Remember the first day you signed up to Twitter? It was new and a little strange, and may have become overwhelming. Conversely, when you don’t know what you should be doing, all that hype can actually have the opposite effect – Twitter felt like a bit of a disappointment. What’s the point?

Because you persisted, eventually the penny dropped, and Twitter suddenly seemed a place of enormous opportunity. You started to recommend the service to your friends, and then watched the process repeat itself through their eyes.

  • “I don’t get it.”
  • “I have nothing to say.”
  • “Who are these people following me?”

Back in April, I wrote an article entitled, “10 Quick & Easy Ways To Maximise Your Twitter Experience“. The content is still surprisingly relevant but a lot has changed in the last 4-5 months and I felt it needed a bit of an update.

Here are five tips that I think all newcomers to Twitter should read and implement to help them get off to a good start.

1. Use Your Photo For Your Avatar

Twitter recently updated their default avatar, and while the new image is an improvement it still tells veterans of the service one of two things: you’re either a newbie, or (worse) a spammer.

Your choice of avatar is one of the most important decisions you will make. It’s the first thing most people see when deciding whether to follow you – hence, it should represent what your Twitter account represents. It should tell us a little bit about who you are.

Ideally, your avatar should be a recent photo of YOU. At a pinch, it can be your brand’s logo but if you’re the only person who will be using the account a photo is still better. It’s more personable and people will warm to you and become familiar with it.

A common mistake that many make is to follow similar practices used on bulletin boards and MSN and use a cartoon, a picture of a celebrity, or a character from a movie or TV show for their profile picture. Twitter isn’t a bulletin board, and it isn’t MSN. People like, and expect to see, your face. It makes you seem real.

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