What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social networking website that has roughly a few million users. ‘Micro-blogging’ is a term that has been used in describing Twitter. Each ‘tweet’, or post, is allowed only 140 (or fewer) characters. This forces the member to decide exactly what point they are trying to get across, and then be direct when writing it.
There are three ways to communicate on Twitter.
- Share with many people publicly
- Share with one person publicly
- Share with one person privately
How to Get Started:
Before you start setting up your new Twitter account, you need to choose which type of account would be most beneficial for you and your business. The two types of accounts are company (business) and personal; each serves its own purpose.
Company (business) – this account would represent the entire company. Tweets could be posted by different individuals regarding events, products/services, customer service, or promoting a new blog posting. This account would not ideally be used for personal matters or for creating deep connections with customers.
Personal- this account would be an individual employees’, and would showcase the company but would still be used for non-company related tweets as well. Personal accounts allow the user to share about themselves: what they do within the company, current projects, etc, and also allows the user to create those aforementioned deeper connections on behalf of the company.
After you’ve decided on account type is being created, you can move forward and create your username. Choosing your Twitter username is extremely important. Your username should be simple and should relate directly back to your company. The name you choose is how people on Twitter will find you, reference you, and relate to you.
If you are creating a company account, your username should be the name of your company, and your profile picture should be your logo. If you chose to create a personal account, your username could still reference back to the company. A combination of your name and company, or a combination of your name and your industry would both be appropriate here. Whenever possible, do not use numbers or underscores in your username, unless relevant to your company.
Once you’ve created your account and chosen your username, you will need to edit your profile. Again, if you are using this for the company, you will want to use the company’s logo for the avatar (profile picture). Feel free to use an actual photo of yourself if you chose a personal account. Of course, use your correct information when filling in your profile.
Include a link to the company website, company blog, or a separate personal website in the profile under the URL section. Next is the ‘bio’ section. This is the ideal spot to showcase you. You could use this space to share more about the company, what you do within the company, what you like to do outside of work, recent projects, etc. Be mindful of what you type, you are allotted 160 characters, so make what you say count.
Here is a list of words commonly associated with Twitter and what they mean.
Twitter Handle: Username
Follow: This is how you would receive updates from another Twitter user. Once you decide to follow someone, you will be subscribed to all their tweets.
Follow Back: When someone follows you and you want to return the favor, you would follow them back.
Follower: Someone who has chosen to follow, subscribe, your updates.
Update: Tweet, post. Remember, each tweet has to be 140 characters or less.
@Reply: If you put @username anywhere within your tweet, the person will receive this as a public message.
Direct Message: This is a private message between two people.
Twitter Stream: A list of all the tweets/updates
Tweet-up: An informal meeting set up for Twitter users to come together.
Hashtag (#): this connects all tweets using the same hashtag. For example, if you put #life in your tweet, all other users that have also posted #life will see yours.
Retweet: posting what someone else has already tweeted. Retweet @Username
What to Tweet:
As long as your post fits within the 140 character limit, there is really no specific ‘thing’ to post. With that said, you want to post content that is helpful, informative, direct, and related to your business (unless it’s a personal account, and then this is more open). Even if this is a business account, you do not necessarily have to only post about your business. You can ask questions about the industry you are in with the hopes of responses, share tips, link to a blog that relates to your business, or you could even host an online contest to draw in more attention.
Twitter for Business/Marketing
Now that you know how to work Twitter, you might be wondering how you can use it to benefit your company. You can use Twitter to advertise your company/business, to begin building relationships with people interested in the company, promote different events or projects, act as a new avenue for showing your blog and also to see what people think about your company/business.