Twitter is a microblogging service, one where people can send and receive text-based messages for up to 140 characters. Started in 2006, Twitter is one of the largest social media sites out there, exceeded in size only by Facebook. Businesses that have yet to master Twitter should develop a plan to take advantage of this effective and free service. You can make the most of your Twitter experience with this step by step approach.
- Set up an account. Navigate your toolbar to twitter.com and find the “New to Twitter? Sign up” box. Enter your full name, your contact email address and your password. Click on “create my account” to get started.
- Watch the video. Twitter offers a brief, 90-second video that outlines how to use Twitter. Watch the video, follow the instructions and then click the button to take you to the next page. Choose an existing category to follow people or create your own. Once you identify your interest you’ll be taken to a new page to begin following people.
- Confirm your email. To make the most of Twitter, it is advised that you confirm your Twitter account by clicking on the link that was sent to you via email. Once you do this, you’ll be sent back to Twitter and and will be able to make additional changes to your account.
- Fill out your profile. On the top of page, on the navigation bar, you’ll see an icon for a wheel. Click on that wheel and then the link for editing your profile. At this point you can upload your photo or, in the case of a company, a logo. You can also change the header, update your screen name, identify your location, link to your website and include a 160-character or less biography about your business. If you are already on Facebook, click connect to Facebook to post tweets to your Facebook profile or page.
- Begin to tweet. Once you are ready to use Twitter, then begin the process of tweeting on a regular basis. Learn how to write short messages and include keywords and a link to your website or a particular web page or story. Observe how your competitors are making use of Twitter and adapt accordingly.
- Tell a story. It is hard to piece a narrative on Twitter, but you can do that effectively by offering tips related to your business. For instance, if you own a home cleaning business, you can mention environmentally friendly cleansers in one tweet, offer a self cleaning tip in another and warn about bedbugs in yet another. The idea here is to connect with your growing audience, demonstrating competency and sparking interest.
- Respond to select tweets. As you familiarize yourself with Twitter, you’ll soon see a steady stream of short messages from other inpiduals. You can share those tweets by retweeting with care. Find the retweet button, add in a comment and then share. You’ll get the gratitude of inpiduals that are happy you shared their information. Some will gladly reciprocate too.
- Build your presence. There are many ways to grow your Twitter influence. One, follow more people. Two, tweet with consistency. Three, offer valuable information. Four, share other tweets. Five, include your Twitter handle with your email signature. Six, add your twitter information to your business card. Seven, share your Twitter account on other networks.
You can evaluate your Twitter influence by using a site such as TwitterCounter.com for gauging purposes. Simply key in your Twitter handle, click on the evaluate statistics button, give Twitter permission to access your account and review your information. You’ll find out how many people you are following today, the number of tweets you made and your ranking. You can track your mentions, retweets and export your stats with the upgraded plan.