13 DEC 2010 0
In this article, I will assume you are fairly familiar with setting up and using a Twitter account.
I sincerely hope your Twitter username is your “brand”. It helps establish the connection between your site/business name and your Twitter account. We’ve already covered the topic of brand consistency, so I won’t cover that in detail here. If your current user name doesn’t match your business name, website or identity I highly advise you to create a new one and start over.
You will need to pick a background for your profile. Choose something that stands out in the crowd. A quick search on Google will reveal lots of resources where you can download Twitter themes for free. Alternatively, you can use your Photoshop skills (or hire a web designer) to create a customized background, something in line with your business activity. Use something clean and professional, you don't want your twitter theme to look like a MySpace profile.
You will also need to upload an avatar. Use your company logo or a headshot photo of yourself if you’re tweeting as an individual. This is the 21st century and cameras are dirt cheap, you simply have no excuse not to have a good picture of yourself. Your followers will feel more confident if they “see” who they’re talking to. Again, the picture should be in line with the values promoted by your business. Don’t put up a cartoonish or stylized photo of yourself if you operate a financial website, nor dress up in an Armani suit if you run a comedy site.
You should edit your profile and provide information on your business. Provide your location, even if you are running a general purpose site with worldwide audience (it helps people figure out timezones and known when to expect tweets from you). Fill in your URL and business name.
What good is your newly built profile if no followers are there to see it? Targeted followers, that is. If you run a used car shop, you wouldn’t be interested in people who sell computers, unless they need a car to deliver their goods. Head off to Twitter Search and try to find people who share the same interests.
Follow some of these people but don’t go overboard, as Twitter might raise some flags if you add too many followers in a short period of time. Try not to go over 50-100 per day. Some of them might follow you back straight away, others in a couple of days and others might not follow you at all. Keep in mind that it can be considered bad etiquette to unfollow people just because they haven’t followed you. However, if after some time they have not reciprocated your follow and you do not find they post any tweets that interest them, it is okay to unfollow them.
You should, by now, have a Twitter account properly set up and a handful of followers. In a next post, we will have a look at how to integrate Twitter with your Wordpress blog and promote your content.