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Your brand should be backed by an entire ecosystem of social media profiles. If one is lacking or non-existent, your brand is faced with a hole in its online presence – one that your consumers can see too. Having an entire social media ecosystem working to support your brand allows cross-contamination, and as such, if one isn’t pulling its weight, the others can buckle under the pressure.

With that, let’s go into how to start a Twitter feed for your company, as we find that this is where most businesses are lacking. Twitter offers a unique facet to a brand’s online presence; unlike Facebook, it is acceptable (and expected!) to tweet multiple times a day. Twitter adds a “running commentary” angle to your brand and many social media managers find it a great forum for addressing compliments, concerns and questions from one’s clients.

First, create your account. Your Twitter handle, beginning with an @ symbol, will be what people use to search for you and reply to any of your tweets, so it’s important to get this right. The perfect Twitter handle contains the name of your brand, in a simple and concise way. Avoid a long handle, lots of numbers and something other than your brand name. If the handle you want has already been taken, try adding the city you operate in at the end. Your Twitter handle can be changed at any point, but this can often confuse people who have gotten used to the first one. It’s best to get it right the first time.

Once you’ve created and confirmed your account, it’s time to build your profile. The importance of a header photo, a background, a profile image and a bio is irrefutable – it’s all too easy for someone to write off a default Twitter profile as spam because they are lacking one or more of these assets, which ultimately leads to no followers, thus making your brand lack legitimacy.

Once you’ve done these four things, it’s time to find some profiles to follow. Twitter will prompt you to follow some profiles linked to your email contact list as well as some popular accounts to follow, but you can also search by interest or discipline. Make a point to follow a number of similar brands to yours – you can use this to start a dialogue, build rapport and create a bit of back and forth on your account.

Don’t fall into the trap of being too formal on Twitter – like we mentioned earlier, Twitter works like a stream-of-consciousness feed, so feel free to show the human side of your brand. Reply to a funny video or photo, live-tweet a company event, post a photo of what you and your co-workers had for lunch or offer well wishes for someone’s success. However, remember to always stay professional.

Your Twitter feed needs to be a place that people trust for good advice and solid industry knowledge. Once you find a good balance between serious and silly, business and pleasure, your Twitter feed will be worth the follow for anyone.