How to Set Up a Twitter Account

How do I set up a Twitter account? Sometimes those of us who have been using Twitter for a while forget what it was like to start out and work out how to get going. So when Nate Moller of MollerMarketing (follow him at @MollerMarketing) asked if he could write a beginner post on how to set up a Twitter Account I thought it would definitely help those starting out.

What is Twitter?

what-is-twitter.jpg
“Are you in to bird watching or something?” asked one of my Facebook friends once as I made a Twitter post about my 1,000th “tweet”.

Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time.

Wikipedia describes it this way:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service, that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Before I get in to too much detail on why twitter is such a great part of online marketing, I want to teach you how to set up a twitter account.

Step 1: Go to http://twitter.com.

When you get to Twitter.com, you’ll see this page:

setup-twitter-1.png

Step 2: Click the Join the conversation! Green Box

This page will appear:

setup-twitter--2.jpg

Step 3: Create a Username.

If you are using this twitter account for brand management for your business, I’d recommend using your domain name minus the dot com/net/etc. (ie. http://twitter.com/mollermarketing) If it’s just for fun or personal use, use whatever you want as the username.

Add your email address, personal or business.

Type in the security code then click “I accept, Create my Account” (if you want, you can read the Terms of Service too).

Step 4: Start connecting!

As you can see by the picture below, Twitter asks for your email information. They state very clearly that they don’t use or share your information anywhere:

We don’t store your login, your password is submitted securely, and we don’t email without your permission.

setup-twitter-3.png

I get plenty of spam in my email inbox, but I’ve never tracked it back to Twitter so don’t worry about giving up “personal info” (this is just my advice, not legal mumbo-jumbo so don’t blame me if you get your identity stolen or something :) ) If you’re really concerned, set up a new Gmail email account that’s just for your twitter account (I feel like you’d be waisting lots of time doing this).

Here’s what the next page will look like:

setup-twitter-4.png

What’s cool is that Twitter goes through all your email addresses to see who is already registered with a Twitter account. You can hand pick which of your new “Twitter Friends” you want to add.

There’s also an option where you can invite non-Twitter users to set up Twitter accounts – it looks like this:

setup-twitter-5.png

If you plan to use Twitter for business and you already have a pretty big database of names and emails, this could be a great opportunity to show your clients you care by connecting with them in a new way. Twitter can be a great way to communicate and deal with Customer Care issues too!

Step 5: You’re now an official Twitter User!

Important questions to ask at this point: Do you need a Tweet Plan? What about setting goals for Twitter?

Darren Rowse from TwiTip.com has this to say:

Being successful at something is very hard if you don’t know what you want to achieve. It’s much easier to hit your target…. if you know what it is.

I really do think the sooner you have a purpose for Twitter, the better, but since this is a “Getting Started on Twitter” tutorial, just add some friends!

The easiest way to get started with Twitter is by interacting with people you already know – aka: use your email list and see who’s already using Twitter.

The best thing about this is, if you have friends that have a lot of experience “tweeting”, they can give you tips, tricks, and even connections that will help you grow your reputation on Twitter.

I’ve been using Twitter since April of 2007 and it’s been a fun ride so far. I’ve found that, the more direction and focus I have, the better use I get out of Twitter for business networking.

Comments

  • December 4, 2008

    That is very good explanation on how to setup Twitter Account.

    I would also add: to use search.twitter.com and search for individual keywords they like and maybe even follow people in same interest. For example I like technology so imediatlly I followed Scobleizer, Leo Laporte, TechMeme, and so on….

    Yet Another Great Post!

  • December 4, 2008

    Thanks for continuing to post tips for beginners. The more you folks help out those just starting, the better it is for the entire community.

    So far, there has been a nice mix of tips for all levels of Twitterers.

    George

  • December 4, 2008

    An interesting “feature” in setting up a Twitter account is that you do not need to provide a valid email, just a unique one. So you can register multiple Twitter IDs and not worry about lots of email. I use the stiennon+twitterID@gmail.com technique. Twitter thinks they are each unique but gmail ignores everything after the “+”.

    The possibility for abuse is there as well. A prankster could create an TwitterID and use a real email address that does not belong to them. Then the owner would get DM alerts and new follower alerts sent to their email.

  • December 4, 2008

    @LiveCrunch

    Thanks for the addition about using the search function. I just taught a client yesterday about that – they were wondering how to connect with Fly Fishing people via Twitter. The best way I’ve seen is the Search function:
    1) Find the Search Link at the bottom of the Twitter home page
    2) The Twitter Search Page will appear in a new window or tab
    2) Type in the keyword phrase you are interested in
    3) A page will appear that has posts using that keyword phrase
    4) Click on the Twitter People and start following them, messaging them, etc.

    Hope this helps!

  • December 4, 2008

    Are there any No No’s on Twitter?

  • December 4, 2008

    This is the perfect remedial Twitter set-up article for the many, many mom entrepreneurs who ask about how to do it–thank you!!

    I just found your blog last week and I have learned SO MUCH already. Your blog is amazing, amazing, amazing.

    Thanks for the great content!!

    Heather Allard, The Mogul Mom
    http://www.TheMogulMom.blogspot.com

  • December 4, 2008

    One of my friends signed up for Twitter last night, I tried to explain to her the marketing value that can come from using Twitter and she seemed to think I would out of my gourd.

  • December 4, 2008

    Great explanation. Sometimes the simple things like this is what stops people from signing up in the first place. I will make sure to send anyone looking on how to get started with Twitter over to this post.

  • December 4, 2008

    I have had so many people ask me recently to help them set up an account so this posting is really useful. My own instructions at the moment are for those who are just that little bit more advanced. I just think Twitter is a great way to learn how to cultivate a community.

  • December 4, 2008

    A lot of people ask me how twitter is different from just using facebook’s status feature. Besides replying that you can interact with people that aren’t on facebook, how would you answer this?

  • December 4, 2008
    Jim Shelby

    As someone who is both fascinated and intimidated the idea of Twitter (in fact a lot of what I see online does that to this 84 year old) I wanted to say that I appreciate this post. I feel confident now that I can at least get myself going. I find that a lot of these new types of sites assume a basic level of knowledge, even in the signup process, that many people simply do not have. Thank you.

  • December 4, 2008

    Jason,

    Email me that question at mollermarketing (at) gmail.com – got some tips to tie in Facebook and Twitter.

  • December 4, 2008

    There is always that one person that needs that visual aid to set-up. This is a nice aid, to get things started.

  • December 4, 2008

    Cool. Thanks for the most blatantly obvious post ever.

  • December 4, 2008

    Josh – obvious for many – but if you read the comments above you’ll find that some need a little help in getting going.

  • December 4, 2008

    Haha, OK. I thought the “Get Started Now” sort of gave it away. My bad. Now that I know, I have decided to write a mini blog post in the comments section of this highly useful post.

    Guess what, everyone? There’s this neat little service out there called Hotmail that is “new” and “hip” and hasn’t already been out there for almost three years (or eight or nine…) or anything. Here’s what you do if you want to join the party.

    Go to hotmail.com.

    Here’s the REAL trick… now, pay attention… you have to click the “Sign Up” button.

    Whew! Hope you find this useful! ;)

  • December 4, 2008

    Hey Josh,

    Thanks for the insightful comments. A few questions I have for you:

    1. Why in the world are you still using a sub-domain for your blog?

    Sub-domains aren’t bad at all if you’re just getting started blogging, but if you’ve been blogging for quite a while and are looking to build industry credibility and reputation, you gotta get hosted and get a real domain name. Andy Beal talks about it in this video. I guess some can get away with sub-domain blogs (Seth Godin and…Seth Godin is about the only one I can think of right now.)

    2. What’s your strategy for using Twitter?

    I see you have 32 followers and are only following 26 people. Guy Kawasaki recently said in a post titled How to Change the World: How to Use Twitter as a Twool:

    Get as many followers as you can. I recently explained what I do to get more followers… Ignore people who tell you that it’s the quality of your followers not the quantity. They’re trying to make friends, not use Twitter as a tool. And, truth be told, there are only two kinds of Twitter users: those that want more followers and those that lie.

    I’ve worked with hundreds of clients from all over the world, a lot of them being brand new to the world of online marketing and social media. I’ve found that tutorials like this one, although very basic to masters like you, are really helpful to people just getting started. If you want more advanced tutorials about using social media tools like Twitter, try this one:
    How I Got Shaq To Follow Me on Twitter

    Best of luck to you! Happy Tweeting!

  • December 4, 2008

    Josh – I understand that this post is obviously about something that you have a great grasp on – however TwiTip is a blog for people who have questions about and gaps in their knowledge of Twitter.

    Some of these gaps in knowledge are more advanced – while some are at a very basic level. In my mind – having a simple question is just as valid as having a complex one.

    All I can really say is that if you find this post too basic for you – then you’re more than welcome to not read it, to add to it in comments and make it more useful or to move on to something else to do with your time. Other upcoming posts on this blog will cover topics at a range of levels.

    If you find all the posts on this blog too basic – you’ve every right to not read it. I’m not forcing any of this on anyone and by all means if you need something more advanced I’d encourage you to go find a blog that is at that level – or to start your own.

    But bagging a post because you think its too basic when others in this comment thread obviously found it useful just makes you come across as snarky and snobbish. Sorry but I don’t really know how else to put it. We all start somewhere and someone who doesn’t understand something that you perceive to be basic doesn’t make them any less worthwhile than you.

    Yes this post is basic – but at least Nate put a little time aside to write something that helped a few people with a need that they had. Did it change the word? Not in a spectacular way – but it may just have helped one person who needed a little encouragement – and that’s good enough for me.

  • December 4, 2008
    Phao Loo
    @phaoloo

    to @stiennon: that’s really a helpful tip.

  • December 5, 2008

    Wow, you people are taking this pretty seriously. Get a sense of humor! :)

    I guess you don’t get sarcasm?

    @Nate Moller … Umm… I’m pretty sure I don’t need a domain name for a personal, fun blog, and I’m not trying to market to anyone on Twitter. Just using it as a social networking tool with friends, not so much as an annoying marketer following more people than I can actually keep up with. If I ever start a business, perhaps that’ll change some.

    Take it easy guys. Go get a beer and relax. I’m not hating on you. Just making an observation of my own. All of my friends would find this post pretty simplified too. It is very well-written and thorough, and I’m sure it is certainly great for the older folks out there. For us millenials… eh, not so much. I realize who it’s targeted toward, and it’s just not my generation. That’s perfectly OK. But seriously, take a chill pill, I was just poking a little fun at your article because it is something my grandmother would need… actually, she’d just call me.

    Take it easy, y’all.

  • December 6, 2008

    Thank totorial for kids, like me jajajja, than you a lot.

  • April 13, 2009

    I need info on how to tie twitter and facebook. I do not have a facebook accout.

  • April 24, 2009

    Great write up! I’m glad you guys made a tutorial like this because there really is a need for it. There are many people that have no idea about how to sign up to Twitter. That may seem ridiculous to some but it is a reality, and it’s not just “old” people. Keep doing what your doing. You are helping people and that’s all that matters.

  • May 17, 2009

    This was great information. I have never Twittered before, but I was able to get my account set up and am sending Tweets. What a great way to communicate. Thank you for your help.

  • June 6, 2009
    greg tone

    I don’t doubt twitter is the next big find,but I have One question how do I sign up and is username
    fowed by ******@live.mail or what?

  • June 7, 2009

    @Greg

    User name is not followed by @live.mail or your email address. It could be something like @gregtone (although you wouldn’t need the @ sign).

    Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, let me know!

    @Cherly Glad to help! Look forward to connecting with you on Twitter – @mollermarketing

  • August 19, 2009

    I am curious. I dont quite understand how to set up a business twitter account. If I were to use my company – Do I just put compumail as my user name? How do I add like Peteatcompumail as a twitter id to corrolate with the account so I can send tweets from that one account and receive them?

    Any help would be great. thanks

    my cell is 765 744 9757 for any help via the phone

  • September 8, 2009

    I was wondering what all of the buzz was about with twitter. I still don’t know how I would use it for business reasons or facebook for that matter. I look forward to learning how they could help our business. As I look at it everything helps!

  • November 5, 2009

    Thank you for this explanation. I own an internet business and need help making our logo a recognized brand… RoseMate. I am an inventor and not computer savy so your step by step instructions are very much appreciated.

  • November 20, 2009

    Thanks, this was very helpful. Breda

  • December 10, 2009

    This is a great post for beginners. I also think that adding your main keyphrase as a username is a great way of getting fast good quality traffic as the Twitter page will rank high and then the visitors can go directly onto your website.

  • December 24, 2009

    Cool tips for those new to twitter thanls for sharing

  • December 30, 2009

    Great post. Twitter is something | am looking at getting into very soon and is always great to start of with a guide.

    Thanks

  • January 7, 2010

    Great post, Then honesty is the best policy when building your profile, so don’t be shy or elusive. Using your real name or a company name here can better help you in establishing an identity on Twitter.

    Choosing right people and following them is very important… Just for number sake we should not follow each and every one. We can also use the search option in twitter. This gives current trend topics in the world… We can also make list.

  • January 17, 2010
    Steve fay
    @jw433

    Can I set up a twitter account that members of a team could follow and they could follow on their mobile phone without having a twitter account? Could they just type in the short code, use the command follow “xyz” and start receiving text updates?

  • February 23, 2010
    stephen

    I have been trying to sign up for twitter for three days. I fill everything in correctly but after the two ’security words’ there is nothing except the EULA box, no submit button, nothing to enable sign up. I have tried on four different pc’s, three running windows 7 and one with vista, I have emailed twitter support only to be asked for my user name which I can’t give because I CANNOT sign up in the first place, I am now at my twits end…

  • February 23, 2010

    it is a great explanations for me as a beginner

  • March 2, 2010

    thanks for this. We have been thinking about using twitter and work and I can now show this too boss and she what she says. Saved me loads of time so gold star for you!

  • March 2, 2010

    Really cool post. I have been struggling with the idea of twitter but this post has made it really clear for me. I can’t believe its so simple. I am off to create an account now. Thank you very very much!

  • March 23, 2010

    life sucks sometimes

  • April 3, 2010

    Great post!! I’m always learning new stuff, and I love it! I will be setting up a Twitter account soon! I hope to have lots of followers & hopefully get my business up and running, not walking, RUNNING!!

    PLEASE VISIT: PremiumEmpire.com

    Sincerely;
    J. Ortiz
    [CEO & Founder of PremiumEmpire.com]

  • April 28, 2010
    melissa hughes

    Doesn’t it cost money every single time u tweet a message or even receive a tweet message? If a person pays the same monthly amount for the same amount of minutes on their cell phone, like I do, what happens if u have, say, 9 minutes left on your cell phone to last for the rest of the month and someone starts tweeting u when u don’t want your minutes used up?

  • May 17, 2010
    Care Campbell
    @Caresbeautybar

    Ok. I innocently set up a 2nd account last night, unwittingly using the same email addy as the 1st … and now it seems I am totally screwed. I cannot for the life of me get back into the original account to change the email address to what it should have been, I don’t want to delete the 2nd one because I’ll never get the user name back … sigh … Please help????? (Think of Lilu’s “please help” in “The Fifth Element”.

  • May 27, 2010
    Himanshu Mishra
    @romzy_rules

    i think it is the only logical social networking and blog site i’ve ever used,but something is still to be understand about !

  • May 27, 2010

    I like the way they show exmaples on how to set up anccount on the internet that it is awesome!!!!!!

  • June 3, 2010
    isabella williams
    @2h4u2h

    i love how they show videos and stuff cause without that i would of got very confused!!: )

  • June 9, 2010

    Working on the basis that no question is a silly question… I signed up to twitter last year but have never recieved a tweet, the right number is on there, but I wonder if it might be because I’m on a pay as you go phone? any other ideas?

    Cheers

  • July 2, 2010
    Mukesh

    I must have spent 2 hrs setting up what is 1 minute job. When I type in my existing gmail email address, the message came up as it is already used, I agree, it is my email and I am using it to set up my twitter account. Then when I typed in a new email account, it did send me a reply. Problem was I have not created that new email account yet. It seems to me I will have to create a new account and start all over again. My twitter account is not set up yet. Kindly advice.

  • July 23, 2010

    Thanks for the step-by-step guide on how to create a Twitter account as I am in the process of setting one up for my freelance copywriting business, which is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

    I was just thinking how Twitter would be a great place to communicate with and find new clients. I have to say that Canada is a bit behind in the new technological advancements, such as Twitter, but I am hoping that it will take off as readily as it did in the U.S.A.

    Thanks again!

  • October 31, 2010

    Thank you very much for this important tweed which I’ve read and followed the instructions; and I’ve successfully opened my twitter account. Thank you very much for your step by step guide, which is the best so far for bigginers.

    Kind regards
    Ziggla

  • January 25, 2011
    jagroop

    i cannot able to sign up on twitter , they tell that my email id is already exist on twitter , and when i click on ’send instruction’ to my email….no instructions are sent…..waht should i do..?

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