Social media is growing fast. It seems like there are new programs released every month – some that last, and some that don’t (R.I.P Vine). Aside from Instagram and Facebook, one of the largest social networks is Twitter. You might only have 140 characters to work with (soon to be 280), but the potential reach is unlimited. Sharing links to articles, videos, quotes and random thoughts has never been easier. If you think its time your business signs up for Twitter, here are some tips to get you started.

Determine your voice and target audience.

First off, is your target audience on Twitter? Businesses must think about who they want to speak to, before determining the how. Your tone can be serious, factual, comical or a combination of all three (or more). Just like your other marketing campaigns, think hard about the message you want to send to your audience about your business.

Set up your account.

What will your username be? Many businesses use the full company name, or a shortened version (e.g. @FullCircleDes and @NHPHealth). This username/handle will be seen by the entire Twitter community, so you want to be sure that it makes sense for your business. Once you select your handle, you’ll want to write a short bio that explains your business in 160 characters (a few more than a Tweet) or less.

Send your first Tweet.

Ready for your first Tweet? Great. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. The first, is to send a basic “Hey, we’re on Twitter” post. You likely won’t have many followers at this point, so you don’t need to worry about creating content that is really going to drive traffic (for now). You could also offer up a link to your blog or website. “In recent news, we just completed a project with X Company. Read more here. [insert link]” 

Start following people.

This tip can go either way, depending who you speak to. You may think that following thousands of people will result in more re-follows, more retweets, likes, etc. However, that is not always the case. We strongly recommend only following companies in your industry, companies for inspiration, and any professional contacts. But try not to go overboard. This is also a great way to learn from how other businesses in your field are using Twitter. 

Download social programs.

If you’re looking for a platform to help you manage your Tweets, consider signing up for programs such as HootSuite, Sprout, TweetDeck or Buffer. Each of these will help you post, track analytics, and recommend the most optimal time to post (based on who is following you).  

Think about pictures and gifs.

Research has shown that tweets with graphic elements such as a gif or image can receive 150 percent more retweets than those without. If you are tweeting directly from Twitter, you can take advantage of its gif keyboard. If you prefer to tweet from one of the programs listed above, you can download any gif from and upload into your content box.

Monitor your results.

It’s important to track the analytics of your Tweets, just as it is for traffic on your website. How many engagements are you getting? What about likes and retweets? These results will factor into your future decisions for what to post next. Let’s say your blog on video marketing received 1,000 impressions, compared to the average 600. Consider re-sharing the content again during the week. If you start noticing a trend in impressions, this will help you decide what to blog about down the road.