Beginner’s Guide to Twitter for Business: Tools to Tweets



  • Tweet: The name given to each post of <140 characters

  • Follower: Someone that subscribes to your “feed”

  • Following: When you subscribe to someone else’s feed, you are following them

  • ReTweet: When another user republishes your tweet to their followers

  • Favourite: How you save a tweet for future reference

  • @Mention: Using the “@” symbol allows you to trigger a notification to that user

  • #Hashtag: Using a “#” makes the following phrase searchable

  • Stream: Refers to the realtime “flow” of tweets you see below at #9

  • Lists: Curated collections of users. Used to segment your relationships

  • Handle: Slang term for your Twitter username and refers to “@pointtrading”

  • DM: Direct message. This is a private message from a user direct to you

Basic Strategic Overview

Twitter is unprecedented as a way of receiving real-time sentiment. Typically used by thought leaders, professionals, and influencers, Twitter is a great way of personalising and expressing a brand identity.

Ideally a Twitter campaign should be used to listen to, reach out to, and engage with opinion-makers and decision-makers within your vertical. These users should be identified, added to lists, and fed the kind of content they crave based on their tweet and professional history.

By building these relationships Twitter allows brands to reach influential audiences that can magnify your unique service proposition to their own existing fanbase. Give them the content they need to advocate for your brand, in a form that they prefer, at a time when it’s relevant, and they will become brand ambassadors for you.

Twitter home screen


This button takes you back to the screen pictured. This is the interface where you see all the latest tweets by the people you follow.


Clicking here brings up your interactions with other users. When another user follows, @mentions, RT’s or favourites your content you will get a notification.


Clicking on this button takes you to topics and content tailored to your profile. Typically this will include content from your geography, that’s shared by people you follow, or matches the type of content you interact with.


This takes you to your public profile on Twitter. It shows your own tweets, including content that you have ReTweeted.


The search box allows you to find topics, people and brands within Twitter. Alternatively you can also simply click on a hashtag within your feed, and it will take you to a stream of users that are including that hashtag.


In your settings you can manage your profile, your direct messages, your location and even update your Twitter username.


This is where you write a new tweet.

8.Profile snapshot.

This shows the number of tweets you’ve made, the number of people following you, and the number of people you follow. Where possible try and keep the number of people you follow lower than those following you.

9.Feed / Stream.

This shows a realtime feed of all the users you are following. When you hover over one of the tweets there, you will get the option to ReTweet, Favourite and Reply to that tweet.

10.Who to follow.

Here twitter suggests users based on your existing relationships and content. This may be useful in locating relevant users.


Here you see what’s hot on twitter for your region. This captures hashtags that are being used the most right now. Some people use these trends as inspiration for their content, or to piggyback and comment on a popular topic.

Composing a New Twee

Here you can see there are a few elements: a text box, a camera icon, a drop pin, “buffer” button” and a “tweet” button.

Firstly it’s important that a tweet be succinct, that it be interesting, that it include relevant hashtags that describe it’s content, and that it mention relevant people (if applicable).

When replying to a user, or reaching out to a potential contact, be sure to @mention them in the tweet. This will ensure they get a notification. When you start a tweet with an @mention the audience is restricted to only you, the user being mentioned, and your common followers. If you want to make the tweet more public you can place an “.” before the @.

Including an image is a good way of adding value to your tweet. If you are able to turn an article or post into something that can be expressed or hinted at visually, then please do.

Location is best used when location adds meaning to the tweet. If you are posting a photo of a new office opening in Footscray, then adding a drop pin, and an image of your new office is a great way of using this feature.

Twitter profile






Items 1-5 appear on the left hand navigation menu. The above screenshot shows the default “tweets” selected. When one of these items are selected instead of tweets the content switches at the location labelled “11”.

6.Header image

You can change your header image in “settings > profile > change header”. This should add to your brand identity and/or articulate your services.

7.Profile pic

As with your header image and your background image, this can be updated within settings and should act as a reinforcement of your brand identify.


Here you include a brief summary of your product/service/brand. This real estate can be used to articulate the type of content users expect to see on your feed.

9.Uploaded images

This displays recent images uploaded to Twitter on your account.

10.Direct Messages

Here you can view private messages sent to you by other users. There will often be a lot of SPAM here including auto-messages an dubious links. Treat these with some caution.

Curating Lists

Use lists to segment, follow, and engage specific elements of your twitter community. Common usage is to create groups that are B2B, real life contacts, prospective clients, and those that engage with you most. The more you segment your audience, the more you can engage them with relevant content. Of course you can also look at competitors public lists and consider who would be of value to your business.

1.List Name & Description

This shows who created the list, the name of the list and a brief description of its intent and function.

2.List Statistics

This shows the number of members added to the list and the number of people that are following/subscribed to the list.


4.List Members

5.List Subscribers

Items 3-5 on the left hand navigation bring up relevant content at the position marked “6’. Here we can see list subscribers selected and displayed.

Using Advanced Search

When you search within Twitter you will be given a page of results. On the top right of these results you will see a “gear” icon similar to the settings icon. By clicking this you can access advanced search.

Pictured on the left Advanced search allows you to refine and filter the wealth of information within Twitter to get the results most relevant to you. You can refine by keywords, by users, by location, even by “sentiment” i.e. smiley or sad faces included in tweet.

This can be used to find users in your region that are engaging with your competitors, tweeting about your products or vertical. Used effectively this can be used to help isolate valuable community members and influential twitter users for your business.

Customising Your Twitter Profile

Now that you’re familiar with the platform you’ll want to personalise it. There are three main points of visual differentiation between one profile to another:

1.Background (1600×1200)

2.Header image (1252×626)

3.Profile picture (81×81)

Each of these locations have different sizing requirements (noted above). While the profile picture is fairly straightforward – it should either be a clear headshot of yourself, or a high resolution image of your logo, the header and background images are a little more complex.

How To Change your Twitter Profile Picture

1. Navigate to “Me” on the top navigation bar.

2. Click “edit profile” below the header image.

3. A “pencil” icon will appear next to your profile picture, click it.

4. Upload your 81×81 profile picture.

5. Click “save changes” below the header image.

Customizing Your Twitter Header Image

Your header image is valuable real estate which appears on your profile page when people visit your Twitter feed. In the image above you’ll notice that the description of your company appears over the top of the header image. This is something you need to consider when designing the header image – that it will be partially obscured. This 1252×626 image then should be used to reinforce your brand visually, if not textually with a “hero” shot of your products/services or clients.

1. Click on the “gears” icon on the top navigation menu.

2. Select the “profile” tab on the left navigation.

3. Click on the drop down navigation for “change header”

4. Upload photo.

Note: You can also upload use this page to update your profile picture by simply selecting “photo” above the header image in step 3 above.

Optimising Your Twitter Background Image

The background image is a little more complex than the other images as its designed to adapt to the different screen sizes people use to access Twitter. In other words someone viewing your Twitter profile on an iPad, a Desktop, Laptop or Smartphone may see slightly different percentages of the background image.

How does this affect you? It means that you need to be mindful of the layout used in your background image so important elements are visible on as many screens as possible. Rather than reinvent the wheel use a template from here.



1. Click on the “gears” icon

2. Click on the “design” tab on the left-hand navigation

3. Click on the “change background”

4. Check that the background position is set to “center”



Further reading:

  • Experts

    • Social Media Today: Experts weigh in on strategy, optimisation, campaigns, and conceptual pathways for Twitter users.

    • Mashable: follow latest news on Twitter from clever campaigns to new features or PR disasters

    • TwitTip: Advice on finding followers

  • Tools

    • Trendsmap: Looking for something topical in your area – this tool tells you which hashtags are trending in your region in real time. Follow a thread or join one.

    • JustUnfollow: if your following accounts that are inactive, or don’t follow back, this tool makes it quick and simple to mass unfollow them.

    • Klout plugin Which of your audience members is the most “important”? This chrome extension pulls in users Klout score directly into Twitter to let you know how influential that user is.

    • Canva: Make creating images for your Social Media feeds as simple as possible with this drag and drop interface that allows you search and add stock images.

  • Audience building


  • Monitor & Analyse

    • SocialMention: Another tool for tracking mentions of a users, brand, product, or whatever tickles your fancy. This tool pulls in all mentions that meet your criteria, though be warned, there can be a lot of false positives.

    • Trackur: Enterprise level social media monitoring tool. If you can’t afford it now, it’s worthwhile knowing that there are options for easier analysis.

Enquire about our IT services today.