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If you have been on Twitter for any amount of time, then you know the number of people you follow can quickly add up. I would be the last person to say I’ve got this social media stuff figured out but I had a Twitter learning experience that I just had to “share” with my tweeps.
One of the tools I use to manage my Twitter account is ManageFlitter. Yesterday, I was looking at my followers and trying to determine if I needed to unfollow, mute, or block any of them. Yes, sad but true, not everyone is follow-worthy. One of the filters shows me which of my followers don’t have a profile image. No profile image is not a reason to unfollow someone. But… it is a good sign that someone isn’t serious about their Twitter account. For you authors out there, you know that your books (and you, too) are judged by your cover (pun intended). And… I almost unfollowed one of my repeat customers. Yikes! Good thing I only had 2 followers without profile images. Otherwise I would have probably just clicked on by them.
My husband said, “You should email them and let them know that they should complete their profile.” I responded back, “Better yet, I should write a blog post about it.” So here it is.
As with every social media network, it is important to have a complete Twitter profile. First impressions are everything. Your profile shows the world who you are. An incomplete profile is damaging to your branding. Why give someone an excuse to ignore (or unfollow) you?
A complete profile makes you more credible, visible, and accessible. You have 1 or 2 seconds to capture someone’s attention as they surf through the myriad of profiles. An incomplete profile makes you look less than human. Can you say robot? If you are missing any of the following elements, they’ll just breeze on by you to someone who has taken the time to fill in the details.
Whether you are a Twitter pro or just set up your page 5 minutes ago, here are some tips to help you create a great profile. Listed in no particular order… just remember to do them all 🙂
Your username is a unique identifier on Twitter. Your username will help you build brand awareness — your personal brand or your business brand. If you want your followers to recognize and remember you, you need to be consistent with your brand name.
An ideal choice is your name, especially if you are branding yourself as an author or artist. An alternative would be to use your business name.
Twitter allows up to 15 characters for your username. Try to avoid using hyphens, underscores, and numbers. Your name will appear above your username. These can be the same — but they don’t have to be.
 Profile Image
Choose a profile image that represents you, your business, or brand in a good light. And does so in a small space. This image isn’t just on your profile page; it will represent you on every Tweet you post.
Your profile image doesn’t have to be a boring, corporate-looking head shot. Feel free to be creative. Just make sure it looks good. Don’t use a blurry photo that looks like you cut off the person standing next to you. Just about everyone has a digital camera or smartphone that they can use to take a good photo for a profile image. Have a mini photo shoot and then select the best one.
Don’t be an egg-head. It is never, ever OK to let your profile picture be the default egg image. The recommended image size for your profile image is 400×400 pixels but any square image larger than that will be resized to fit.
Your bio is the place to tell your story. Describe what makes you special. Tell us what you will be tweeting about. Write your bio with SEO in mind. Who is your target audience? What words will they use to find you? Use those keywords in your bio. It is OK to use hashtags in your bio if they are appropriate for your story. But, please don’t just string together a bunch of random keywords or hashtags without any rhyme or reason.
Twitter allows 160 characters for your bio. Yep! 160 characters to let folks know what makes you special. Use them wisely 🙂
 Header Cover Photo
The cover (header) photo is a great opportunity to provide some additional details that did not fit into your bio section. Consider it your own special billboard space. We live in a visual age. It’s a good idea to change this image now and then to help makr your page more engaging to your follow. Use it to spotlight products, services, events, or promote your new book.
Spend some time surfing Twitter and check out accounts that are similar to yours. Pay attention to the profiles that grab your attention. What does their profile image look like? What are they using for a cover image?
The recommended size for the header image is 1500×500 pixels. On mobile, it’ll be cropped to a 2:1 aspect ratio.
 Website Link
Let’s face it… You’re on Twitter to increase awareness of you, your services, your products… your new book! Twitter allows you to reach a wide audience but ultimately you will want your followers to engage with your website. Your goal is to convert your followers into customers.
DO NOT forget to include your website URL.
 Pinned Tweet
This is a new tip that I recently learned. Pin an important Tweet to your profile page. Click on the “more” option of the Tweet you want to pin and select “Pin to your profile page.” Make sure anyone who checks out your profile doesn’t miss out on your latest news, products, services, blog posts, or events.
 Practice unprotected tweeting 🙂
Twitter allows you to “protect your tweets.” If you select this setting, only those followers you approve will receive your Tweets. Huh? Why would anyone do this? Well, this setting would be helpful for “family only” accounts or companies using the account for employee only announcements. But… you want your tweets to be public, don’t you? You want them to show up in a Twitter or Google search, don’t you?
Go to Settings>Security and Privacy and make sure “Protect my Tweets” is unchecked.
Want to get more Twitter savvy? I discovered a great FREE class on Skillshare.com: Getting Started with Twitter for Business by Sandra Vega. It’s worth checking out and, hey, the price is right.
Is your profile complete? Post a comment with your username and share it!