How to set up a Twitter account
The first thing you need to do is set up your Twitter account. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way.
- Go to Twitter.com on your web browser and click Sign Up. Or tap Create Account on the Twitter app.
- Enter a name. For example, you can use your real one or a pseudonym, the name of your blog or your business.
- Enter your phone number, email address and date of birth, then click Sign Up.
- Wait for your verification code via email or text. Enter this and select Next.
- Create your password and tap Next.
That's your Twitter account set up.
When you've signed up, you'll be prompted to upload pictures. This optional step is your chance to create a sleeker, more professional, memorable impression online. If you're promoting your business or blog on Twitter, it's especially important that you:
- Click Upload Pictures.
- Choose a square image from your computer that best reflects your account. The file type must be JPG, GIF or PNG.
- Click Select, when you're happy with how your image looks.
Your Twitter bio, one of the most important things you’ll set up, tells your visitors who you are and what sort of content you'll create on the platform.
Your Twitter bio can be 160 characters maximum, so make sure your description is short and snappy. You can add an emoji if you feel like giving it a touch of personality. And this can be your opportunity to include your first Twitter hashtag to show what sort of topics you’re interested in.
If you have a business or brand to promote make sure you name it in your bio.
Promoting a personal blog or company? It’s essential that you add a website link to your Twitter profile.
- Go to Edit Profile in the dropdown menu.
- Scroll to the website box option.
- Copy and paste your desired URL.
- Double-check this is correct, then click Save Changes.
The final thing you could do to give your Twitter account a personal touch is change your colour palette.
- Click More on the sidebar menu.
- Navigate to Display.
- Tweak your font size, colour palette and your background theme until it's just so.
How to build your Twitter followers
Now you've set up and customised your Twitter page, you’re ready to have fun making friends on your personal account or reach potential customers for your business. To gain a larger Twitter following, so you can make the most of the platform, try these ideas for upping your follower count.
Share relevant content
Share content your audience is interested in so they can keep coming back to your account for more. If, for example, there's lots about world news and current affairs in your Twitter feed, tweet articles and comments on these topics as often as you can.
Interact with other users
Change your Twitter activity from passive to conversational. By interacting with people and responding to as many relevant tweets as you can, you could gain followers.
Browse trending hashtags for interesting tweets and reply with thoughtful comments. This could inspire people to check out your profile. Plus, you're more likely to be followed by people when you're seen to retweet or reply to others.
Twitter moves fast. Try to keep up by tweeting, as often as you can, about subjects that interest you and your followers. This way, your tweets will have a better chance of being seen at the top of hashtag lists and your followers' homepage walls. If you're serious about upping your Twitter game and follower count, why not create a content calendar and plan ahead of time?
Post visual content
Twitter is a visual platform. To get the best engagement and increase your follower count, consider how to make your tweets as eye-catching as possible. Striking image or, even better, slogans on an eye-catching placards, are powerful ways to enhance tweets.
For you to gain more followers on Twitter, #hashtags are essential because they make your tweets more search-friendly. They're keywords, used by people on Twitter to find content. Include a couple of popular or trending ones in your tweet and you'll massively increase the odds that people will see, read and interact with you. Plus, you'll boost your chances of being followed, the quick and easy way, by those who share your interests or opinions.
Grow your audience from outside Twitter
Tapping into your networks elsewhere is one of the best ways to grow your Twitter following. You can do this by adding your Twitter link to your email signatures, your personal website and even your business cards. Businesses, this is how you can show you care about your online presence, while giving people an easy way to reach you.
Make public lists
Flatter people by adding their Twitter accounts to a list that everyone can see, and you could gain lots of new followers, fast.
- Create a list on your homepage and give it a name that's relevant and kind, such as 'Current Events Journalists and Influencers'.
- Add suitable Twitter accounts that fit the category.
- Sit back and brace yourself for notifications that you're being followed by new people.
This is one of the best and last ways to try to rapidly increase your follower count. Mostly applicable to experts in their field, celebrities and publicly known personalities, getting a blue tick verification from Twitter is considered a sign of quality, reliable content. It should be noted that, as of 2019, this process has been put on hold, but there is no harm in keeping an eye on when it will be returning.
Learn Twitter lingo
A tweet is anything you post on Twitter that goes on your homepage feed. Tweets, limited to 280 characters, can contain photos, GIFs, videos and text. If you are new to Twitter, you are lucky: it used to be 140 characters when the platform first launched.
Hashtags are an easy way to find relevant content on Twitter. Adding a '#' to the beginning of a continuous, unbroken word or phrase creates a hashtag. When you create one and use it in a tweet, your tweet is automatically linked to all other tweets that mention the same hashtag. Including a hashtag helps give a tweet context and relatability and can help increase the interaction that it receives.
A Twitter handle is the name that appears at the end of your unique Twitter URL and they must be fewer than 15 characters long. A common misconception is that a Twitter handle is the same as a Twitter name. This isn't the case. Twitter handles appear after the '@' sign in your profile URL and must be absolutely unique to your Twitter account. A Twitter name, however, is just there for people to find the user, brand or company they’re looking for.
A retweet is a re-posting of another Twitter user’s tweet. Twitter's retweet function helps you and others to amplify content by quickly sharing it with your followers. You can retweet your own tweets and someone else's.
A mention is a form of interaction on Twitter. You can mention other accounts in your tweet by including the '@' sign and the username you wish to mention. If you include multiple usernames in your tweet, all these people will see your tweet in their Notifications tab. Try mentioning someone with more followers than you and hope they respond because this would amplify your fame and commentary on the platform.
DMs or Direct Messages are ways users can privately message each other without them being displayed on a timeline or tweet. Think of it as a type of email inbox that is exclusively for you and other users of Twitter.
Promoted tweets are tweets paid for by advertisers. These appear in your Home timeline at the top of the search results on Twitter and various other places on the platform. They are clearly distinguished from other pieces of content by their Promoted tag.
Dark mode is a feature on Twitter that changes the colour palette to a darker setting. This is a customisation that is optimised for experiencing Twitter in low-light environments. The dark mode feature is available on both desktop and the mobile app. Read more about Dark mode on your devices.
What content should you tweet about?
Choose carefully to build a strong Twitter following, as well as your personal Twitter identity and presence. Here’re a few things for you to consider:
On Twitter, it's important you keep your finger on the pulse. Every day, thousands of hashtags go viral and news stories break, which should give you plenty of ideas for content.
Pretty much the opposite of trending tweets, which are fleeting, evergreen content is always popular and relevant, regardless of when it was posted and seen. When someone goes to your profile, this sort of content should always be interesting and relevant.
Tweeting or commenting on news stories is an effective way to drive content without having to think too much about originality. It’s a great way to showcase that you have opinions on certain subjects and will show that you have a keen interest in particular goings on.
Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without, so remember that words alone aren't always enough hook people in.
Content for your followers
You can follow all the rules of tweet creation, but if it isn’t related to what your followers are interested in, then it’s most likely going to underperform in terms of engagement. Have a look at the sort of content your followers are producing and try to add to these topics in your own way. If your followers are film and TV buffs, for example, try to tweet about the newest blockbusters or film reviews and interviews.
Use Twitter's poll feature to ask your audience questions. It's an effective way to drive meaningful interactions with your audience and show your brand's personality. After all, Twitter's about conversation more than anything. Interactive content, such as this, is also an effective way to boost engagement ratings and gather feedback.