Getting started with Twitter doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s a fairly simple procedure.
From breaking news and entertainment to sports, politics, and everyday interests Twitter is an undeniably powerful platform to increase your business’s online presence. Follow this step-by-step guide to get started. Here’s a list of the first 15 things you should do to get started on Twitter for Marketing. Here we go!
1. Choosing the right Username
The first step in getting started on Twitter is creating your account. When creating your account, it’s important to remember that your username—or as it’s called on Twitter: your “handle,” is outward-facing and will be what the public uses to identify your business. You want your handle to be around 10 – 15 characters so your customers can “mention” your business without using too many of the 140 they have to use. Short and direct to the name of your business is preferred.
2. Create a BIO that Captures your Business/Brand
Twitter is widely recognized as one of the most open social networks, in that, most of the communication on the site takes place in front of people in the news stream (rather than on individual pages or groups). Keep in mind when creating your bio, more people will find you on Twitter that has no previous knowledge of who you are or what you do than on any other network. You have 160 characters to let people know what makes your account special, and why they should follow you. Include useful information, such as what you tend to Tweet about, your location or business hours, and a link to your website. Use a unique link, so you can track visitors to your site from Twitter.
3. Upload a Photo or Image that makes you Stand Out
Don’t underestimate the importance of picking the right picture or image for your profile (and please, please, please don’t send a tweet until you have uploaded one). For businesses, the perfect profile image will be one that your customers already know and associate with your business—like your company logo. For individuals, you’ll want to use a close-up headshot and make sure you are the only person in the photo.
Twitter profile specifications
- The recommended image size for your profile pic is 400×400 pixels; the image will be resized to fit.
- The recommended size for a Twitter header image is 1500×500 pixels. On mobile, it’ll be cropped to a 2:1 aspect ratio.
- Use a GIF or PNG file for vector-based and line art images.
- For photos, upload a JPG or PNG file.
Your header image
Consider this your billboard. You can use event photos, feature products, use a graphic with text, or highlight your work and team. Swap out this image periodically to spotlight promotions, events, product news, or just keep things fresh.
4. Introduce Yourself by Sending your First Tweet
Now is the perfect time to send your first tweet. It’s not going to be anything earth-shattering, and you won’t have any followers (yet) to see it, but it will let people know you are a real person or business and not a robot or spammer. Make the tweet something simple; your introduction to the Twitter world. Tweet about, your location or business hours, and a link to your website. Use a unique link, so you can track visitors to your site from Twitter. We’ve published an informative article for your future posts called: Best Content for Twitter Marketing
5. Find the right people to follow
Who you follow on Twitter will dictate the type of content you have access to and the quality of the relationships you’re able to establish? For this reason, you’ll want to set up some criteria, based on your experience, your industry, and what you’re trying to accomplish.
People you want to follow could include friends, professionals in your industry, other local businesses, colleagues, and even current or potential customers.
When you’re starting out, the key is to follow businesses, like yours that are doing it well—don’t mimic everything they tweet but pay attention to how they are engaging and the type of content they share. Keep your eye on Twitter’s “Who to Follow” feature (in the left column) for recommendations for people and businesses that fit your interests.
6. Tell your network you’re on Twitter
Before we go any further, we need to tell you something you need to know to grow your following on Twitter is not easy—especially if you’re starting from scratch. However, lucky for you, your business already has a following and many of those people that shop at your business. If someone has already joined your email list, they most likely would love to connect with you on Twitter too. Send out an email to your contact list, inviting people to follow you on Twitter.
7. Get the tools you need
Like anything else, if you want to be successful on Twitter you want to make sure you have the right tools. There are several tools out there including three you’ll want to have access to from day one.
- Monitor your profile on the go with the Twitter mobile app
- Schedule tweets and track your reach with various tools
We’ve published a more in-depth article How to Track Twitter Followers and Analyse Metrics
8. Create your first Twitter List
Twitter Lists are a cool feature provided by Twitter to let users organize the people they follow into specific groups based on industry, relationship, expertise, etc. When you’re first starting out, lists won’t need to be a top priority because you’ll still be growing your community but creating at least one List to let yourself get accustomed to using them.
It’s much easier to keep your contacts organized from the beginning than to try to organize them when you really need them.
9. Save some searches
Similar to Lists, Saved Searches let users organize their content, but do it based on a specific topic rather than on specific users. Saved searches work exactly as they sound. You find a topic of interest or relevance to your business, search for it in Twitter’s “Discover” tab, and then save it for future reference. After saving it, you can easily go back and see results as they appear in real-time.
Some ideas for searches to save include your business name, your name, the city/town that you’re in, industry-related topics, popular hashtags, etc.
10. Connect your Touchpoints
A study found that 80.5% of small business websites do not link to social media networks. Please do not make this mistake. Connecting your website to your Twitter profile will help drive traffic and organically build your social following. You’ll also want to make sure you’re inserting a link into your email newsletter with a strong call-to-action.
A hashtag—written with a # symbol—is used to index keywords or topics on Twitter. This function was created on Twitter and allows people to easily follow topics they are interested in. More on this below.
11. Get Tweeting! – How to Tweet
A Tweet may contain photos, GIFs, videos, links, and text for viewing on iPhones, Andriod devices, computers and anywhere you might be online.
Make your first Tweet
- Tap on the Tweet compose icon
- Enter your message (up to 280 characters), and then tap Tweet.
- A notification will appear in the status bar on your device and will go away once the Tweet successfully sends.
Get Tweeting! – More cool stuff
- Type your Tweet (up to 280 characters) into the compose box at the top of your Home timeline, or click the Tweet button in the navigation bar.
- You can include up to 4 photos, a GIF, or a video in your Tweet.
- Click the Tweet button to post the Tweet to your profile.
12. Tweet source labels
Tweet source labels help you better understand how a Tweet was posted. This additional information provides context about the Tweet and its author. If you don’t recognize the source, you may want to learn more to determine how much you trust the content.
- Click on a Tweet to go to the Tweet details page.
- At the bottom of the Tweet, you’ll see the label for the source of the account’s Tweet. For example, “Twitter for iPhone,” “Twitter for Android,” or “Twitter for Web.”
- In some cases, you may see a third-party client name, which indicates the Tweet came from a non-Twitter application. Authors sometimes use third-party client applications to manage their Tweets, manage marketing campaigns, measure advertising performance, provide customer support, and to target certain groups of people to advertise to. Third-party clients are software tools used by authors and therefore are not affiliated with, nor do they reflect the views of, the Tweet content. Tweets and campaigns can be directly created by humans or, in some circumstances, automated by an application. Visit our partner’s page for a list of common third-party sources.
- People use the hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter search.
- Clicking or tapping on a hashtagged word in any message shows you other Tweets that include that hashtag.
- Hashtags can be included anywhere in a Tweet.
- Hashtagged words that become very popular are often trending topics.
14. Embed Tweets on your Website
How to embed a Tweet on your website or blog
- Click the icon located within the Tweet.
- From the menu, select Embed Tweet.
- This will open publish.twitter.com where you can customize the look of the embedded Tweet by clicking set customization options.
- If the Tweet is a reply to another Tweet, you can check Hide Conversation to hide the original Tweet.
- Once you like the look of the embedded Tweet, copy the code provided by clicking the Copy Code button.
- Paste the code into your blog or website.
15. Run a Campaign
Campaigns allow you to feature your products, services or just about anything else you would like to promote. Twitter has numerous ways to market your campaigns such as powerful ad formats that allow for clear call-to-action. We’ve recently published a more in-depth article How to Setup a Twitter Ad Campaign in 2020.
Have a Twitter Marketing Plan!
Just being on Twitter won’t be enough to accomplish those goals—even if you follow these 15 steps to getting started. What will allow you to achieve those goals is having a social strategy about the way you plan to engage on Twitter, the type of content you want to share, and the milestones you hope to achieve.
Your strategy probably will change once you get started, but without having one before you launch your first tweet, you won’t make it much further than these first 15 steps.
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