How to Set Up a Twitter Account for Your Business and Why It’s a Good Idea

Twitter is a free service that you can use to easily promote your business and gain access to high-level individuals that you might otherwise never be able to reach. CEOs, best-selling authors, actors and celebrities interact with their followers on Twitter, giving you the opportunity to make your business known not only to the public at large but also to the big fish, who may turn around and tell their thousands of followers about you.

Twitter is like a giant chat room available to the public. You can send out messages meant for everyone, messages directed to certain people that are also shown to the public, or direct, private messages to anyone who is following you. Followers are like fans or subscribers. They see all of your tweets. Tweets are your messages, which are limited to 140 characters. Links to websites are shortened automatically so that they do not take up your entire tweet.

Twitter lets you interact with potential customers in real time. It is an alternative to blogging. A blog lets you post relevant content to your site, and if fans want more they can subscribe to your blog. Twitter is more personal. You can speak directly to your customers in an open forum that others can join in on. Just keep your posts professional. You do not want to sound like a bot, but you also do not want to post anything you would not say in your blog or one-on-one with a customer.

Setting up an account is easy. Start by going to http://twitter.com. Enter the name of your business in the “Full Name” box. Then enter your business email account and a password. Click “Sign Up.” Next, a list of categories of followers comes up. Select categories that are relevant to your business. Search for businesses similar to your own and start following them. You can also input your email address and password so that Twitter can check your contacts for people to follow on Twitter.

Then, go to “Settings” and fill out the bio section about your business. Choose a profile picture that best represents your business. Remember that this photo is relatively small, so a logo or headshot is better than a picture of your building.

You can now start posting tweets in the “What is Happening” box. Post links to content on your blog, to articles about your business, to promotional material about upcoming sales or new products, or to links to other articles that are relevant to people in your field.

Resist the urge to start following hundreds of people in hopes that they follow you back. This makes you look desperate and unpopular. Just focus on tweeting interesting information and people will follow you because they want more. They can also retweet interesting content to their followers who will then check out your site or your recommendations and may start following you as well.

To get more followers, consider advertising on Twitter. For example, you can pay for Promoted Tweets. When people who are not following you search for something on Twitter, like a product or person, your Promoted Tweet shows up in their search results.

You can also link your Twitter account to a Facebook business page so that your tweets automatically show up on your Wall.

Setting up a Twitter account for you business is an excellent way to increase your marketing efforts at no cost, or minimal cost if you buy ads. Give it a try and watch your sales grow.