To tweet or not to tweet… that is the question!

I’ll be honest, I’m a pretty skeptical person. When I heard about Apple announcing the iPad, I thought it was going to bust. So much so, that I actually wrote a line making fun of the iPad in one of our skits for first-year orientation this summer. Granted, I wrote the line in February and by the time summer rolled around, everyone thought the iPad was cool and my joke, well, wasn’t very funny. I also never thought Justin Bieber was going to make it as big as he did, but as most of you saw, not only can he sing and act, he can also drain those threes.

Now, while J.Biebz and the iPad may be two of the hottest topics of 2010, I don’t think they are nearly as important to you as Twitter can be. Naturally, I was doubtful of Twitter at first, too (why would I want another account just so I could make Facebook-esque statuses? #doesntmakesense). At first, I had my account just so I could read what other people were tweeting, and the more people I followed and the more I checked my account, the more I “beliebed.”  However, there was a learning curve that took me a while to overcome, so I’ve got some tips below that not only will get you hooked, but could even get you a job – yes, I said a job. Part 1 is dedicated to setting up your account and getting you started, we’ll get into the nitty gritty next week.

Setting up your account

1.       Account name – this is even more important than your AIM screen name, your Facebook account name or even your LinkedIn account. The reason is simple – people are going to be responding to you not with your name, but with your Twitter login. You want to make sure it’s professional and relevant. Creativity is fine, but you should never sacrifice professionalism for originality. I don’t want to follow and hear from @CampusBaller11, I’d much rather respond to @HBMcIntosh91.

2.       Avatar – The picture you see on this post is actually my twitter avatar. It’s a professional close up of my face. Luckily, there is less room for error on the twitter avatar than there is on your Facebook profile picture, but just be sure to, once again, stay professional.

3.       Background – this is prime marketing space. This can be literally anything you want it to be and you can change it as often as you want. If you’re involved in a philanthropy on campus, this background could change based on whatever event your philanthropy is holding currently. Or, if you’re really interested in a certain topic, you could set that as your background. For example, if you’re gunning for a position at the state capital, you could make your background the State Seal of Georgia or a picture of the State Capital Building.

4.       About Me – This is pretty self-explanatory, but just be sure that your “About Me” section is, again, professional, relevant and intriguing. “UGA student studying Marketing” is professional and relevant, but not intriguing. Tell people about yourself! You want to set yourself up for success, so when someone that follows you and retweets your post, other people are interested in who you are when they click on your profile. Try something along the lines of “Junior at UGA studying marketing and Spanish, interested in international business, tourism industry, and Spanish culture.”