Twitter 101 - Getting Started

Written on the 7 March 2010

Twitter 101 - Getting Started

You've no doubt heard of Twitter, and probably even heard the masses of articles telling you to get your business on Twitter, but are you on it yet? If not, this article is ideal for you. We will cover everything you need to know about setting up an account and immersing yourself in the Twitter-verse!

So, what is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blogging website where people post 140 character messages known as 'tweets'.  These messages are read by their 'followers' - people that have subscribed to receive their tweets.  

As well as sending messages to your followers, you can subscribe to follow other people and get their tweets. Lots of famous and interesting people use Twitter, such as Bill Gates, Kevin Rudd and Oprah, so you can follow them and get a bit of an insight into their lives and opinions.  

From a business perspective, you can also get some really valuable information and advice by following some of the countless business experts that use Twitter as their main platform. 

Do I need to be on Twitter?

Twitter is a really amazing tool and from a personal perspective - it's great to be on there to stay in touch with your friends and follow people you find interesting.  But from a business perspective, it only really works for some.  

There are two things you'll need in order to succeed on Twitter: time and a captive audience.

The time bit is easy. Every day, set aside thirty minutes to an hour to read the tweets of the people you are following, tweet yourself, and find new people to follow. By logging on to Twitter daily you are also about to monitor and respond to mentions about you, or private messages that may be sent.

Having a captive audience is trickier. This is about attracting the right audience for the topics you want to tweet about, finding things to tweet that will engage your followers and also ensuring that your target market are on Twitter.

So read up on Twitter and see if you think it will work for you.  Feel free to ask your Bloomtools consultant for some advice too.

Setting up an account

To set up a Twitter account, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and click on 'Sign up now'
  2. Fill out the form with your details - if you are going to use Twitter for your business, make your username your business name
  3. Browse Twitter's suggestions of interesting people and follow any you think might be interesting (you can un-follow them later)
  4. Search through your email contacts to see if any of them are on Twitter
  5. Search and add any other people or businesses you would like to follow
  6. Now you're on Twitter!

Next, you need to set up your profile. Click on 'Settings' in the top right, then click on 'Profile' in the top menu.  Here you can upload a picture for your account - use your logo for business accounts.  You can also add your website address and write a short bio about yourself or your business.

If you click on 'Design', you can edit the look of your profile page.  Twitter's default backgrounds are fine for a personal account, but if it's your business account you really need to put your own branding on there.  All you need to do is click 'Change background image' and upload an image from your computer.  Check out Bloomtools Twitter for an example of what you can do with your background.  You can also experiment with other settings such as sidebar and font colours.

Once you've finished setting up your profile, click 'Home' in the top right menu.  The page you are on now is your timeline, which is where the tweets from all the people you follow are displayed.  The box at the top is where you type in your tweets - why not start with your first one now?  Remember, if this is your business account, people will be able to see everything you've ever tweeted so think carefully before you tweet!

Finding people to follow

You can search for other people you know by clicking on 'Find People' in the top right of your timeline page.  Simply enter in a person's name and if they have a Twitter account, you will be able to find them.  You can also search by topic to follow people that are talking about topics you are interested in - go to and type in a topic.

You can follow Bloomtools on Twitter at to keep up to date with the latest news, software upgrades and tips.