Getting Started on Twitter A Basic Guide.

Getting started on Twitter the very first step:
The most important thing any small business should consider when setting up a Twitter account is to make a great first impression. After all  we  make split second decisions regarding whether someone looks like they might be worth following or not. Therefore, don’t set up a profile page and think you’re done. It is essential to consider updating your profile picture so that it doesn’t look predictable or stale. You are always looking for something attractive and fresh which will always make your company or business look interesting and approachable. The background image is a great chance to show your corporate colours and overall branding. You might even want to promote one of your biggest fans for a while. Change is something you need to consider and regular updates are recommended.


Don’t underestimate the significance of a great profile. The bio needs to be pretty concise. It is about who you are and what you’re all about. If you struggle with this then employ a professional writer to squeeze the maximum information into the limited number of characters available. It is an art and should not be underestimated.


Ensure you add keywords into the bio and a url for your site in the url field. This is easy to overlook and many businesses do. This is a vital piece of information as people can check you out via your url. They can also see on your home page that they are looking at the correct Twitter account. Keywords and tags are identified by search engines  and this is an example of good SEO practice. The search engines are obsessed with keywords and those on Twitter will work well for you.

Connecting with an Audience

Connect with your audience is necessary but make sure it is the right one

Lots of followers are good for the ego but quality is more important. After all you  don’t want to talk to the wrong people. It would be like talking organic beef production at a vegetarian conference!  You would be wasting your time and probably upsetting lots of people too.

Take time therefore in finding just the right people. When you are choosing  them think what’s important to both you and your customers.

How do you do this?

You can start by importing your email address list. Then check out the key individuals and organization in your chosen industry. You can go further and include important affiliates or cross over industries. You want to travel up and down the value chain. Think laterally. If you travel abroad regularly maybe follow your local airport or rail station. Who knows who might be following them too? It’s a great way to hook up with local business people after all. Do your best to extend and strengthen relationships across your industry wherever you can.


Where do hashtags come from? Are they really so scary? The answer is no. They are literally a simple group of letters and possibly numbers that create links. So that all the references to # social media #teddy bears #fast food etc. are linked together in one place on Twitter. So that means you can check what’s being said about certain things all over the Twittersphere. Think of it like the library Dewey system. It just makes it easier for people to find the information they are looking for when they need it. You can follow these conversations, find the influencers and even start a conversation yourself and ensure you are talking with the right people. This way you can organise things as you are getting started on Twitter.

Learning the Twitter Language

Yes twitter has its own language. Here’s a brief guide of the main terms.


RT That’s a re-tweet where you simply re-tweet something you like. Do check links and read what you are re-tweeting. People have lost their jobs for re-tweeting offensive material as they didn’t check it first. Be warned. Bets to have rules in place the minute you are getting started on Twitter.

MT  This is a modified tweet  where you have changed aspects of the tweet before you re-tweet. So the tweet is not an exact copy.

DM These are private or direct messages between people that others cannot access. Now if you go into settings you can accept DMs from people  you don’t follow. This is great if you are dealing with customer service or want to have a dialogue with customers

@ t This is where someone’s Twitter handle is mentioned. If this @ symbol appears at the beginning of the tweet  it means it is only visible to followers. This means Twitter doesn’t get clogged up with short conversations like ‘Thanks and that’s great!’ If you use @ replies on your timeline and you add a full stop before them they are visible to anyone.

Favouriting Tweets.

Favouriting tweets allows you to organize your activities when getting started on Twitter. You can then return and answer questions or comment on a conversation when you have more time. It is one very concrete use of Twitter which has been successful for business.

You can then later publish a stream of curated remarks and tweets from the information that has come your way and produce new content easily.

Influencers may be saying  interesting things which might be used later or you can reference them. By clicking on the star it will mark a tweet as a favourite. It  can even be embedded with favourite in it.


These are a fantastic way to learn to ‘read twitter’. They are great for building relationships with groups of people who are highlight relevant to your niche. They might be fellow employees, customers, other sellers, affiliates, icons, you choose. Remember it will change how you deal with your fellow Tweeters. You can just concentrate on one list for example per day. This organised approach will help you when getting started on Twitter.

You can even set up private lists that will allow you to keep an eye on brand searches and social media monitoring. You can even make up lists. These are useful for your followers and be really of value to others. Putting together a stream of curated twitter lists might be something to aspire to later on. This will certainly help to drive views.

We hope you have found The Getting Started on Twitter Basic Guide useful. If you need more information on a specific topic please contact us.

Further Reading:

New York Times


Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.