Your complete guide to starting a business Twitter profile
Social media is a driving force for businesses. With so many users and different platforms to choose from, it can be difficult for a business to decide which ones to focus on.
While Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms, many businesses have chosen to skip using Twitter in their marketing strategies. Many potential users report that they don’t understand it, or that it isn’t intuitive. However, Twitter can benefit your business greatly. If you aren’t using Twitter yet, you might want to jump on it today.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey came up with the idea for Twitter in 2006, and the very first tweet was sent on March 21, 2006. Now just 14 years later, Twitter has 187 million active daily users in 2020.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how to set up your Twitter account for a business, and how to effectively use the platform’s many features to start growing your business.
How to create a Twitter account for a business
The first step to getting started on Twitter is to correctly set up an account. You can sign up on the website, or by using the Twitter app for iOS or Android.
Once you’ve arrived on Twitter, you’ll be prompted to either sign in or create a new account. If you don’t already have an account, select Sign Up.
You will be prompted to enter your name, or in this case your company name, and either a phone number or an email address.
Once you have done that, you can enter your birthday. Twitter requires that you enter your own birthday, even if this is for a brand or organization.
Now that your account is created, you can either follow the steps to add profile photos and follow accounts as Twitter prompts you to, or you can skip them all at the bottom and do it yourself.
How to set up your Twitter account for a business
If you skipped the setup, go to your profile. This is the icon that looks like a person in the menu. You should see a button with blue text that says “Set up profile.” Click that to get started.
First, you’ll be prompted to pick a profile photo. Since your profile photo appears very small on the feed, especially on mobile, it is best to use your company’s logo or emblem and not any text. Keep it simple for the best results. Your profile photo needs to be at least 400 x 400 pixels. Once you’ve selected a photo, you’ll be able to select next.
Now you can pick a header photo. This can be your full company logo, a photo, or a graphic that best suits your page. According to Twitter, the header photo needs to be 1500 x 500 pixels in size. Avoid placing text or important graphics near the edges of the header photo.
Next is your bio. You only have 160 characters to tell the world what your brand is about, so make your words count. Hootsuite has a great article with tips on how to craft the perfect Twitter bio for your brand. In general, though, show your brand’s personality and include keywords: yes, Google and Bing index Twitter bios. When you are finished, you will be taken back to your profile to see the changes.
You aren’t done setting up your profile just yet. To finish setting up your profile, select Edit Profile. This is where you can change your name, bio, add a location, link to your website, and change your birthday.
Once you are done, save your changes. You will be returned to your profile again.
How to use Twitter
Before we move on, let’s discuss all of the features that can be found on your profile. Beneath your bio, location, and website, you’ll find columns for how many users you are following and how many followers you have.
You then have a section that lets you switch views between Tweets, Tweets & Replies, Media, and Likes. In Tweets you will find every tweet, retweet, and quoted tweet you have created. This is the default view for anyone visiting your profile (and any profile that you visit). Under Tweets & Replies, any of your comments to other tweets will be added. This allows you to keep track of all of your interactions on the platform. Media contains any tweets you’ve made that contain an image or video, while Likes shows every tweet that you’ve liked for quick reference (for a better way to save Tweets for future reference, see Bookmarks a few paragraphs below).
Leaving the profile alone or now, let’s look at other areas of Twitter. First up is the Home Page. Here you will see your custom feed based on who you follow. On Desktop, if you select the stars at the top right you can change your view between top tweets first or latest tweets.
The Home Page is where most of the action on Twitter occurs. If you are on a desktop, you’ll notice sidebars for the latest trends and sometimes breaking news based on your area.
Here you can compose a new tweet to send to your followers. Twitter allows up to 280 characters per tweet (up from 140), so you’ll want to be concise. You can add links and hashtags to your tweets, but they still count as characters. Any links included will automatically be considered as 23 characters, even if it is shorter than that.
Tweets don’t operate like the posts you might find on Facebook or LinkedIn. Because they are shorter and don’t have as many features, Twitter moves a lot faster. If you have an audience in multiple time zones it might be a good idea to retweet your own tweets, for example, to ensure that you are reaching everyone.
Below your tweet you can attach images (up to four), a gif, create a poll, add emojis, or schedule your tweet to be published on a future date. You can also choose to restrict replies to your tweet to everyone on Twitter, only those you follow, or only users that you mention. When you are done composing your tweet, hit Tweet. Congrats! Your tweet has been sent out to the world.
If you weren’t able to fit everything you wanted to say into the 280 character limit, don’t fret. Twitter allows you to reply to your own tweets and create threads. These threads may not get as many views or interactions as the original tweet, but it’s a useful tool for sharing tips or highlighting projects.
While on the topic of tweets, you can pin a tweet to your profile. Anyone who visits your profile will see your pinned tweet at the top, which is great for promotions and announcements. To pin a tweet to your profile, visit your profile page. There should be a down-facing arrow on the tweet you want to choose. Select that, and choose “Pin to your profile.”
Next is the explore page. Here you can see what is trending in your area or see breaking news. You can also search for other accounts to follow.
In Notifications you can see when people like one of your tweets, reply, retweet you, or mention you. Don’t rely on notifications alone, however. Many users have run into issues with not getting notifications for everyone who interacts with their content.
In Messages you can start a conversation with another user or create a group chat. You can send text, photos, links to tweets, short videos, or add GIFs to your messages.
Bookmarks is where any of your saved tweets can be found. This is a great way to save Tweets and ideas for later, all without sharing that you’ve done so with your followers. Bookmarks are only visible to you. You can save any tweet by selecting the share button on a tweet, and then selecting “Add Tweet to Bookmarks.”
Lists allows you to create custom curated Twitter lists and see which lists you’ve been added to. Most users use lists to create a custom feed of those with similar interests to them, such as a list for writers working on novels or a list of photographers in Utah. However, there are other ways to use lists that can benefit your business.
While most lists are public, you can create private lists that are only visible to you. You can use these lists to keep track of competitors, look at prospects, sort followers into clients, customers, affiliates, or influences, etc.
To create a Twitter list, click on Lists. Then at the top of the page, click on the plus sign. Create a name and description for your list, and choose whether you want it to be private or public. Now you can start adding users. You can either use the feature that pops up, or add users as you go by visiting their profile, selecting the gear icon, and choosing “Add/Remove From Lists.”
At the bottom of the menu on desktop, you’ll see three dots. Here you can access other Twitter features like Moments, Analytics, Settings, the Help Center, and Display.
According to Twitter, “Moments are curated stories showcasing the very best of what’s happening on Twitter.” Anyone can create Moments, which act like a comprehensive story about a particular story, event, or interest. Users can swipe between individual tweets in a moment to get the entire story.
Twitter Analytics is a neat tool for seeing how your Twitter account is performing. You can see a summary of each month on Twitter and how many impressions and new followers you’ve received, and what your top tweets were. You can also see information for individual tweets and get a better idea of who your audience is.
Now that you’ve been introduced to each of Twitter’s features, it is time to promote your products.
How to Start Gaining Followers on Twitter
To get started on Twitter, you’ll want to start following other accounts. An easy way to start is to follow people and businesses who are either partnered with you, or play a role in your brand. This could be supplies, your local city and county offices, the chamber of commerce, or other organizations you are a part of. You might also want to follow local newspapers and magazines, or neighboring businesses that aren’t direct competitors. You can also choose to follow some of your customers.
The best way to get followers is to post great content. Tweet frequently about your products and offer promotions, but don’t be afraid to go off topic. People love motivational quotes, tips, guides, and beautiful photos. It is also good to retweet posts, especially from customers with good experiences or showing your product. You want to be genuine and show that you interact with others.
You can also run ads on Twitter to promote your products.
Finally, it might be a good idea to let those who follow you on other platforms that you have a Twitter. Add a link to your website and other social media profiles to allow your customers to find you easier.
If you need help marketing your brand, SilverFox is here to help. Our expert marketing consultants can develop a marketing plan that fits your needs. With a team of graphic designers, copywriters, and marketing professionals, we can make your business dreams come true.