Signing up for a new social media account can be pretty overwhelming, especially one such as Twitter. Where do you begin? For those who are unfamiliar with Twitter, it is an information network as a way to discover news and trending topics using 140-character messages (aka Tweets). Twitter is a great tool to help promote a business or brand and also build relationships with others.
If you are just getting started with Twitter, here are some tips.
First you need to create an account and come up with a Twitter name. Use the name you publish under for your Twitter name. Whether this is your personal account or for your business, try to use a name that closely relates to the name you publish in order to create less confusion. Creating a name is important on Twitter because it allows others to find you easier. The other important part is coming up with a Twitter username or what Twitter calls a “handle.” Keep in mind that your handle does not have to match your Twitter name. However, there is nothing wrong with having the same Twitter name and handle and it is actually encouraged. Keep your handle short so that when users mention you, they still have additional characters to use. Try to create a handle and Twitter name that is professional and one where others will easily identify and associate.
It is preferred that users upload an image that is of you (your face) or your logo. People like to connect and relate to other people. A headshot is great for individuals. For businesses, the logo is one that customers will recognize. Whatever image you decide to upload when you first begin, know that it can be changed at any time in the future. Also, please avoid sending out your first tweet without an image. Images make you stand out and look less like spam or a robot.
Your bio should explain who you are and what you do. However, Twitter only allows users to use 160 characters for your bio description. So use your words carefully! It is good way to continue to market yourself or your business by including your website or blog URL in your bio. You also have the option to add a cover picture and adjust the theme colors of your profile. You can change these in order to match your business or brand.
The people you decide to follow on Twitter will shape how your timeline will appear. You will want to follow friends, colleagues, local businesses, current or future clients, and other professionals in the industry. Let others know you are on Twitter by posting it on your blog or website. You could even send an email out to your customers with your Twitter handle. Don’t be shy to get the word out about your new account.
Your 1st Tweet
Twitter only allows users 140 characters for their tweets. So be sure whatever you need to say does not go over the character limit. In your first tweet, introduce yourself or your business to the world. It can be a very simple tweet. Using hashtags in your tweets can help others find you and begin a conversation. It is important understand the fundamentals of Twitter such as retweet, mentions, hashtag, lists, direct messages, Twitter cards, and your newsfeed. However, all this will take some time and getting used to. Don’t worry if you don’t understand how to do everything right away. To help with some of the lingo on the social network, Twitter has provided a glossary on their support page.
There are hundreds of tools available to help with the success of your Twitter account. Below are some tools that work well at our company. You may find others that work better for you.
Hootsuite is one we utilize at Simplexity Marketing for managing our social media. Hootsuite can help you manage more than just one account. You can also manage Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and FourSquare. However, Hootsuite works best with Twitter. The free version allows up to three accounts for users to manage. Hootsuite allows users to schedule their posts. One of the great things about Hootsuite is you can shorten links which will allow you to add more content to your tweets.
Tagdef is a good tool for hashtags. Users are able to look up hashtag definitions and also create their own. The website is fairly easy to navigate and search for hashtags. You are able to learn popular and trending hashtags. Another tools we have used is RiteTag which grades users on their hashtags to help with optimizing your presence.
This past summer Twitter gave access to Twitter Analytics for all users. No more restrictions and free to use. In order to utilize, you just need to sign in with your Twitter account. Twitter Analytics allows users to view their engagement with their audience. So you are able to test the performance of every tweet sent and become more successful.
Remember that Twitter has a bit of a learning curve, so take your time. It will take some patience and getting used to all the features and different aspects of Twitter. You won’t gain a huge following overnight. Understand that it takes time and strategy to build a following and online presence. So keep on tweeting!