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Getting Started on StockTwits: The Ultimate Guide

We are getting a bunch of new StockTwits members who are experienced market participants or journalists.

The following guide offers a detailed set of How To tips for you and everyone on how to get started quickly and smoothly and serves as a reference for new members.

If you have follow up questions, please feel free to email me at phil at stocktwits dot com or leave them in the comments section to this post and I will get right back to you.

1. Profile Page – Be sure to complete your profile page well as it is great for building brand.

You can control Settings including your profile page and social connections via the Settings Dashboard located here.

Be sure to include an avatar, your bio, a link to your web presence and your trader profile.

Members tend to more frequently follow those they can learn something about and as you become more popular, your profile page will get more and more traffic – so if you provide information about yourself and a link to your web presence, you will be more familiar to others faster.

Pro Tip – Upload a good photo of yourself for an avatar on your StockTwits profile page. People respond to faces. You will be more recognizable, more memorable and will be perceived as more approachable. You can do this here.

2. Discovery – You want to follow StockTwits members who provide the best information relevant to your interests. By following others, their messages will show up in your Home Stream.  Over time, you will build a Home Stream that is extremely valuable to your news flow and idea gathering process.

There are thousands of expert voices and you will find that those who share interests will provide valuable insights and information in real time.

-  One way to find great StockTwits members to follow is to pull up the StockTwits Suggested Stream and watch it for a while. Then, when you find a member you want to follow more closely, click on their username and then click the big green Follow button on their profile page. Find it here.

- Another great way to find members to follow is the StockTwits Discovery Tool.  This allows you to set criteria to search for members and then to easily Follow them with one click. Find it here.

3. Following Stocks – You can also follow specific stocks (or other assets including futures and Forex). This is great for those who are very interested in a specific ticker and want to see everything that is being messaged about it.

To follow a stock (or other asset), search the ticker in the search box at the top of the StockTwits page and then click the big green Follow Button at the top right of that stock’s profile page.  Then, all messages with that stock’s $TICKER will show up in your StockTwits Home Stream.

4. Sharing on StockTwits - Simply, share great information and links.

Those who become very popular on our site and who gain respect and trust from the community are those who generously share their expertise.

For example, if you follow earnings news very closely, share your insights and links that are most relevant to earnings.  If you follow options flow, share options flow related information.

Also, share the best articles you read by pasting the link to the article in the message entry box and typing something about what you are sharing.

Here’s a short video on how to share a message on StockTwits.

5. Tagging - The StockTwits $ tags are used to send your messages where they will be most relevant.  For example, if you are writing about Amazon and you use the $AMZN tag, then your message will be seen by those who are interested in Amazon.

Do not tag messages that are not market related just so they end up in our stream as other members do not love it.

Here’s a short video on tagging messages for StockTwits.

Pro Tip: Be as specific with your tags as possible. Other members looking for information about specific stocks will appreciate it and your content will have the greatest reach as it will be included in the stock (and other asset) specific streams. 

Pro Tip: You can find a list of futures symbols that StockTwits recognizes here.

6. Use the StockTwits Platform to Send Messages – Sending messages directly from the StockTwits platform (StockTwits.com, StockTwits Desktop, mobile apps or Seesmic Desktop will distribute your message not only to StockTwits, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn but will also distribute it to our large media API partners including Yahoo! Finance, CNN Money, Reuters and more.

7. Asking Other Members Questions – To ask another member a question or respond to one of their messages, begin your message with @username. This will alert the member to your question on their Mentions stream.

When StockTwits members ask you question, you will find them on your own Mentions stream which is navigable via the Mentions Link near the top left of your StockTwits page.

Pro Tip: When you have new mentions, you will see a number next to Mentions link on your StockTwits.com page.

8. Do Not Promote Your Paid Service – StockTwits is a place for sharing your best market related ideas and information. It is not a place to overtly sell your service. If you frequently message advertisements for your paid services, community members will percieve you as spam and will tune you out.

Also, this violates our House Rules.

Pro Tip: Those who run premium services love to share information for free on StockTwits because they have come to realize that becoming popular will help them build their brand and trust in the community.  This is social marketing or social leverage and it works on our site over time much better than explicit product promotion.

9. Do not retweet yourself or share your own content multiple times – If you share content that you have created and it is valuable to the community others will notice and retweet your links. It is a natural community built meritocracy in that way. If your message your own links several times, community members will tune you out over time as a self promoter.

10. Check Out Our House RulesThe StockTwits House Rules will give you a good feel for StockTwits etiquette.

11. Sharing and Finding Charts – If you are a technician, you will find our Chart.ly service valuable for sharing charts you created and creating quick screencast video updates as well as for consuming the chart work of others in order to generate ideas and cross reference your own point of view.

12. Tips, Tools and ShortcutsThis link will provide more information on getting started on StockTwits

13. StockTwits Help – You can also check out our StockTwits Help to information about specific questions you might have about using StockTwits.

 

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