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Twitter, the 140 character microblog we all know and love is a great tool for any business.  Here are the basics to setting one up for your business.

Head over to and select “create a new account”.  Each Twitter account must be connected with a valid email account, and Twitter will send an email to confirm.

Twitter signup form

Here you can choose both your display name and your twitter account name (the @xxxx name). Both of these names are dispayed when you post.  You can change the display name, but never the account name.

There are two images you can upload for your profile, a backround image that spans the top of your twitter profile, and a smaller square image that is your profile image. The profile image is what will display along with your name and account name when you tweet.

Twitter does a great job of leading you through the steps to finish your profile.  They will prompt you to follow a several accounts based on your interests.  While you may not wish to follow any of these promoted accounts, if they do interest you simply hit “follow”.  Otherwise just keep hitting “skip”.   After you have followed or skipped these, finish setting up your profile. Twitter will ask to get access to your email contacts, to enable forwarding invitations to follow you.  You will be able to select which of the people they find for you for selective inviting.  This can be a good way to get some people following you right away.

Be sure to follow the instructions they provide to post your websites domain and put up some basic company information, such as what you do and where you are located.

Now you are ready to go.

What we recommend is that you start posting a few times a week, and keep it interestingto followers.  Don’t just post a whole lot of “press release” type info about yourself and your company, as that will soon get tiresome.  The best tweeters will tweet some info relevent to their industry which  followers can appreciate. Additionally, it is always good to get a bit personal every once in a while.  People are always be more interested in an account that tells some stories and shows some personality.  Remember the 1/3 1/3 1/3 rule:  1/3 of your posts about your business, 1/3 about your industry and 1/3 just random posts that give some color and interest. Try not to just put up some trite info though, such as “It’s luchtime”.

When you post about someone or something, check to see if they have a twitter account themselves, and use that in your post. “Thank you @leopardstudio for the info about Twitter”, rather than “Thanks Leopard Studio for the info about Twitter”. This is important, because when someone is mentioned with the @xxxx (account name),  a notification is sent to that account that it has  been mentioned. This will hopefully have an effect, resulting in a retweet to their own readers, or a posting that they appreciated the mention (favorited a tweet).  Perhaps this may interest them in following you.

Additionally, use the # symbol on twitter to help get your tweet noticed. For example, “@Ikea we love that your Swedish Meatballs will now be #vegan! #vegetarian #Ikea #meatless”.  If people are searching for tweets mentioning vegan, vegetarian, Ikea or meatless, this will help them find yours.

That’s the basics . Using Twitter and increase your online visibility.  Google, Yahoo and the other search sites all look to Twitter to establish your relevence on the net, so just having an account and using it will help actually help with your search result rankings. Additionally, Twitter accounts do show up in search results, so this is another way for people to find you!  If you’d like, you can follow me too:  I’m @leopardstudio.