[intro] Before you begin this guide, you need to ensure that you have installed the Social Plugins feature and that you can create your own images in order to brand your Twitter account to match your EKM online shop. [/intro]

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Twitter is a favourite social media platform of choice for many, due to the type of content you can publish. It’s known as a ‘micro-blogging’ platform, as users are limited to 280 characters per update. The updates can include links, hashtags and emoticons, and are known as tweets. Twitter is very different to Facebook, in that all profiles are the same; there’s no visible difference between business profiles (like Facebook Pages) and personal profiles. Because of this, the use of hashtags - which we’ll get to later - and the limit on tweets means that Twitter is the go-to platform for news and updates as they happen worldwide. You can read more about Twitter here

It’s worth opening a Twitter account for your EKM online shop to target Twitter users - who aren’t necessarily people that use Facebook - and to allow you to get updates as and when they occur - useful if your Products can be related to subjects which trend regularly, such as celebrities, sports and football, for example. 

How to create a Twitter Account

1. Click this link, and then click the Sign up button:


2. Add your full name, email address and a password (as always, consisting of a minimum of seven characters - ideally have a number, a capital letter and a character such as an & or $ to make it extra secure), before clicking the Signup button:

3. Enter your telephone number and then click Next. This is not for Twitter to phone you, nor will you be pestered by marketing calls; Twitter needs your phone number to help identify which of your contacts are using Twitter so you can link up to them. When you have added your phone number, click the Next button:

4. Now you need to add a username. This should match that of your EKM online shop. Add your username to the field provided with no spaces, and Twitter will quickly let you know if it is available or not. If your company name is not available, add your location and try that instead. For example, instead of EvesTestShop, you would try EvesTestShopLancashire. When you have got a tick next to your Twitter username, click the next button:

5. Now you need to click the Let’s Go button:

6. Select subjects that you are interested in, before clicking the blue Continue button::

7. You now have the option for Twitter to search through your existing email contacts to find any of your friends and colleagues on Twitter. To do this, click one of the email icons, and then click the button provided to import contacts. This step is not necessary and you can click the No Thanks button to skip it. 


8. You will then get offered some more different Twitter accounts to follow, based on the interests you selected earlier on. Click the Continue button - you can always pick and choose who you follow later on:

How to customise your Twitter Account

9. You’ll now get your first look at your Twitter dashboard. To customise your Twitter account and add your branding, click your username:

10. This will reveal the ‘front-end’ of your Twitter account- this is what other users see. Click Edit Profile to begin customising your Twitter account:


11. Click each camera symbol to upload your cover image and profile picture. On Twitter, your cover image should be 1500 pixels wide by 500 pixels high, and your profile picture should be 400 x 400 pixels:


12. When you have uploaded your images, be sure to complete the information in the fields beneath your profile photo. Your Bio is a summary of who you are, your Location is obviously where you’re based, and the Website field is for you to add the domain name of your EKM online shop. When you have completed customising your Twitter profile, it should look something like this:

How to Tweet

Click the Save Changes button, and you can then write your first tweet! Twitter automatically writes your first two tweets for you; you can publish these by clicking either or both of the blue Tweet buttons, or write your tweet in the field provided:

Tweeting Images

When you have finished writing, you’ll see four symbols beneath your Tweet:

The first symbol of ‘the postcard with the mountains and the sun’ on it, is the Image button- click this to upload an image to your Tweet. As with Facebook Pages, tweets with images perform a lot better when they have images added to them. To ensure that other users see your image in their Twitter feed without it being cropped, use images which are 440 pixels wide by 200 pixels high in your tweets. This is useful for advertising offers and discounts on your EKM online shop. Upload your image to your tweet and click the blue Tweet button:

When published, your Tweet will look like this:

Tweeting Gifs

If you ignore the Image button and click the next one along, Gif will display a collection of ‘reaction Gifs’ that you can choose from, adding the most appropriate to your Tweet:


Reaction Gifs are small video files that display in a loop, and they’re how many users on Twitter convey emotions such as excitement, happiness and love. On Twitter, they are divided into different categories to help you quickly find the best Gif for your tweet. Select your Gif and click the blue publish button to publish your tweet:

Polls

Next to the Gif button, there’s the symbol for Polls. This is where you can set up a poll for your followers to vote on. Some polls created are about serious subjects, such as Brexit for example, whilst others are for silly things such as ‘Do you put toothpaste on a wet brush or a dry brush?’ Click the Poll button:

You can add more than two possible answers for your Poll, and set how long you want the Poll to run for using the drop-down buttons for Poll Length. When you have configured your Poll, click the blue Tweet button, and your published tweet will look like this:

Other Twitter users that follow you will be able to click and answer your Poll. When the Poll has finished, you’ll see the results:

Interacting with other Users

When you view your Twitter dashboard, you have a newsfeed, which is a display of all the tweets from the people you are following:

On my newsfeed, Shannon (from our Marketing Team) has just tweeted:

There’s a number of ways I can react to Shannon’s Tweet. I can respond directly to her by clicking the speech bubble symbol, writing a tweet back to her before clicking the blue Reply button:

I could click the Retweet button, which is the two ‘square’ arrows:

This gives me the option of ‘retweeting’ Shannons tweet (so it will appear on my profile, like a Share on Facebook) or quoting on the retweet too, where any comment I make back to Shannon is published too. Write the comment and then click the blue Tweet button to 'Quote and Retweet': 

This is then displayed on my Twitter Profile like this. I have retweeted the tweet, but you can still see it originally came from Shannon:

I could also click the heart symbol on Shannon’s tweet, to give it a ‘like’:

Any tweets I like are publicly visible on my Profile and can be seen by clicking the Likes tab. This allows other Twitter users to see the kinds of tweets I am interested in:


Finally, I may want to send a DM (Direct Message) to Shannon, by clicking the envelope symbol:

DM’s are not publicly visible, and you can only DM users that are following you back. 

How to use Hashtags

One of the main characteristics of Twitter is that you can use hashtags in your tweets. Hashtags - # - are a way of organising tweets about a specific topic. This is why Twitter is renowned for being the go-to platform for news as and when it happens, as tweets about specific topics can be quickly sorted into groups via their hashtags and accessed so you can keep abreast of whatever the subject is that you’re interested in.

This is very useful not just for promoting your brand but in daily life. For example, if you are travelling on the M6 motorway and there’s a jam where you’re caught in tailbacks and nothing seems to be moving, use the Twitter app and in the search bar, type in #m6. The results of your search will display all of the tweets that include #m6. You can sort these into ‘Top’ (most popular) but for the aim of getting an update quickly, sort the results by ‘Latest’. From the results, you’ll be able to look up the cause of the delay and any updates from the agencies dealing with the issue, such as the Motorway Police (obviously, don’t ever tweet whilst driving, this was written for a passenger’s point of view!).

Twitter is also good fun when you’re watching television. Programmes such as Gogglebox and Blue Planet often become trending topics on Twitter as there are thousands of tweets being published with the hashtags #blueplanet and #gogglebox. You can see what is currently trending on Twitter by looking to the left of your dashboard whilst viewing Twitter on your laptop or desktop computer:

Or alternatively, if you’ve downloaded the Twitter app to your mobile phone or tablet, trending topics can be found by clicking the magnifying glass symbol:


[tips]Hashtags are a fantastic way of joining in with a trending topic to promote your Twitter account, your Brand and your Products, however, unlike Instagram a lot of hashtags used in tweets is regarded as spamming and can see people unfollow you. With that in mind, use no more than three hashtags per tweet maximum.[/tips]

How to generate and what kind of content to share on this platform

The character limit for tweets is 280 characters, but you don’t have to use the full amount. In fact, the shorter and more concise the tweet, the more effective it will be as shorter tweets are easier to digest than longer ones. Limit your hashtags to no more than three per tweet and you then have some basic guidelines for the kind of updates you can provide on your new Twitter account. When promoting your EKM online shop on Twitter, you should tweet about:

  1. Any of the Products on your shop;
  2. Any discounts or promotions you are running;
  3. Countdowns to sales, promotions or the arrival of new Products;
  4. Local information (such as major traffic issues within your locality);
  5. Topics that your target customers may be interested in;
  6. If you have a blog set up, links to your latest blog posts.

Who to follow

1. It’s a good idea to search for companies within your hometown to raise an awareness of your brand and Products in the local ‘twitterverse’. To do this, use the search bar on your Twitter dashboard to run a search for where you are located by entering your location and clicking enter on your keyboard:

2. From the results, click the People tab:

3. You can then scroll through the results, clicking Follow next to the Twitter accounts you would like to read tweets from:

4. Using this same method, look up and follow:

  1. Other businesses and companies that are complementary to your own brand and Products;
  2. Interests which you feel your target market would be interested in:
  3. Celebrities that would be of interest to your customers and complimentary to your Products (for example, if you sell car parts, follow @jeremyclarkson or @matt_leblanc. If you sell crafting supplies, follow @kirstyallsop and if you sell building supplies, follow George Clarke from Amazing Spaces at @MrGeorgeClarke). 

You can find EKM’s Twitter account at @EKM_UK, and our CEO is @AntonyChesworth and I’m @evebolan. Feel free to tweet us, though please bear in mind we cannot provide technical support over Twitter; you would be best contacting our Customer Support Team directly for technical help!

Linking Twitter to your EKM online shop

1. To link your Twitter account to the Social Plugins feature, you need to copy your username. This is the name displayed after the @ symbol on your profile:

2. You then need to open the Social Plugins feature on your EKM online shop and drag the Twitter icon into the lower field:

3. Enter your Username into the field provided and click the green update button:

Your Twitter account is now linked to your EKM online shop. Be sure to read Creating your Social Media Strategy for further advice on creating content for your target market. 

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[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on the weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions board. If you have a non-account specific question ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community.  [/contact]