How to get started Consider how you or your organization will use Twitter. Consider your username. Maximum of 15 characters, but aim for shorter. Consider something memorable and unique. Remember that you can change your username later if you need to. Create an account. Use a profile picture.
How Twitter works People can follow you on Twitter. When you send a message, they will see that message, known as a tweet. You can follow others on Twitter. Follow people and organizations who interest you. A Twitter feed is like a personalized list of headlines or a news wire service.
More about how it works A tweet may be up to 140 characters in length. People can forward, or retweet, a tweet that they think is interesting. That can get your message spread in a hurry.
Following on Twitter Sources of information relevant to you and your colleagues. See who is following you. Consider following them back. Think of people you follow as your scouts — and vice versa. It’s OK to unfollow.
How to get followers Offer valuable information. Include links. Reply to followers when they ask questions. Publicize your Twitter feed on your website, blog, business cards, LinkedIn page, etc.
Effective tweets Have a personal touch. Be conversational. Explain how information will affect your followers. Use a key detail. Use a number. Use abbreviations. Use a photo, map or chart.
On July 1, the sales tax in L.A. County was increasing a half-point, to 9.75 percent. So the night before, instead of writing just “L.A. County's sales tax to increase to 9.75%,” I tweeted: “Only 3 more shopping hours until L.A. County's sales tax goes up to 9.75%” It had a huge response! It was RT'd like crazy. — Deirdre Edgar, a copy editor at the Los Angeles Times Tweet vs. news headline