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Business On Twitter Starting Step by Step


Okay, so you have gone to http://twitter.com and signed up for your free Twitter account.  That is the easy bit, and it should only take a few moments to complete the process.


The first thing you need to think of when you sign up is what username you are going to use.  This could depend on how long your own name is, as you only have a limited number of characters to use.  Your username will then form part of your own unique home page address, i.e. http://twitter.com/username.


And of course you don’t need to use your own name either.  You could use your business name if you wish.


The next step is to go through the five step process I am about to share with you.  Now I know you are probably itching to start ‘tweeting’ – the term that is given to sending messages through Twitter – but it is essential that you make sure you get your account sorted out properly first.


As you become more and more familiar with the site, you will be able to spot those people who have jumped in without completing all the steps I am going to show you.  And there is one word for what their home pages look like – unprofessional.  It can’t be a coincidence that most of these people have either (a) tweeted a few times and then disappeared entirely, or (b) made sure all their messages are of a marketing kind.


There is nothing wrong with marketing on Twitter, but if you are going to heavily promote everything you have to sell, don’t expect to get many followers or much success.  You’ll find out why as we go along.  Incidentally all of these steps can be done by clicking on the ‘settings’ option at the top of your home page once you are logged in.


So let’s get started with the first step, shall we?






Twitter is all about brevity.  And when you only have 140 characters to use to create each new message, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to find that your bio only consists of one line as well.


But it isn’t much of a problem – provided you write it in the right way.  You need to think about it from a certain angle to make sure you have a successful bio that draws people in.  In other words, a good bio will get you more followers.


One good method to get ideas for your own bio is to have a look at what some other members have already done.  Type a word into the search box – any word will do for the purpose of this example – and take a look at the results you get back.  Click on a username and you will be taken into their home page, which will have their bio in the top right hand corner, underneath their little photo.


Which ones really get your attention?  The best ones are generally those which describe the person and what they do without going into sales mode.  Your bio is not the place for trying to sell people something.  It is a place to introduce yourself, and nothing more.


You will no doubt also notice that some people don’t bother to fill in their bios at all.  This is a BIG no no.  If your bio is not filled in, people only really have your tweets to go on to decide whether you will be worth following or not.  And if they aren’t interested in the latest few they read, you could easily lose a potential follower there.


So how do you write a great one line bio?


The trick is to think about what you do, and what you are on Twitter for.  And above all, think in keywords.  Remember that you haven’t got much room to make an impression.  Let’s suppose you started off like this:


“Hi I am Dave and I’m from Texas in the US.  I love internet marketing and...”


And at that point you probably have very few other characters left to make anything out of.  More than half of the words in that piece are superfluous – ‘am’, ‘and’ and ‘from’, for example.  It’s not essential to tell everyone your name as your username will appear in the top right hand corner of the page anyway.  And the same goes for your location, which you should fill in separately on your profile.


So let’s go back to keywords.  Remember that your Twitter home page can show up on Google’s search pages, so you want to think about what pages you want to appear on.  Twitter’s own search facility can help people find you as well, so be sure to include all the relevant words you can.


The trick here is to get a balance between writing a proper sentence, and simply putting a string of keywords down.  So an internet marketer who writes their own series of eBooks - as well as doing some affiliate marketing on the side – might come up with something like this:


“Internet and affiliate marketer; writer and promoter of eBooks.”


You could go a bit longer than that, but for the purpose of the example do you see how effective a short phrase like that can be?  It isn’t a proper sentence as such, but it is packed with keywords and it manages to tell people 4 things that the person does.


So take time over your bio – it is a very important part of your home page.  You’ll be able to fill it in using the account tab in your settings.






I just want to mention this because if you are going to use Twitter to help promote your business, you shouldn’t protect your updates. 


An update is basically a message that you post to your home page.  If you protect it (which can be done by ticking the appropriate box on your profile page), it means no one who visits your home page will be able to see your updates... unless you accept them as a follower.


So basically they have to send you a message asking if they can see them, and if you say yes, they will be able to.  What a crazy way of doing things!  This is really only suitable for people who want to Twitter with friends and family.  It’s great under those circumstances, but it’s not so good if you are trying to use Twitter to enhance your business and promotional efforts.


The other point to bear in mind is that if they can’t see what you are tweeting about, all they have to go on is your one line bio.  That’s pretty much it.  You are preventing people from seeing your tweets if they look up tweets on a certain subject as well, so you won’t get anywhere near as many followers by doing this.


The bottom line is, make sure you don’t protect your updates.






Okay, so once you have filled out your bio, it’s time to sort your picture out.  You have three main choices to go for here:


  • You can use a real photo of yourself
  • You can use a character or cartoon picture of yourself
  • You can use a logo or other picture that is relevant to your business



The fourth option – which I haven’t listed above as I feel very strongly against it – is to leave the default picture in place.  This looks like two zeroes separated by a line.  In short, it is called a default picture for a reason; it’s up to you to change it!


Some people think that only a real photo is good enough on Twitter, if you want to be taken seriously.  I disagree.  There are some terrific people on Twitter who quite rightly use their business logo, or perhaps the logo of their main website or blog.  Character or cartoon pictures can also work very well in some cases; presumably cartoonists wouldn’t dream of choosing anything else. 


In short, choose what you feel comfortable with.  The two main rules are to make sure you replace that default image with something better, and to ensure that it is clear and of good quality.






Look for the design tab in your settings section.  At the time of writing you have a dozen themes to choose.  These are basically your backgrounds.


But you can also upload your own background if you wish – and this is by far the best choice to make.  It will enable you to stand out as an individual, as no one else will have the same one.


There are sites which provide templates for you to change and alter as you see fit, or you can design something yourself.  Some Twitter users have even created backgrounds for other people on the site!  You will notice that some have made sure their website address and additional marketing information is included within the background… which is the primary reason why you should think about doing this yourself.


There are some points you should be aware of here though.  The most important one is to be aware of the limitations that are in place.  Take a look at your home page for a moment and you will see what I mean.  The main section of your home page – the bit with all the tweets and your information on it – is enclosed in a specific portion of the page, in the center.


This means your background design essentially wraps around it.  So if you opt for a central design, you aren’t going to see it.  Instead, think of creating two columns – one either side of the central part of the page.  You may need to experiment with the dimensions as well, to make sure your design can easily be seen by other people when they visit your page.


Surf around Twitter for a while and have a look at some other home pages whose owners have tried to do this.  You can see what happens if the dimensions are wrong; you might only be able to see the first half of someone’s email address or website address.  Needless to say that doesn’t help when it comes to enabling people to get in touch with you!


This all depends on the resolution of your monitor – and of the monitors of everyone who views your home page.  But you can tweak what you make to ensure that everyone can see it properly.






Okay, so if you have completed all the above steps you should now have a home page which looks pretty good.  All that remains now is to start tweeting, so you have some worthwhile content on it to attract the attention of anyone who finds your page.


Most of the time, the first tweet anyone makes is something along the lines of ‘figuring out how to use Twitter’!  Don’t feel you have to stick to this however – it’s become a little boring in many cases.  Take the opportunity to tell people what you are going to be tweeting about in the future.  Bear in mind that it is going to take a while to build up a backlog of tweets for people to read, so you need to try and make sure you give them something to look forward to.


Our fictitious internet marketer could start something like this:


“Building my brand new affiliate website – details soon!”


“Made $357 in affiliate sales today – will share more info in future tweets.”



Do you see how these make people want to read more?  They also contain good keywords – and we will explore how to make sure you can benefit from those in a later section.


The key is really to remember why you joined Twitter in the first place.  Don’t just tweet about anything and everything – make sure you stay on topic as much as you can.  If your reason for joining was to share your knowledge about internet marketing in the hope of selling some eBooks about that subject, bear that in mind at all times.  You want to create traffic to your website or blog as well, no doubt.  So think about the type of people who will enjoy your site and work at getting their attention.


In short, you should always think before you tweet.  Don’t post messages just for the sake of it; some users post dozens every day, and that can be a bit overwhelming.  I remember following one person once who looked like they could be worth keeping in touch with... but within a couple of days I got overwhelmed by the sheer volume of messages they were sending.


Needless to say I ended up un-following them just as fast!


You don’t need to post every day if you don’t want to or can’t manage it.  A lot of people post first thing in the morning or whenever they sit down at their computer to start work.  You will probably fall into a pattern of your own as you settle into the familiarity of having a Twitter account.


One final tip before we close this section of the book; take a look at your one line bio before you tweet each time, at least to begin with.  It is a good way of keeping yourself on track to post worthwhile tweets that people will find interesting.




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