Getting Started with Twitter

Twitter has over 140 million active users worldwide generating over 340 million tweets a day! Each Tweet is 140 characters or less. Just because a tweet is small doesn't mean it can't have a big impact on your business. Follow these easy steps below to get yourself up and running. Already consider yourself a twitter power user? Then jump to the end to check out some of our Keys to Success. Do you have a tip or trick you want to share? Then comment below!

Setup Your Account and Get Started:

1. Register by creating a username and password:
Choose a username which fits in with how you want to use Twitter (you can use underscores & hyphens)

    • Personal use = use a nickname
    • Self-promotion = use your name (first & last)
    • Business = use company name

2. Fill out your Profile page: (users Home page – ex.
Use your bio area to explain what you are using Twitter for:

  • Create your bio (160 characters)
  • Add your website
  • Upload your photo

Your Profile page includes:

  • Profile info
  • Number of people you are following
  • Number of people following you
  • Number of Tweets
  • Updates
  • Favorites (favorite tweets posted by others
  • Actions (you can block people or follow them)
  • RSS (you can have favorite tweets fed through an RSS reader)

Personalize your Twitter Page:

  • Use one of Twitters templates for your page background
  • Upload a picture
  • Have Power Shift design a custom background for you

Following & Followers Explained:

Following(when you read what others have posted):

  • When you follow someone they receive an email telling them you are following.
  • You can follow and unfollow someone at any time.

Followers (Followers read what you’ve posted):

  • ‘Find People’ tab  - You can log into your email account & add your contacts to find friends who are on Twitter.
  • You can ‘Find on Twitter’ by searching by name or nickname
  • You can invite directly by email or allow Twitter to suggest users to you.
  • You can start following other users.

Different Kinds of Tweets Explained:

‘Reply’ for all your followers

  • When you notice an interesting Tweet, you can reply directly to that user using the ‘Reply’ function(ex. By clicking on the user name @pshift, you will be able to write (publicly) to that user. 
  • Replies are visible to ALL Twitter users.

Direct messages for a specific Follower and privacy:

  • Choose direct message by selecting a user, click on the dropdown next to the following button, write & send your Tweet.
  • You can only direct message between two people who are following each other. If the other person isn’t following you then you can’t direct message them.


  • Sharing a tweet from someone else
  • It’s good etiquette to put ‘RT’ in front of all retweeted  tweets.(RT@pshift...)


  • A tag (also known as a Hashtag) is a word you can associate to a piece of info that tries to describe it so it can be found.
  • Tagging can be done manually – you have to add # and then the tag.
  • Users create tags

The Twitter Search:

  • Instant Search
  • ‘Trending Topics’ – What’s hot…

Keys to Success:

  • Posting tweets between the hours of 1:00pm & 3:00pm ET will give you the highest click rank, especially on days earlier in the week.
  • Posting after 8pm should be avoided, as should posting after 3pm on Fridays.
  • The half-life of a tweet is about 2.8 hours
  • Split Tweets over the day rather than trying to do everything during a concentrated period

Check out these sites:

  • - gives you the best times to tweet.
  • -  analyzes when your followers tweet and gives you a personalized recommendation of the best time of day for you to tweet.
  • - Graph your Twitter Stats including. Tweets per hour; Tweets per month; Tweet timeline
  • helps you deliver Tweets automatically at preset times
  • Buffer - A Smarter Way to Share on Social Media

Using Twitter to promote yourself:

Tips to get more followers:

  • Always include the most relevant info
  • Talk about your Twitter account through your other accounts – Facebook, Website, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Include Twitter offline – business cards, resume, etc.
  • Learn from users posting on similar topics
  • Try to be the first to Tweet on something
  • Focus on quality of Tweet, not quantity

Gaining Attention:

  • Give your Followers a special offer –  A Twitter only promotion
  • Reply to people who mention your brand/product
  • Don’t focus just on your brand but on the wider subjects related to it
  • Don’t hammer home the company message, get users to trust you first, business will follow
  • Using Twitter regularly & including relevant keywords in your Tweets will increase your Twitter account visibility on search results, whether or not the search engine user is a Twitter user or not

Twitter Clients for smartphones:

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