An interesting thing happened during the #txed chat on Wednesday night. Many in the chat were asking the question “Why aren’t more teachers on twitter?” I often wonder the same and think back to my early days on twitter where I didn’t do much. In fact, it took me nearly two years
from account creation in 2007 to where I actually really started using it and not just following what Demi Moore and Ashton Kutchar were eating.
So I started the #twitterguide4beginners hashtag inside the #txed chat and started listing ideas. Since most people on the interwebs say it takes 21 days for a habit to stick, I challenged the group to list step-by-step days of what a newbie to twitter should do to make it stick. While I’m sure there are tons of other guides out there, what I love about this is that it was created on twitter, via a hashtag chat. What follows is the cleaned up and re-sorted 21 days, but you could also check out the chat here for the brainstorming: #twitterguide4beginners
Day 1 – Create your account and follow some people with similar interests. It’s also important to put some basics about yourself in your profile. These can be a mix of professional and personal, but know like anything else, there’s a character limit so make it work. Your profile is how others will see your interests and make connections.
Day 2 – Figure out how to change your egghead picture into a nice catchy profile picture (note: you should try to have your twitter pic look like you somewhat, you never know who you’ll run into face to face)
Day 3 – Lurk and figure out how to favorite something.
Day 4 – Retweet someone else’s tweet.
Day 5 – Find a good app to use twitter on your mobile phone or device of choice. (See: Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, the actual Twitter app)
Day 6 – Make your first official tweet. Make it a good one and make it relevant to what you do. Share something going on in your work life.
Day 7 – Tweet a link from an interesting website or blog you discovered, maybe something your school or district is doing.
Day 8 – Figure out how to tweet out a photo. (this is easiest from a mobile device)
Day 9 – Mention some people in a tweet. Remember, they don’t know you are trying to talk to them unless you mention them with the “@” symbol and their handle. Also, know that anyone can see this.
Day 11 – Create a hashtag (#) and find one to follow.
Day 12 – Tweet from multiple devices to test your diversity (will accept phone, tablet, laptop, desktop or all of the above)
Day 13 – Start to learn Twitter slang like RT, DM, MT, #FTW, from some resource like this: Twitter Dictionary
Day 14 – Post 5 tweets during this day. Make one of them a famous quote that you love.
Day 15 – Don’t click on the link in your DM that says either “People are saying bad things about you” or “LOL. I was laughing about this video about you.”
Day 16 – Have a twitter conversation with someone that you’ve never met in person. This could be as little as a response, but see how long you can make it go.
Day 18 – Test your Twitter-bility – Post a tweet that is longer than 140 characters, however, use clever short-cuts and lingo to make sure you message fits. (like “4” instead of “for” to save characters)
Day 19 – If you haven’t yet, post your 100th tweet. If you are short, get to work! If you already have at least 100 tweets, take a day off. You have earned it.
Day 20 – Go back and follow more people and follow people who have followed you. Oh yeah, and go back and unfollow all those celebs you followed in Day 1.
Day 21 – Sync your Foursquare, Pinterest, Scoop.it, LinkedIn, and/or Instagram accounts (but not Facebook) to your twitter account.
Congratulations! You graduated and are now a Twitter Jedi Master! May the Tweets be with you!