Getting Started on Twitter: How to Stand Out From the Crowd

By Lauren Dugan Comment

Getting Started on Twitter: How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Creating a strong presence online can help business owners find new clients and nurture existing relationships. Here are some beginner tips for getting started on Twitter, and standing out from the crowd:

Use your profile to make a great first impression

This is your opportunity to introduce your business and brand values, as well as your social savvy.

Your photos are the first thing people will see, so use crisp, inviting images for your profile and your header. (Twitter’s Help Center gives you the dimensions you need.)

Your profile photo accompanies every tweet you send. To maintain brand awareness, you should use a version of your logo, or a professional headshot if you are the face of your business. The header, on the other hand, gives you more room to play: use it to showcase your unique qualities, or to promote a special campaign.

Once you’ve settled on your visuals, you’ll need to write a bio. These summaries are just 160 characters long, so prepare to draft a few different versions before you come up with something you really like.

Rather than using a series of punchy descriptors, consider writing your bio in sentence form, which is often easier to read.

A good bio lets people know who you are and what your Twitter feed has to offer—be it news, professional advice, discounts or all of the above. You also have the option to include your location (which helps you appear in searches) as well as the URL of your website. When you enter it, you can skip the “http://www” in order to keep the link tidy.

Lastly, you can pin a tweet to your profile to give people a sense of what you’re all about. Your post will go to the top of your feed and stay there until you decide to remove it or replace it. Choose a tweet that gets a lot of engagement, announces a recent achievement or speaks really well to your brand. Then click on the ellipsis (. . .) at the bottom of the post and select “Pin to your profile page.”

Give people quality content

Keep in mind that the best tweets usually fulfill a need, be it intellectual, emotional or practical.

Conveying a message in 140 characters can be challenging, and sometimes tweets aren’t as clear as we’d like them to be. Giving yourself a few extra minutes to write will make your posts more engaging, and help you to develop a distinctive voice online.

Where you can, use full words instead of numbers and abbreviations. If your message is too long, try rewriting it instead of cutting characters. Once you’ve crafted a post that you like, hashtags will help it to appear in searches—but limit yourself to one or two so that they don’t become an eyesore. There may be times when they’re simply too disruptive, in which case you can leave them out.

Photos are terrific additions to your tweets, and are proven to generate engagement. A study by Twitter found that retweets rose by 35% when a post included a photo. To get your creative juices flowing, here are some ideas on what to snap.

By sprucing up your profile, visuals and content, your Twitter account will do a better job representing your business, your brand, and connecting to your desired audience.

(Stand out from the crowd image via Shutterstock)