7 Steps to a Twitter MakeOver


If this visual looks familiar to you then you are
either in need of a Twitter Makeover or know someone who is.

There are ten items that people might look at when they check out your Twitter page to decide if they want to include you in their personal learning network (PLN).

1. Don’t go with the default Twitter background. I’m not saying you have to go and upload a background from Twitterbackgrounds.com, but at the very least, click on the Settings button at the top, right corner of your Twitter window. Once you are in Settings, click on the Design tab and then select from one of the preset Themes. Click “save changes” and you will have a nice new background for your Twitter home page.

2. We know the Twitter bird is cute and that it comes in several different colors, but nothing says you are a Twitter newbie more than the Twitter default avatar. All you need to do is have a picture saved somewhere. It can be on your hard drive, it can be on your shared drive or a thumb drive. It can even be on a photo CD. You just need a picture of SOMETHING. Then click on the Settings button at the top, right corner of your Twitter window. Once you are in Settings, click on the Picture tab and then click on the Browse button. Locate the picture that you want to use and then click the Open button. Click Save and you are all set with a personalized avatar.

3. What goes under your name in the top, right-hand corner on your Twitter page, is your location. You need to let folks know where you are. What country is a great start. The more specific you are, the better. To fill out your location, go back to the Settings page and look about half-way down for the Location slot. You will answer the question “Where in the world are you?”.

4. Underneath your location will be your “one line bio”. This is so important as this is going to be where you will indicate that you are an educator. If you do not fill this information out, most educators will not follow you. Actually, most educators are looking to see in what area of education you teach. Be as specific as you can. To fill out your “one line bio” go back to the Settings page and look about half-way down. Twitter allows you up to 160 characters for this.

5. Tweet something interesting. Are you looking to develop a reciprocal relationship or are you looking to lurk? If you are looking to lurk, you can actually just use Twitter Search and you don’t have to sign up for a Twitter account. But if you are looking to develop a PLN in the Twitterverse, then you have to start contributing. Tweeting that you are “sitting in a workshop” or “trying out Twitter” isn’t really a productive contribution. You might want to consider Tweeting something that you have recently bookmarked or seen someone else Tweet. Also, you can Tweet the URL to a website that you have used with your students or colleagues and say why you used it.

6. Find people to follow. The people that you follow tells a lot about what you are interested in. Your potential Followers may scan the list to get an idea of what you are interested in. Consider using the following sites to help you find other educators to follow:

7. Don’t protect your updates. If you do this, potential followers can’t see who you are.  This is what you look like to them and as someone new to Twitter it says you are not looking to be a part of a reciprocal relationship.

protectedWell, I was going to write up a list of 10 steps, but it turns out it only takes 7. I met with most of the teachers from the Center‘s 21st Century Learning Initiative for a second time this past week after having them use Twitter and Diigo for about a month and decided that we would do “Twitter Makeovers” on many of them. What a great group of educators willing to try new tools to learn and share!!

14 thoughts on “7 Steps to a Twitter MakeOver

  1. Alison says:

    Thanks for the tips, the lists of how to find people to follow, and how to be a useful tweeter! I’m going to get on those changes right away.

  2. Heeni Turinui says:

    Thank you Lisa. This was most helpful. I have two lines of interest. One is education and the other is Affiliate Marketing. How do i keep separate the tweets from education and affiliate marketing? I am only just becoming familiar with links and urls and am not confident or competent enough with them to use them to effect.Affiliate marketing is only the first step to building my business, for it will be education based, I needed to know how the online business runs from the ground up, and that means becoming an affiliate. My passion in education is Integrated Curriculum. I had almost completed an article for Teachers and Curriculum when my computer crashed. On it also was my business plan. So it is back to the drawing board for me. Lisa, Twitter is resource rich! I feel as though i am in a playground or standing outside the cany store looking at all the wonderful things inside:) Again, thank you for your help and if you have any tips that could help me to orgaise my profile as i want, please point me in the right direction. Heeni.

    1. Heeni – you could consider having two different profiles and then using Tweetdeck to manage your stream of information. You can find Tweetdeck at http://www.tweetdeck.com/beta/. I open columns for different subjects that I am searching or conferences that I am following.

      I hope that helps and thanks for your comment!

      1. Hi Lisa and Heeni,

        You can also try using HootSuite.com. With HootSuite you can put people into groups just like TweetDeck, the differene is you don’t need to download any software. HootSuite is a web based Twitter application. Here is another advantage, you can track how many people have viewed a link that you tweeted using the ow.ly link shortener. This will help you find what kind of links get the most hits from your followers.

        I hope this information is helpful.

        Thanks for the post. I think it offers fantastic tips for anyone that might be intimated by the thought of visiting Twitterville.

      2. Ileane – I wouldn’t call it “old news” but I am already a member” Thanks for mentioning it though. There are just COUNTLESS ways to find people to follow on Twitter and following a hashtag like “edchat” or even “edtech” makes it even easier.


  3. Mary says:

    I really appreciated this. I know I need a Twitter makeover but I think it needs to start with values and practices, not just the appearance. It is a challenge right now within the social networking climate or lack of climate that I work in. As the instructional technologist I feel restrained by our local culture. Will explore opening up the gates.

    1. Mary – I thinks it’s great that you are going to start with values and practices. My hope is that when Twitterers are working on completing their profiles they will surf other Twitter pages and it will be a natural progression.

      Good luck on your journey!

Leave a Reply to lthumann Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s