Building Your Profile
Twitter for Business
Managing Your Twitter Stream
Twitter is a social platform that helps you stay connected with family, friends and co-workers. You communicate by using short, frequent updates that describes your current status, your location, or your activities. Twitter has evolved into a multi-faceted platform that can be used for both personal and business activities and there are millions of personal and business users all around the globe that use Twitter on a daily basis to communicate with friends, follow their favorite celebrities, and communicate with their customers.
The main difference between Twitter and other social media platforms such as Facebook or MySpace is that posts, or tweets as they are called, are limited to 140 characters. As a user, you can post these tweets or updates at any time, so that your followers can be kept updated on your current status. You can also follow other users, and send private messages to specific users.
As opposed to only updating your followers on what you are doing, Twitter posts can also be used to share interesting news or content from all over the web, by simply tweeting a link to a site or share conversations around trending topics by using hashtags. A lot of people use Twitter as a platform to share real-time news and events that they, or someone they know, are involved in.
Signing up for a Twitter account is very easy and the platform is available for anyone. You can choose a username, location and a profile picture, and include a short description about yourself. You can also customize your privacy settings and control who you want to follow and receive messages from. There are various backgrounds for your page that you can choose from, or you can upload your own. You can change your profile details or design at any time.
There might be various reasons to customize your background. You can use this as a personal expression of who you are, add additional information that you would like your followers to see, or use it for artistic freedom to show your talents and emotions. To create a customized Twitter background, do keep in mind that you should create an image that is large enough not to tile. The total image size should be 1200px tall and 1600px wide. This will fit in with most screen resolutions and ensure that your profile looks great for all users.
To upload your new design, simply go to: Settings > Design > Change Background Image. You can then browse through your computer or device for the file you want to upload.
There are many wonderful tools that you can use to assist you in creating the perfect background to your profile; here are a few of them:
- Themeleon: This is probably one of the best Twitter profile designers out there. Choose from a variety of patterns and colors to create a unique and colorful look for your profile.
- TweetStyle: With TweetStyle you can choose between various free background styles and they also have a useful blog with tips on creating the ideal background.
- My TweetSpace: Create a Twitter background in a few easy steps. You can also create graphics, text and badges to add to your profile
With these and other wonderful tools, you can easily create any background for your Twitter profile that you want. Express your personality and brand yourself with your own unique combination of colors and styles.
Similar to other social platforms, you can also change your profile picture whenever you feel like it, and change your description or location if needed.
A retweet is also referred to as “RT” and it is an important part of your Twitter experience. Retweets are used to share other tweets or links that you find from other users; this is useful if you would like to share interesting Tweets from others, with your followers.
Retweeting is easy, you simply copy and paste the original tweet and send it out to your followers. In order to give credit where it is due, you can put “RT” and the username of the original poster at the beginning of the Tweet, for example:
You can also keep track of your tweets that have been retweeted. The amount of times that your tweet is retweeted indicates how popular an article or piece of content is, and this gives business owners a good indication of what is popular amongst your followers.
There are a few good online tools that you can use to track your retweets:
- Retweetist: In addition to listing your most retweeted links, it also lists the most retweeted accounts on the Twitter platform. A very useful tool indeed.
- Tweetmeme: They are considered to be the authority when it comes to tracking retweets. It tracks the most popular retweeted links on Twitter and these can also be broken down into categories such as sport, celebrities or technology.
- Retweet Rank: Measures and track your retweets, as well as the retweet rank and influence of any Twitter user.
You can also track retweets with your mobile phone, and this is very helpful since Twitter is available on just about any device. You can tweet straight from your mobile phone or tablet device, and even send tweet updates via text or SMS. Most mobile devices will have the Twitter app built in, but you can also download it easily.
You can easily retweet any user’s update by using a tool such as TweetDeck. This handy application will allow you to retweet by simply hovering over a profile picture and clicking the retweet button. TweetDeck also has a lot of features to offer and it is one of the most popular Twitter tools available.
Apart from retweets (RT’s), you will also come across “@” and “DM”. “@” is used immediately before a Twitter ID when you mention them in a tweet. For e.g. if you want to mention us, you will start with @jltcreative and then complete the rest of your text. “DM” stands for Direct Message and this refers to a private message that you send directly to a specific user, much like a private message (PM) on Facebook.
There is a whole bunch of terms that you might come across, and if you wonder what they mean here are a few explanations:
Beetweet: A buzzing, or trending tweet.
Co-Twitterer: Someone that tweets on your Twitter account.
Mistweet: A tweet that you later on regret.
Sweeple: Sweet Twitter people.
Twaffic: Twitter traffic.
Twalking: Walking while sending a Twitter update.
Twead: Reading a tweet from a fellow user.
Tweeple: Twitter people or users.
Tweet-back: Bringing a previous tweet back into your current conversation.
Tweeting: Posting an update to Twitter.
Twiking: Biking while updating Twitter.
TwinkedIn: Inviting Twitter users to join you on LinkedIn.
Twitterati: The A-list of tweeters.
Twitterrhea: Sending too many Twitter updates.
Building Your Profile
Joining Twitter is easy but to get going you will need to add some users to follow, and hopefully others will follow you as well. If you already know some of your friends or colleagues that are on Twitter, you can simply get their usernames and navigate straight to their profile to add them. But what if you don’t know any Twitter users, where do you start? It’s easier than you think.
When you log into your Twitter account, you will notice a search field in the top right corner that will allow you to enter a name or a username, and this will bring up a host of results. For example, if you enter the word “sport” in the search field, you will notice that it brings up a page with Tweets as well as people that fall within that category. When you browse through the results, you can switch between “Tweets” and “People” in the left column to view the respective results. Simply click on the username of the person that you want to follow and you will be taken to his or her profile. Simply click on “Follow” and you are done. When viewing a profile, you can also see how many followers a person has, and how many tweets he or she has posted. This will give you a good indication of how active the person is on Twitter. Instead of randomly adding users, try to add people that have the same interests than you, or companies or organizations that you would like to receive updates from.
There are also a few helpful sites that you can use to find people to follow:
- Tweepz: Tweepz allow you to search specific parts of a user’s information, such as location, bio or name, and filter the results according to the number of Twitter followers, location and other terms. A very useful tool for beginners.
- TwitDir: Allows you to search people in a similar fashion to Tweepz, but has slightly less results in its database. They have useful tips for beginner s and can provide you with the most influential users on Twitter if you are interested in knowing.
One of the greatest features of Twitter is that you can share virtually any content with followers and friends. You can share items on the go, and share what other users are finding interesting. Since a Tweet is so fast and easy to do, Twitter is becoming one of the leading sharing platforms in our world today. Multimedia is by far the most popular content to share, and on top of this list is music.
Sharing music on Twitter is easy to do. Here are a few of the most popular tools that users on Twitter use to share what they are listening to:
- Tinysong: This handy tool allows Twitter users to provide a short URL of P2P music on the Grooveshark sharing service. This means that you will have a huge amount of music available to share, and the process is very simple: search for the song you like, get the shortened URL, and tweet that URL on Twitter. Easy as that. Users can then click through and listen to the song that you mentioned to them.
- Song.ly: This is a handy sharing service provided by the Russian media search engine Tagoo. You simply search for a title and press the tweet button. This will connect you with Twitter and create a tweet for you along with a shortened URL of the location of the track. Simply post that and your users will be able to follow the link.
- Twiturm: Twiturn is mainly aimed at artists that want to share their music with their fans. This site will allow you to upload tracks or point to existing MP3 links online and then share them with your Twitter followers. It also creates a short URL that you can tweet for your followers to link to and visit.
Video sharing is equally easy to do and some of the popular tools include:
- TwitVid: This website is extremely easy to use. Simply log in with your Twitter login details, choose the video file, add a description, and tweet it to the world. Simple and easy to do.
- Tweetube: This website started out as a way for users to share YouTube videos but quickly grew to include a desktop application for creating and sharing videos captured from your webcam. Tweetube also hosts these videos and allows for users to provide comments and feedback. You can also upload photos and share links.
Sharing images with Twitter has never been easier. When you begin to type a new tweet, you will see a small camera icon in the bottom left corner. Click on it and select the image that you would like to share. You will see a thumbnail of the image and a shortened URL will also be included in the message field. Finish typing your message and click on “Tweet”. If you select the wrong image, simply click on the “x” next to the file name to delete it.
If you prefer to make use of a third party tool, then you cannot overlook the power of Twitpic. Twitpic allows you to share photos and videos as they happen. You can share images of trending topics or news items with your followers straight from their website.
Your Twitter community can be seen as your lifeline on this microblogging platform. You need to determine what your goals are and the work to build and maintain a healthy community on the Twitter platform. Here are a few handy tips that you can use to grow your follower base.
- Choose a Suitable Name. Always use your real name or find a username that will accurately describe you, so that users can relate with you and quickly find you in searches. Your Twitter ID is your personal branding tool and you should choose it wisely. Business users almost always choose their business names so that users can immediately associate them with their brand and find them in search engines.
- Follow People. Always find suitable people to follow. Depending on your goals, you will need to build a community of people with similar interests so that you can stay connected and share ideas and content. Make sure to also follow people that are experts in their respective fields, and this can even include celebrities or successful entrepreneurs.
- Keep Track of Your Followers. When you grow your community, you might want to keep track of the users that reply to you, or retweet your updates. This is very handy and it will allow you to always know who your most valuable followers are and where you are mentioned in tweets. As mentioned earlier, you can use an application such as TweetDeck for this purpose.
- Spread the Word. Be sure to include your Twitter ID (@username) in all your signatures. Add this to your email signature, add it under your name when you comment on a blog, or even include a “follow me on Twitter” badge on your website or blog. By constantly advertising your Twitter profile, you increase the chances of friends and business colleagues following you.
- Share Quality Information. If you would like to be successful on Twitter, remember to share valuable content that others will enjoy. Share your best interests or favorites on Twitter and do not hesitate to promote one of your followers if you feel like it. Building a solid reputation on Twitter is absolutely invaluable and it will greatly benefit your following and community.
Twitter for Business
Twitter is a wonderful tool to take part in communications, interact with your community and find the latest news and trends. Using Twitter to build your brand is essential and it is very effective; which is why all major corporations are on Twitter and the same goes for celebrities and journalists.
Always do your research. Know how your customers user Twitter and how you can make their experience more enjoyable. It takes a few minutes to use the search functionality to find out if there are any conversations about your brand or products, and you can know what people are saying about you by staying on top of the latest trends.
Determine your goals. Not everyone uses the Twitter platform in the same way. Some use it purely to keep their users updates with the latest news and product launches, others use Twitter as their customer service hub, such as @ComcastCares and other popular brands. It’s important to know what you want out of Twitter in order to successfully manage your brand.
Build your credibility. To be successful in your Twitter ventures, always take time to build your reputation and your credibility as a business or brand. For e.g. don’t just share a link to your latest product download, but rather engage your readers, ask them questions and interact with them.
Track your conversion rates. You need to know if your efforts are paying off, so always remember to track your conversion rates. The way you go about this will greatly depend on the size of your business, and smaller companies might be able to do this in-house, whereas larger organizations can make use of a paid service. Track how much money your company saved, how much sales went up or down, how many support issues you were able to solve, and how many leads you captured. This is essential and it will constantly guide you to tweak the use of Twitter for your brand’s benefit.
Social media has revolutionized the way we do business and interact with each other. You no longer have to wait in endless queues or be put on hold to get help with a product or service issue. Many companies are not using Twitter as a customer service platform – and with great success.
Twitter provides a very fast way for users to inform you of a problem, and in many cases, a simple tweet is enough. It can be dealt with in real time, without any unnecessary waiting times or expenses. For complex problems, the company can initiate a deeper conversation with the user or customer. In addition to providing a versatile platform, Twitter also maintains a positive brand image and this can in turn lead to more sales. As your customer services are being talked about, it creates a conversation and your brand image can positively benefit from this. Twitter is a viral platform so if you provide a quick turnaround time and superior service, you can be sure that your brand will be mentioned.
One of the best benefits in using Twitter as a customer service platform is that it can provide a significant amount of cost savings on both parties’ sides. Your customer can simply log in and send you a tweet, and your operators are ready to receive them in real time – no phone calls or personal meetings needed. Twitter is short and to the point, which also reduces the time spent on each issue.
A brand can also track an entire conversation and there are many tools for this purpose, including Monitter and Tweetbeep; you will be informed when your brand is talked about anywhere on the Twitter platform along with links that you can view for your own records. Make customers aware of your presence and respond as quickly as possible to increase the trust and professionalism that your brand represents.
Managing Your Twitter Stream
Twitter can be used from just about any mobile device and this has brought along thousands of apps for users to enjoy. Most mobile phones already come with Twitter and this has led to millions of Twitter user additions around the globe. The ability to use Twitter on your mobile allows you to tweet your experiences wherever you go, and keep up with your favorite users and celebrities.
The iPhone is probably the most popular mobile device out there, and there are literally too many wonderful and handy apps to mention. Whether you want to share a picture, view your Twitter stream, search current trends, or send shortened URL’s to friends – you can be sure that there is an app for everything. This makes Twitter one of the most versatile social media platforms and it is also the reason for its popularity. Twitter is sweet and short, with no complicated features or difficult learning curves. People can stay up to date wherever they are and share interesting news in 160 characters or less.
There are many websites that list the most popular iPhone apps for Twitter, such as 5 iPhone Twitter Apps that Do More Than Just Tweet from Mashable. Mobile users can enjoy a wide variety of handy apps and more are added every day, making Twitter for mobile users more convenient than ever.
As more and more people are starting to use Twitter for both personal and business reasons, handling multiple Twitter accounts has become quite popular. Marketing agencies are also managing multiple Twitter accounts on behalf of their customers, which can be quite demanding at times.
The more Twitter accounts you need to manage, the more difficult it becomes, and this is where useful tools come in. There are various desktop and web-based tools that you can make use of, and the most popular of these include:
- Seesmic Desktop: With Seesmic Desktop you can manage an unlimited amount of Twitter accounts from your desktop. It also integrates with Facebook and allows for the ideal way to engage with users and followers instantly.
- Twibble: Another desktop option is Twibble, a handy tool that allows you to manage up to three Twitter accounts with various keyboard shortcuts and viewing options.
- Matt: Matt is a simple and easy to use web-based tool that allows for the management of multiple Twitter accounts and allows you to update these accounts from the web.
- Splitweet: Splitweet is a great web-based application that allows you to view multiple Twitter streams from all your accounts, as well as the ability to post to any account and following brand mentions.
- HootSuite: One of the more popular and powerful web-based tools. Manage multiple Twitter accounts, post to these accounts, keep track of stats and schedule tweets with this handy app.
Lists will allow you to focus on different sets of people that you are following. It’s a very useful feature and when you click on a list that you have created, you will see a stream of tweets from only those users included in the group or list. You do not have to follow a user to add him or her to a list.
Creating lists is easy. Simply go to your Lists page that can be accessed from the profile drop-down menu in the top navigation bar, and click on Create List. Enter the name of the list you would like to create and keep this under 25 characters. You can also choose if the list will be private to you, or open for public view. Click on Save List and you are done. When you now visit a profile of a user, you will have a drop-down menu from where you can click on “Add or Remove from Lists” to add or remove this user from any of your lists. You can always go to your lists and confirm if a user is listed there, if you are unsure if you have listed them already.
You can also check to see if you are on any lists, simply by going to your Lists page and clicking on “Member Of” to bring up a list of what lists you are on. You can edit your lists, add new ones, or delete lists at any time.
Twitter is used by millions of people all around the globe, and it is the ideal platform to promote your business, keep track of your family and friends, and enjoy updates from users in various locations. With more features being added to Twitter regularly, this platform is growing in strength and popularity and it is definitely something that you can make use of to improve your social interaction and stay updated on the latest news and trends from your favorite people.
You can sign up for a Twitter account at Twitter.com.