How to Get Started on Twitter – The Basics

What is Twitter? Twitter is a free website for social networking and micro blogging that can be updated instantly, almost like text messaging online. Twitter users range from the typical person to business owners and professionals and even celebrities. I’m sure you have heard about the faceoff a few weeks ago between Ashton Kutcher and CNN.

Although, I am in the internet business, never before have I adopted a social networking tool as I have Twitter. Why? Maybe because within moments of launching my Twitter account it drove traffic to my website and generated a few leads. That’s when a light bulb went off and I saw the potential that Twitter offers to businesses, with just a little investment of your time.

I am going to explain the basics of getting started with Twitter in this article followed by two other articles in the coming weeks that will show you how you can use Twitter for your business.

Creating a Account.

Setting up and creating a Twitter account is free and very easy. Simple go to, click on the Get Started – Join button and fill out your name, username, email address and password. When choosing a username, it is wise either to use your name if you are the person behind your brand or company, since it’s more personal and will allow you to connect with people more organically. You may also choose your business name or a keyword related to your business such as web design in the case of my business. Try not to get too creative. Once you have filled in all the fields you will get an option that ask if you would like to check to see if any of your friends are using Twitter by searching for them using aol, gmail or yahoo. Feel free to check an if they are follow your friends and have them follow you back, it’s a great way to get you started, but you are not just on Twitter to keep track of your friends, you are their to generate new business and hopefully your friends already know what you do.

Customizing your Twitter account.

There are many uses for Twitter, such as personal promotion, business promotion, event tracking, corporate branding, customer relationship development and more. For this reason you have several options available to you via Twitter to achieve these goals.

  • Tell them who you are and what you do Add a Bio – Twitter allows you to add a bio to your profile utilizing 160 characters or less. Adding a bio to your Twitter account is imperative, because it is the first thing people will review to see if you are a good person to follow i.e whether you can provide them with useful information. When creating your bio ensure that you include a keyword that is related to your business, because users will search to find others to follow based upon keywords. In short, let people know who you are, what you do and how you can help them. If you have a tagline for your company, that’s a great place to start. It’s best to create several bios and then refine it until you find the best one with 160 characters.
  • Put a face to your company, make it human – Add a Picture – There’s a reason why so many CEO’s are becoming the face of their brand, it builds credibility, and it puts a real person behind the message. Twitter usually comes with a default photo, I strongly advise you to add a photo that looks good that’s not too revealing – to you profile.
  • Brand your company – Add a Custom Designed Background – Although I haven’t gotten around to doing this as yet, I have all intentions to. It certainly comes across more professional and it’s a great way to provide additional information about your company, since your bio is limited to only 160 characters, I have seen many that I like here’s are a couple examples . Southwest airlines does a great job of providing a lot of information via their background. If you would like to have a professional background done, Captivate can help you for a nominal fee, feel free to contact us.

Start Using Twitter. Make Your First Tweet.

In order to start using Twitter, it asks one simply question, that you must answer in 140 characters or less, what are you doing? This question is at the top of the page once you log in to your Twitter account, you will see a box that you can type your message or update in. Since Twitter or tweeting as it is called when you answer a question or make a post is like an instant message and updated in real time for others to see, simply hit the update button after typing your message or update.

Now you know the basics to get you started using Twitter go out there and start finding, following and tweeting all your new “tweeple.” Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more on using Twitter to acquire new customers for your business.

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