The day has arrived. You finally have decided to take the plunge. Today is the day you will join Twitter. But wait a minute, you have so many questions. Where do you begin? Will it take long? What is the pound sign anyways?
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social network that uses 140-characters to share updates in what is called “Tweets.” A Tweet can contain text, images, videos, links and poll updates.
Twitter is also known as a micro-blogging platform. However, some consider it as an instant messaging platform.
If you are new to Twitter and want to set up an account, follow our easy steps to be apart of the Twitter community!
Getting Started on Twitter
1.) Go to twitter.com and click on the Sign Up button located at the top right corner of your screen. (Or click on the new to Twitter block under the Moments section.)
2.) You will be asked to fill out basic information about yourself or company.
Please enter your name, an email address or phone number, and a password (Don’t panic. You will be able to change this information if needed in the future.)
3.) Add your telephone number.
You can choose to skip this step if you wish. However, adding your telephone number helps make your account more secure. It is also helpful should you happen to forget your account information.
4.) What is your username?
This is an important step where you will create a username for your account. Usernames are used for others to mention you, @reply and to engage in conversations. You might also hear others refer to it as a Twitter handle. The maximum length for your username is 15 characters. Twitter will provide you with alternate usernames if your username is already taken. However, most of their suggestions include numbers. It is recommended that your username does not include numbers unless relevant.
Usernames can be changed at any time; it is not a permanent thing. Twitter experts urge you to keep your username short. When others reply or mention you in a tweet, it counts towards the 140-characters. So the shorter, the better.
When brands are create a username, it is recommended that you are consistent with your marketing and name. Think about how customers and fans will engage with you. You want to make it something that is easy, memorable and consistent with your branding. For example, Nike’s username is @Nike. Starbucks Coffee username is @Starbucks. Coca Cola is @CocaCola.
5.) How do you want users to see you? Upload your profile picture.
This step is where you can upload your profile picture that others will see. If you are a brand, it is encouraged that you use your company’s logo or something that is recognized by many.
Recommended profile size is 400 x 400 pixels. The image will be resized to fit.
6.) What topics are you interested in? You can add as many or as little topics as you wish.
7.) Twitter gives you the option to import your contacts from your email accounts. Like most of these steps, you can choose to skip this one too. However, you may import your contacts from Gmail, Outlook and AOL. Twitter will locate any of those contacts who have a Twitter account.
8.) Twitter creates a suggested list of followers that you can choose to follow.
These accounts are based on your interests/topics you chose just moments ago. You can also search for people you know on Twitter. But if you are short on time, you may skip this step for now.
Once you’ve completed all those steps, you are officially a member of Twitter. Congratulations!
What’s Next on Twitter?
When you’ve created your account, you will be taken to your home page. Don’t be alarmed when there isn’t much to look at because this will take time. Let’s get started on adding some basic information about yourself or business.
***Before you do anything else, Twitter will have sent an account confirmation email. Please confirm your account before you begin connecting with others or updating your profile.***
Now that you’ve confirmed your account, we need to tell the world who you are and what you look like. To make changes to your profile, locate your egg avatar profile picture at the top right corner of your screen. In the drop down menu, click on the first option, “View profile.”
On your profile page you will see an “Edit Profile” button below your cover/header photo. You can edit your profile picture, header photo, profile name, bio, location, website, theme color, and birthday.
When you are in edit mode, your profile will look similar to the image below.
If you haven’t already uploaded a profile picture, you can do that here. Twitter will resize your image to fit in the square. Your profile picture will be a rounded square with a white border.
You should also upload a header photo. The recommended header photo size is 1500 x 500 pixels.
Your bio should be a brief description in 160 characters about you or your brand. Who are you? What do you do? Remember to keep it short but make it interesting and informative. You can choose to include relevant keywords, hashtags and anything you think relates to your brand. Your bio is important because if people are searching for you, it will show up in Google search results. Make your content shine!
Twitter lets you change the theme color of your profile. Your theme color should coordinate with your brand’s colors. Consistency is key!
It is important that you include your website link. You can even include a shortened link to track clicks to your website.
Twitter Profile Page Components
Wondering what everything means on your profile page? Below, we pointed out some important aspects to your page that will be useful in the future.
Regardless of what page you are on, you will always see your main navigation (home, moments, notifications, messages, search bar, profile avatar, tweet) at the top of your page.
How to Compose a Tweet
So how do I start tweeting to the world? You need to locate the Tweet button on the top right of your screen. You can find the tweet button on any page. It doesn’t matter if you are on your profile page, home, notifications, etc. The tweet button is always located on the top right.
Your first tweet can say anything you want it to. Remember you only have 140-characters including links, any usernames, and images. The nice thing about Twitter is it keeps track of your character count, so you know when you have gone over your limit. When you are composing a message, you have the option to include an image, add your location, add a GIF, or create a poll. What will your first Tweet say?
When you are first learning the ropes of Twitter, it can be overwhelming. Let’s say you click on a Tweet from one of your older posts, what does everything mean? Some of the things I want to point out are Twitter actions. These actions include: reply, like, and Retweet. The reply icon is an arrow that points to the left. Replying to a tweet includes the “@” symbol followed by the username and how you wish to respond. The Retweet icon has two arrows next to each other. One arrow is point up and the other is pointing down. Retweeting means you are sharing another user’s content with your own followers. The like icon (used to be called the favorite icon) is the small heart. When you like a Tweet, it means you are showing appreciation for something. Twitter also has a separate tab for all your likes. Your likes can be accessed from your profile page.
Important Terminology on Twitter
Home: Consists of your newsfeed/timeline where you are signed in. Your home screen will show Tweets from all your followers.
Moments: The biggest stories on Twitter that are updated throughout a day (known as Twitter in an instant).
Notifications: The Notifications timeline offers a simple way to see how others on Twitter are interacting with you. You’ll be able to see which of your Tweets have been liked, Retweets, Tweets directed to you (replies and mentions) and new followers.
Direct Messages (DMs): Private messages between you and another user. (Essentially your inbox on Twitter)
Twitter Profile: Contains all of YOUR Tweets (Example: twitter.com/getsimplexity )
Retweet (RT): Sharing content from other users. You may also see other users type RT at the beginning of a Tweet.
Likes: This is similar to bookmarking. It also shows your appreciation for a Tweet.
Following: Subscribing to someone’s account. You’ve chosen to follow them. You will see their tweets in your newsfeed.
Followers: Users that are following your account. You can choose to follow others back. If someone follows you, it doesn’t automatically mean you follow them.
@reply: A response to another user’s Tweet using that uses the @ “at” symbol followed by the username. This is used at the beginning of a Tweet.
@mention: A Tweet that contains another user’s @username anywhere in the body of the Tweet.
Hashtag: A hashtag is any word or phrase immediately preceded by the # symbol. They are allowed to go anywhere in your Tweet. Hashtags make it easy to find the same keyword or topic. They are searchable by anyone on Twitter.
Pinned Tweets: Twitter allows you to pin Tweets to the top of your profile page.
Twitter Lists: From your own account, you can create a group list of other Twitter users by topic or interest (Ex. a list of friends, coworkers, celebrities, athletes). Your lists can be public or private. Twitter also allows you to follow lists from other users.
Twitter Polls: Want to know what your followers think about certain topics or products? Use Twitter polls to find out.
Analytics: Twitter’s analytics help you understand how the content you share on Twitter grows your business. To access your analytics click on your profile icon in the top right of your screen. In the drop down menu, click on Analytics.
If you want to change your account settings, locate your profile icon on the top right of your screen. In the drop down menu, click on Settings.
On the left hand side of your page, you will see a list of tabs with all the different things you can access and make any changes.
How to Follow Other Accounts
Twitter makes following others easy. When you have found an account to follow, go to their profile page. Then click the Follow button on their page. Your can also follow an account by clicking on the user’s profile photo.
Finding Others on Twitter
Twitter is just like any other social network with the commonality of connections. It is about connecting and engaging with others. When you signed up, Twitter asked you what topics you were interested in. Twitter uses this to help you get started with people you might be interested in following. However, that is not the only way for you to find people. You can also complete searches for people, keywords, hashtags, etc in the search bar in your main navigation.
Not finding what you want? Type your search item in the search bar on twitter.com. At the top of your results page, click More options and then click Advanced search. If you want to skip that step, simply go to https://twitter.com/search-advanced. The advanced search allows you to search specific dates, topics, people, places, and more.
Another way you can connect is using your Gmail, AOL or Outlook contacts. To find friends using your email contacts, go to your settings.
Click on your profile/settings icon on the top left. Then click on the drop down for Settings. Locate the tab on the left that says Find Friends.
We hope our instructions for beginning Twitter were helpful. Twitter is a great place for learning about what is happening around the world in real-time. You can connect with over 320 million active users around the globe. You can also use to Twitter network or promote your brand.
Don’t worry if you still have questions about Twitter. We are always here to help! If you want more information about using social media for your business, contact us today. For additional information about Twitter, read our blog about ways you can create more engagement with your fans and followers on Twitter.