Twitter is an information network that instantly connects users with the latest stories, ideas and news that others find interesting. Users share short bursts of information through 140-character “Tweets.”

Twitter connects your business with your fans in real time, meaning as soon as you post a tweet, they will be able to see it. It can help you build relationships with your customers and partners. Since you only have 140 characters (letters, numbers or symbols) to use, Tweets need to be short and sweet. They are an excellent way to link to your website or to an article that you find relevant for your followers, or to ask your customers questions and start a conversation.

Creating a Username / Profile


Your Twitter handle is the short name you choose that – when you write it – begins with @. For example, we go by @LSMGuide on Twitter. However, when you’re choosing a handle, you don’t have to type in or include the “@” symbol as part of your name – Twitter automatically adds it for you.

  • On Twitter, your handle, or username, is your identity. It will appear before each tweet you send out, so, if you can, sign up for Twitter by using your company’s name, or a variation of it as your handle. This will make it easy for your followers to identify you.
  • Using your company’s name (or a slight variation) will also enhance your ability to be found through search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing).
  • Keep in mind that Twitter handles can only be 15 characters long, and they do count towards your 140 character limit per Tweet.
  • To get started, visit and click on the big “Sign Up” button.

Twitter Basics

  • Tweets – Tweets are how you communicate with your participants. They are limited to 140 characters.
  • Mentions – You can mention an account in your Tweets by preceding it with the @ symbol, i.e. “Glad your shipment arrived @janesmith!” By mentioning @janesmith, your Tweet will reappear in her stream, as well.
  • Re-Tweets (RT) – When you see a Tweet by another user that you want to share, click “Retweet” below it to forward it to your followers instantly. Alternatively, your followers can Retweet any of your messages to share with their followers.
  • Direct Messages (DM) – Instead of communicating publicly, you can send a private message to a user who’s following you.
  • Hashtags – Hashtags are the secret weapon of Twitter and knowing how to use them will make your tweets that much more findable. By using the “#” symbol to denote keywords (such as #burger) in your Tweets, users can find your Tweets by searching for that keyword.
  • Short Links – Since you only have 140 characters for your Tweet, you don’t want to waste precious space on a long website address. Instead, use a website like to shorten any website address into a few characters.

Growing Your Network

While Twitter is a great tool to extend the reach of your marketing messages if you don’t have any followers, it’s just like talking to yourself! Here are some tips to grow your network on Twitter:

  • Publish helpful and interesting content. Don’t only promote yourself or your business.
  • Make sure your profile is complete, so people can find you.
  • Follow people that you find interesting.
  • RT content that you find interesting.
  • Use hashtags to help your Tweets be more easily found.

Top Tips for Twitter

  • Share photos and behind the scenes information about your business.
  • Regularly monitor the comments about or mentions of your company and products.
  • Ask your followers meaningful questions to engage them.
  • Respond to questions, compliments or complaints about your business promptly.
  • Be the leader – share insightful and interesting articles on your industry.

Additional Resource:

  • Visit to learn the basics of Twitter for your business, and to see case studies/success stories from others businesses who’ve used Twitter.
  • Don’t forget to check out our blog post on how to construct the perfect Tweet.