During a recent social media workshop for new businesses, I had limited time to focus on individual social media platforms so I shared my top 5 tips to get them started. I posted my Top 5 Tips for LinkedIn some time ago, and now here are my top 5 tips for Twitter:


1. @AsShortAsPossible

Keep your handle as short as possible so that it doesn’t take up valuable space you want to use for your message. Instead of @barkysspafordogsandcats, try @Barkys (probably already taken!) or @BarkysSpa. Keep underscores out of it unless absolutely necessary and remember you can always use your full name in your profile:



2. Keep It Real

It is much better to have a small following of real people than a large following of bots. Don’t buy followers and beware of autofollow. Look for people, businesses, organizations, and news sources that are relevant to you and your business, including other local business owners.

3. Set Your Email Notifications

If you are not going to be active on Twitter on a consistent basis, make sure your email notifications are set up so that you at least know when someone mentions you in a tweet or sends you a direct message. Otherwise, having a Twitter account is like having a business phone that you leave ‘off the hook.’

4. Follow the Followers

In the twitterverse (yes, the twitterverse…) you can see who is following who. Take a look at the people who are following the same accounts as you – they share your interests. For example, you may be following @SmallBusinessBC and a lot of other small business owners will be following them, too.

5. Use It Or Lose It

It is increasingly difficult to get a short user name because so many of them are taken. By all means, if your business name is available and you plan to be active on Twitter, then sign up right away. However, be warned: Twitter wants you to use your account and they have an inactive account policy.