How to use Twitter: An A-Z starter guide
With 330 million monthly active users, Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. But while you may think of it as more news and commentary-focused than a rock-solid investment towards your marketing strategy, Twitter is on the verge of reinvention. Elon Musk bid $44 billion to buy the social media site and intends to, among other ideas, introduce an edit button and open-source algorithm to push Twitter towards becoming, “the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
Additionally, the Washington Post shared that Twitter is cultivating a hyper-engaged user base of teenagers to compete with TikTok and create even more influence with the platform.
If you haven't gotten on Twitter yet as a self-creator, entrepreneur, or small business owner, these new changes will likely bring a wave of new opportunities. After you create a website, try using Twitter to promote your business. It provides a terrific venue to connect with your target audience and bring them tailored content to convert them into customers. Not sure where to start? This article will cover how to use Twitter effectively from start to finish.
10 steps to use Twitter
1. Set up your profile
2. Follow relevant accounts
3. Understand the Twitter lingo
4. Decide what content to Tweet
5. Choose your Twitter voice
6. Write your first Tweet
7. Join trending hashtags
8. Maintain your channel
9. User Twitter tools and features
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Step 1: Set up your profile
Choose your profile name (also known as handle): This is how you'll be seen on Twitter, so make it meaningful. We suggest keeping it short, so it's memorable and doesn't eat up too many characters. Wix's Twitter handle is @Wix – but yours might look more like @cupcakecrazy or @JimDoe.
Feel free to use capital letters for visual emphasis, but know that people can use all lower case letters and still be able to find you (and that's a good thing).
Upload a profile image: There's nothing worse than seeing an account without a profile pic. Upload a photo of yourself, or use your logo for your profile photo. As for your cover photo (banner icon), it's a great big space to show what you or your business are all about.
Tip: Use our free logo maker and free image resizer to create your images.
Complete your bio: This is the area on your profile that lets you tell other people a bit about yourself. And when we say a bit, we mean it–you only get 280 characters to do so. Make every character count by only including the most important and interesting details in this spot. Once you’re done with that, feel free to fill out your birthday.
Wix user, The New Denim Project, successfully summarized what they do in their Twitter bio, “Manufacturing # sustainable textiles | Upcycled denim & cotton. Shifting the textile industry into a circular and collaborative economy, like the earth itself.”
Add your website. Twitter gives you a great place to showcase your site – so don’t miss this chance to drive traffic to your website. Don’t have one yet? Create a website or landing page you’ll want everyone on Twitter to know about.
Tip: Using a link in bio tool like Hopp by Wix will help you create shortened URLs that link to your website, social media and other online assets all from one dedicated space.
Choose your privacy settings: Make your account public if you want anyone to be able to see your Tweets and find your page. Alternatively, if you choose to make it private, only accounts who request to follow you and you’ve approved will see your content.
If you're a brand or a person who wants to increase their exposure, we highly recommend making a public account. Just remember to be meaningful in what you say, as the whole world will be able to see it for better or worse.
Set your notification preferences: Choose if you’d like to be notified with push notifications every time someone mentions you, follows you or takes any notable action.
Step 2: Follow relevant accounts
Following other Twitter accounts is vital for two reasons. One, you can learn a lot from other accounts that are similar to yours. Two, in order to get followed, you need to follow others. You will likely get followed back by some of the accounts you showed interest in. You don't only need to follow people in your industry. You can follow political figures, journalists, artists or even the brands you love.
Wix user and artist Briony Douglas follows all types of accounts, even those outside her industry, such as sports reporter Kayla Grey.
Tip: Take a look at this guide on how to increase your social media engagement.
Step 3: Understand the Twitter lingo
This particular social network has some key elements you’ll want to familiarize yourself with.
Hashtags begin with the pound symbol and are followed by a keyword. Hashtags are a great way to tap into conversations happening on Twitter. You can use them in your bio, in your Tweets and even type in hashtags to search in the discovery page to find relevant accounts and threads.
We covered this one up top, but here’s a reminder: it’s your profile name.
Much like a share on Facebook, Retweets are gold for your content. You can Retweet content you see on Twitter by simply clicking the button below the text. It will then show on your profile.
You can Retweet by adding a message, which is referred to as a Quote Tweet. Adding a quote can be helpful if you want to further express your opinion in relation to the Tweet you're sharing.
Sol Cacao, which sells its chocolate bars on its Wix Website, Retweeted Buffer’s post about them. Sol Cacao successfully took their existing publicity and content that’s been generated to share on their own Twitter feed.
Once you start Tweeting, you'll soon be hoping that people will Retweet your content.
When someone talks to you or about you on Twitter and tags your account, it's called a mention. It's something you'll want to check for when you're maintaining your channel. It's highly recommended to respond to mentions to increase your social media presence on the platform.
A thread is a series of connected Tweets that allows you to provide additional information about the same Tweet.
To indicate you agree or support another Tweet, you can like it by pressing the heart icon.
Directly message other accounts using private messages and your inbox. Avoid spamming others with mass messages and use this tool to build relationships.
This tool allows you to have live audio conversations, much like Instagram Rooms. Twitter Spaces enables you to start meaningful discussions where your fans and followers can tune in and get exposure to your brand.
Moments are crafted stories based on Tweets that showcase what's going on around the globe.
Offer a monthly membership that will help you generate cash while also allowing you to engage with your Twitter followers in a more personal way.
Step 4: Decide what content to Tweet
What will your brand be saying on Twitter? Are you most interested in running Twitter marketing campaigns, or will you be using it to provide commentary on things that involve your industry news? Perhaps all of the above?
This may evolve over time, but deciding what you will be sharing on this social channel is one of the important first steps. It'll take some trial and error until you figure out what works best, but coming up with some preliminary content ideas will be very helpful.
Here are four brands that Tweet different types of social media content to engage with their audience:
Wix: We’ve run polls on Twitter to engage and better understand our audience, as seen here.
Step 5: Choose your Twitter voice
Will your brand voice on Twitter be serious and professional or fun and playful? Brands have taken different approaches and there is no right and wrong, as long as it feels authentic to you.
42% of Twitter users currently use the platform for entertainment, and therefore taking a playful approach, like Dopple Press, may be a good move. The Wix Awards competition winner, Dopple Press, exemplifies a more informal tone in its Tweets, as seen in their light-hearted lingo, all caps opening and use of slang.
Step 6: Write your first Tweet
Now that you know what you want to share and the tone you want to use, you can fill out the Tweet creation box.
You have 280 characters, including spaces, in a single Tweet. A counter on the bottom right of the Tweet box shows you how much room you have left. Remember, you can create a thread with multiple Tweets for a longer message you'd like to share.
Amos Zimmerman, social media manager at Wix says, “Since Tweets aren't (yet) editable, make sure you proofread your copy several times. Consider showing it to a friend for feedback, or even publishing it first on a test Twitter handle that's set to private.”
You can embed the following into the Tweet:
Next, we'll talk about hashtags, which you'll also want to include before publishing your Tweet.
Tip: Use a social media post maker to elevate the visuals in your Tweets.
Step 7: Join trending hashtags
One of the best things about Twitter is that you don’t have to spend money to join the conversation and potentially go viral. Every day, every hour, people are joining in on trending topics – and you can, too.
Depending on your business, you may want to play with your location settings or use Twitter Advanced Search to see what hashtags have the most engagement based on where you live.
Include the hashtags in your Tweets and follow relevant hashtags. For instance, # MarketingTwitter is a popular hashtag that ties together the marketing community on the platform with helpful tips to advance the industry.
Tip: You can also consider creating a branded hashtag tied to your brand. It can help build buzz around you and find discussion about you. For example, we use # WixRead on our Tweets that share blog articles.
Step 8: Maintain your channel
Coming up with a Tweeting schedule will get you off to the right start. If people visit your profile and see that the last time you Tweeted was eight months ago, they'll likely decide to move on or unfollow you.
To avoid this, you don't necessarily need to Tweet 20x a day – the frequency can be as little as once a week, just make sure you stick to it. For best results? We suggest Tweeting at the very least once every couple of days and varying your content.
Step 9: Use Twitter tools and features
Before you venture off to launch your Twitter strategy, keep these features and tools in mind:
01. Pin a Tweet: Once you've started Tweeting, utilize the Pinned Tweet option. A pinned post lets you decide which Tweet you want people to see at the top of your page.
02. Get Twitter verified: If you’re eligible, get your account Twitter Verified to gain the blue badge next to your handle name. Your account must be “authentic, notable, and active” to be qualified for the badge.
03. Create Twitter Bookmarks and Lists: Save Tweets you don't want to lose by bookmarking them to revisit later. You can also create and follow Lists to customize and organize Tweets, such as this B2B SAAS Writers List.
04. Dabble with Twitter Ads: People spend 26% more time viewing ads on Twitter than on other leading platforms. Therefore, you can consider Twitter advertising to promote your content to reach more people in your target audience.
05. Support a cause or holiday: Balance your Twitter content by showcasing your users, Retweeting other industry leaders and not just self-promoting. One good way to do this is by doing holiday marketing and recognizing national events to show your support for a cause.
LinkedIn Retweeted Yelitsa Jean-Charles' post about partnering. The Tweet displayed an authentic message and showed LinkedIn’s support towards Black History Month.
06. Incorporate video: 32% of Twitter users cited “watching video” as one of their primary activities on the platform. You can use a free video maker tool to help you create quality video content.
07. Tap into your analytics: Try to test different types of content and use your Twitter analytics to see what’s performing best. We highly encourage you to take risks and fine-tune your learnings to design a winning Twitter strategy for your business.
08. Share blog posts: After you’ve created a blog, Twitter can be a phenomenal place to share such content. Since the community is a lot about sharing knowledge, you can use Twitter to get more readers to your site.
09. Use a scheduler: Take off some tedious manual work of regularly publishing new Tweets by using a post scheduler. If you're using Wix, we have a built-in post scheduler available.
10. Remember customer care: To avoid an overload of customer service responses to your Tweets, consider opening a dedicated support page on Twitter. Then you can direct them there to get the help they need.
We’ve followed this advice ourselves by creating the Wix Help Twitter account and even pinned a link to it from our original account.