I have commented about Rules for Marketing on Twitter and Reasons Why You Won’t Get Followed on Twitter. But, here are some great tips on creating a effective profile for Twitter. The profile is the first thing someone will see when they are deciding if they want to follow you.
The short description is very important, it tells everyone who you are and what you do. Avoid the typical spam phrases about “making money”, “getting rich”, “work from home”. Those are immediate turn offs. Nobody wants to follow a spammer, so don’t look like one.
No photo tells me you are not serious. Try and use the same photo/avatar that you use on all your other social sites.
Username, try and be consistent with the same username across all your social networks.
Background graphics are less important now with the new version of Twitter, users will not see much of a background.
Be sure to always include the following information in your bio:
* Name. Your name or your company name.
* Location. Even if your business is virtual, adding the city and state where you are physically located increases trust and builds credibility.
* Links. Link to your website, Facebook page, blog or other web address. Remember, Twitter is the front door. Including this link increases the opportunity to further the relationship and bring traffic to your site.
* Short description. Talk about brevity, Twitter stays true to form and only allows 160 characters worth of information. “Pithy” is the order of the day, but “cutesy” is not. Get across the essentials of who you are and what you do.
If you are creating a personal account, use a headshot as your avatar. You only have 60 x 60 pixels of space, so make the most of it. Your photo can and should be more casual, even candid. Reserve the posed, business attire photos for LinkedIn. If it is a company account, use your logo.
When I started using Twitter in early 2007, it was still in its infancy. There was not a lot of precedent at that time for how things should be done. When setting up my account, there was a field that asked for a username. I normally use “pchaney,” and that’s what I did there, as well.
However, I didn’t understand that it is far more than a merely a username. Similar to how truckers might use their CB radios, it is your “handle” and is how other Twitter users will come to know you. As such, for personal accounts, I advise that you use your first and last name when possible. For business accounts, use the company name. Twitter allows just 15 characters, so you may have to experiment with different options.
You may want to incorporate a custom background that contains a larger version of your logo, plus other relevant information, including additional ways to contact you, such as your phone number, email address and links to other social networks where you have a presence.
Twitter Profile Don’ts
I just gave you a list of items to include in your Twitter profile. Here are two things not to do.
* Don’t protect your updates. One thing you don’t want to do is protect your updates, an option in the account information section that, essentially, makes your Twitter profile private. Taking such action defies the very reason for participating in Twitter in the first place. I’m sure those who choose this option are well intended. But I don’t see the rationale where business use is concerned. It is a sign that says “keep out,” not one that welcomes users in.
* Don’t include numbers in your username. This may seem minor, but incorporating numbers into the username is a tool often used by Twitter spammers (not to mention that it resembles an old AOL email address), and you do not want to be perceived in that manner.