I got asked the following question this week:

I’ve never used Twitter before – any tips for setting it up or point me in the right direction so I can do it right? I’ve heard there are lots of ways to do it wrong.

Of course! Here are 7 steps to getting your Twitter account set up the right way.

1. Choose a profile name

This is the name you’ll be known as on Twitter (also know as your @name). I’d recommend using your real name if it’s available. If not, try and include your name or initials. For instance, I’m @AbsoluteAlicia. Not my first choice but everything else was taken.
You’ll want to make the account user your full name as well. Oh, and keep your @name short and memorable so it doesn’t take up too much of Twitter’s 140 character limit and people can remember it.

2. Add a photo of you, not your logo

It’s really important to add a photo of you so people can connect with you on a personal level. Don’t use your logo or a cartoon picture, and definitely not the default egg image.

Your profile picture is displayed every time you post a tweet so you want to differentiate your tweets from everybody else’s. Your profile picture will help.

3. Complete your bio

You’ve got 160 characters to tell everyone what you do, why you do it, and what interests you so use them all – make it interesting and sociable.

Use this so people can make a connection with you. Many times I’ve read a bio and decided to follow that person on the basis of what they’ve written in their bio. I’ve discovered some amazing people that way, seriously!

Twitter birds

4. Add your website address

There’s a space to add your website on your profile. Use this even if you don’t have a website. Instead, you could link it to your blog, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, or anywhere online so people can find out more about you. And they do click on it so you’ll want to add something there.

5. Follow some people

And I don’t mean celebs either. Of course you can follow whoever you want, but more importantly you want to follow profiles that can help your business – that’s why you’re there! Don’t follow too many profiles to start with because you’ll get overwhelmed.

Tip: A good place to start is looking at who is following profiles with the same kind of customers as you. 😉

6. Get tweeting

The best way to learn is to get involved. Watch the experienced users, ask questions and join in some conversations. Don’t get hung up about saying really profound stuff, just relax with it and have some fun.

7. Check your mentions regularly

This is really important. You want to keep an eye on who is talking to you and about you. Many people forget (or don’t know) to do that. Conversation is key on Twitter – if you’re not talking to people, replying and responding you may as well not use it because you won’t get results. Fact.