Twitter for Businesses – Part 2

Let’s Setup a Twitter Account For Your Business…For Real!

In my previous post, Twitter for Businesses – An Intro, we discussed what is Twitter in general and how it can help your business.

This week, I’d like to continue on the same path, and in this article, you will learn the Exact Steps (together with screenshots) on how to open a Twitter account and configure it for your business.

TIP: The easiest way to get a real understanding of the power of Twitter is to actually create an account and get started. Since, this only takes a few minutes to do, I would advice if you haven’t already created an account, to do it now, while looking at the steps and the screenshots below.

Setting Up An Account

Go to https://twitter.com/# and on your right bottom box which says “New To Twitter? Sign Up”, insert your name, email address and click the “Sign up for Twitter” button in yellow.

Once you’ve inserted your initial details, you’ll be taken to a form to create your account that looks like this, where you’ll have to enter  Full Name followed by other important details. (So far, so good? Great!)

Then follow the steps to create your username. Your username is the name everyone will know you by, so give some thought to the name you choose. Every time you post a message, known as a tweet, on Twitter, your name and profile picture will be displayed, so you definitely don’t want to choose a username made of random numbers and letters.

Twitter lets you use up to 15 characters (with no spaces) for your username, so use them wisely. If you choose not to use your actual name, try to create a name that tells people what you do. You can use your business name, but very often, something a little more personal is more effective.

Remember the key to social media is the social part, so you want to choose a username that lets people relate to you as a person. Keep in mind, also, that if you choose a random username made up of assorted letters and numbers, people may think you are a spammer and block you.

NEXT…

Your next step is to enter your email address. Make sure you enter an actual email address that you use on a regular basis. Twitter will not send you spam email, but they will use your email address to alert you to new followers and direct messages, if you choose to be alerted later in your profile. You will also be notified, via email, if you lose or forget your username or password.

Once you create your account, you will be taken to a screen where you can check to see if anyone you know is already using twitter based on various email addresses. We’ll skip this step because well, almost everyone is using Twitter! 🙂

NEXT…

Next 3 screens will prompt you to add some suggested followers. You can scan through if you’d like or you can choose to skip these steps for now. You can add followers to your account later on.

NEXT…

Now, we’ve reached the area that will help you market yourself and your business. This is where you start personalizing your profile.

Here, all you need to do is add a picture of yourself (highly recommended). Some may give you an idea to add your co logo here, but I feel this isn’t the time to be shy. Use a real photo of yourself. You want your followers to see you as a real person, so they choose to interact with you and a real photo goes a long way toward helping people connect with you.

It helps to use the same photo you use on other social media sites as well as on your own site or blog. Since Twitter is a social platform for you to connect and meet individuals and business owners, it would be best to place your own lovely photo here. Then simply write a 2-3 sentence bio about yourself and hit the Done button

NEXT…

Once you’re done with the basic setup, now’s its time for you to customize your twitter account a bit further. On the top right hand corner, look for a man icon with a small drop down arrow, click on it and select “Settings”

Before you do anything on this screen, you will need to login to the email account you used when signing up for Twitter and click on the confirmation link. This is an important step, or else, without confirmation, your customizations will not be saved by Twitter. Done that? Good! Let’s carry on…

Once you’ve confirmed your email address, another screen will popup verifying, “Your account has been confirmed. Thanks!” and now you’re good to go. Select the Settings tab once again and follow the on screen instructions.

This is the Accounts settings page, there is really nothing to customize here except the Time Zone and Your Country location. The rest you may leave as default.

NEXT…

Click on the Profile tab on your left pane and once in the Profile page settings, ensure to insert your location (again!) and company’s web url and click the Save Changes button. The rest you may leave as default.

NEXT…

Give Your Page Some Personality Finally, you can customize how your homepage looks under by clicking the “Design” tab. This feature allows you a small amount of flexibility in the look of your homepage.

There are a few default design backgrounds you can choose and you can change the colors of your background. It can be helpful to use colors that complement your website or blog colors as part of your branding strategy. The design feature in Twitter is pretty limited.

If you are interested in a custom background, you can design your own in Photoshop, hire a designer or use a service like TwitterWebs.com or TwitDesign.com for a custom Twitter background.

If you have a custom background made, you can share more links with the people who view it. Although these links are not clickable, your background is a place you can at least let people know how they can connect with you. It’s a great place to share your other social media profile names or links, like Facebook and LinkedIn.

You can post a phone number if you like or any other information about your business. While it’s good to have clear information available so people can find you if they like, be careful not to let your background become too crowded or cluttered. Keeping it simple is the best route to go.

Here is an example of a custom background made by TwitDesign.com for the user NicoleDean.

Now that you’ve created your account and customized your profile, you’re ready to get started using your Twitter account.

In the next part, we will go through some tweeting techniques for businesses and best practices!

Talk soon!

p.s. Are you using Twitter for your business? In your opinion, is Twitter effective or is it a waste of time?

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