Twitter is a fun, fast-moving platform that acts almost like one big chat room. Instead of “friending” people like Facebook, Twitter is all about following people. And the platform has a unique language, so you need to get a handle on that, as well. But don’t worry, once you dive in, you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Ready, Set, Tweet!
This guide will list the steps to get started on Twitter. It’ll give you the basic setup and then add some tips to optimize your Twitter experience and also include a glossary of the lingo you need to learn.
Choose Your Full Name
Creating an account is simple; go to twitter.com and sign up. Once you select – Create an Account, Twitter will ask you for your full name. The name you enter will serve as your display name. You can change this name easily, but for business purposes, it is best practice to use your full company name. Although you have the option to change it anytime you choose, It’s highly suggested you stay consistent with your branding and keep your display name your full company name.
Choosing Your Username
Choosing your username is a bit trickier. Your username is your @name; it is the handle that Tweeters will use to respond to your Tweets. Retweets, etc. Again, choose your company name if it’s available and not too many characters. If it’s not available or too long, come up with a creative alternative. For example, if your company name is Red Hot Marketing, you can select @redhot. Choose your username wisely, because it is quite difficult to change. You need to carefully pick a handle that is easy to remember and represents your brand well.
Create Your Bio
Give a detailed description of your company, but it must stay within 160 characters. So make it compelling, inviting, and to the point. Using keywords is also helpful.
Choose Your Avatar (picture)
Use an image that matches your brand identity. A logo is a perfect image to choose to increase brand awareness. However, if your logo is too large to be easily identifiable on the platform, you can alter it to fit the space. For example, if your company is Red Hot Marketing, you can create a square image in red with the letters RH in a color that makes the letter pop. Get the idea? Try to make your avatar stand out; bland avatars are boring, and I’m sure your business is not. Whichever way you decide to create it, make sure it represents your brand messaging. As I said earlier, brand consistency is key in every marketing aspect.
Select Your Cover Image
Match your cover photo with the imagery of your business website. Bright and compelling images are attractive, but most importantly, the image must represent your brand. Remember it doesn’t need to be a photograph, digitally created images work well, too. I suggest using the same practice with cover photos across all your company’s social media platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Who to Follow?
After you’ve created your account, Twitter suggests people and relevant businesses for you to follow that align with your company. Go through the suggestions and follow the accounts that make the most sense for your company. Using the Red Hot Marketing example again, it’s smart to follow marketing influencers on the platform, similar businesses, and accounts that match your target audience. I’d also suggest following your local chamber of commerce, people of interest (celebrities, authors, etc.) and also non-profit organizations that match your interests.
There is a wealth of valuable information pumping through Twitter at all times, and following a variety of different accounts gives you a well-rounded dose of the content shared.
Please note that it does take some time to build up a large Twitter following, and the key is to Tweet quality content on the platform that will generate interest in the Twitterverse. And as always, when users respond, interact with them. This helps give a personality to your brand, increases interest and awareness, and ultimately leads to new followers.
Another way to gain followers is to get involved in Twitter conversations. If you see a Tweet that you can contribute to, jump in and get in the chatter. You can also reply directly to Tweets, Retweet other Tweets, and mention other users in your Tweets. Twitter will notify the users of all of these actions, and utilizing these actions helps users notice your business and want to connect. They call it the Twitterverse because it’s a unique community. To be an effective marketer in the Twitterverse, your company needs to be a contributing and engaged member of the Twitterverse.
TIP: Twitter notifies you when a new user follows your account. Set up an auto-response thanking them for their interest. In your response you can also redirect the user to your website for more information, offer a discount for first-time clients, or anything else that shows appreciation for the follow.
It’s Time to Tweet
Twitter is unique in that it limits your Tweet to a mere 140 characters. This may be a challenge at first, but as you read other Tweets and become more familiar with the platform, you’ll get the hang of mastering the 140 character limit. You’d be amazed at the creative Tweets that make Twitter what it is.
If you’re unsure how to post a Tweet, this is a step by step list from Twitter:
Posting a Tweet
Definition: A Tweet may contain photos, videos, links and up to 140 characters of text.
To post a Tweet via the web:
- Sign in to your Twitter account.
- Type your Tweet into the box at the top of your Home timeline, or click the Tweet button in the top navigation bar.
- Make sure your update is fewer than 140 characters. We’ll count the characters for you! Remaining characters show up as a number below the box.
- Tip: Read about how to include photos in your Tweet here, and how to include a video in your Tweet here.
- Click the Tweet button to post the Tweet to your profile.
- You will immediately see your Tweet in the timeline on your homepage.
Now you have the exact steps to follow for posting a Tweet, so let’s start Tweeting!
Introduce your business to the Twitterverse with a friendly Tweet. For example, “Red Hot Marketing is now on Twitter! Looking forward to connecting with you all!” or “Red Hot Marketing is now on Twitter! Follow us for marketing tips, promos and more!” A simple announcement is a perfect way to start your Twitter experience.
Tweet Quality Content
Tweet images, videos, articles, gif, and ideas that you know your followers will appreciate. Again, if you have a marketing agency and have a blog on your website, share interesting blog posts with your followers. Did you just have an incredible event? Tweet an image of the gathering. Create a video trailer of your marketing services, and Tweet the trailer to give your audience an understanding of your capabilities. Providing quality information is essential in establishing your business as a leader in its field.
HINT: The Twitterverse loves humor, so if you can add a little cheekiness to your Tweets, all the better!
Know the Lingo
As I said above, the Twitterverse tends to have its own language. Here is a basic rundown to get you up to speed:
An @ is a mention, and it is used when you’re identifying a particular user. After your @mention a user in your Tweet, the person is notified and can read the Tweet. It’s helpful in increasing engagement with other users, especially ones not following you YET.
RT means “Retweet.” When you find something of interest, and you want to share it, use the Retweet option under the Tweet. You can either simply Retweet it without adding to it, or you can Retweet it with a quote to add your own Tweet which will show up above the Retweeted Tweet. Am I saying Tweet enough?
# is a hashtag, and Tweeters use hashtags to tag a word or phrase. Hashtags are constantly made up and reused by the Twitter community. For instance, #mondaymotivation trends on Mondays these days. As a business, you can hop on the trending topic and offer a motivational Tweet. HINT: trending topics can be found by looking at the “Explore” section of your account. Using trending hashtags is an excellent way to get involved in a larger Twitter conversation.
DM is a direct message. You can send private messages to other users if their account setting permit. DM’s are private messages, unlike everything else on the platform, which is public. Direct messages are an effective way to be inclusive with others user and for establishing relationships.
The above lingo is only a snapshot of the extensive language used on Twitter. For a more in-depth list of terms, read Mashable’s Definitions for 34 Twitter Terms.
The article begins with, “This morning, when I scanned my Twitter feed, I did a few MTs and PRTs, asked a follower to TMB, and was left SMH at some trolls I found, so I said BFN to Twitter.
Didn’t understand what I just said? Don’t worry — that used to be gobbledygook to me, too.
See? Twitter definitely has a unique language!
Enjoy The Twitterverse!
Twitter is one the most beloved and popular social media platforms available. Use this guide to assist you in entering into this exciting and ever-changing media outlet. As will all social media marketing, remember to stay true to your brand, keep engaged, and have fun while you’re at it. Enjoy!