Getting started with Twitter – part 1

Even though Twitter was first unveiled back in March 2006, its relevance as a social media platform and, therefore, potential business marketing tool hasn’t diminished.

Okay, so Twitter doesn’t come close to Facebook in terms of monthly active users (328 million vs. 2 billion), and it restricts its users to just 140 characters per tweet, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss it right away.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with some useful tips and tricks if you’re just starting out on Twitter or plan to do so in the near future.

Choose the right username

As obvious as it sounds, your Twitter username, or Handle, is actually quite important. That’s because it is outward facing and will be the primary way people identify your business on Twitter.

Therefore, choose a handle that makes sense and relates to your business name or brand, so that other Twitter users can easily recognise you and tag your business in their posts.

Write a bio that encapsulates your business

Your Twitter bio tells your customers and prospects more about your company. Think of it as your opportunity to explain your business (in 160 characters or less) to someone who has never heard of it before.

You can even include one or two targeted hashtags to help people find your Twitter account more easily.

Upload a suitable profile image

By default, all Twitter accounts have an image of an egg as their profile pictures. You want to change this right away to something that better represents your business/brand.

You might consider using your company logo or even a picture of yourself (like I do) to give your account a more personal touch. The option is always there to change your picture in the future, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that early on or very often as it can confuse your followers.

Send your first tweet

Tweets are what Twitter is all about and I think you should go right ahead and send your first one once you’ve got your account configured how you want.

It doesn’t need to be profound or trying to achieve anything other than introducing yourself and letting people know you’re active on Twitter.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder and CEO, sent the first ever tweet on March 22, 2006:

Start following people

Your favourite celebrities, brands, even your local butcher, they’re all more than likely on Twitter. Start following them so you can see how tweets appear in your feed, the way people compose them and the type of content being shared.

Following people is also the best way to attract people to follow you. Look for accounts that are relevant to your industry and products/services.

Don’t be afraid to follow your competitors. Their tweets will provide you with an excellent insight into how they are utilising Twitter and even give you ideas. Just be sure not to copy their content and tweets too much. Creating your own individual style/voice is very important and will build trust between you and your followers.

Watch out for my next post, which will include more advanced Twitter tips and tricks… Getting Started with Twitter Part 2

In the meantime, connect with me on Twitter today and say hello – @lenkakopp

If you want some more information, including several videos and some FAQs, check out this article on the Twitter Help Centre.