It is hard to find anyone who haven’t heard, used or seen of twitter these days. It’s popularity has increased even more within the business world. It is open source of information for anyone and everyone to use. But still some of us are not sure of how to make the most out of it.

When I first started using twitter for my work, I was bit lost, even though I had idea about what twitter was and how it worked. I put together this basic guidelines for anyone interested in using twitter or already have account and want to make more out of it. Image source:

First step is to get a account. You can go to twitter and create account. Once you have account setup it is important to customize your profile to something familiar with logos, picture or products etc.  Click on Profile next to home on top . Then click on edit your profile. Or click on setting where your picture and account name is displayed.

Then you will be presented with options to customize your profile. Click on profile and make sure, if it is for company you have company logo and if it is personal twitter have your picture. Icons are outdated and nobody likes to follow icons. Use the space for Bio wisely with strong and specific message regarding your business or you.

You can always use your own background image to make it more attractive and familiar.
To change the background image.

  1. Click on Design.
  2. Then Change Background Image, browse the picture you want displayed and Save Change.

And of course the most important, your tweets. Make sure they are engaging, relevant and interesting to your followers. Hashtag and trending topic are also good strategies to tie your tweets to send your message beyond your followers. Hashtags and trending topics are displayed on right hand side of your twitter account.

Twitter is not only about informing your customer but also about communicating with them answering their query, solving their problem, listening to them and taking actions, keeping close eyes on your competition, following the trends on your industry.

First and most important is always research your competition. You will know about what your competition is doing and may also be able to find a niche where they are falling behind. With twitter it is open and easy.

You can locate their twitter account through directories like wefollow. You can include your own twitter account with 5 interest categories. Lets you find the top twitter accounts with categories. Very effective in finding the influencer in particular industry.

Once you have followed your competitor or subject of interest create a list. This helps you to be informed on what your competitors/subject are  doing and how they are handling their twitter strategies, special offer or other promotion or their weak points. For easier access to the information you can create a lists for each competition/subject so that you don’t have to search for their tweets in jungle of tweets. Here is how to do it. Find and follow them in the twitter. Then :

You will get option of create a list. Follow the instruction and you will have the list with all the twits for that twitter account.

Once the account is set up following is the next step to get followers to your account. The key to following is look at the number of people they are following and number of follower they have. 1:1 ratio means if you are following that person it is most likely they will follow you back. Finding people is easy, just click on who to follow and type in your interest/company or keywords you want to follow in the search box. Check the follower to follow ratio.

If someone follows you and they are relevant to your business or interest make sure you follow them back and send a direct message. Make the direct message short, relevant and personal .

Hootsuite is important tool that helps you monitor you twitter. The great thing about this tool is its free and after signing up you will be able to monitor your twitter performance in one platform. You can monitor mentions, direct messages, searches and Twitter lists by setting upto 10 columns at a time.  With the search you can use the keyword related to your industry to see the real time tweet queries and direct them to website/blogs or answer their queries with @username.

Most important aspect for any media or marketing effort is flawless integrating with other marketing effort and continuous and engaging communication. Integrate your social media into other aspects like website, blog, email signature, advertisement etc to get the best results and maximum exposure.

There’s ton of tools, both free and paid versions, that help monitor twitter analytic for your business and it’s worth trying few of them to figure out what works best for your scenario and goals.