Posted by: Mike Whitmore | May 3, 2010

Mike’s Twitterisms #3

If you’re new to Twitter, like I was on February 5th, 2009, once you’ve setup an account you might be asking yourself, “Now what?”

Great question. My teammates at Fresh helped me get started on solid footing and coached me along the way for several weeks. This post will help you get started so you can get the most out of your initial foray into Twitter.

Remember, Twitter is part of the Social Computing / Social Media world, so a lot of these first steps will be about giving everyone a better idea of who you are and what you’re about. (We won’t ask you for your account credentials, your firstborn, nor will we purposely connect you to any of the royal family of Nigeria.)

10 Twitter Initial Steps:

  1. Make sure you have a profile pic of something other than the standard Twitter bird. Weather it’s a company logo, a personal pic (which I use and recommend for most users) or some interesting object at least it’s not the standard bird. A unique profile pic lends credibility to your account.
  2. Web page Fill this in so people can find out more about you whether this leads to a personal blog, company site, your Facebook  or LinkedIn page or whatever. Give us something where we can find out more about you and why we would want to connect with you.
  3. Your Bio should be filled in. It can be funny, informative, sarcastic, or whatever, but make sure it’s filled in with more info about you.
  4. Twitter will recommend you follow some people. This is a good idea for many reasons. It shows you’re interested in others, which means others may find interest in you. It shows you’re here to possibly listen as well as tweet – again, key to being in social media.
  5. Design – I suggest you at least pick one of the other Twitter designs that are available other then the standard blue clouds. Again, this means you cared enough to pick something other than the standard. Getting a custom background is a GREAT next step and you can design your own or other firms (including mine) can help.
  6. Followers / Following Ratio – It’s really important to keep these numbers as balanced as possible. Initially you’ll follow more people than are following you, but as the numbers grow keeping them close to a 1:1 ratio will give you more credibility and will yield more followers for you.
  7. Go to and setup some terms there for your areas of interest. This will help you find interesting tweeps to connect with based on keywords.
  8. Have fun and find your voice. Enjoy the ride and relax. Eventually you will find what works for you, your firm, your community, whatever it is your trying to accomplish by being on Twitter with time. It took me a few weeks, maybe 6-8, and still I find I change things up once in a while to keep it fun.
  9. Tweet Regularly – even more specifically, tweet daily! Early on I asked if there was an ideal number of tweets per day that yielded the best follower growth. The answer from HubSpot was 22. See
  10. TWEET SOMETHING – Your experience with Twitter will be much more complete as you engage with others. If you’re at a dance it’s hard to have a good time standing at the wall. Same with Twitter, so tweet away.  I would post at least 5-10 tweets on your first day.Here are some sample tweets you may use if you like. Just copy and paste these in, kind of like a Twitter Template!
  • Hey all – welcome to my first tweet! I look forward to learning more about you.
  • I own a [type of pet] and my pet’s name is [pet name goes in here]
  • Hello Tweeps – I’m new here. Can you recommend others I should follow
  • I live in the [city name here] metro area and my favorite Led Zeppelin song is [name of favorite Zep tune here]
  • That @mikewhitmore is one cool tweep.
  • I recommend reading and following @mikewhitmore at his blog
  • My favorite YouTube videos are at
  • My favorite place for sushi is [insert favorite sushi place here]
  • One of my all-time rock idols is [insert favorite rock idol here]
  • My favorite Star Trek episode is [enter favorite Star Trek episode name here]

Hopefully this will get you started – and comment here or tweet me if you have questions.

All the best!



  1. Mike,
    Hope your weekend was nice. Do you recommend these same exact steps for companies trying to build their presence – note led zeppelin album reference 🙂 ? If not what additional steps or replacement steps do you recommend?
    See you on Wednesdays call.

    • Hello Andrew – in short, not at all. These steps are intended for the individual with my usual mix of tongue-n-cheek humor added in. I need to write a separate entry for the approach a firm would take with some foundational principles the firm could apply, but then there are unique customizations to consider depending upon several factors customized for the business.

  2. Hi Mike!

    How does Twitter differ from Facebook? Are there privacy settings or the ability to block people who are bothersome? Do most people use a username instead of their real name? Is it mostly for people trying to drum up business?


    • Twitter would be like having only the Status Update feature from Facebook, and it’s only 140 characters long with Twitter. Also, your updates in Twitter (called tweets) can be shared with the entire Twitter audience OR only with those who follow you OR in a Direct Message between two people. So there are some options for who you want to connect with.

      There’s more to know, but that’s a short answer to your question.

      And yes, you can block people from seeing your tweets … kind of. There are ways around this, but most users don’t know them.

      Some people use alternate ID’s which is fine. It depends on why you’re on Twitter, such as representing a firm (which I do and I tweet on those accounts as well) or as a person like I do with my main Twitter account.

      Yes, lots of people use it to drum up business, but most use it as a very large chat network. I’ve used it effectively in many ways including connecting to new business people, friends sharing common interests, pointing people to my blog where I’ve met some famous people and more.

  3. Mike, thanks for the push into social networking. Been learning a lot.

  4. Mike, thanks for the tips. This is very helpful. I signed up over a year ago but haven’t done anything until now.


    • I come from a sales & sales management background myself, so let me know if you’d like to talk sometime about how I’ve used social media to support the sales relationship. I’ve had some very surprising results! All the best.

  5. Mike, I never pass up the opportunity to learn. I will take you up on your offer and will get in touch with you. Thanks again!

  6. Hey Mike,

    I enjoyed reading this post. I’ll try to tweet more often.
    The wefollow website seems to be down. Is it just me?

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