Your Twitter profile matters the same way first impressions matter.
As terrible as it may sound, we all make snap judgements about the way people look, and the same goes for people on Twitter. They’re being judged based on the way their Twitter profile looks like – and hopefully sometimes their tweets!
The purpose of your profile is to persuade people to pay attention to what you have to say. Basically, it’s a résumé for you to be judged by it. In the 2nd part of ‘Twitter for Entrepreneurs’ series, we will discuss creating the perfect Twitter profile in order to maximise its effectiveness.
Different parts of a perfect Twitter profile
Surprisingly, one of the toughest parts of having a great Twitter profile is having the right Twitter handle (username) as it must be unique for each user.
The main things you need to remember when choosing a Twitter handle are:
- Keep it neutral.
- Don’t use anything that might change soon or doesn’t make sense except to a group of your friends or is very personal.
- Must be unique, but easy to remember.
- If your name or your brand’s name is unique, you’re very lucky. Even if it’s not easy to pronounce, it’s your best shot.
- Don’t make it unique by adding a bunch of numbers at the end, like @joe27452354.
- You can add verbs like “says” or “tweets” at the end.
- You can also add “iam,” “its,” “the,” or “ask” at the beginning.
- You can play around with your first name and make it rhyme with something.
I found Roman number nine (IX) works well with my first name, so I used it consistently on all my profiles. Find yours and keep it consistent.
One of the most important, but underused parts of a Twitter profile is the bio – a highly visible 160-character real estate on Twitter. In bio, you have the chance to convince people to follow you or at least pay attention to your tweets.
Something you must remember about social media, specially Twitter, is that people don’t study your profile. They don’t pay their expensive attention to you and your brand unless you give them a solid reason to – and that’s the best way to use your bio!
In Twitter bio, you should convey that you are competent, trustworthy, and likeable; plus, you have a personality! You can do it using Phil Pallen’s formula:
- Tell them who you are and why they should care;
- Show your personality.
You can #hashtag a keyword in your bio if you’re hoping to come up in Twitter searches for that hashtag/keyword. (But don’t use more than two hashtags in your bio though ‘coz it’s very annoying! Remember, you’re writing the bio for people, not the search engines!)
You can also use another Twitter handle in your bio, for example where you work or your latest product if it has an independent account.
For instance, this is my current bio for @BehrouzIX:
• Husband • PhD Researcher [#AttentionEconomy] at Manchester Business School • connecting dots at @PerspectiveIX • Critical Thinking Applied •
And this is @PerspectiveIX’s bio:
We help entrepreneurs & brands become • #SocialBeyondMedia •
It highlights what PerspectiveIX is all about: digital marketing, humans, helping. Also, consistency is another point you could focus on if you’re running more than one related accounts. Did you notice the • dots • ?
This section is the clearest most straightforward part of a Twitter profile, yet people tend to screw it up – a lot! Unless you’re running a very personal or niche Twitter account, your location is the city you live in, or for a brand the city you’re based in. Usually, ‘under the bed,’ ‘behind you,’ and ‘universe’ are not the best choices for your location.
In website URL section, just put ONE link to the most appropriate page on your website/blog. Remember, it says link without a ‘s’ at the end!
Also, don’t put any links in your bio. Giving your visitors too many options will result in their not choosing anything!
Profile Photo (Avatar)
First, get rid of that egg! Fast!
Okay, now, a good avatar does two main things:
- It validates who you are, specially if there are others with the same name as you.
- It conveys trust by showing that there’s a real person behind this Twitter account, and supports your likability and trustworthiness.
Your avatar is the closest thing you’ll have on social media to a real life facial expression. If you want an excellent first impression, you need to invest on your profile photo.
Your avatar accompanies every tweet you post and every tweet you ‘like.’ It’s what people will see over and over again. Give them something to remember you by.
Focus on your face in your avatar and don’t be afraid to crop in. Most people see your photo in a very small size, but make sure you’re using a high quality image. Some people go a long way to see it maximised. It’s better be at least 600×600 pixels.
Another underused real estate on Twitter is the header photo. A 1500×500 pixel image on top of your Twitter profile and your hover card (on the web version of Twitter).
You can have any type of message on it and you can update it as often as you like. It can be a new product promotion or the address to your new website or a motivational message.
Birthday section is a fairly new part of Twitter profiles. You can have your birthday on your profile and people will see balloons flying in your profile page on your birthday. You have the option to show or hide the year – or the whole birthday all together.
Last, but not least, is Pinned tweet. Something that is not exactly part of a Twitter profile, but it kinda is! Pinned tweet is an already posted tweet that you can show off on your Twitter profile. This can be a successful tweet (with lots of retweets and likes) or a tweet with a specific message or link…
Here’s my current pinned tweet:
I’m not trying to sell anything with it, just something funny that might create some interaction.
You can update the pinned tweet as often as you like. For example you can have you latest blog post or product update tweet as a pinned tweet until your next post.
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