What Is Twitter? We bet you know the answer BUT aren’t sure how to make it work for your business.
In the dynamic realm of social media, where words and images intertwine to shape global conversations, Twitter stands as a testament to the power of brevity and immediacy. From its humble beginnings as a simple SMS-based platform, Twitter has evolved into a global phenomenon, transforming the way we communicate, consume news, and engage with the world around us.
Conceived in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass, Twitter emerged as an innovative response to the limitations of traditional SMS messaging. By introducing the concept of microblogging, Twitter allowed users to share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences in just 140 characters, a restriction that fostered creativity and encouraged concise communication.
In its early days, Twitter’s user base was primarily composed of tech enthusiasts and early adopters who relished the platform’s immediacy and ability to connect with others in real-time. However, as word spread and the platform’s features expanded, Twitter’s appeal broadened, attracting a diverse range of users, from celebrities and journalists to politicians and everyday individuals.
The rise of Twitter coincided with a seismic shift in the way we consume and share news. Traditional news outlets, once the gatekeepers of information, found themselves challenged by Twitter’s ability to democratize the news cycle. Users became active participants in disseminating news, breaking stories, and shaping public discourse.
Twitter’s impact extends beyond news and communication. It has become a powerful tool for social activism, enabling movements to mobilize supporters, raise awareness, and challenge the status quo. The platform has also played a significant role in political campaigns, providing a platform for candidates to connect with voters and gauge public sentiment.
Today, Twitter stands as a ubiquitous presence in the digital landscape, with over 330 million active users worldwide. It has become an indispensable tool for businesses, organizations, and individuals alike, providing a platform for marketing, customer service, and personal expression.
However, Twitter’s journey has not been without its challenges. The platform has grappled with issues of misinformation, hate speech, and online harassment. As Twitter continues to evolve, it faces the ongoing task of balancing its commitment to free speech with the need to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for all users.
Despite these challenges, Twitter’s impact on social media and communication is undeniable. It has revolutionized the way we connect with each other, consume news, and engage with the world around us. As Twitter continues to evolve, it remains a powerful tool for shaping global conversations and influencing the course of events.
We lift the lid on using Twitter for business growth in six simple steps…
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Table of Contents
What is Twitter? 1- Getting Started
Launched in 2006, Twitter is a social networking platform where users share content and can post short paragraphs called “tweets”.
Twitter is one of the most popular social networking platforms today, with over 300 million individual monthly users and millions of “tweets” posted each day.
It is also among the 10-most visited websites on the Internet, and it is now used by people around the world of all ages across a broad range of demographics.
As a result, it’s an important vehicle for advertising and developing brand recognition.
Setting Up Twitter
Setting up a Twitter account for your business is actually a fairly simple process. Simply go to the Twitter homepage and click “sign up”.
From there, you will be walked through the steps to setting up a profile and writing a description of your business, adding photos, and perhaps most importantly, creating a Twitter handle. What is a Twitter handle? This is essentially the name of your account or username. It is a URL web address that is unique to you and comes right after Twitter.com. For example: http://twitter.com/username.
Naturally, your twitter handle should use your business name, but if for some reason the handle is unavailable (as in, it’s already being used by another Twitter user), then you should at least use something similar or something that helps to represent your business as a whole.
Once your account is set up, you’ll want to start following other users in order to help people notice you. Fortunately, Twitter makes this easy by producing regular lists of users they suggest you follow (usually based on your interests and niche) but you can also search for users yourself if you already have some in mind.
Many users will respond by following you in return, and this makes it even easier for others to start noticing your profile. You’ll also want to start sharing content and creating your own unique posts in order to build up your page and help yourself gain even more followers.
So what is Twitter used for exactly? The full answer could take a while. Fortunately, the shorter version is quite simple: Twitter is used primarily for connection and greater exposure. The more followers you have on Twitter, the more people there are who will see your brand and hopefully want to learn more.
What is Twitter? 2- Tweeting
Posts on Twitter are called “tweets”. But what is a tweet, and how are they distinguishable from tweets on other social media websites?
To start, tweets are limited to 280 characters (the limit used to be 140 characters, but Twitter changed this in November 2017) and are therefore shorter than most posts on its rival social media platforms.
If you’re confused by what a “character” is, have no fear because it’s actually quite simple. Characters are all of the letters, spaces and punctuation marks. So, there are 13 words in this sentence, but there are 69 characters.
What to Tweet
What makes a good tweet? It really depends on what kind of business you are running and the kinds of users you want to reach (more about this later), but overall you’ll want to write something that’s either very interesting, entertaining or otherwise memorable.
You may want to use your first few tweets to help describe your business and what you offer to others. And especially when you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to include shareable links and “clickable” content with your tweets. And of course, you’ll want to use hashtags.
What is Twitter? 3- Hashtags
You may have already heard of a “hashtag”, but what exactly is it? More importantly, why is it used?
The short description of a hashtag is a word or short phrase (with no spaces between the words) that follows a “#” (or what used to be known as a “pound sign”).
While not necessary, the great thing about hashtags is that they automatically link your post to others that have used the same hashtag. That’s right: click on the hashtag and you’ll instantly see a list pop up of all the most recent tweets that have used the same hashtag.
This not only allows you to see who else is out there that may be worth connecting with, but also helps other users find you and your business. So while not all tweets are going to come with hashtags, it’s usually a good idea to include them because it helps increase your visibility. To help get you started, here’s a list of hashtags that were popular throughout 2017.
What is Twitter? 4- Advertising
There are many ways to advertise on Twitter, and the right path for you and your business will depend on your specific needs.
We’ll go over the different ways to advertise on Twitter, but first you should be asking yourself the following questions:
- Right now, is my specific goal to get my business name out there or to advertise a certain product or service?
- What kind of audience do I want to reach? Their demographic?
- What is the tone I want to set with my advertising campaign? How do I want to make people remember what they see?
The most basic form of Twitter advertising is your user account itself. Your account should thoroughly represent your business, as should your tweets, and this alone will help gain you more brand recognition.
But of course, it doesn’t stop there. If you want to up your game (and you should), there are multiple other ways you can do it. For example, you can ask other, more high-profile, users to retweet your posts and to help promote you.
In addition to this, Twitter now has their own system where you as a business can pay to have your account and / or your content promoted. While it does cost money, it also can greatly help to boost your amount of followers and overall visibility. This is especially good news if you’re just starting your business or are trying to promote a specific product or service for a certain period of time.
To learn more, it’s also a good idea to visit Twitter’s advertising information page at marketing.twitter.com, or simply reach out to the social media pros over at ProfileTree. Trust us, we do this stuff all the time.
What is Twitter? 5- Creating Content That Trends
The real key to successfully marketing your business on Twitter is to create content that “trends”, that is, gets a high amount of viewer traffic in a relatively short period of time.
Trending content is also shared among users and even posted to other social media sites (like Facebook). And perhaps most importantly when it comes to Twitter, the tweets that trend very often incorporate the use of popular, trending hashtags.
So, whats’s trending on Twitter? Usually posts that are newsworthy and fulfill the interests of large groups of people, are unique, and are not quickly forgettable.
You can get an idea of the kind of stuff that trends by checking out this database that displays the most recent trending hashtags.
What is Twitter? 6- Measuring
An easy measure of judgment here is how many followers you have, though the “right number” to have will depend once again on the size and type of business you run. BUT it is better to measure how many people engaged – that is, performed an action like commenting or sharing – with your tweets.
If you do sign up for Twitter Advertising (that is, Twitter’s paid promotions system), you can also access their analytics section that shows how much online traffic you’re getting, both from promoted content and regular tweets.
Last but certainly not least, you’ll know for sure that your Twitter account is successful once you start winning actual business from people who found you on Twitter or discovered one of your advertised services from a tweet.
Twitter’s signature features like Moments, Lists, and Threads:
Twitter Moments are curated collections of tweets that tell a story or highlight a particular event. They are created by Twitter’s editorial team and are designed to provide a comprehensive overview of a topic. Moments can be accessed from the Moments tab on the Twitter homepage or by searching for specific moments.
Benefits of Using Twitter Moments
- Stay Informed: Moments provide a concise and easy-to-consume way to catch up on breaking news, major events, and trending topics.
- Explore Diverse Perspectives: Moments often include tweets from a variety of sources, offering a well-rounded view of a topic.
- Enhance Understanding: Moments may include additional context, such as images, videos, and annotations, to help users understand complex topics.
Twitter Lists are a way to organize your followers into groups. This can help you keep track of people you are interested in or follow specific topics. To create a list, go to the Lists tab on your Twitter profile and click the “Create new list” button. You can then add users to your list by searching for their usernames.
Benefits of Using Twitter Lists
- Tailored Content: Lists allow you to customize your Twitter experience by seeing tweets from specific groups of people or relevant topics.
- Easier Navigation: Lists make it easier to find and follow tweets from people or topics that are important to you.
- Reduced Noise: Lists can help you filter out irrelevant tweets and focus on the content that matters to you.
Twitter Threads are a way to post a series of connected tweets that tell a longer story or share a more in-depth discussion. To create a thread, simply start typing a tweet and press the “+” button to add another tweet. You can continue adding tweets to your thread until you have finished your message.
Benefits of Using Twitter Threads
- Longer-Form Storytelling: Threads allow you to share more complex ideas and narratives that go beyond the 280-character limit.
- Organized Discussion: Threads keep related tweets together, making it easier for readers to follow the conversation.
- Enhanced Engagement: Threads can encourage more engagement from readers as they are drawn into the longer-form content.
These signature features – Moments, Lists, and Threads – enhance the Twitter experience by providing users with tools to organize, consume, and engage with content in a more meaningful way. Moments offer curated storytelling, Lists facilitate personalized content filtering, and Threads enable longer-form narratives. By utilizing these features, users can tailor their Twitter experience to their interests and preferences, gaining a more enriching and informative connection with the platform.
Tips for setting up your Twitter profile and crafting your first tweets:
Optimize Your Profile
- Choose a Suitable Username: Your username is your virtual identity on Twitter. Make it memorable, easy to spell, and relevant to your persona or interests.
- Craft a Compelling Bio: Your bio is your chance to introduce yourself and tell others why they should follow you. Keep it concise, informative, and engaging. Use keywords to make it discoverable.
- Upload a Profile Picture: A profile picture adds a personal touch and makes your account more recognizable. Choose a high-quality image that represents you or your brand.
- Consider a Header Image: A header image can enhance your profile’s visual appeal and convey your identity or interests. Use a high-resolution image that complements your profile picture.
- Link Your Website or Social Media: Include links to your website, blog, or other social media accounts to expand your online presence and drive traffic to your platforms.
Craft Captivating First Tweets
- Introduce Yourself: Your first tweets should introduce you to your audience. Share a brief bio, your interests, and why you joined Twitter.
- Share Engaging Content: Post tweets that are informative, entertaining, or thought-provoking. Use a mix of text, images, and videos to capture attention.
- Join Conversations: Engage with other users by replying to their tweets, participating in relevant hashtags, and sharing your thoughts on trending topics.
- Promote Your Content: Share links to your blog posts, articles, or creative work to showcase your expertise and attract followers.
- Use Hashtags Effectively: Include relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your tweets and connect with users interested in similar topics.
- Respond to Comments and Messages: Actively engage with your followers by responding to their comments, answering questions, and participating in discussions.
- Maintain Consistency: Post regularly to keep your audience engaged and establish yourself as an active Twitter user.
- Analyze and Adapt: Monitor your tweet performance, identify what resonates with your audience, and adapt your content strategy accordingly.
Remember, your Twitter profile is your online storefront, and your first tweets set the tone for your presence on the platform. By following these tips, you can create a compelling profile, craft engaging tweets, and start building a strong following on Twitter.
What is Twitter? privacy, security, blocking & reporting
Twitter provides several privacy settings to control who can see your tweets and other information. These settings include:
Protect Your Tweets: Toggle the “Protect My Tweets” option to make your tweets private. Only your approved followers can see your tweets.
Location Privacy: Choose whether to share your precise location with others. You can turn off location sharing or allow it only while using the Twitter app.
Personalization Settings: Manage how Twitter uses your data to personalize your experience. You can control ad personalization, tailored content suggestions, and tailored data collection.
Tagging Settings: Choose who can tag you in tweets. You can allow anyone to tag you, only people you follow, or no one.
Direct Message Settings: Select who can send you direct messages. You can allow anyone to send DMs, only people you follow, or no one.
Twitter offers various security measures to safeguard your account from unauthorized access and malicious activity. These measures include:
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA to add an extra layer of security to your account. This requires a code from your phone or other trusted device when logging in.
Password Strength: Use a strong password that is unique to your Twitter account. Avoid using easily guessable information or passwords used for other accounts.
App Permissions: Review the permissions granted to third-party apps connected to your Twitter account. Revoke access to apps you no longer use.
Suspicious Activity Alerts: Enable alerts to notify you of potential suspicious activity, such as login attempts from unfamiliar devices.
Blocking & Reporting
Twitter provides tools to block unwanted users and report inappropriate or harmful behavior.
Blocking Users: Block users to prevent them from seeing your tweets, sending you DMs, or following you.
Reporting Accounts: Report accounts that violate Twitter’s rules, such as engaging in harassment, hate speech, or spreading misinformation.
Reporting Tweets: Report individual tweets that violate Twitter’s rules.
By utilizing these privacy, security, and reporting options, you can protect your online presence, maintain control over your Twitter experience, and contribute to a safer and more respectful platform for all users.
What is Twitter FAQ
Q: What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media platform where users can share short messages (tweets) of up to 280 characters. Users can follow other users to see their tweets in their feed, and they can also interact with tweets by liking, retweeting, or replying to them.
Q: How do I create a Twitter account?
To create a Twitter account, go to Twitter.com and click on the “Sign Up” button. You will then need to enter your name, email address, and phone number. Once you have entered your information, you will need to create a password and agree to Twitter’s terms of service.
Q: What are some of the benefits of using Twitter?
There are many benefits to using Twitter, including:
- Staying up-to-date on news and events: Twitter is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest news and events. You can follow news organizations, journalists, and experts to get their insights on current happenings.
- Connecting with friends and family: Twitter is a great way to connect with friends and family, even if they live far away. You can share updates on your life, see what they are up to, and have conversations with them in real time.
- Learning about new things: Twitter is a great way to learn about new things. You can follow experts in different fields, read articles that they share, and participate in discussions about topics that interest you.
- Promoting your business: Twitter is a great way to promote your business. You can share information about your products or services, connect with potential customers, and build relationships with other businesses.
Q: What are some of the risks of using Twitter?
There are some risks associated with using Twitter, including:
- Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying is a serious problem on Twitter. If you are being cyberbullied, you should report the abuse to Twitter and take steps to protect yourself.
- Misinformation: Misinformation is another problem on Twitter. Be careful about the information you see on Twitter, and only trust sources that you know are reliable.
- Addiction: Twitter can be addictive, and it is important to use it in moderation. Make sure that you are not spending too much time on Twitter and that you are not neglecting other important aspects of your life.
What is Twitter Conclusion
Twitter is a powerful tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. However, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with using Twitter and to take steps to protect yourself. By using Twitter responsibly, you can enjoy all of the benefits that it has to offer.
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