Although it’s most famous for breaking news and celebrity gossip, Twitter is an increasingly important tool for promoting your small business.
We’re going to start at the beginning, from setting up your account, right the way through to posting your first tweet. If you've already set up your account or are a more experienced Twitter user, watch this space for our upcoming advanced class!
Setting up your profile
Firstly, head over to Twitter to get started. Next, you’re going to want to create an account with your business name and profile picture. It’s a good idea to use your logo for your profile picture to create a professional image. If you don’t have a business logo, try to use a professional photo of yourself – you’re aiming to project an image of professionalism for your business.
## The lingo
There's some useful lingo you'll need to learn, some of the most common are below.
- RT (Retweet) When you copy another person’s tweet to share with your own followers. Useful for when you see something that you think your followers will appreciate.
- MT (Modified Tweet) When you see a tweet from one of your followers that you want to retweet but it’s too long, meaning that you shorten it to fit before sharing.
- # (Hashtags) A way of categorising a relevant word within a tweet. If you click on the hashtag link, Twitter will display all other tweets with that hashtag embedded in it. Very useful if you want your account to be visible within Twitter.
Once your account is up and running, it’s time to begin the process of gaining followers. This is, unfortunately, not straightforward, but there are things that you can do to begin with:
- Ask your friends and family to start following you and perhaps cheekily ask your friends to promote your account to their followers.
- Update your business cards to show your new Twitter account name.
- Change any flyers or paperwork you may have to include this new link.
- If you have a business website, make sure that you include a link on it.
- Update your email signature to include a link to your Twitter account.
Your first tweet!
Next, you’re going to want to create your very first tweet! There are some simple steps here to ensure that your message is read:
- Keep your tweets short – below 140 characters so that all of your message is visible.
- Use a url shortener if you want to post links. Some good ones are bit.ly and goo.gl.
- Keep your tweets understandable and easy to read.
- Post them at a reasonable hour such as lunch time or early evening.
- Keep a constant flow of tweets going out, but not too many – aim for around 6 to 8 a day.
If you already have a personal Twitter account and have been using it for your business, it’s well worth creating a separate business account so that any personal information is not passed onto your business followers. There have been several high-profile instances where this has happened so make sure it doesn't happen to your account!
By now you should be up and running with your first Business Twitter account. When you’re ready, you can check out our advanced guide to Twitter for business to get to the next step.
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