Sometimes it’s hard not to have an insider’s view of Twitter once you’ve learned how to use it. But if you’re still new to Twitter (or not so new and still trying to figure it out), the Twitterverse can be a very confusing place.

I’ve been asked some questions lately that prompted me to write this post. Twitter is to the uninitiated as Cancun is to high schoolers during spring break – You hear there’s a party going on and you know you’ll have a good time if you could only find your way there.

In that light, I’ve put together 10 things we can all do to improve our collective Twitter experience:

(1) Establish a meaning and a goal – Why do you have a Twitter account? Is it because you heard it may be a good idea? Do you want to use it as a news wire for your company, or as a communications tool for your personal brand? The “why” of your Twitter account will inform the “what” of your content.

(2) Fill out your bio – Be straightforward with your bio. It’s how people will make the snap decision to follow you or not. If they can’t figure out who you are or what you do because you’re the “leading provider of technology solutions,” then that’s a lost opportunity for connection.

(3) Learn hashtags – Hashtags are words that are preceded by the # symbol. The most popular AV related hashtags are #avtweeps, #AVnews, and #proaudio. Others include #homeAV, #homeautomation, #CE, and #Cepros.

There are no rules when it comes to using hashtags. You can hashtag any subject, event, or word. You never want to over-tag, but placing at least one hashtag makes it easier for people to search and find your tweets.

(4) Find people – Twitter is a social media platform and to be social, you need people. No brainer, right? Yet everyone gets so hung up on having a high follower count that they forget to follow others. It’s okay to have a higher follow than a follower count at first. Start following some people and then….

(5) Interact – Party rules apply to Twitter. If you spend all your time (tweets) talking about yourself, people will eventually roll their eyes and move on. To get the most out of Twitter, you need to interact with others. Give a little; take a little when it comes to attention.

(6) Retweet, retweet, retweet – One of the best ways to show support for your Twitter community is to retweet their tweets. Passing along informative, funny, or useful tweets also establishes you as a source for good content.

(7) Mind your manners – When someone retweets your tweet, please remember to say thank you to them. It shows that you’re paying attention and that you appreciate their time and effort.

(8) Don’t be afraid to mix personal with business – Show some personality! There’s more to you than work, right? You don’t need to tweet your home address, social security number, and dates you’re going on vacation, but it doesn’t hurt to mix a little personal into the business communication on Twitter. Your Twitter community will appreciate knowing that they’re interacting with a real person, even if it’s on behalf of a brand or a corporation.

(9) Learn to use lists – Twitter’s list feature is invaluable. It can help you keep track of specific groups of people or specific hashtags. If you follow a lot of people, lists is a great way to keep track of your fast-moving Twitter stream and ensure that you don’t miss important tweets.

(10) Pass along this list! – Better yet, take a moment to teach someone in your office how to use Twitter. The more tweeps, the merrier!