Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

Jessica Brannen / December 17, 2014

With over 284 million active users, Twitter is not the social media site to ignore. Indeed, since 47% of a brand’s Twitter followers visit that company’s website, those that harness Twitter’s power will see an immediate spike in website traffic.

Thus, Twitter is a must for promoting your business and website. But we all have to start somewhere. So if you want to use Twitter, but you know not the difference between a Tweet and a follower, read on. We’re going to introduce you to the loud-mouthed, quick-talking blue bird that is Twitter.

Create Your Profile

Before starting, look at the profiles of friends and businesses to get an idea of how you’d like to personally brand yourself. Once you’ve done some preliminary research, begin uploading pictures. You’ll want two: a profile picture (a headshot or logo) and a relevant header picture.

Below your profile picture, there will be an area for either a short bio or description as well as contact information or link to a website. If you have an elevator speech, put it here.

Follow People

Following people allows you to see their tweets in your newsfeed. To find people to follow, begin looking for accounts with the search bar at the top. As you follow people, Twitter will start suggesting people to follow based who you choose to follow. You can follow as many accounts as you like by going to the account of your choice and clicking the “Follow” button.

Now, if you want your followers categorized, you can organize who you follow in lists by selecting “Lists” from your profile.


Just as you follow brands and friends, so, too friends and brands can follow you. The question, then, is how do I gain followers?

Though there’s no sure-fire way to gain followers, usually when you follow accounts relevant to you, they will follow you back. Just choose the right people and accounts to follow and wait. Surely, they will respond.

Retweeting and Quoting

“Retweeting” (or sharing Tweets) is how Tweets spread and go viral. You gain exposure and potentially attract more followers when your current followers retweet your Tweets to their followers.

Of course, you should retweet Tweets that are relevant to your account. If the original poster hadn’t been following you, retweeting their Tweets may attract their attention to your account.

You can also “quote” a certain Tweet if you want to add commentary to the Tweets you share. However, this option is available only on mobile devices.


When you add a hashtag to a Tweet, you immediately categorize, define, or characterize that Tweet. For example, if your Tweet concerns creativity, you might add #creativity in your Tweet.

Additionally, that Tweet is added to a pool of similar Tweets, and anyone who finds that hashtag pool will potentially see your Tweet. So, to follow the creativity example, those interested in creativity, may search #creativity in their search bar and see your Tweet. In this way, hashtags are an excellent way to gain a following.

Direct Mail

Use direct messages to start a private conversation between you and anyone who follows you. Access direct messaging by clicking the envelope icon from your newsfeed or profile. There is also the option to share a Tweet via direct messaging if you don’t wish to retweet something to all of your followers.


An advertising graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Jessica Brannen brings a strategic and creative eye to managing social media and online presence for Kelsey's clients.

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