Signing up to Twitter
- Sign-up: Go to www.twitter.com and fill out the form with your full name, your e-mail address and your desired password.You will also be required to choose a username: Make sure the name matches or is appropriate for your organisation and makes sense!
- Click 'Create My Account' and you will be guided through the set up procedure. Fill out all the details in your Profile including your bio and a link to your website. If you have an official/business logo you should use this as the avatar (picture). All of this information will encourage other tweeters to follow you!
- Find People on Twitter: After signing up, start following people or businesses you respect. This will create a customized stream of tweets on your homepage. You can find people by name using the search box at the top of your Twitter homepage. Results for your search will appear under the people tab on the search results page. Alternatively, Twitter gives you an option to invite your email contacts to follow you. Remember you can un-follow anyone at any time!
- You are now ready to start tweeting!
- Produce a Twitter policy about how you plan to engage with others. Example: http://www.food.gov.uk/about-us/data-and-policies/aboutsite/termsandconditions/tcssocial/twitterpolicy
- Identify which users and hashtags are interesting to follow on a permanent or occasional basis.
- Try to schedule your tweets in a way that will improve their reach and capture people’s attention.
- Keep your tweets short as it will facilitate retweeting by other users. Although Twitter allows you to use up to 140 characters, try to keep within 120 characters or less as your Twitter name will also be retweeted. If someone has to shorten your tweet they are less likely to retweet.
- Use shortened URLs to keep your tweets short. Most Twitter platforms can automatically shorten your URL but bitly .com and tinyurl.com are also useful.
- Do not use all capital letters in your tweets: this is the equivalent to shouting!
- Be personable and approachable on Twitter.
Engaging with your Followers
The most important element to your success on Twitter is “engagement”. Getting people engaged with you and your organisation will help you become a trusted source and will also help to grow your network. But remember it is a two way process – you have to engage back! Here are some tips to help you with this:
- Use Twitter to share behind-the-scenes information about your organisation.
- Posing questions on Twitter is a great way to get people engaged and very often they’ll share the question too. This is a good way to grow your network as you respond back and create discussions.
- Greet any new followers, especially if you want to make a good connection with them. Follow back Tweeters who follow you if they fit your audience profile.
- Use Twitter to inform your followers of your publications or those from other organisations that relate to your area of expertise. Use it also to inform your followers of meetings/conferences you will attend.