What I’ll talk about here is how to sign up for and optimize Twitter because there’s a few tips and tricks under the hood when you first begin.
First off, you’ll want to head to Twitter and then once you’re there, click the yellow sign up button (see below). By the way, all of the links on this page will open up in new windows so that you can follow along with this brief tutorial at the same time you’re signing up.
The next screen you see has some basic information for you to fill in such as:
- Your real name – use your first and last name.
- A username – This is how people will find you on Twitter. So if you’re a brand, you may want to use your brand name, if your name is your brand or if you’re using Twitter for personal reasons, then simply enter in your name here. It’s really up to you how you want to represent yourself on Twitter but try to refrain from using a username such as Money4U or Bill5899. These kinds of usernames will be difficult for people to remember and the first one sounds very spammy which means that the followers you may get will be few and far between.
- Choose a password for yourself that will be easy for you to remember but difficult for others to figure out.
- Enter your email address, agree to the terms and then click “Create My Account”. Note that it’s very important to use a real email address since Twitter will be sending you an email confirmation.
Next, click “Create my Account” and you’ll then be taken to this screen:
Twitter gives you the opportunity to start finding people to follow right out of the box. My suggestion is to skip this for now since we haven’t set up our profile. Anyone that we do follow at this point in time will see the little default egg icon and no information about us. To skip over this for now, click the “Next Step, Friends” button at the bottom of the page (see the arrow above).
Next, we’ll be given the opportunity to find people we may already know on Twitter using our email client (see below). Again, I suggest that you just skip this step for now by clicking the “Skip Import” button at the bottom of the page because we’ll again want to set up a profile first.
The next screen will remind you at the top of the page to confirm the email address you’ve just entered (see below). If you haven’t done that already, do so now.
The first page that you see is your home page and at this point it should look pretty empty unless you’ve already chosen to follow a few people. At this point what we want to do is head to your profile page and start getting you set up.
Next, click on the “Profile” link at the top of the page (see below):
This is where we’ll enter the important information about you or your business. You’ll want to enter in your location; while this isn’t absolutely necessary, it does help, especially when someone is trying to find people to follow by location.
Next, enter in your website address. The http:// portion should already be filled in by default but if it’s not, be sure you enter it – otherwise when people click on your website address it will give them an error.
One tip to use is to enter in a website address of a specific page on your site that would be for Twitter followers only.
Next, write a bio for yourself. Twitter only gives you 160 characters in which to do so which really isn’t a whole lot of room is it? So you’ve really got to make your bio concise and to the point; not always easy.
Name two or three things that you would relate to your business and one or two things that are a little more personal and try to do it all with personality (and in 160 characters).
It’s really not as difficult as it may seem at first. Think of it like a 30-second elevator speech. If you had 30 seconds to tell someone about your business and get them to like you, even just a little bit what would you say?
Starbucks says “Freshly brewed tweets from Brad at Starbucks in Seattle, WA.”
When you’re finished, just click “Save”. Keep in mind, you can always come back and make changes to it any time you’d like. It’s not set in stone.
Next, you will want to change your background design. Now while this isn’t absolutely necessary when you’re first beginning, it is a piece of real estate that you’ll be able to work to your advantage. First though, let’s talk about how to change the design overall, and then I’ll give you a few recommendations of places who will create a professional looking design for your business.
On this page there is a link at the top that says “Design” and this will take you to a page that will give you a wide variety of generic background designs you can use. Click on any of them to change your background picture.
Alternatively, you can also scroll to the bottom of this page and change the background image to something of your own choosing as well as change the colors if you wish.
Now, to get the most out of your background, you’ll likely want to hire someone to create a professional design for your business.
There are many places online that will do this for you but here are a two that you may want to take a look at:
- Another one is TweetPages.com – A fun design staff that will create a professional looking background specifically for your Twitter page. (and they also do Facebook Fan Pages too!)
There are a variety of other links on this Twitter page that you can fiddle with – including telling Twitter that you want to receive text messages, get emails whenever someone follows you and so on, but what I’ve covered here are the all-important areas to getting your Twitter account all set up and running.
You may be interested in learning more now about “How to Tweet”…