In part 1 of this series, we learned how Twitter can help your business by cultivating intense brand loyalty. Now we’re going to show you how to get started on Twitter. The process is quick and painless, and the return on your time investment will be huge. Are you ready? Here we go.
Step 1: Sign Up
Go to twitter.com and click on “Join the Conversation”. This will bring you to the signup screen. Choose a username, keeping in mind that you’ll want to choose a genuine, human-sounding name rather than a cheesy corporate-speak slogan. Reserve your name now, because Twitter names are fast becoming hot commodities, just like domain names were in the 90’s.
Remember: the objective here is to be real. Don’t use dashes in your username, and try to keep it short and simple.
Finish filling out your information, and accept the terms and conditions. If you have a Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail account, Twitter will offer to import your contacts. You can go through this process now, or skip it. When you’re done, you’ll be ready for the next step.
Step 2: Set Up Your Profile
You should now be looking at your Twitter home page. You’ll see a large text box, the latest updates from your contacts, and the icons of people who are following you. (It’s not as creepy as it sounds; “following” someone just means you’re receiving their updates.)
Click on “Settings” at the top of your home page. This will take you to your profile. Add a short bio for yourself. Then click on the “Picture” tab and upload a photo. Use an actual photo of yourself if possible; people like to know who they’re tweeting to.
Speaking of tweeting…
Before you start pounding out messages to the world, you should follow some people and see what they’re tweeting about. Lurk a while and get a feel for the community and its unwritten rules of etiquette. Once you’ve got a good handle on things, it’s time to start tweeting.
Step 3: Start Tweeting
Tweets are updates written in 140 characters or less. But what should you tweet about? In part 3 of our Twitter series, we’ll find good reasons to tweet and help you avoid coming off like a used car salesman.