People often assume that success on Twitter is due only to great tweets, but this isn’t the whole truth. Obviously, more people are going to follow you if you can post informative, relevant, and entertaining content. However, there’s one key factor to Twitter power that many people overlook: a great profile.
Think of it this way. When you first stumble across a profile, you quickly form an impression and decide if you’re going to follow it or not. In fact, the decision happens in seconds, doesn’t it? Maybe you’ll glance at a few tweets, but the overall look of the profile page is what grabs you right off the bat. If it looks thoughtfully put together, you’re more inclined to follow.
No one’s going to follow your business if the account is disorganized or ugly.
With all of this in mind, here are a few tips that can transform your business’ Twitter profile from average to eye-catching.
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Use your real name
It seems obvious, but many businesses and professionals don’t seem to realize that names matter on Twitter. If you’re using the profile for business purposes, then it’s especially important to choose a user name that either reflects you or your company’s real name. (Crazy, right?).
Of course, not every name will be available. But if you want to be taken seriously, don’t call yourself KrazyKatz77 if your name is Michelle and you’re in marketing. The same rule applies to businesses. If you want people to follow and remember you on Twitter, make it clear who you are from your handle. Don’t force people to have to research.
Entrepreneurs may face dilemma. If you run a small business, it’s hard to decide between your real name or business name. The general rule here is what kind of content will you be tweeting, and do you want to have a life on Twitter beyond your business?
Last note on names – keep them short. Not only will it make your profile more scannable, it’ll make it easier on other users to retweet or reply to you without taking up too many characters
Pictures tell your story
As Twitter has become a more visual medium, images are more than ever a powerful way to illustrate your story. It’s a good idea to show people the face behind your business, sure, but pictures also convey personality. It may be superficial to form a judgment based solely on a headshot, but in the scannable world of digital marketing, faces mean everything. And remember, people are going to make up their mind about your profile within seconds.
So choose a profile photo featuring your own mug. Even businesses should consider using a person’s face versus a logo. It’ll make your account seem more personalized. Likewise, avoid using pictures of your favorite pet, food, or vacation destination. All of these will undermine your business appeal.
Create a descriptive bio
Bios are 160 characters long, so you don’t have a lot of room to leave an impression. In other words, make your words count. Fine the balance between important professional information and a unique, personalized touch.
Here’s an example of what not to do:
Despite its shaggy, rock and roll image, Rolling Stone’s bio is mundane at best.
Slate, however, infuses its online magazine info with a little wit.
Slate also embraces brevity. In less than 160 characters, it manages to capture the personality of its entire presence.
As a rule of thumb, you also want to avoid sales pitches in your bio. Nothing turns potential followers off faster than an aggressive grab for your wallet. Simply let people know what your business is about, and let your tweets do the rest.
Utilize the SEO opportunity
In addition to revealing who you are, the bio presents an opportunity to get found in searches. Whether people are using Twitter’s own search engine, or looking for info with Google, you can increase your visibility by optimizing your bio with keywords.
One option is to seamlessly work them into your text, just as you would with keywords on your website. Like any good optimized copy, you don’t want to sound spamm-y. If people look at your profile and think you’re a bot, they’ll quickly pass. Choose a couple keywords and use them naturally.
Another option is to, following a very short description, simply list your areas of expertise or interests. Marketing, SEO, social media, etc. – these are all words you can incorporate into your description that will potentially help your rank in search results.
Of course, two other Musts for your bio are URL and location. Include your website URL so that people can easily engage with you more if inclined, and definitely list your location. This will boost SEO, improve your results within Twitter’s own search engine, and enhance user experience.