Twitter: Quick starter guide

Why should you bother tweeting and what is a tweet?  Twitter is a Greenfield for marketers and a new obstacle for customer service folk. It offers an opportunity but also brings plenty of risks.

Let’s start with the numbers. Twitter has over 600 million users worldwide, not as much as the 1 billion + Facebook users.  There are over 288 million active monthly users and 80% of those use mobile devices.  Over 500 million tweets are sent every single day. The average age of a Twitter user is much higher than Facebook, it comes in at 39 years old.


The real bottom line virtually pun intended, every major brand uses Twitter and they can’t be wrong. Most importantly a Twitter follower is 60% more likely to recommend your business than a FB liker. That’s an incredible stat.


Twitter does influence people.  For example, 87% of Twitter users say what they saw on Twitter, influence them movie choice at the cinema.


What will you learn in this lecture? You can understand what Twitter means to business, you going to be able to sign up and design your profile, learn what anatomy of a tweet is, what a hashtag retweet and another Twitter lingo are.


The vast majority of today’s traditional marketers continue to use outbound markings to reach their audience. However, people now control how they consume media.  Outbound marketing, traditional marketers, this is inherently flawed.


Consumers now tend to seek out information on their own. They look around online in the social sphere and beyond to find what you’re looking for.  Twitter allows the modern marketer to adapt to this consumer behaviour by creating marketing campaigns that pull people into their business.


You’ve probably already discovered that Twitter is different from the usage of Facebook. To start with, Twitter is a microblogging platform and this limits you too short bursts of information, 140 characters in total.  Information which is framed in a totally different vocabulary than the most wanted Facebook.   140 character restriction was initially imposed on Twitter, to enable ease of use on mobile devices and this remains true and it allows for rapid fire of sharing of information every second of every day.


Let’s get started and create your Twitter profile. To set up a Twitter profile for your business head on over to .




Twitter accounts are not split into business or personal accounts. The sign-up process is exactly the same. There are many similarities between Facebook and Twitter but the sign up process is relatively painless compared to Facebook.


You need to enter full details when signing up with a Twitter account. The first one is a full name and email password and username.  For a business, the full name should be the business name. Then enter an email address that hasn’t been used with another Twitter account, then enter a password and then we’re going to select a username.


Twitter usernames should be no longer than 15 characters.  Ideally you should try not use any numbers and you should use a name that is relevant to your business and is memorable.


Your account is now being created. You are going to be prompted to enter a telephone number, this helps keep your account more secure, but you can go ahead.


I would recommend that you don’t follow any accounts initially to start with because we’re not really creating this account for personal use and we’re going to take this with business you should wait until you carved out your strategy before starting to follow accounts.


Once we created our account, we don’t want to find people you know because essentially people are going to be arriving to a blank profile.  Therefore; you want to start a new page and populate the page before we get started.


By this stage, you have probably already verified your email address. If you haven’t done so, go check your email because Twitter will they sent you an email that just requires you to confirm that you own that email address.


The homepage is where you land after logging into Twitter. Normally, we’ll see a whole series of tweets there, from the people that we follow.

To see your profile, click on the page name, profile name or the user name.  When we land on the page, it’s very empty. We have a large blue area at the top, which is a big piece of real estate similar to the Facebook cover page where you can upload a large photo.


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We also have a room there for your Avatar or Twitter profile picture and the area down the middle, is where all of the content that you posted is going to appear in chronological order.


This is similar to the Facebook page timeline. Twitter is now encouraging you to create your first tweet. If you wanted to do so, you could choose one of the ones that Twitter is proposing or you can be a bit more creative and create your own tweet.


Create your first tweet yet your Twitter profile page is looking a little bare.  All that you have created your first tweet so now let’s start to look at how we can brand the page.


Click on the avatar/photo profile and then click upload photo.  You can then choose a picture that represents your organisation.  It can be a logo it can be a product that represents your company or it could be an image.  We have some resize options there and once ready, we just click apply.


At this point, we have a lovely profile photo or avatar, we have our first tweet but we don’t yet have a cover photo.


Let’s upload a cover photo. We need to click edit profile and this brings up the “edit options” and we can click add a header photo.


With giving options to scale and move this about as we’d like to, and when we are ready, we can click “apply”.


For image guidelines, head over to


You can download on branding your social media profiles in the free downloads section of my site.


By now, you should have uploaded our header photo, our cover photo and we change our avatar or profile photo, we can now begin to fill out the bio, location and website.


The “bio” is exactly like the about section that you would have filled out on your Facebook profile page. You may even want to use the same one but be aware you only get 160 characters.

You can also choose a theme colour. Once you’re ready, click “save changes” to preview how it all looks.


Let’s start to look at the anatomy of a tweet and some Twitter lingo.


Below you can see an example of a tweet. This tweet isn’t the chirp of a small bird. It’s a post made by you or another Twitter user.  A tweet can be up to 140 characters in length.

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Moving from left to right, let’s look at what makes up this tweet. On the left we have the user’s Twitter avatar, like the one we uploading earlier.

Moving over to the right, we can see the tweet offers username and their full name or company just to the right. Then we have the contents of the tweet. A tweet can include mentions, links, hashtags, videos or photos.


When you add a YouTube link to a tweet, it will embed that video into the tweet on your timeline.


{{ another tweet }}

Here you can see a hashtag. The hash symbol marks keywords of  topics in a tweet. It is essentially a tool to aggregate the conversations surrounding an event or theme.

You can click on the hashtag, it will then return all the tweet that have been made by you and other users using that hashtag within it. Research has shown that tweets with one or two hashtags receive a 21% higher engagement rate than those with 3.  Make sure use them sparingly. In fact, tweets that use more than 3 hashtags, actually saw a drop by 17% in engagement rates.  Therefore, you don’t necessarily need to over hashtag you use them in every tweet you create.


In this tweet, we can also see a mention.  Mention another user in your tweet by including the @ symbol follow directly by their username with no space between it.


This basically is a way of talking directly to another user and remember this is a public mention and this will appear in the mention section of their Twitter page and they receive a notification and to let them know that you’ve mentioned them in a tweet.


Below the tweet are “tweet actions”.

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These include replying to a tweet,  retweeting a tweet and favouriting a tweet.

A reply basically means you’re replying to the author of the tweet and anyone else who is mentioned in it.

I retweet is essentially sharing a tweet that you’ve seen and its place is it on your profile. The user who you retweet will also be notified.

To favour a tweet, is a bit like a Facebook like. It won’t necessarily place to tweet on your timeline but it doesn’t notify the user that you favourited his or her tweet. It places them in a list of favourites which can be seen by other Twitter users.


We’ve been through how to create your Twitter profile, how to brand it, the anatomy of a tweet and some basic Twitter lingo.


I’m going to take you through some other functions of Twitter. I’m going to do that by looking at our own profile page.

Over to the right Twitter is suggesting people that we may wish to follow and this is done based on our location and people that are followers and people that we follow also follow. Quite clever the logarithm there and if you like the look of anyone you can simply click click follow and this will then bring their tweets into your dashboard when you log into Twitter.


Below that we have some trends.  Trends are the most popular topics that the people are talking about over Twitter and we can actually change the location of trends so there more relevant to where we are or the trends we want to look at.


We can keep tailored trends or we can actually go right down to country or town level. If I’m interested in tweets in Brighton, I can bring in Brighton trends. Very interesting if your location based business.


At the top of our Twitter profile or anybody’s Twitter profile, you can see how many tweets have sent, how many other Twitter users are following, how many people will Twitter users follow them back and how many tweets they favourited.


We can also see if we have notifications at the top of the page. Notifications tell us when people have followed us, when people retweet our content, when people favourite our content and also when they mentioned you in a tweet.


You can filter notifications between all notifications or just people that follow you. This is a good function if you have a really busy Twitter account but remember is a brand or organisation which should be reading all of @  mentions, retweets, favourites and replies.


Next we want to do is we want to hunt out the Mel Voss.  You want to follow me on Twitter. You can use Twitter search to do this. It’s really simple.  In the search box at the top, typing “ Voss Man UK”.  Click on that and what then taking to their profile and you can now start to see my tweets.


I have a header photo, Twitter avatar and bio and location.  You want to follow me and to do that you can go over to the right and click follow. I will follow you back.

I’m going to be told that you are following me in my notifications. This is a great way of starting to get the attention of people they could be customers or partners. Simply go around and follow people that might be interesting.