Top 10 things New People to Twitter Should Know

I am writing this in my Family First blog because I see Twitter as the most influential social marketing site available to the average Joe.  I believe every Family First Entrepreneur should be on it.  That said, I see many folks still guessing how to use twitter.  Let’s dive in. 

1) Twitter is a place to socialize both professionally and personally.  Do both.  Tell your followers about the funny or interesting events that go on through your day.  I recently received 37 replies within one minute to this tweet—”My son just told me it looked like I had a beard in my arm pit.”  I agree, kind of gross, but they all thought it was funny and they were my kind of folks and conversation was started.  On top of that, my name showed up on the list of 37 other people, causing my list to grow.  @MariSmith does this very well.

Professionally is where there is a struggle among newbies. That auto DM that goes out when you are followed that pitches a product or service right off the bat—lose it. It’s white noise and engages nothing.  I won’t harp on this, but if you haven’t already, you need to read my post “How I grow relationships on Twitter.”

2)  When you like something you read enough to send a reply and say “that was great,” RETWEET IT.  (Signified with a RT)  When you RT someone, especially someone with a large following, it gets you noticed.  It’s also a more profound way to thank them or tell them you liked it.  You also become a hub of good info to your followers.  Then when you are talking about something you produced they will be more likely to look at it.  @PeterSantilli taught me this one with a quiet slap on the wrist.  I stood corrected because he was right. 

3) Grow your list of followers.  Go into people’s list of followers that follow you and follow their interesting people (wow, that was a lot of “follow” in one sentence, where’s a thesaurus when you need one?).  Many will follow back.  You need to decide how big you want to be.  A large list can be very time consuming done correctly.  @AlohaArleen has a giant following and she is very responsive to her peeps.  That takes lots of time because she is doing it right.

4) Follow people back when they follow you.  My rule of following back is I don’t follow anyone back who is amoral, is just a business, or is a bot.  Anyone else, they are in.  I am using Twitter as a tool to promote my book, ONO and the Family First Entrepreneur and most people on twitter are likely customers. Why wouldn’t I follow them?  I want to know the person behind it. Also make sure to follow people back or often they will drop you. 

5) Post a good Avatar and Background. Make it intriguing or interesting. @barefoot_exec and @perrybelcher are great examples.  Notice they are not goofy--just friendly and inviting.  Don’t do logos.  This is a mistake I made in the beginning. I changed it to picture of myself once I realized the mistake.  People don’t follow logos as often.  Also, don’t change your avatar often.  Many people keep an eye on their favorites with a glance, keep them used to the same one.   

6) Use DM for idle chit-chat. Many “Big Listers” will disagree here, but use the DM (direct message) for idle chit-chat.  If you @ things like “thanks a lot” or “you’re the man” then as you grow you will over tweet your followers with smaller lists and become white noise.  Make sure if you are broadcasting something that it is something your followers want to hear.  I see @juliebonnheath use this well in our conversations.  While I’m on it, don’t over tweet in general.  You become annoying and get read less.  Pick your tweets wisely.   

7) Use Third Party Applications to manage your following.  There are several applications out there that will help you to better manage your following than itself.  I personally recommend using either Twhirl or TweetDeck. I advise that small list folks use Twhirl. Once you grow over 1,000 or so followers then I highly suggest using TweetDeck. Tweetdeck allows you to sort and track the people you follow and will save you a ton of time filtering through “white noise” tweets.  If you have a smart phone, make sure you get some sort of Twitter application for it. Most ideas for great tweets don’t come while sitting in front of your monitor at your desk. Be ready and available to tweet at all times with a good phone app.

8) Bring your expertise to the table as free info.  You won’t give away all that you have to offer in 140 characters.  Give it away, and they will come. @chrispirillo is a good example of this. 

9) Get noticed by big list people.  RT them.  Post links to their blogs in an @ to them.  Be genuine.  There are plenty of big list folks you will like.  The folks I motioned here would be a good place to start.  A bigger following gets noticed by these folks.  I call it Social Equity.  Build yours, while you build these important relationships. 

10) Be yourself, pick a side.  If you like Obama--say it.  If you don’t--say it.  People want to know who you are.  Don’t sit on the fence. (I don’t like Obama—he’s just another politician—guilty by association.)  @Scobleizer pulls no punches. 

Enjoy twitter, keep it fun and informational.  Follow people you know in the beginning and they will help you find the way.  If not, just ask.  That’s the great thing about twitter, people are helpful.  Good Luck. 

By the way, you can follow me @marcwarnke.

If you enjoyed this article, here are two more of my other blog posts that offer more twitter tips: 

How I Grow Relationships on Twitter

Twitter Trolls

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As usual, thanks so much for

As usual, thanks so much for sharing such excellent information.  I guess I can say that I'm on the right track according to the points that you which I agree with!

Tamara Roe

What a helpful article! 

What a helpful article!  Thanks so much for sharing...

Tamara Roe

 RT @spikejone: SM "experts"

 RT @spikejone: SM "experts" today are like advertisers in the 1940s discovering that they can promote themselves and their clients via TV.

 Great tips and very clearly

 Great tips and very clearly explained.

Working with a bunch of clients in social marketing, this is exactly the type of writing that helps the beginner feel less intimidated.


I find that getting responses

I find that getting responses back on Twitter runs 10 to 1. You may get one response back to ten comments you make to someone on twitter. Seems to be an insider group that although they like to include you in their numbers you go to the ignore part on their TweetDeck

Thanks very much Marc. This

Thanks very much Marc. This is clear, objective and helping! You  make my day!

Hope to chat with you sometimes.



Hi Marc!  I found your Tweets

Hi Marc!  I found your Tweets by way of @ThriftDiva.  I love your tips and tweets and upon further reading on your site, decided I needed to comment and tell you that it is wonderful to hear what you have to say - especially thinking about family first.  So many people today are out to take, take, take and forget to give!  I'm a Networking Coach and work with my clients to learn how to network effectively and efficiently by following the Pay It Forward (Netweaving) method.  Doing business by helping others get what they need and/or want and by doing business according to the way they prefer to be treated as well.

I'm definitely one of your devoted followers and look forward to reading more.  Thanks for being so generous with your time and talents!


Carol Deckert, Networking Coach


Thanks for the tips.  These

Thanks for the tips.  These were excellent.  I am glad I found this.

When you @someone to thank

When you @someone to thank them for a great post, make it ReTweetable!

@jimbob thanks for the article on how to get those persnickety (sp?) bugs out of my bed! http://tinyurl/XYZ

If you RT the thank you, your thought & the URL they provided in the original tweet, it will be easier for your followers to get to the article that you enjoyed so much!

Also, on the question "how do you follow 2k people?"  It's the 80/20 rule.  20% of the people tweet 80% of the time, so it really is not tha hard to follow that many people.

Tweet on my Tweeple!

  Excellent article but I


Excellent article but I must disagree with you on one point (given what a critical old woman I am, that's high praise! LOL) and that is item 6 about using DMs to thank people. 
When people thank me via DMs, I find myself wondering if they have done so because they do not wish to declare themselves to be associated with me publicly, or whether they are too mean-spirited to want to praise someone else in public or what other motive might prevent one from wishing to be open in thanking someone.
My thanks are always public unless the entire conversation has taken place on DMs for two main reasons. One is because I want everyone to know that the person has been helpful or kind or entertaining. People deserve to be praised for doing good things.
The other reason I like to thank people publicly is because I want everyone to know that I have the good manners to thank those who take the time to retweet my thoughts or give me information, or do whatever else it may be that merits gratitude. Thanking someone via a DM might leave everyone who knows someone who has helped you under the impression that their efforts were unappreciated.