Image Credit: "Montreal Twestival 2009 Cupcakes" by Clever Cupcakes

During Week Seven of our Spring Semester, I have the opportunity to attend the Social Fresh Conference in Tampa. (Thank you, HubSpot, for the free ticket that I won!)

So instead of class on Monday/Tuesday, spend some time learning on your own about using Twitter. Here are a few ways to learn. We’ll talk more about Twitter either right before or right after Spring Break (depending on which class you are in). Be sure to follow the directions in Step 4 so you “take attendance” for the class; you can send the required tweet/message anytime before midnight on Tuesday.

Step 1: Watch

If you haven’t seen it already, watch Twitter in Plain English, made by the folks at Common Craft:

Step 2: Watch

Then watch the Inbound Marketing University webinar titled “Twitter for Business,” led by Laura Fitton (@pistachio on Twitter) OR “Twitter for Business” led by Paul Gillin (@pgillin on Twitter). You don’t have to watch both, unless you’d really like to see two different perspectives on using Twitter.


Twitter for Business from Paul Gillin on Vimeo.

Step 3: Read

Read my post 10.5 Ways for PR Students to Get the Most Out of Twitter.

Step 4: Subscribe

Set Up Your Twitter Account

  1. Go to Twitter. Click Get Started, and sign up. I prefer it if you use some version of your first and last name as your Twitter ID. (Avoid putting numbers in your Twitter ID, or you may appear like a spammer.)
  2. Upload a photo or avatar.
  3. Write a brief (160-character or fewer) bio. It’s good to mention that you’re a PR student. Consider mentioning your university.
  4. Send a tweet saying “I’m a student in @barbaranixon’s #COMM2322 /#COMM4333 / #COMM4633 /#SPC4350 class”. (Use the correct number for your class.) Be sure to include the #xxx1234 indicator, with no spaces between the hashtag (#), letters and numbers. It is by you sending this tweet that I will “take attendance” on Monday/Tuesday.

Step 5: Follow

Follow the people I recommend in my Starter Pack for PR Students list:  – at least for the duration of this semester. I will also create lists for students in each of my classes (but I cannot do this until I have all your Twitter IDs.)

Additional Information

  1. If you already have a Twitter account that you use primarily for social (not educational or professional) reasons, you may wish to create a fresh, new account for this class and professional reasons.
  2. Review my tips on Choosing Whom to Follow on Twitter: My Strategy.
  3. Review Prof. Sam Bradley’s College Student’s Guide: Twitter 101.
  4. Review The Anatomy of a Tweet: What Do All Those Symbols Mean?
  5. I find using the web interface for Twitter to be clunky. I prefer using TweetDeck, a free Adobe Air app that works great on PCs and Macs. TweetDeck makes it really easy to send URLs via Twitter, as it automatically shortens them for you.
  6. I’ll occasionally post information on Twitter and use the hashtag for your class (#COMM2322, #COMM4333, #COMM4633 or #SPC4350).By using this hashtag, I’m indicating that I want students in this class to pay special attention to the tweet.
  7. If you’d like to publicize your blog posts via Twitter, you can it automatically in WordPress.

If you’re a college student, especially a college student majoring in public relations, I’d love to hear how you have benefitted by using Twitter.

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5 Responses to A College Student’s Guide to Getting Started with Twitter

  1. [...] your blog posts so that others can read what you have to say. Check out Barbara Nixon’s post, A College Student’s Guide to Getting Started With Twitter (start following her on Twitter while you’re at [...]

  2. [...] I honestly had no idea what to do. My teacher Barbara Nixon gave us numerous suggests on one of her blogs, but I still didn’t want to tweet the wrong people or end up being rude by [...]

  3. Mary Schless says:

    Twitter has been very beneficial to me since I have graduated college. After my contract job ended in December, I tweeted that I was looking for a new job or internship. One of my followers contacted me about an internship at his company and said he would pass along my information to the person hiring. I ended up getting a call from her, interviewing for the position, and getting the internship. Networking and connecting is one of the most important things Twitter can offer anyone.

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Barbara B. Nixon, unomaha, natalie boyne, Tim Penning, PhD,APR, Sarah VanSlette and others. Sarah VanSlette said: RT @BarbaraNixon: [Blog]: A College Student’s Guide to Getting Started with Twitter http://bit.ly/gOK97c [...]

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