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Getting started with Twitter for your business

Twitter  is a really effective marketing tool for your business. It gives you the opportunity to find the topics and conversations your audience are interested in and, crucially, join in yourself. We’ve put together a handy guide to setting up your Twitter account, from setting your username, Twitter best practice, and posting those all-important Tweets. So if you’re looking to learn how to use Twitter for your business, then you’re in the right place.

How to use Twitter

If you’re new to Twitter, here we’ll cover how to get started. If you’re a veteran user on your personal account, then the first steps will feel pretty familiar.

To begin, you’ll need your profile and header photos handy, you’ll need to know what your display name and username are going to be, and you’ll want to have drafted out a quick bio to go on your account page (yes, there is a character limit!).

Before you get started, be ready with your profile and header photos. These could be your logo, or an image of your business. Your profile photo will need to fit into a circular frame, though it can be a square, Twitter will crop it for you, and your header photo will need to be in landscape format.

Do check that your username, or ‘handle’ isn’t already in use. Twitter will make a few suggestions during the sign up process, to match the credentials you’re using to set up the account, but do take the time to search for your chosen username beforehand, so that you are completely prepared. Twitter also advises that usernames must be fewer than 15 characters in length, and must not contain the words ‘admin’ or ‘Twitter’ in them, to avoid brand confusion.

Next, you’ll want to draft your bio and have it on hand to copy and paste in while you’re setting up your account. You’ve got 160 characters to play with, which frankly isn’t a lot, so keep it short and sweet. You can opt to go for a list type approach, where you’ll utilise super short but helpful statements about your business; try separating each one with this icon: ’|’, or use emojis if it suits.

Alternatively, can your business be summarised into one sentence? What’s your mission statement? Aim to condense your key values right down, and you’ll have it. As ever, make sure you’re using your brand or business’ tone of voice, and double check your spelling and grammar.

Once you’re ready, it’s time to get started.

  1. If you’re on a desktop, go to twitter.com/signup and click the ‘sign up’ button, or open the app on your phone and follow the on screen instructions to create a new account. If you already have Twitter installed on your phone, open the menu by clicking on your display picture at the top left of your screen, then tap the three dots on the top right of the menu. Another menu called ‘Accounts’ will open up. Click on ‘Create a new account’ at the bottom.
  2. In the next screen, add your name - this is your ‘Display Name’, which will appear at the top of your Tweets, and on your profile. You’ll also need to add a phone number or email address (you’ll need this to verify your account), and your date of birth.
  3. You’ll then be invited to customise your Twitter experience; use the toggles to decide whether to switch this option on or off. You’ll also be asked whether you want to connect with people you know; again, use the toggles according to your own preference.
  4. On the next screen, hit ‘Sign up’ at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll then be asked to add in your verification code - make sure you have access to the relevant email account or phone number you’re linking to your Twitter account, as you’ll need to enter your verification code before it expires.
  5. On the next screen, add in your password.
  6. Upload your profile picture! Let the world see your fabulous face (or logo). Alternatively, you can skip this step and come back to it later.
  7. Next, you’ll be invited to ‘Describe yourself’, which is just Twitter-speak for ‘please insert your bio here’. If you need some help with creating a cracking bio, find our top tips above. And again, you can come back to this step if you’re not quite ready to write your bio while you’re setting up your account.
  8. You’re ready to set your username! As long as your chosen name is available, this should be a straightforward process. Take a moment to double-check your spelling before hitting the ‘Next’ button. Don’t worry if you make a mistake though; you can change it later if you need to.
  9. Select your topics of interest - this will help Twitter to offer up the content that might appeal to your account the most, and suggest accounts you may wish to follow.
  10. That’s it - you’ve set up your Twitter account. Use the ‘edit profile’ option at the top of your screen if you need to amend your photos or bio, but otherwise, you should be good to go.

Wondering how to set up a Twitter account on your phone? Here’s a handy video to explain.

Get started with Twitter

How to tweet

Are you ready to post your first Tweet? Be sure to check your spelling, grammar; add an emoji or three if it suits, add hashtags if you like. Don’t forget that all-important character limit –  it’s 280 max, in case you were wondering, but Twitter has a handy countdown on the screen, which turns red if you happen to go over your limit and need to edit before posting.

How to post a tweet

Twitter terms 

Let’s go over some Twitter terminology in greater detail. If you’ve been wondering what a Retweet is, or what a ‘pinned Tweet’ is, we’ll break it down here.

What is a hashtag?
Hashtags are represented by this symbol '#'. A hashtag is a useful tool for gathering content (or Tweets, as we’re talking about Twitter) together. You can use hashtags to help categorise your content or join in with certain topics.

If you're using Maybe* you can use the 'Your report' feature to see the hashtags most used by you or any business. We also make it really easy for you to save the most popular ones you use so you don't have to keep remembering them all off the top of your head.

A handy little hack to manage your hashtags

Struggle to remember all the hashtags you want to use on your content? Your report on Maybe* enables you to copy all your most frequently used hashtags to your clipboard so you can simply paste them into new posts. It's the little things right. See how you can save yourself some time, and a bit of headspace with this little hack.

What is a Retweet?
A Retweet is when your Tweet is shared by either yourself or another user. This can be done as either a straight Retweet, or a ‘quote Tweet’, where you can add a comment above the original Tweet, and share it on your feed.

What is a pinned Tweet?
A pinned Tweet is a Tweet that you have posted, that is quite literally ‘pinned’ to your profile, and will appear at the top of your feed on your profile page. This may be for announcements, special offers, or topical information for your followers. To pin a Tweet, click on the three dots on the top right hand side of your chosen Tweet, and a menu will appear. Choose the ‘Pin to your profile’ option, and the Tweet will move out of your main feed and go to the top.

What is engagement for Tweets?
Engagement for Tweets can be as follows: your Tweet can be commented on (the speech bubble), Retweeted - and quote Tweeted (the ‘recycle’ arrows)  - and liked (the heart). Your Tweets can also be ‘bookmarked’, (saved) or shared via a message - either within Twitter or outside of the app (all accessed via the arrow pointing upwards). One Tweet can have quite the journey.

Twitter engagement

What is a like?
A ‘like’ on Twitter is a Twitter user clicking on the small heart symbol that appears underneath your Tweet. Twitter keeps a tally of the likes each Tweet receives, and the number appears next to the heart on each liked Tweet.

What are Twitter lists?
Twitter lists are another way you can curate your content on Twitter - by which we mean, you can choose what you consume on Twitter, and also make sure you don’t miss anything important from your favourite accounts, or key groups.

To make a Twitter list, either click on your profile image at the top of the app, and open your menu, or the three dots at the bottom of the menu on the left, if on your desktop. Select ‘Lists’ from the menu, and you’ll be invited to create a list. You can have public or private lists at your disposal, and once you’ve added some accounts to your List, you’ll be able to scroll through their content as you would a normal feed.

What are Twitter cards?
Twitter Cards are a free tool to help drive more traffic to your website from your Tweets. It allows you to add photos, videos and ‘media experiences’ to your Tweets to help you share your linked content easily, and direct people towards your website. In all likelihood, you will have come across Twitter cards numerous times, and not even known it.

What are Twitter trends?
Trends on Twitter are very much ‘what it says on the tin’. Trending on Twitter is when a hashtag or topic is so popular, it feels as though everyone is talking about it. You can track trends through the app, via Twitter’s ‘Explore’ function. It’s a quick and easy way to find out what the Twittersphere is talking about at any given time.

Twitter trends

What are Twitter polls?
Twitter polls are a useful engagement tool. You can pose questions to your followers, set a time limit for your poll, and let the answers roll in. They’re a good way to interact with your audience and understand people’s opinions.

Twitter made easy

There are a number of little hacks to make using Twitter for your business easy.

How to shorten URLs
Twitter’s character limit is well known, and means that you need to be savvy when it comes to knowing how to best use your character allowance. Website links tend to gobble up those characters, so using a shortened link can be a good way around this.

How to change your username
Changing your username on Twitter is a straightforward process. From your menu (see above on steps to access this), click on ‘Settings and privacy’, then ‘Your account’ on the next screen. Next click on ‘Account information’. The screen that appears should have your username at the top. Click on this and you will have the option to update your username. Simply type in your new username, hit ‘Done’, and that’s it!

How to schedule tweets
You can schedule your Tweets on Twitter itself - go to the spot at the top of your screen where you would typically compose a Tweet, then underneath, there will be a blue calendar icon. Click this and select the date and time you want your Tweet to go out into the world. It’s worth noting though that while this is a typical offering for Twitter’s desktop version, it isn’t available on all versions of their app.

Alternatively, you can use the free content scheduler available in Maybe*.

Using the Maybe* Content calendar to schedule tweets

Create tweets to post immediately, schedule tweets or create a queue of empty content slots you want to post using the Maybe* Content calendar.

Making Twitter work for your business

Twitter can be a powerful tool for your business. Use it to interact with and engage your audience. Use Twitter to talk to businesses both locally and nationally. Use it to gain valuable insights into customer behaviour.

How can Maybe* help?

When you sign up to Maybe* we ask you to connect your social media accounts.

Once you’ve created a Twitter Business account you can use Maybe* to schedule all your Twitter posts, along with Facebook and Instagram from one place. The Maybe* Content calendar shows you all the content you have scheduled in one place, as well as enables you to compare your content to any competitor.

Compare your social media performance using Maybe*

Add a comparison business on your Maybe* dashboard. It's your one way ticket to social media inspiration. When you know what works for others, you can replicate their recipe for success.

If you’re using Twitter for your business, Maybe* has plenty to help streamline the whole process for you, and save you time. Alongside scheduling your Tweets; you can engage with the accounts you follow (and those you don’t); monitor hashtags, keep an eye on your competition, and find out what’s working for you in double-quick time.

Use Maybe* to boost your Facebook and Instagram posts from within Maybe* and turn them into awesome ads.

Need more help?

Every Tuesday at 10am we host a ‘Getting started with social media’ training session. So if you’re starting out as a complete novice we have you covered.