The Beginners List to Using Twitter

There are a number (a large number, like really large number) of articles, infograhics, and lists online that tout tips the proper use of Twitter. So whose list is the right one? I don’t know, but the correct answer is somewhere in the middle. Personally I am a believer in analysis and statistical methods so if we look at a number of the lists and combine the most commonly mentioned points then we should have the list of all lists. Below is a compiled list of some of the common pointers about Twitter slightly altered from personal experience.

1. Define Who You Are

Don’t be on Twitter just because your competitors are on Twitter. Think about what you do, what it is what you want to do, and how Twitter can help you accomplish your goals. Think of how you want to come across as a brand, whether it is humorous or serious.

2. Define Your Purpose and Goals

Many different companies use Twitter for different reasons from customer support to sales. All the successful companies however know the purpose behind their Twitter handle. Your business has goals also and Twitter can help accomplish them. Figure out what how Twitter will help you achieve them.

3. Identify Who Will Tweet

One of the main problems that a number companies suffer from is inconsistent voice and tweets. You may have one person in charge of your social media ortwitter-cartoon-2 an entire team. Whatever the case may be decide on the rules of interaction and how they will do it. Focus on what your social media team should do instead of what they shouldn’t do. Social media and Twitter is a flexible medium, don’t restrict it by placing to many rules.

4. Research the Communities and Your Target Audience

Twitter is one of the most open social media platforms available. Only about 5% of Twitter accounts have some privacy restrictions. Use the Twitter search bar, available Twitter research tools, or look to other brands to online to identify your target audience and the communities within which their reside. There is no need to guess what you should say or how you should engage, you can research it beforehand.

5. Create Great Content

This is probably the most repeated point when it comes to social media. With the entry barrier to social media so low it is becoming harder and harder to attract customers. What people look for online is original, creative content. Much like the old axiom “Build it and they will come”.

6. Respond, Interact, and Follow

This is social media, the word social says it all. Be social and respond, interact, and follow with your consumers on Twitter. You should respond to everyone who engages you on Twitter.

7. 80/20 Rule (Called the Pareto Principle)

This is the second most repeated point when it comes to social media. 80% of your posts/content should be for your followers while only 20% of your posts should be self-advertising.


1. What should be added to this list? What should be removed?

2. How closely should you follow the 80/20 rule?

3. What is the best way to research your audience?


2 thoughts on “The Beginners List to Using Twitter

  1. Janis, I think if anyone tries to adhere to the 80/20 rule all the time their heads would explode. I think it’s a good suggestion and if you get close to that ratio that’s fine, but I don’t see it as a rule. Plus, I saw multiple 80/20 rules in our readings, each one saying something different. It’s impossible to follow every single one. I don’t think anything should be added or removed from the list, but if the list is in order of importance to the brand, I think content is too low. I would put content over audience only because as long as you produce great content the audience will come. Not all content pleases your entire audience, so it’s difficult to have a “target audience” that may not necessarily like every piece of content. But, if you consistently produce great content, the audience will always show up.

    • Steven,

      I thought about explaining how I ordered the list but alas I did not and you brought up a good point. Instead of arranging the list as usual in order of important or no order I tried to stack it chronologically. The list follows basic steps as you delve into the world of Twitter. I know that not everyone will agree with the order. You are also absolutely correct about the fact that content is one of the most important parts of the list.

      I think the 80/20 is just a general example, it is not to be followed to exact rations. It also has many more applications that seem to be overlooked. Actually called the Pareto Principle it has very interesting implications in many areas such as economics, business, and marketing.


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