicating in their own language. With a 140-character limit, people often have to be creative in order to get their message across. Unfortunately, some people lack the twitter-art jean, and their meaning becomes completely lost in translation. Don’t worry though, that is their fault, not yours. How can you avoid being one of these unimaginative tweeples?
Believe it or not, the Laws of Twitter are quite simple once you get the hang of them. By following this two part guide, you will have your fill of followers, avoid spammers, and tweet like a pro, in no time. What once seemed nothing but jargon will soon have you flooding your follower’s timeline’s with nonsense of your own. In this week’s guide, we will discuss Laws 1-5, which will provide a stepping stone into your new social life.
Law 1: Register for an account (simple enough, right?)
Law 2: Build your timeline
Everyone has to start somewhere. After registration, twitter will suggest followers you may know or things you may like. Follow at least five people, but try and choose followers that will follow you back. For instance, as much as you like Jennifer Lopez and her big booty, you will be hard pressed to get her to #followback. But don’t worry; you will have plenty of chances to follow her later. For now, skip the celebrity and sports followers and go ahead and let twitter search your contacts for possible followers.
Law 3: Build a reputation
Some cliques on twitter make it easier to find followers than others. If you are reading this article, you probably fit in with the techie group. In this case, inflating your ego with hundreds of followers should be easy to come by.
Upload your avatar so people know you’re real. Word of advice; don’t upload a picture of a sexy model who is obviously not you. That is the one of the first signs of a fake account. My twitter circle consists of mostly Android geeks and many of them have some form of an android guy as their avatar. This has made it easy for me to identify them as someone of interest, and I am more likely to #followback.
If you are like me, writing about yourself probably seems a daunting task. Even so, don’t skip out on this part of your profile. Smart tweeples read bios when deciding whether or not to follow someone. Keywords are a must when writing your bio. Be sure to include the interest that brought you to twitter. If you are looking for other dads, saying you’re a father of 4 would be helpful. However, if you are looking for other Star Trek fans, you may want to beef up your bio with a little #Klingon.
Law 4: Start tweeting
Once you have completed all Twitters pre-steps, you will be directed to your growing timeline. For those of you who don’t know, the timeline is where all yours and your followers’ posts are stored. As people tweet, the timeline will grow.
Before you go follow-crazy, you need to build up your post count with “meaningful” tweets. If your post history is empty, people will not have a reason to follow you, and may even report you as a bot. Meaningful tweets can be anywhere from talking about your spastic dog, to re-tweeting about someone else’s spastic dog. Whatever you do, DO NOT start your timeline off by tweeting someone a link with no substance.
Believe it or not, tweeples, even those who don’t know you personally, will generally take an interest in your tweet in one way or another, especially if it is about cats. Fact: Members of the interwebs love to read about cats and view lolcats; post as many as you like. Keep in mind, the more you tweet, the more followers you are likely to get.
One of the great things about Twitter is the most insignificant point of your day could earn you a retweet. Do not be afraid to share what is going on in your life. The exception to this however, is to be wary about the intricate details and never post personal information such as addresses or phone numbers on your timeline.
If you found something on your timeline particularly interesting, retweet it! Not only does this help the person who tweeted it get followers, it can also help you increase your list of followers.
Law 5: Overflow your timeline
Now is your chance to increase your list of followers by stealing from your friends (this is one case where stealing is legal and completely moral). Open up your newly formed list of people you are “following.” From there, navigate to your friends’ profiles and check out whom they are following and who is following them. As you search through the list of tweeples, go click crazy on the “follow” buttons. Don’t be shy, and feel free to follow anyone that may share your interests. If their “following” and “followers” list have similar numbers, you serve a better chance at getting a #followback. Don’t feel bad if they don’t reciprocate your following; that’s just how things work on Twitter. Keep in mind, the more people you follow, the harder it will be to navigate through your timeline.
Overtime, followers of followers will take a liking to your tweets and decide you’re interesting enough to merit a follow. If they do follow you, follow them back. This rule does not apply to bots or businesses, so do your research by viewing their timelines and profiles BEFORE you click the follow button.
One of the easiest ways to attract tweeples to your timeline is by saying something interesting. Don’t worry though, if your life is a bit lackluster, feel free to make things up, or copy something interesting someone else has said.
If you followed these five steps, you should have worked your way into the crowd, and gained your first set of followers, as well as build yourself up a nice flowing timeline. Next week we will discuss “Know the lingo”, “Twitter tools”, and “How to deal with spammers.” These three laws will help you properly manage your followers, participate in conversations that would have otherwise been nothing but jargon, and how to kick spam bots’ butts.