Just what is Twitter?!

Today we hear from new guest blogger, internet expert, David Oliver of Nettle Web Design Ltd will show you how to get started on the incredibly popular social networking website, Twitter! Now Twitter is a must for marketing savvy businesses to get involved with. Part 2 of this post will appear next week.

Getting Started on Twitter

Go to Twitter and set up a free account

  • Choose a user name (this must be unique) and password – you will need these to log in to Twitter in the future
  • Choose a background picture
  • Write a short bio about yourself (160 characters or less)
  • Add a close-up photo of yourself

Finding Some People to Follow

Start with warm targets

  • Industry colleagues
  • Your suppliers and venues
  • Networking groups like Women On Top!
  • Members of the UKAWP

Use the “Find People” link to find people by name or Twitter ID

Follow people who you think will be interesting and/or useful

Follow people that other people are following or are being followed by!

Posting Your First Tweets

Post tweets about what’s happening in your industry in general, and in your own business in particular

Find information from:

  • trade magazines
  • newspapers
  • other websites
  • television and radio
  • other people

Interacting With Others on Twitter

Re-tweet information that other people have already tweeted, by putting RT at the start of a tweet – and make sure you credit the original tweeter by including their Twitter ID.

Send a direct publicly visible message by putting @ followed by the Twitter ID at the beginning of a tweet

Send a direct (private) message by putting D followed by the Twitter ID at the start of a tweet.

General Tips

  • Don’t over-post! If you regularly post too many tweets, people will quickly feel over-loaded and will stop following you
  • If you struggle to find things to post on Twitter, consider storing up snippets as you find them, in a Word document, and spread out when you put them up on Twitter.
  • Show that you are an expert in your field: comment on related business topics, recommend books and courses, and answer other people’s questions

Including a link to a website

You can paste a website address (URL) directly into Twitter, but this will eat into your 140 characters and may not leave you enough space to write anything else!

Go to and put a long URL into their site – it will be converted into a much shorter one, which you can then put into Twitter.

Including a picture or photo

If you have a photo that is already elsewhere on the internet (eg on Flickr or your own website) you can link to it in the same way you would link to a website address.

To add a new picture, go to – a sister site of Twitter – and upload a picture. You can log in to Twitpic with your normal Twitter ID. Click on Upload Photos (at the top right of the screen) and follow the instructions to log in.

Blocking inappropriate followers

Keep a regular eye on your followers, and block any that are inappropriate, or that might come across as inappropriate to your potential business clients. This might include:

  • followers with an inappropriate ID or photo
  • followers that are clearly spammers or pushing “get rich quick” schemes
  • followers spouting very strong or controversial opinions on sensitive topics such as politics, religion, sex, etc
  • followers you feel uncomfortable with in any way


Twitter: @olivda


Nettle Web Design Ltd , 01206 266765,


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