Firstly, why should you have a Twitter account for your business?
Here’s Twitter’s definition of their platform: “Twitter is where people connect with their passions, share their opinions, and find out what’s happening in the world right now. Because people are in a discovery mindset when they’re on Twitter, they’re open to interacting with new businesses and new people.” They also have a pretty great explanation of the anatomy of a tweet on their blog.
Twitter is arguably the best social media platform for open interaction and finding like-minded individuals and businesses to converse with. If you want to build an engaged following, Twitter is one of the best places to be.
We offer social media services at TLMedia, so Twitter has always been at the centre of our attention. Helping businesses build a brand and an audience just by tweeting the right stuff is one of our passions.
Your first steps to creating a Twitter account for your business
Let’s start with the basics. First, you’ll need to get signed up. If you’re on your desktop, head over to twitter.com, and if you’re using a mobile device, download the official Twitter app from your device's app store. Search Twitter and look for the all-too familiar white bird on a light blue background. If you use your mobile internet browser, you’ll be redirected to mobile.twitter.com.
Creating a Twitter account on desktop
If you’re using a desktop computer or laptop to sign up to Twitter for your business and you’re new to the platform, you’re going to need to create an account. Start by clicking the blue ‘sign up’ button on the main homepage. This will take you to a screen where you’ll need to add your name and telephone number (mobile) or a valid email address.
Next, choose your username. Try and pick a name that represents your business or brand — we chose @teamlocals, naturally. Try to make it as short and uncomplicated as possible. You may find someone else already has the name you’re after. In this case, you may have to get a little creative. But don’t be obscure. Adding ‘uk’ to the end if you’re based in Britain, for example, is a good workaround.
Now you’ll need to verify your phone number or email with Twitter. If you choose to use your phone number then the Twitter app will text your mobile and give you a verification code. Simply type or copy and paste this in to proceed. If you provided your email then Twitter will send a verification email for you to authorise — click the link in the email and you'll be taken back to complete the sign-up process.
Then choose a password.
You’ll need to complete a few automated requests from Twitter to move along. Firstly they’ll ask you what subjects you’re interested in so they can suggest some accounts to follow, you can do this or click the next button to skip, then you’ll get some suggestions based on your answers if added and your location. Again you can either add these options by clicking next, or untick the ‘Popular in your area’ button at the top and then move on.
Final step is Twitter suggesting that you download the app. You can do this through iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Creating a Twitter account on a mobile device
Things are going to work very similar to desktop or laptop, but first you’ll need to download the app via your smartphone’s app store.
Open the app, add your name, add your mobile number or email, and then follow the authorisation process as detailed above for desktop. Then you’ll need to add a password.
Next you’ll be asked to sync your mobile contacts. If you agree to this, Twitter will search your mobile phone contacts (on an ongoing basis) for people you know and suggest that you add them. This option can be taken off via the settings at any point. You can also choose to skip this process if you’d prefer.
Then you’ll be asked to add some subjects that you’re interested in and Twitter will make some suggestions of accounts to follow based on your location. Again, you can skip this process if you’d rather.
Note: your feed will be white, unlike the screenshots below, in which we’re using Night Mode.
Now it’s time to get creative
Remember that first impressions count. You want your business account to stand out and to represent your brand, unifying it with your other digital and physical media or products. Following on from the steps above you'll be prompted to pick a profile picture.
Either upload an image from your smartphone or desktop computer’s hard drive, or take a brand new selfie for your profile. If you’re setting up for your business with a brand and logo rather than a profile for a freelancer we’d suggest that you use your business logo as the profile image. You can also skip this process and come back to it at a later point.
Note: in recent years, Twitter has made a full-time switch to circular avatar pictures. If your logo is fairly square, the corners might get cut off. If you need help cropping your logo into a circular-friendly format, email us.
Twitter will now ask you to create a header image. This is what appears at the top of the page when someone else views your account on desktop and mobile, you can see an example of this with our @teamlocals desktop and mobile accounts below.
The header image will be quite narrow so you’ll need a pattern, your brand’s colours, or an image that represents your industry. If you have some understanding of a photo editing or design programme, we’d suggest adding some sort of business message, offer, or promotion within the header alongside the image used. Think of this area as your business’ prime ad space. It’s a perfect for opening times!
Note: if you do put some sort of text-based promotion or message in the header, be aware that on smartphones, the image will look different, and some information may be cropped out. If you need help with some bespoke social media graphics, TLMedia can help create graphics for you business. Get in touch to find out more »
Add a description of yourself or some text that best describes what your business is all about to your Bio space. You have 160 characters so make it punchy and direct.
On a mobile device Twitter will ask you to add a birthday, and also where you live (so that it can suggest people people to follow in your location) but you can also skip these steps and come back to them later. We’d suggest that you add your location as you really want to connect with other accounts in your area. Twitter’s search algorithms take location into account. If you’re hyperlocal, adding your city is key.
Note: when adding your location, make sure you type your city/country and then wait for Twitter’s registered suggestions to appear, then click the correct one from the list. This will ensure Twitter’s algorithms can segment your content appropriately to the right people.
Best profile and header image sizes for Twitter accounts
- The recommended image size for your profile picture is 400 x 400 pixels — the image will be resized to fit.
- The recommended size for a Twitter header image is 1500 x 500 pixels. On mobile, it’ll be cropped to a 2:1 aspect ratio — the width is twice the height.
Use a PNG file for vector-based and line art images to minimise ugly artefacts. For photos, upload a JPG or PNG file.
You can read more about the different elements of a Twitter profile page and the terminology for each section/action via Twitter’s business blog here.
Now you’re all set and ready to post your very first Tweet for your business!
Twitter has recently upped their character limit to 280 characters, and images and usernames no longer count towards this total. We'll go into more details in a dedicated forthcoming post about how to create the perfect tweet for your business Twitter account, but for now, use these tips:
- Be personable. Try not to make the tweet robotic and cold. Have a look at how some other business within your genre are posting and take on board how some of the larger, successful business accounts on Twitter interact with their followers. Find your voice
- Post engaging content. Images, videos, and links to blogs will work the best and bring you the most engagement going forward. If you've created a blog post on your website then post a link to this with some description as to the content theme
- Use hashtags. If you're a florist then use hashtags that will help your tweets be presented to your ideal audience. Examples: #florist #flowers #roses #carnations. Don’t use more than two hashtags in a tweet. It might seem tempting to fill tweets with loads of hashtags, but it’s better to find a couple that people are actually using. Otherwise, your tweet will appear slightly spammy
- Interact with like-minded accounts. Be genuine and interested in the conversations you find around Twitter. In the long-term, this is the best way to grow your following
We'll be creating more content to accompany this post over the coming weeks including how to create the perfect tweet for your business and other social media-themed articles to help you get ahead of the game with your business' digital marketing.
Can we help you?
We offer a full hands-on service for your digital media and marketing at Team Locals. If you'd prefer someone else to help with your business social media and marketing then please get in touch to find out more using the form below.