How to use a Twitter profile to tell people who you are

twitter-profile-tipsBy Paula Wethington

One of the biggest misses I see on Twitter is when people, organizations or businesses follow other accounts without completing a profile enough to portray who they are.

Even a high school student might want his or her friends to know this really is so-and-so, and not the guy with the same name who goes to a rival school. (Awkward!)

So before you go on a following spree on Twitter in hopes of getting follow backs, follow up on these steps:

  • Choose an account name and user name that portrays who you are. In most cases, it should be the same name you use elsewhere on social media. Consistency in account names is critical for businesses and organizations that want name recognition; but it also is important to those who want to build a personal brand or professional reputation. If your Twitter name needs an update, you can easily change it in settings.
  • List your city and state in the location section. The alternatives include listing your state, the name of your school or a nickname for your neighborhood or community. You want to give a sense of place to add relevance and context to your tweets. There are tools to search by location name when trying to find potential connections on Twitter; so it is in your best interest for those searches to be accurate should someone try to find you.
  • Pick a profile photo that can be “read” as an icon on a small screen. This is generally a photo of your face. The alternatives include a business or organization logo, or an avatar or gamer tag. Two faces, much less a group photo, just can’t be seen clearly on mobile devices as a profile image. Do NOT leave the default “egg” as your profile, as that will discourage people from following you or following you back.
  • The cover image allows for much more creativity. This is where you can showcase a group photo with friends, an example of your artistic or photography skills, your business products, a shout out to a favorite sports team, even a photo of you with your dog. If you are a business or organization, be consistent in your cover images among Facebook, Twitter and Google +. If you feel creative, get on Canva.com or another photo design service to create a specially designed and correctly sized cover image that can include text overlays.
  • Use the bio section to explain who you are. Think in terms of keywords people might search for. It’s also helpful to note that hashtags, email addresses and mentions can be used in the bio section. A business, organization or brand should use the same profile description on all websites / online directories / social media. Personal or just for fun accounts can relate the topics or interests you’ll be tweeting about. If this is a professional account, you might want to list who you work for or have worked for.  (Just for fun: you can pick up random Twitter bio examples at http://twitterbiogenerator.com).
  • Don’t overlook the link field, as this can help validate who you are. This is the place to link to a blog, business portfolio, company or employer website. Your LinkedIn, Snapchat or Facebook accounts also are possibilities that are as applicable to personal use as they might be for business use.
  • Birthday field. From what I’ve seen, the most useful purpose is to help validate to Twitter who you are should you be eligible for verified account status. Therefore, this is a field you can ignore if you so choose.
  • Vine account synch. If you have a Vine account, you may as well link it up in that slot as the option exists. That allows your main link to be used to promote a different social media account or website.

I’ve been involved in digital media on a professional basis since 2006. You’ll find social media tips and tricks on my Twitter account – @WethingtonPaula and in the Digital World board on my Pinterest account.

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Author: Paula Wethington

Paula has over 10 years experience working in a variety of digital and social media formats on behalf of a newsroom; and over 25 years total working as a reporter at newspapers in Ohio and Michigan.

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