How To Use Twitter: A Beginner's Guide

Many companies understand they should be using Twitter as a social media marketing tool, however, they’re unsure how to get started. So, I thought I would put together a resource that runs you through the absolute basics of how to use Twitter, so you can start benefiting from the power of social media marketing!

Why bother? I’m sure you may have read about why Twitter is so important to marketing before. However, just to remind you...Twitter for marketing is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is essential. This is because the social networking site allows you to connect and engage with your customer, enabling a medium to promote news, offers and information to your target audience that are choosing to follow you. The site is also free to use, making it one of the most cost effective mediums of PR available to you.

Twitter Facts 

  1. Twitter now has over 140 million 'active' users 
  2. Half of Twitter's 'active' users log in daily 
  3. Twitter has over 500 millon registered accounts 
  4. 250 Million Tweets are sent out daily 

Setting-up An Account 

First things first, lets set you up with an account. If you already have a Twitter account please skip this step.

1. Go to and fill in your details in the sign up box.


2. On the next page select your Display Name and Username. The Display Name is how you want to be known, (either your personal name or that of your business). Your username is Twitter’s equivalent of an email address, and is used to send you messages, so it has to be unique. You may find that your prefered username has already been taken. The only way to prevent someone from taking a username that could be associated with your business is to register it yourself. 


3. Twitter will then ask you to ‘follow’ some accounts (you can skip this) Following an account means you wish to have their tweets display on your timeline/wall. Try to select accounts to follow that are relevant to your field of work. Therefore the ‘tweets’ you see will be relevant and newsworthy to you. If you run a bar, perhaps follow other bars etc 

4. Twitter sends you an email to verify your email address is active. So do now check your email as soon as you’ve registered and click the link in the email to complete the sign up process. 

Twitter Basics 

1. Tweet - This is a post or status update of up to 140 characters sent out on Twitter.

2. Following Following an account means you wish to have their tweets displayed on your timeline/stream. You would follow an account if you are interested in their tweets.

3. Follower - This means an account on Twitter has chosen to follow your tweets.

4. Retweet - When you ‘retweet’ something on Twitter, it means that you like what that particular person has had to say. Retweeting shares the post out on your account to your followers, but with the original details, giving the person who wrote it the credit.

5. Favouriting If you like someone’s tweet, you can either ‘retweet’ as mentioned above, or you can favourite the tweet to view at another time. This will not go out to your followers (although a notice will be sent to the original tweeter). It’s like having your own personal collection of tweets.

6. @Mention - This is where an account has directly mentioned you in their tweet using your twitterhandle/username e.g @beeliked. Anyone can see tweets where you have been mentioned and even search for all mentions of your Twitter account. If you run a business, you need to keep an eye on your @mentions and click to reply where necessary. 

7. Direct Mention (DM) - Think of this as your email inbox, only you can see these messages. They are private messages that can be sent between users on Twitter. An account has to be following you in order for you to send them a DM.

The Twitter Homepage

The homepage is the first thing you will see when you sign into Twitter. The top of the page has 3 different tabs, homeconnect and discover. Below this you will see a small snapshot of your Twitter information. This includes how many tweets you have sent, how many people you are following and how many followers you have.


The Homepage contains three key areas:

1. Your stream/feed

If you are following someone, their tweets will appear chronologically in this section. It is not filtered so it will contain tweets from all the different people you follow


2. Who To Follow

This is a small section to the right of your Twitter Homepage. It shows you three different people that you may be interested in following. If you wish to see similar profiles you can either click on ‘Refresh’ or “View All’.


3. Trends/#Hashtagging

This box will help show you what people are talking about on Twitter. This can be set up to be global, national or local. These trends are particular words or phrases that are being used by a large amount of accounts in their tweets.

Here is an example of a trend. On father’s day people tweeted #happyfathersday

This meant that ‘father’s day’ was trending on Twitter. As the # symbol is used in front of the phrase ‘happyfathersday’, it becomes known as a hashtag. You can then click that hashtag and see everyone who have used it in their tweets.

One tip is to try and keep on top of trends, if you notice a trend that is relevant to your brand or venue (E.g. a hashtag such as #itstheweekend, or #TFIF) you could Tweet an offer for your venue and include the hashtag!

For example:

‘Why not pop in and say hello today? Repeat #beertime to a member of staff to receive a free pint between 3pm-4pm! #fridaydrinks #TFIF’

A word of caution though. Make sure that if you do include a hashtag that is trending, that it is relevant to your tweet. Throwing a random hashtag that is trending onto the end of your tweet just to catch people’s attention, will only annoy people. You want to engage with relevant people, not just anyone. 


How To Tweet

  1. To tweet click the blue button at the top right hand side of the page, type your post and click tweet!
  2. Tweets are only 140 characters long – short and sweet
  3. If you can’t remember an accounts @mention name, then all you need to do is type ‘@’ and a list will appear, this list will start to narrow itself down as you type.

The @Connect Page

This page is quite basic, anyone who retweets@mentions you, favourites one of your tweets or follows you, will appear on this page. This is a section you should be regularly checking every day!

It can be a great way to help your customers and let them know you are listening to them.

If someone sends you a tweet complimenting your brand or venue, it would be a good idea to retweet it so others can see the nice things said about you.

Aside from tweeting, replying and retweeting people are the key elements for gathering new followers on Twitter. Whenever someone @mentions you in their tweet, it will appear in this section and you will be able to either Reply, Retweet or Favourite the tweet.


The #Discover Page

The Discover page is the home of #hashtags. It offers greater depth to the current topics trending, offering links to the stories. 

In case you’ve forgotten already, #Hashtags are used on Twitter for ‘trends’. They are relevant key words or phrases (no spaces). This helps categorize tweets and make them easier to search. E.G #socialmedia or #Twitter

You can search the Discover page for a particular topic/trend that people are talking about on Twitter by using the search bar at the top of the site. For example if you wanted to see what people are tweeting about the 'London Olympics' you could simply search #Olympics2012 or #London2012, and see all tweets that included that particular hashtag.

The discover page is an interesting place to find news and read the stories behind why certain things are trending on Twitter.

Try to use hashtags/trends in your tweets as often as you can as they boost the visibility of your tweet, and can lead to an increase in followers. However, make sure to avoid aimless #hashtagging that is often seen on Twitter, for example #bored or #funny. They are not topical and defeat the aim of the concept.



So, that concludes today's Twitter lesson. Now it's time for you to start making use of Twitter and the huge benefits it can have to your company.

Please Remember to:

  1. Tweet around 4-5 times a day
  2. Use trends in your tweets 
  3. Retweet your positive customer tweets
  4. Reply to customers
  5. Follow relevant accounts every few days 

If you have any questions, please feel to tweet me on @beeliked, and please feel free to follow :-)