Talk To The BIRD .Part 1.

Savvy marketers know that Twitter isn’t just for people with too much time on their hands who feel the need to share their lives in real-time. This social platform can be a valuable tool in the right hands – and it doesn’t take tons of personal research or expensive tutorials to get started. So what are you waiting for? Read on to learn how you can start taking advantage of the little blue bird’s popularity!
his will be the first post in a 3-part series designed to help you learn about your Twitter account and integrate it into your business marketing campaign. We’ll start with the basics today, and throw some simple yet effective (we love when those two coincide) tips and tricks into the mix as we go!
Let’s kick off our series off with a quick check-up: How’s your Twitter handle feeling?
1) First things first: make sure your handle will work best for the brand you want to create. If you are like many other users, you signed up for a Twitter account before it became an integral part of social media marketing, and your handle (username) isn’t quite up to the task of representing you in the business world. Choose a new username, and consider these ideas as you decide:
Don’t create a handle with numbers or underscores. For example, “Trisha1975” sounds more like a personal email address than a professional marketing account – plus everyone will just assume your first choice was taken or that you weren’t creative to come up with something more original, which will hurt you before you’ve even started.
Choose a variation of your name or your company. Potential clients and followers will be able to remember you easily and identify you at meetings and forums – and it’s a good way to incorporate your brand into your social networking strategies.
Live up to your title. If your Twitter handle is “GodsGiftToMktng” (we do not recommend this handle), be prepared to wow everyone with your unrivaled marketing abilities. And recognize that everyone will have very high expectations for your work from the get-go. In other words, choose a name that accurately represents you, and that will help you out in the long run. It’s okay to be confident, but don’t bite off more brash than you can chew.
Be consistent. If you already have an established blog or a variety of other online social networking sites with a particular (and professional!) username, try using that name (or a variation of it, if it’s taken) in order to be easily identifiable. Likewise, if you have a nickname by which you are commonly known, using it for your Twitter account will make you easily recognizable to others.
For more reassurance, look here.
2) Change it up! Now that you’ve chosen a killer Twitter handle, switch over your followers and info– and don’t panic, this is actually much simpler than it sounds.
Log in to your Twitter account. Under ”settings” type the name of the new handle you want to use in the “username” bar (where your current username is shown). Wait a minute while Twitter searches to see if your desired name is already taken. If it is, try a few variations. As of April, Twitter had 100 million users, so you can’t be too surprised if your first choice is already taken – but don’t give up til you’re satisfied with what you’ve got!
If your name is available, hit ‘save’and you’re golden! It’s that easy to pick a new name. Your Twitter followers will automatically ‘follow’ you on your new handle, so there’s no need to inform all of them. Pretty great, right? Now here comes the sneaky part:
Log out of your account, then click ”Sign Up” on Twitter’s home page. Since you have now changed your username, that old handle you were using before will now be available. You’ll want to grab that one so that you can scan it from time to time in case other people leave an occasional message there, or a couple of tweets end up being sent there instead. So, sign up for your old handle with a different email address. Now you own two accounts: your new handle has all of your followers, and your old one is still owned by you, so you can check up on it from time to time.
Leave a message on your old handle (the one you signed up for a minute ago using a different email address) saying something like “follow me on my new handle: __”  <– your fantastic new handle goes there.
3) Check back soon for some solid advice on:
-How to find the right people to follow
-How to find your friends (we’ve got a few apps you don’t know about, and we’re feeling generous)
-How to attract your own group of followers
And between now and then, spend some time looking through your settings, browsing other people’s profiles, and getting familiar with your account. Oh, and make a few tweets using your snazzy new Twitter handle. You’ve earned it!
(For further reading, see Glenn Hilton’s Blog – he agrees with us; you should take charge of your Twitter!)
Meghan Ingram
MARKIT Group staff


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About MARKIT Group

MARKIT Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing and public relations firm with an emphasis on social media, reputation management and monitoring, as well as brand management. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Fla., with offices in New York, Pittsburgh and Charleston, S.C.
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