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How to get started on Twitter

Ash Nallawalla

13 August 2011

Twitter

Anyone can start up a free Twitter account from http://www.twitter.com and can register from the home page. Registration is easy: the fields required for initial setup are:

  • Your full name
  • Your email address
  • A password

Set up twitter

On the next page it will then tell if those fields are valid and will rate the quality of your password. It will also generate a suggested username for you which you can then change or see other similar variations thereof.  If you choose to make your own username that is not a variation of your own actual name, it will alert you if the names you are trying are already taken.

If you are making a Twitter account for a business or brand, you will definitely want to make sure your brand is part of the username. If your company is a chain or franchise and there are already Twitter accounts in use elsewhere, add your location to the username, such as TwempsAU.

Once you have found a suitable username and have your account set up, you can find your friends by clicking on “Who To Follow” at the top of the page and then clicking on “Find Friends” which will allow you to search your Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN Messenger, AOL and LinkedIn contacts. If you have a list of customers or clients in any of these existing accounts, it is a good way to get some useful followers, assuming those email addresses have Twitter accounts attached.

Your first Tweet

Now that your account is set up you should think about what you want to share with everyone. You have a 140 character limit to get your message across. Depending on whether your account represents an individual or a business/organisation will determine which types of tweets (status updates) you post. It would not make much sense for a corporation to tweet about what they had for lunch, but for an individual that is perfectly valid (but not a good way to retain followers).

Instead of personal updates, a business will often share links to their new blog posts, new offers, products, deals, specials or news about their company or partners. Businesses may often use Twitter for holding contests with its followers and also communicating with customers and replying to any complaints or questions similarly to a help desk.

If you are on Twitter, you can follow us by clicking the little bird on the left of this screen.

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. Ash's Google+ profile

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