Twitter often baffles people. People say “I get Facebook, I don’t get Twitter.”

It’s understandable as Twitter does have a coded sort of language that’s different to other social media sites.

Hopefully, here I’ll explain some basics on how to use Twitter for your business.

Right first: you need to set up a Twitter name when you register that ties in with your business – when I decided on the domain name Get Pro Copy, and bought it, I immediately used the name for Twitter, and Facebook. Slight difference though is Twitter usernames are prefixed with @ so @getprocopy allows you to tag someone in a tweet.

Tweets have a finite length: 140 characters. The tweet gets lopped if you go beyond this. You can shorten links you share by using services like bitly.com which generate shorter URLs to allow more content in your tweet.

Hashtags are something else that can mystify so I’ll confuse even more – it’s a meta data tag and if something is hashtagged frequently, it’s classed as “trending”. Put more simply a hashtag is a search – so if I tweet a blog post I may add #freelancewriter so it is indexed and searchable by others.

Followers can retweet your posts (RT), or quote them in a RT or like them. It’s good practice for anyone new to Twitter for business to engage with thought leaders within your sector.

You can tweet though without hashtags and it’s a good idea to do this.

Twitter also usefully tracks your tweets – it shows impressions and clicks. Impressions are the visibility of the post (a bit like reach on Facebook) and clicks are, well, clicks – on the link, or the hashtag, or the user, or the media attachment.

You can post up to 4 photos too in a Tweet – which often leads to more click throughs. Tweets with photos are more engaging statistically.

Another great aspect is the ability to run multiple accounts – on a tablet or smartphone, switching between profiles is a cinch – no logging out, just a click and pick. On a Desktop, it involves logging out.

Now what people sometimes overlook is the fact that Twitter is a fast moving news feed – 6,000 tweets are posted per second. So tweet regularly at optimum times (yes there are best times and big businesses have latched on to this.) It also feeds SEO, which I’ve written about here.

You can choose to protect your tweets by making a profile private or public. Private means the public can’t see your posts, you have to approve followers and even then they can’t retweet so businesses tend to make their accounts public.

Once mastered, Twitter is a superb way of promoting your business.

If you need any more advice, a page creating, a feed building and managing, get in touch with me.