Twitter 101: How to Use Twitter For Your Business

Twitter for your BusinessTwitter is pretty much everywhere now days and although many celebrities and businesses are using it, there are still some people who are not sure if it’s right for their business and how to best use the platform.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is an information network. Millions of people (175,000,000 registered users), organizations, and businesses use it to discover and share new information.

On Twitter, anyone can read, write and share messages of up to 140 characters. These messages, or Tweets, are public and available to anyone interested in them. Twitter users subscribe to your messages by following your account. Followers receive every one of your messages in their timeline, a feed of all the accounts they have subscribed to (from Twitter for Business).”

So, the first question you should ask yourself before starting is why you want to use Twitter. If your answer is because everybody is doing it than perhaps you might want to spend your energy somewhere else.  Not only does it require a consistent presence to see positive results but it’s also a long term process. It’s important to set some realistic goals and also understand what Twitter can and can’t do for your business.

Here are a few ideas on how you can use Twitter:

  • Network and meet new people
  • Direct readers to your website by posting valuable and interesting content
  • Build your brand and reputation
  • Get new ideas
  • Share your knowledge
  • Customer service
  • Get and share news
  • Research competitors and your market

Start by creating your account, filling out your bio (under 160 characters), add your website and please change the default egg picture to include your own picture. You might also want to learn some of the lingo used on Twitter to help you out at first. Here’s a great link to learn more about the different terms used. Take a look at advance Twitter Search when researching specific key words or to find out what people are saying about your brand or competitors.

After you’ve done your research and set your goals, you can use different Twitter directories such as Listorious and Twellow to follow interesting people in your target market. Add yourself to those lists and directories so that others can also find you. Many people that you chose to follow will also follow you back but don’t take it personally if they don’t. Keep in mind that if you follow too many people and don’t have any followers, people might think that you’re a spammer so watch out for your follower/following ratio.

Now that you’re ready to go, observe what others are doing and start participating in conversations, add valuable content, be helpful, retweet others and participate in Twitter chats. Unlike traditional marketing where you’re usually pushing your content and products on people, Twitter is not about over promoting yourself and self promotion should be kept to a minimum. Focus on building genuine relationships and creating and sharing useful content.

You’ll find many applications on the web you can use to increase your productivity. Take a look at Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to manage your account. Make sure you use services like or when tweeting links so that you can fit more characters into your Tweets. Look at Oneforty, it’s a great resource to find Twitter tools. I don’t recommend using automated direct messages or auto follow tools.

The ability to reach a large audience on Twitter offers fantastic opportunities for your business to create visibility and to build trust with clients and future clients. Use it to your advantage!

Check me out on Twitter, I would love to see you there!


Genevieve Lachance is a web marketing consultant who has a passion for social media and technology based in Montreal, Canada. Read More About Me »