Twitter is an excellent resource for your business development activities and it provides a number of benefits to the people who use it but the following three are probably the most important: –
Awareness: since you can follow any of your stakeholders that are Twitter users such as your clients; intermediaries; suppliers and key influencers you can see what they’re up to and if they follow you they can see what you’re up to. This is especially useful if you don’t have a strong relationship with the person you’re following but would very much like one.
Information: if you follow the right people you can get news as it breaks (the Tweetosphere knew about Osama Bin Laden’s death before most world leaders). You can also follow links to blogs on subjects you and your stakeholders find useful then retweeting those that your followers might find useful or interesting. It’s a great way to add value to your stakeholders.
Relationships: now, all relationships are defined by interaction. You can’t have a relationship with people that you don’t see, speak or write to. But you can follow people by just clicking on their Twitter picture and then are free to reply to any of their tweets, include their Twitter account name in your tweets (both of which will cause them to be informed) and if they follow you then you can send a direct message to them (DM). The ease of access and ability to start a conversation is much easier than say LinkedIn. In other words it’s incredibly easy to interact with people you want to develop a relationship with.
To actually set up your account go to www.twitter.com, fill in your full name, email and password in the bottom left hand corner and click on the ‘Sign up for Twitter’ button.
Twitter will tell you if your information is valid and will allow you to choose a username – this can be a bit trial-and-error sometimes but since it will be your Twitter handle it’s worth giving it some thought. Then once you have read through the terms of service click ‘Create my account’.
Twitter will then run through a quick ‘How-to’ with you.
First it will ask you to follow 5 people. Some that we recommend are
Mike_ames_flair – of course
BBC News – @BBCNews
Inspirational Quotes: @Inspire_Us
Inc – @Inc
Forbes – @Forbes
Malcolm Gladwell: @Gladwell
Pete Cashmore: @mashable
Caitlin Moran – @caitlinmoran
Sky Sports – @skysport
You can unfollow them at a later date if you wish. Once you have finished select ‘Next’
It will then ask you to follow a further 5 people. Others we recommend are
TED – @TEDTalks
Richard Branson – @richardbranson
Brian Cox: @profbriancox
Arianna Huffington – @ariannahuff
Darren Rowse – @problogger
Great Minds Quotes: @GreatestQuotes
Think Geek – @thinkgeek
Mashable – @Mashable
Once you have done this select ‘Next’ again.
Twitter will then prompt you to add people that you may know. To do this simply select whichever mail provider you use and go through your contacts.
Twitter will then ask that you add a picture. Select ‘Upload Image’ and find whichever image you wish. If it is a personal account then a headshot works well, if it is for a company account then you may want to use the company logo.
You can then add a short bio (up to 140 characters long) that allows others to find out a little more about you. To help you write this we suggest you watch our video “Writing your Twitter Bio”; if you don’t have time now just add some basic details of what you do and what you’ll be tweeting about and come back to it later.
Once you are happy select ‘Done’.
You can now go and further customise your profile.
From the top menu bar select the ‘Settings and Help’ icon in the top right hand corner and select ‘Edit Profile’
You should add a header photo, your real name (as people can search twitter to find you), where you are based and your website or blog address.
From your settings page you can also personalise your twitter page by adding a background image. Select ‘Design’ from the menu to the left and you will see the templates that twitter offers, or you can add your own logo or image. Twitter also allows you to upload your own image if you are feeling particularly creative.
Now you’re ready to see what Twitter can do for your business.