What Makes Twitter Different

On Twitter, you’ll find friends and family as well as celebrities, companies and strangers who may share your interests. News networks (like @AP and @CNN) will post breaking news announcements, companies may hold giveaways, celebrities post announcements on what they’re working on and everyone has conversations.

The people that you wish to speak to are approachable. Just tweet to me and you can grab my attention and write directly to me.

And if you’d like to do some research, just search for the term using a hashtag, like #marketing – or a hashtag that has to do with your business or services – and find a pool of people that you can reach out to!

That’s very powerful!

Like any social network, what you get out of Twitter is based on what you put in and how active you are. The possibilities are great.

Remember:

  • Twitter is for short bursts of information. Facebook, on the other hand, with its unlimited character updates makes it a great channel for brand storytelling.
  • A Tweet has a much shorter lifespan than a Facebook update. 92% of engagement with a Tweet happens within the first hour after being tweeted. You can easily post 1-4 times an hour on Twitter to have a high impact.
  • Don’t be afraid to retweet your tweet.
  • Using hashtags, following people back, replying to every Tweet that mentions you—these are all great things you can (and should) be doing to gain more followers and build a strong presence for your business on Twitter.
  • Twitter is a marathon, not a sprint. Grow your following organically and over time you’ll see the benefits. Much like compounding interest, you’re not going to retire after your first few tweets.

Why should you use Twitter for your Business?

  1. Connecting with customers
  2. Branding
  3. Customers feedback
  4. Marketing
  5. News
  6. Give away coupon codes and promotions
  7. Twitter is Viral
  8. Spying on competition
  9. Increase Sales
  10. Brand loyalty

Before You Start

(1) Align your Business Goals with your Social Goals:

Business Goals Social Goals Twitter

Align your Business Goals with your Social Goals:

(2) Develop Your Content Strategy

  • Use the social media content rule:
    • ⅓ of content shares ideas and stories from thought leaders and other sources
    • ⅓ is original brand content
    • ⅓ of content promotes business and converts audience
  • Ideas For Content
    • Look at your competition
    • Look at Influencers in your industry
    • Look at thought leaders in your industry
    • Look at colleagues

TIP:

USE IMAGES! Tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets.

  • Size of image for Twitter post: 1024px x 512
  • Use Canva to create posts with correct sized and images

USE VIDEO! 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter!

  • Record, edit and share videos from the Twitter app.
  • Import videos from your device.
  • Upload: You can upload videos to twitter.com.
  • More on how to share video here

(3) Create a Content Calendar
This will help you tremendously in saving you time and being organized with your content. This is an example of a content calendar created in Excel:

Content Calendar Excel

(4) Download the Twitter App on iPhone or Android so you can tweet from anywhere (on the subway, waiting in the supermarket line, waiting at the doctor.., etc). I do this all the time!

Getting Started:

1. Choose a “handle”

Your Twitter handle is how you will be known so choose it wisely.

Decide if you will be using Twitter as a Personal account using your real name or a Business account using your company name:

Do you want it to be some version of your name, like mine @yasminbendror; or do you want your handle to be your business name, or “issue based”, about something or some topic that you would like to tweet about (e.g. @NoStigmas, @FeministLady, @MenStopViolence), or are you part of an organization that would like to start a social media presence using Twitter (e.g. @WomenInHigherEd, @TurningPointBHC)?

The maximum length of your username is 15 characters, but I recommend making it less than this (mine is 13 characters)

Note: You can change your username, and upload a new profile image and header image. I would not recommend doing this often as your followers get to know and remember your handle and profile image. Changes mean your followers need to get reacquainted and familiar.

2. Sign up for a Twitter account

Follow these simple steps to sign up for a Twitter account. All you need is your name, cell phone number and a password. The information you enter on the Twitter website will generate a text message with a confirmation code, which you will then enter in the website. If you do not use or like text messaging, you can use an email address for confirmation instead.

3. Write your profile
Your profile should describe who you are, if your handle is your name. If your handle is issue-based, it should describe in more detail what the issues are, and if your handle is for your company, your profile should describe what your company does. This is Twitter so it has to be concise — you only have 160 characters, but you can direct the reader to your website, to give them more information. There are many free web services to shorten websites, which is important to do when every character counts. I use bitly.

Trying to stuff URLs, hashtags, other accounts and abbreviated descriptions isn’t compelling.

Top tips for a good profile:

  • It’s accurate. One professional description.
  • It’s exciting. One word that is not boring.
  • It’s targeted. One niche descriptor.
  • It’s flattering. One accomplishment.
  • It’s humanizing. One hobby.
  • It’s intriguing. One interesting fact or feature about yourself.
  • It’s connected. Your company or another social profile.

4. Choose and add a profile image
It’s really important to add a profile image next.
If you are using Twitter as a personal account, choose a recent headshot. Or, if you’re setting up a Twitter account as your business, your logo works well as a profile image. The worst thing is to leave this empty — the default Twitter image is an egg-shaped icon, and many users ignore any tweet from an egg on the theory that if the account is a real person, they’ll have a picture.

You don’t have to be a big brand like Dell, Nike, or Starbucks to brand yourself on twitter. In my opinion, if your company is not recognized and does not have large brand equity, then you need to have a PERSONAL account. Why? Nobody wants to talk to a LOGO unless it’s a famous brand. People prefer and want to connect with a person, a human, and not a logo.

Take the time to customize your color scheme and find a beautiful background image that will capture peoples’ interest.

  • Profile Image: 400px by 400px. Upload a headshot of yourself or company logo. Make sure it’s clear and distinguishable.
  • Header Image: 1500px by 500px. Make sure it striking and has the right message.

Profile Image Header Image Twitter

5. Account Settings
Go into your account settings and review these to check all is ok.
I recommend TURNING ON EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS so you get emails on the following:

Account Settings Twitter

Now the fun part.

6. START!

  • Start sending your tweets
  • Start engaging with others: Answer questions, make comments, say hi….

7. Grow Your Twitter Reach: Search, follow, and watch!

  • Search for your industry’s leaders on Twitter, follow them, share their content, and engage with them when you can add value to the conversation.
  • Search for your customers on Twitter, follow them, help them, engage with them, and retweet their content to create a better working relationship.
  • Watch for conversations by typing in keywords in the search bar, and jump in if you can give advice and help!

When you get a new follower, you will get an email notification (if email notifications are TURNED ON).

Alternatively, when you are in Twitter, go to Notifications to see who has followed you.

Try keywords for issues of interest. Consider following news (e.g. @nytimes, @HuffingtonPost), television (e.g. @CNN), and radio channels; organizations to which you belong or are interested.

Once you have followed some profiles, you can click on your home tab to view your “feed” or timeline (TL). Your feed is all the latest tweets by persons who you follow.

TIP: Create Twitter Lists

The volume of tweets in your feed can be overwhelming. Twitter Lists organize the people you follow into lists to better view tweets. IT’S EXTREMELY USEFUL and very easy to set up. Read How to Use Twitter Lists for Business to see what lists to create.

How To Get More Followers?

  • This shouldn’t be your ultimate goal on Twitter. Creating and curating great content for your followers should be. If you do that, then the following will come.
  • NEVER BUY FOLLOWERS or use any “grow your followers” scheme, as tempting as it may seem. They artificially inflate your numbers without targeting your true audience, and without truly showing you how well you’re performing.

TIP: Use A Scheduling Tool

This will help you IMMENSELY in managing your tweets, your Twitter activity and your time. Posting regularly will increase your engagement and visibility, thereby increasing your follower count.

I recommend these FREE scheduling tools: Hootsuite, Post Planner, Buffer.
(Can be used for all your social media channels too)

Twitter Terminology

What is the difference between @mentions and @replies
@mentions If @username appears at any part of the post, it’s a mention. This shows up on MY timeline and all my Twitter followers can see this tweet. Every person who was @Mentioned also receives a notification they are tagged in a tweet.

@reply just to the person. This reply does not appear on my timeline unless people follow both that person and myself.

What’s a retweet?
A retweet is when someone finds your original tweet so compelling that they want to tweet it again to all of their followers. It should be taken as a compliment if someone retweets you. Take the time to thank them and engage with them on whatever the tweet was about.

Using #Hashtags

  • Keywords that start with a pound (#) sign are called Hashtags.
  • Clicking on the hashtag will lead you to a thread of 100 most recent users that have applied that hashtag to their posts.
  • A hashtag that is the most popularly used at a particular time will be called a trending topic.
  • You can also start your own #hashtag community!

Some Pointers to Keep in Mind:

Make Twitter a Daily Activity
Because the social network moves so quickly, it’s not something you can try to fit in whenever you have the time. You need to make time!

  • Responding to other users
  • Liking and Re-tweeting other content
  • Following new accounts
  • Thank new followers
  • Looking at trending topics incorporate them into your tweet

Twitter is just like any other social network, it takes time to master. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous process to get out and start Tweeting.

Remember: the most important key to being successful on Twitter is staying active.

Twitter Is Not As Daunting As It Looks
Twitterverse may only look complicated at the start, but knowing these basics will have you posting away and making friends online in no time.

Do note, however, that the initial few weeks or months of the experience will be pretty quiet, as you are only building up a presence. This is the perfect time for trial and error. The best part about it is, nobody really is pressuring you to do too well on Twitter, so you can certainly progress at your own pace.

You’re on your way! Happy Tweeting!