Getting started with Twitter

Getting Started with Twitter

Twitter is a great tool that lets you connect with your clients, follow others in your field, and keep you up to date on the news and trends – all in 280 characters or less. If you need help getting started on the social network, read on.

Twitter Lingo: DM (direct message), hashtag, trending, RT (retweet), @reply, and follower. If you didn’t understand all of these terms, please investigate them before proceeding with your business account set up. It will make it easier for you.

In The Beginning

At this point, you’ve done your market research, decided that Twitter is the social media platform you want to use, and practiced on a personal account so you know the difference between a tweet and a direct message (very important). You’re ready to sign up for a business account and start personalizing it! Change the profile picture and background to something that reflects your company – be it your logo or a picture of your storefront.

Once that’s done, write your first tweet! Most people’s first tweet goes something like ‘Just signed up, let’s see if we can figure this out.’ Maybe do a quick ‘Welcome to the Twitter feed of Acme Company.’ Remember to keep it company-related, professional and not too over the top promotional. You can also search by keywords in your field and re-tweet any messages that you find relevant and interesting. Your main goal is to have writings on your wall for when people start to show up.

Great 3rd Party Twitter Tools

As the social network has grown, so has the number of great third party tools that can be used to make the most of it. The list of Twitter tools is too long to post here so I’ve put a few of my favourites to get you started.

Followerwonk Find bios to connect with, compare accounts, analyze who is following you and compare with your competition, and optimize your account.

Qwitter A tool that allows you to see who has unfollowed you on Twitter

Hashtagify Utilize the power of hashtags by finding the best hashtag suggestions for your tweets and industry, monitor your performance, and identify influencers in your field. 

Sparkscore by Sparktoro (the newest creation from SEO heavyweights Casey Henry and Rand Fishkin) lets you find the true influence of any Twitter account – which is very different than just how many followers someone has.

ManageFlitter A great tool that helps you manage your Twitter account by helping you to find new people to help build your followers, finding who’s not following you back and many other things.

Twitter Image Sizes for 2021

The various social networks update and change their image size requirements constantly as new web design and development tools are released and implemented. PLease be sure to check with Twitter if these are up to date.

Profile Picture
Your profile picture will be a circle, so keep that in mind when choosing how you want to present yourself or your company to the world.

The recommended size is 400px X 400px and allowable formats are JPG, PNG, and GIF. Your image should be a maximum of 2MB.

Twitter Cover Photo
For the head banner at the top of your Twitter profile, the recommended size is 1500px X 500px size and a maximum file size of 5MB.

Tweeted Images
The best way to grab people’s attention is through visuals. The ideal size for your tweeted images is 1200px X 675px and the maximum file size is 5MB for photos and animated GIFs. If you’re posting straight through the Twitter website you can increase the file size to 15MB. You can tweet up to four images per post and the first two images will appear stacked side by side.

Showtime!

After you’ve posted a few non-promotional tweets, start following a few businesses and people in your field. Unlike other social networks you don’t need permission to follow anyone. Use the search field at the top of the page to search for people by name, industry or keyword. You can also search by your industries popular hashtag to get ideas about who to follow. When you follow people that you know, send them a direct message to say hi.

The general rule of courtesy on Twitter is to follow those that follow you. That doesn’t apply to all followers as you’ll notice quite a few people following you that are not in your field or don’t share the same interests as you or are likely bots that haven’t been taken down by Twitter as yet. Be wary of who you follow and make sure that you keep your followings in line with your business interests. Open a personal account to keep on top of your personal interests if they deviate too much from your professional interests.

Keep It Organized

One of the simplest ways to keep everything in your Twitter account organized is to implement a social media aggregator. I use Hootsuite to keep my business and personal accounts organized. You can set up the dashboard to show what you need to keep organized. I have different columns that show different aspects of my Twitter account, such as: my timeline with the tweets of everyone I follow, whenever I’m mentioned in someone’s tweet, a search column detailing whenever specific keywords and hashtags are used in a tweet, my inbox for direct messages, my scheduled tweets and my previously sent tweets.

One of my favourite features in Hootsuite is the ability to schedule upcoming tweets – such as for upcoming holidays and reposts of evergreen content. With Hootsuite you can schedule tweets for weeks in advance, choosing the most receptive times for your audience. Be mindful to not just schedule everything and walk away – the beauty of social media is the interactions and conversations that happen on it. 

Points To Remember While Using Twitter

  1. Making your tweets informational, funny or useful will increase your likelihood of being retweeted and gaining followers.
  2. Retweet interesting posts that you think your followers will find useful.
  3. Add hashtags to your tweets. It increases the likelihood of your tweet showing up in searches.
  4. Keep some space available in your tweet for when your followers re-tweet your post.
  5. Tweet frequently. As with all social media, no one wants to follow a dead account.
  6. Keep posts positive and minimize the complaining – being negative is the surest way to lose followers.
  7. Post during the times when you think your followers will be checking their feeds, be it over supper, during the morning commute, etc.
  8. Be courteous by thanking those who re-tweet your posts and commenting positively on other’s posts. Keep in mind that it’s impossible to read every tweet or thank every retweet so don’t feel guilty if you miss a few.
  9. Advertise your Twitter account on your business cards, websites, email signatures, forum postings, and other social media accounts.

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