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The basics of Twitter [Part 2]

10th June 2015

Last week, we introduced you to Twitter and explained what each symbol means. This week, we talk you through signing up and sending your first tweet.

Getting started

So, now you have a bit of knowledge you need to choose a username. This should include your business name as this will raise your profile with every tweet sent. Check that your business name is available, but if it isn’t, aim to include it in your name. Make sure your username is easy to spell and if you can, keep it short.

It is easy to sign up – just log into twitter.com and register your details. You will need your full name, email and a password. It will then talk you through the process.

Choose a good profile picture (avatar) and get rid of the egg that is there initially when you sign up. This is usually a logo if you are tweeting as a business. Write a short profile about you/your business. Make sure it describes you well and keep it short and interesting. You can also include keywords that people may search for it looking for a business such as yours. You can update your profile at another time, so nothing is set in stone – you may want to add awards or accomplishments further down the line. Your avatar can also be changed when needed, it may be that you want it to be seasonal depending on your business.

Sign up to Twitter

Now what?

So the first thing to do once registered is to start following people. Search in the top right hand corner for names of businesses or people you are already in contact with through other channels, or click on ‘who to follow’ just underneath the search box on the right hand side. You can add a category and twitter will recommend people to follow based on your suggestions. You can also find your friends who are already using twitter.

All you need to do is go onto the account and click ‘follow’ and that’s it! It is likely that those you follow will return the favour and therefore you are now starting to get a following. Once you start following an account you are interested in, you can find out who they follow, or who follows them and start following them too. You can already see how easy it is to build up a wider database of contacts.

Ideas of who to follow:

  • Journalists– local and national
  • Local organisations and businesses relevant to your own
  • Charities
  • Retailers
  • Colleagues & clients
  • Local councillors
  • Events and attractions

Your Twitter Homescreen

Once you have started following accounts, your newsfeed will start scrolling through with all those tweets that the accounts are writing. You can now get an insight into what they are talking about that may be relevant to you – you will be amazed at the wealth of information that is now at your fingertips! Now is the time to start retweeting anything you find interesting, and replying to tweets that you want to find out more about. Building up a conversation with your peers is now easy!

And now start tweeting yourself – whatever you may be involved in, start letting your followers know. Don’t be shy, start talking!

Adding images or videos is a great way to bring interest to a newsfeed, so if it is relevant do include these in your tweet. Links can also be added. If you are using a Twitter management Tool (more of these to follow in another ‘how to’) it will automatically reduce your link for you, however if not then you will need to update your link to bitly.com to get a shortened url.

Using Hashtags

Once you are getting the hang of tweeting you can start bringing hashtags into your tweets. It may be a hashtag that you have seen during conversations or one you have searched for. This will enable you to be seen by far more people than those who follow you.

Useful hashtags to follow can be industry based, interest based, or media based. There are also a huge number of ‘hashtag hours’ such as #DevonHour which can help introduce you to other businesses within your location. If you search these then you can find out when they run. #Journorequest is also a useful hashtag to follow if you have newsworthy material. You may see a request that is applicable to you!

your Twitter Profile

Profile

You can see our profile in the above image. This is what you will see if you click on to a users profile, which can help you decide whether you want to follow them. The profile picture is our logo. There is a brief description of who we are below that, and the long image along the top allows us to reveal more information about ourselves.

You can see that we have 1,365 followers and are following 979 accounts. We have sent 3,399 tweets.

In the top left hand corner you will see three icons – this is where you will see if you have received any notifications or messages, and you can click on these to read and respond.

Your Twitter Newsfeed

Above is a screenshot of a typical newsfeed. We have highlighted on the right hand side what is individual about each tweet, which hopefully explains it clearer for you.

Any questions? We are here to help so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Next time:

What to do and what not to do on Twitter.

Click here to download the 3 part guide as a whole