Getting Started On Twitter: The Step-by-Step Guide
When you’re new, getting started on Twitter can seem overwhelming and confusing. I mean, what can you say in 140 characters that will actually be good for your business? A lot actually.
To help you out, I’ve put together this beginner’s guide for Twitter that I hope you find useful.
Important Twitter Terms
Before I get into the steps in this beginner’s guide to Twitter, I wanted to quickly introduce you to some important terms in Twitter that you MUST know before you get started.
A tweet is the 140 character update you send out from your Twitter account. It can include text, links and it’s quite common to also include an image these days.
When another Twitter users wants to talk to you they “mention” you on Twitter by using your Twitter username with an “@” in front of it. So, if you wanted to talk to me, you’d mention me at @freemansocial to get the conversation started.
A reply is similar to a mention but the only difference is a reply is sent out by a Twitter user in response to a tweet that you have already sent.
If a Twitter user likes what you’ve tweeted and wants to share it with their Twitter followers as well, they simply “retweet” your message. You can do the same to other people’s tweets too.
If you want to have a private conversation on Twitter, it can be done by sending a direct message. Users can exchange direct messages only if they follow each other.
Now that you’re familiar with some important Twitter lingo, let’s get started with your beginner’s guide to Twitter.
#1. Your Twitter Strategy
Before you even set up your Twitter profile, it’s important for you to have a clear idea of WHY you are using Twitter for your business.
Some businesses use Twitter as a way to start conversations with their customers, while others use Twitter more as a customer service channel. Other brands use Twitter to share ideas and content and establish themselves as a thought leader in their industry. So what is your goal?
Identify your goal before you start out and this will determine everything else, including the content you publish on Twitter.
#2. Setting Up Your Profile
Your username is your identity on Twitter. When you’re creating your profile, try to get a username as close to your business name as possible. For example, mine is @FreemanSocial.
Keep this simple and use this section to write out your business name. Mine is simply my name: Keith Freeman. This way even if your Twitter handle doesn’t exactly match your business name, you can still be found easily.
The profile description
You have 160 characters to describe your business and what it is exactly that you do. Be succinct and make use of the space well.
The profile photo
Choose a profile photo that is immediately recognizable for your brand. Using your logo is usually the simplest and smartest choice.
The cover photo
Choose a cover photo that tells a story about your brand. It could be an image of your product or customers using your product, or it could even just be some colours that represent your business.
The Burger King profile and cover photos below are great examples of how to make use of the space for your profile and cover photos.
If your business is based in one particular location, be sure to put that in. Also, make sure you enter your website in the appropriate field.
#3. Create An Editorial Calendar
Once you’re profile is ready, you’re ready to get started on Twitter with some content. The best way to approach your Twitter content is by setting up an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar is simply a document that will help you stay organised with your content for Twitter. Usually I like to set themes for certain days of the week and then create content based on the themes I’ve set for the week.
#4. Write Content
Once your editorial content is in place, you can begin creating content for your account. Going back to the themes I spoke about in the previous point… here’s an example – if you set “Motivational Mondays” as your theme for Monday you can then work on content that would be appropriate for this theme.
Create interesting, engaging content along with the appropriate hashtags wherever it’s relevant. It’s a good to have your content planned in advance, so you never run out of things to say.
#5. Start Following People
Now that your Twitter profile is ready and filling up with content, it’s important to start following people on Twitter. Don’t just follow anyone and everyone but only those that are relevant to your business. You can even follow competitors to keep an eye on what they’re doing on Twitter.
Based on your Twitter goals, follow different kinds of people so your Twitter feed is filled with different kinds of content. You should also make it a point to follow influencers in your industry (i.e. those with considerable social media influence)
#6. Promote Your Twitter Presence
Once you have become an active Twitter user, it’s time to let your customers know you’re on the platform as well. It’s a good idea to integrate your Twitter presence with all your other marketing materials.
This means, linking to your Twitter account in all your email blasts, your offline marketing materials and any other communications you send out to your customers.
What do you think about our step-by-step beginner’s guide to Twitter? Did you follow the steps to set up your own Twitter account? Leave me a comment if you have any more questions about getting started on Twitter.