Do you want your business on Twitter, but don’t know where to start? Tweets, tweeps, handles and hashtags may be foreign (and perhaps intimidating) concepts now, but with time you’ll realize Twitter is actually a user-friendly platform that can quickly expand your influence. I’ll walk you through the 10 easy steps to creating your Twitter business account so you can get a head start in the world of Twitter.
Step 1: Create Your Account
To create your account, visit www.twitter.com and choose the ‘New to Twitter? Sign Up’ section. Use your full business name as this will appear next to your Twitter username and will also help your customers find you in a Twitter search. If you have more than one agency member monitoring your account, be sure to choose an email account that your team has access to. Once you have input that information, go ahead and hit ‘Sign up for Twitter’.
Step 2: Choose Your Username
You will now be prompted to choose your Twitter username which is also known as your Twitter handle. This name will be used within tweets so others can either speak directly to you or simply mention you to gain your attention. Your handle should match your agency name as closely as possible while staying within the 15 character limit set by Twitter. For instance, Tower Hill’s Twitter handle is @towerhillins. Once your account has been created your handle becomes a part of your Twitter URL, so again, it’s important to choose wisely. For example, you can find Tower Hill at www.twitter.com/towerhillins.
Once you have selected an appropriate handle that is available, hit ‘Create my account’.
Step 3: Follow 5 Companies or Individuals
Now that your account is active, Twitter wants to make sure you have a Timeline to follow. In this step you’ll be prompted to follow 5 companies or individuals who are already on Twitter. I recommend you have a list of around 20 companies ready – including partner agencies, carriers, vendors, etc. – before reaching this step so your Twitter timeline is ready to go from the start. You can find companies and individuals by either typing their name or handle in the search bar and clicking on the magnifying glass. Shameless plug – don’t forget to follow Tower Hill at @towerhillins.
Step 4: Follow 5 Well-known People
You’ll now be prompted to follow 5 well-known people. Since this is a business account we recommend having a list of 5 industry leaders ready so you can find individuals who will contribute towards your social media goals. If you’d like to follow celebrities as well, that is perfectly fine and is completely up to you.
Step 5: Personalize Your Business Account
After selecting who to follow, you’ll now personalize your account beginning with your profile picture. I recommend you use your agency logo and make sure it fits the space allowed to avoid improper cropping. Twitter allows for JPG, GIF and PNG files that are up to 2MB and 300 X 300 pixels in size. To upload the picture, simply click on the area and choose the ‘Upload’ option.
You will also add your agency bio at this step. I recommend using keywords that are important to your agency and reflect what you will be sharing on Twitter. Tower Hill’s bio reads, “Information on homeowners insurance, home maintenance, hurricane preparation, severe weather updates, fire and flood prevention.” No matter the information you choose to share, your bio cannot exceed 160 characters so you may have to get creative in order to get all of the information in.
Step 6: Add Your Business Location & Website Link
Next you will add your agency location and website. To edit both fields, simply click on the field and begin typing. If your agency targets a large geographic area, use the specific area as your location. Tower Hill targets all homeowners in the state of Florida, so our location is listed as ‘Florida’.
Step 7: Add Your Header
You can now edit your Twitter header. This is a large photo that will house your profile picture and account information on your Twitter page, so you want to make sure it fits your brand. If you already have a Facebook account, consider using the same image for both your Facebook cover photo and your Twitter header to keep your social networks and brand consistent. Twitter allows for a header image that is 1252 X 626 pixels and 5 MB in size.
Step 8: Edit Your Settings
You can now edit your settings by clicking on the gear button in the upper right corner of your screen and choosing the ‘Settings’ tab. Be sure to review every setting as they are currently set as Default and it may not fit your personal preferences.
Step 9: Choose Your Email Notifications
To review your email notifications, choose the ‘Email Notifications’ tab on the left side of your screen. Email notifications will be very helpful in keeping you engaged as long as you have them set properly. I recommend changing the email options from ‘People I follow’ to ‘By anyone’. This setting will inform you of all engagement and will help you to expand your reach past your current following and gradually build your network.
To protect your inbox, I recommend you closely review the Updates from Twitter section towards the bottom to ensure you’re comfortable with the amount of emails you’ll be receiving.
Step 10: Create Your Design
Below the ‘Email Notifications’ tab lies the ‘Design’ tab. Clicking on that tab allows you to change the overall design scheme (or background) of your Twitter page. There are some basic options that you can choose from, however, I recommend you either upload a large image or simply choose a color that is found within your logo to keep your page on brand.
Now that your Twitter account is set up and ready to go, take some time to watch those you follow to see how they’re using the platform. You’ll soon get a feel for how the platform works and will be tweeting in no time!