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How To Set Up Twitter

August 5th, 2009 · No Comments · Twitter

By Atheer Fendi

Setting up on Twitter to have your own account is easy, but there are a few
things that you should be aware of when organizing your account. This can
apply even if you already have an existing account too, so consider these tips
and it can improve your entire Twittter experience.

The first thing to do if you don’t have an account is go to
http://www.twitter.com which is the home page of Twitter. You will be asked to
either login or register. If you don’t have an account, then of course you will
need to register. So let’s go through the registration process and explain it all
here.

Registration
The Twitter screen will ask you for your first name and last name and will then
check this is entered correctly. A green tick will appear next to the box.

The next box asks you for a user name and this is where you need to give
some thought to how you are going to represent yourself on Twitter. You
should remember that you can set up more than one account on Twitter, but
you will need a different email address for each one.

Now this is where the thinking bit comes in. The first account you register
should always be in your own name if you can get it. Naturally, common
names like JohnSmith (there are no spaces in usernames) will already be
taken. However it is possible to get variations on your own name such as
John_Smith, or John_Smith23 or some variation like that. You can only use
an underscore in a username. Hyphens are not permitted in the field.
It isn’t absolutely critical that you register your own name, but I would advise
you do if you can, particularly if your name is an unusual one. I’m sure the
last thing you want is someone else impersonating you on Twitter, or
anywhere else for that matter.

If you wish to register a business name, then you can do that of course, but
make your you use your own name in the sign up process so you are
identifiable and connected with the business name you register. The
concepts and reasons for operating under each type of registration will be
discussed later.

You are now asked for your email address. Email addresses are linked to
accounts and you will only be able to use your email address once. For every
account you register, you will need a different email address.
The last thing to do is to fill in the Captcha letters and then click on Create My
Account.

The next screen will ask if you want to add any of your friends from the
popular web based email programs. You can do this later if you wish.
The next screen presents a short list of people who Twitter asks if you would
like to follow. Choose some if you like, but I wouldn’t bother. I prefer to find my
own friends on Twitter.

When you click Finish, you will then be taken to your very own Twitter
account. You are logged in and ready to go!

Your Settings
Next thing we are going to do is fill out our settings and this is very important
on Twitter. You will find the access to this at the top right of the screen, fourth
link from the left.

On this page you will notice there are some tabs across the top. For the
moment we will concentrate on the Account tab.

The information you entered on joining is already entered here, but now it’s
time to pad this out so people can find you on Twitter and you also make
yourself an interesting person to be followed. People will use the information
you enter here to make that decision, but much of what is entered is also
searchable on Twitter and through various third party applications.

One thing to note is that you can change your username at any time on this
screen. You just have to enter your password to do so. Although it can be
done, it can confuse your follower base, so I wouldn’t recommend doing it on
a weekly basis.

First of all change your time zone to your own and then move onto the one
line bio.

Your Bio
You have 160 characters here to “sell” yourself. Take some time over it and
do it well. Don’t simply enter a bunch of keywords as they appear totally
uninteresting to people, although they may get you found. Use keywords by
all means, but start your Bio with the words “I am” and then describe yourself.
So you might put for example:-

I am a keen gardener and hiker who also has a passion for the outdoors,
Internet marketing and affiliate marketing who also loves social media.
Now that description is only 143 characters, so you could still get some more
keywords in the bio. No doubt you can see the ones that are there which are
gardener, hiker, internet marketing, affiliate marketing and social media.
Using these terms in your bio will have you coming up in search results when
people are looking for other like minded individuals to follow. As you can see,
it is worth taking some time to get the bio right.

Balance of Screen
Enter your web site name or blog here if you have one. Make sure you
include the http:// prefix to the address.


Your location is next and is also important so people can search and find
others in their same area. It will also be important to you if you are chasing
rankings on Twitter as users are ranking by their locations.
Protect Updates


This is included if you want to have a private account and you have to
approve followers. NEVER turn this on if you intend to use Twitter to meet
new people. They just couldn’t be bothered requesting permission to follow
you unless they know you personally.


You can now save your settings, but note here that there is also a link to
delete your account should you ever wish to do so.

Devices
You can enter your mobile phone number here if you want Twitter updates to
your phone. Personally, I can’t think of anything worse, particularly if you have
a couple of thousand followers.

Notices
You can have Twitter “nudge” you with a text to your mobile phone if you
haven’t updated in 24 hours. What a pain!
The Replies function is an interesting one and will determine what tweets you
see that are prefixed with the @ symbol. This is how you direct a tweet to a
particular individual. There is a great help screen explanation on this, so go
there to make your decision.


The rest of the notices are self explanatory. It is worth noting that the Direct
Messages possibly needs a bit of explanation though as to what they are if
you are new to Twitter. If you are following someone and they are following
you, Direct Messages can be sent that won’t appear in the Twitter timeline.
They are essentially private messages between two people. If you are an
infrequent user of Twitter, it may be worthwhile to switch on receiving
notifications by email so you can respond. Otherwise leave it off as it will just
fill up your mail box with more clutter.


Likewise, the notifications that you have a new follower just adds to your
email and I would leave it off unless you like the buzz of being told someone
new has followed you.


Picture Tab
This is really important. When you open this page you will see the small
avatar on the screen which is the default for Twitter. If you want new
followers, putting a photo of yourself here is imperative. If you are running the
Twitter account for your company or business, then your logo is ideal. But just
put something so you can be identified in the Tweetstream by your followers.
The graphic is often more important than your name when people are
scanning Tweets and you will stand out for yours.


Design Tab
Here you can change the background of your Twitter page from the default.
Twitter provides a number of alternatives that you can select or you can
upload your own background. You can also change all the colors if you wish.
Again, whatever you do, just change it so you are not running the default. It
shows you have taken some time setting up your account.


A note here worth mentioning is that with the plethora of Twitter client
applications out there, many people don’t even look at your web page
anymore. Still, it is one component of your presence on Twitter and is worth
doing well. Later on I will show you places where you can get a more
professional background than those offered here.


Well, that’s it for the setup. The last thing to do now is to click on Home at the
top of the screen and send your first Tweet. Something like, “Hi, I’ve just
joined Twitter and am looking forward to meeting interesting people” is a good
first one to send. Just type it in and click the Update button.

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