September 23, 2011

10 Twitter Tips

By Jennifer Yi, Marketing Coordinator, IDEA

Like learning to ride a bicycle, using Twitter has a fast learning curve once you get over the first few falls. If you’re new to Twitter, these 10 tips will help form the foundation for a solid launch.

The exciting thing about social media and Twitter is that it is constantly evolving in an organic response to how people choose to use it. We’ll keep you updated with the latest in future articles.

In the meanwhile, some great resources for exploring the nuances of Twitter can be found on these sites: Social Media Examiner and Mashable.

Top 10 Tips to Help You Get Started with Twitter:

  1. Set up your Account with a Photo (recommended dimensions of 125 x 124 pixels) and a Description (limited to 160 characters). You can also choose to keep the default Background, select one of Twitter’s templates, or create a custom version.
  2. Tweets are the messages that you post to your profile and are limited to an 140 character limit. Twitter also allows private Messages to be sent to individual users. Applications such as TweetResponder allow you to send messages to multiple followers at once.
    Example tweet: Video Interview on How Twitter Helps a Company Manage Its #Reputation » Via @smexaminer #socialmedia #NetworkSolutions 
  3. Shorten your Links to conserve space. and TweetDeck are two ways to do so.
    Example: becomes 
  4. Follow other users to have their tweets appear on your Home Page in a chronological newsfeed. Followers are users who follow you. Click the top link Who to Follow to search for users. To get started, you can take a look at who @IDEAeSolutions and other industry organization such as @NAED_org and @NEMAupdates follow. 
  5. Mentions can be used at the beginning of a tweet to indicate a reply to another user or show the source of the information, message, or link in a tweet.
    Example: @IDEAeSolutions Thanks for the follow! 
  6. Retweets are the tweets of other users which you share on your account either by clicking the Retweet symbol (located under the tweet) or pasting the tweet into your own.
    Example: RT @IDEAeSolutions: How will the #Epicor-#Activant integration affect #distributors? Latest issue of #ModernDi… Read more 
  7. Hashtags are keywords with a hash symbol (#) in front. Anyone can create a hashtag by adding # . Tags are searchable and linkable with a myriad of subtle uses humorously explained in this New Yorker article. Trending Topics are popular tags used at a high frequency. is a catalog of trending, new, and popular tags. Example: #ebizforum 
  8. Promoted Tweets are company-sponsored tweets. Twitter has a great FAQ topic
  9. Search allows you to look up tweets using keywords (and hashtags). Search results can be saved by clicking on the “Save this search” button so you can keep tabs on particular keywords.

    Example: green, lighting, distributors, manufacturers 

  10. Lists help you organize your followers into groups. Clicking on a specific list will show you tweets only from users in that group. Example: electrical, lighting, distributor, manufacturer

Any more tips you’d like to share? Share your own experience with Twitter in the comments.

Follow IDEA on Twitter>