This is the second in a series of How-To articles that I’ll be working on over the next several weeks targeting Small Business Owners and Solopreneurs that are just getting started with their social media. The first one was about setting up your Business Facebook Page…read about that here.
Alright, now on to setting up your Twitter account for business. First thing you need to do is decide whether or not you want to use your personal name or your business name. Alternatively, you can set up both and share tweets to gain more exposure. Here is a good article about it to help you make your decision. Be sure to pay particular attention to the Business/Personal Hybrid Account description. Now, in all fairness, I was not a tweeter until I started my business, so I set up my account @drgnflysocial and also used my personal name so that when people search, whether using my personal or business name, I show up. One thing to remember: the more Twitter accounts you have, the more work it is which is why I did it as described above since I’m also managing personal Facebook and LinkedIn accounts as well as social media for my clients (yes, phew!)
Ok, let’s get started! To show you step-by-step how to do this I started a ‘new’ business page which I then deleted because, of course, mine’s already going strong after just a couple of short months.
Go to Twitter and enter your information to sign up:
Next you’ll be taken to this page:
Some tips to think about when creating your Twitter name…because once it’s set, that’s it:
- Your handle (name) is limited to a max of 15 characters
- Unless they’re a part of your business name, don’t use numbers, symbols (especially underscores), or weird abbreviations…makes it hard to find you (let alone remember), especially for the ever growing mobile user population!
- While Twitter will save your name exactly as you enter it, it is not case sensitive. So, say I wanted to have my handle as @DragonflyMktg…it would be saved and listed as such, but Tweeters can still find me by entering @dragonflymktg. Do whatever you want with that…it’s a personal preference thing.
Also, please note the selection box (which is automatically selected when you get to this page) about tailoring Twitter based on recent website visits. Click the blue ‘Learn More’ to find out detailed information about what this means and decide if that’s something you want to do. You’ll notice that I unselected this option.
Ok, now you’ll be taken through a series of six screens to set up your account. The first one shown below just explains what’s going to happen:
The second screen is asking about your interests…pick one or all, and once you click ‘Continue’ you’ll be provided with Tweeters to follow:
Given that the choices are primarily NOT business related, I just selected the first one to move forward with the process and was taken to the following screen:
Yes, you read that right…you need to follow 39 to continue! Don’t worry, even though, if you’re like me and was frustrated by following Tweeters that I wouldn’t normally seek out, you can ‘un-follow’ them (if you want to) once you’ve finalized set up. So, to save some time, just simply click the blue ‘Follow 39 & continue’ button.
Now you’re on to the next step in customizing your profile. At this point they’re asking you to upload your profile picture which needs to be 400 x 400 pixels (shown as 200 x 200 pixels) and can only be 100kb in size.
I chose to skip this step knowing that I’d be customizing my header and picture once set up was complete. Alternatively, you can simply upload your profile picture now if you have one ready to go…your choice.
In step 5 below, you’re being asked if you want to import your contacts so you can follow folks you already know who have Twitter accounts. The options listed below are for online e-mail providers/accounts, so if you use one of the choices shown, by all means select yours and import. I however do not, so again, I chose to ‘Skip this step’.
Ok, you’re finished with Twitters’ first steps and now you’re here:
See the big gold bar at the top of the screen? You need to confirm your email address to move forward so if you haven’t already done so, go to the email you should have received from Twitter and click the blue ‘Confirm Now’ button (if you don’t see it, check your junk mail folder before clicking the ‘Resend confirmation’ button). Now you’ll be directed to your Twitter home feed and see a subtle white confirmation thanks at the top of your screen:
Just click the ‘X’ of the confirmation thanks and then click on your name in black near the top left of the screen to be taken to your profile page:
Now you’ll see your profile page…click ‘Edit profile’:
And now you’ll be taken to where you can upload your header and profile images, add your bio, location and website addy:
For your bio section you only have 160 characters to grab potential followers’ attention…so spend some time working on that. Make it short and captivating and totally YOU!
Next, enter your location and website (or blog) address. Alright…here’s the fun part…you can create your very own custom Twitter header! Click Twitter Header Photo Template courtesy of Dragonfly Social Marketing to get the PowerPoint template and guide (remember to click ‘Save As’ to save it to your hard drive; if you just click open, you’ll be able to see what the document is but it won’t be an operational file):
Here’s what my real Twitter profile page looks like using the custom header template:
Alright…now you’re officially ready to start tweeting! Tweet about your new Twitter page, what’s happening with your business, links to blog articles…anything relating to why you’re in business and what it’s all about 😉 You also can (and should) do searches to find other Tweeters to follow that have relevance so that you can retweet their tweets (as long as it’s in line with your objectives).
You’ll be amazed at how quickly your following grows as you find other tweeters you like and follow them and retweet their stuff…I sure was! Remember…the key factor here is to tweet quality stuff…if all you do is try to sell yourself or retweet others’ pitchy tweets, folks will soon un-follow. Food for thought.
So, have fun and stay tuned for the next installment in my How-To series…you can even sign up for emails (bottom of the page) so that you get notified as soon as it goes live!