You don’t have to search far to find online guides offering advice for creating the perfect Twitter profile. Many of the guides I’ve found online are focused on gaining more followers, but really that should come organically if you’ve mastered the basics of your profile.
The ‘popping’ part of your profile should be personality. Here’s how to highlight it in three basic ways:
1. Profile pictures
Your Twitter profile has two images associated with it; an ‘avatar’ which is your profile picture, and a ‘cover photo’ which serves as a banner photo across the top of your profile. Your ‘avatar’ should be a photo of you, taken close enough to show your face, making it easy for people to see who you are. Put some thought into the backdrop and location of your photo – it’s also another opportunity to showcase who you are. For example:
- If you’re a train manager, perhaps have a train in the background
- If you’re a local politician, consider wearing your rosette
- If you’re a car enthusiast, have a photo taken whilst you’re in the driver’s seat
You get the gist – let your profile picture speak 1,000 words about who you are!
Your cover photo is an opportunity to showcase your interests. It’s a landscape, or horizontally taken photo, that spans across the top of your profile. The photo could be of your favourite place, family, place of work, or an image of you out and about doing something. Either way, you cover photo will be one of the first things people see when they go onto your profile, so it’s important this opportunity is not left blank.
Twitter only gives you 160 characters to explain who you are in a biography (often shortened to ‘bio’). Located underneath your profile picture, your bio should explain who you are and what you’re interested in – both inside and outside of work. Things you could include in your bio are:
- Where you’re from
- Things you like, or enjoy doing
- What you do for work. You don’t have to detail official work titles if you don’t feel comfortable – a general explanation will do.
Twitter also allows you to tag in organisations or other users in your bio. If you are referring to something that is commonly discussed, it might be worth using a ‘hashtag’ so that people with like interests can find you. For example:
Policy officer for @DoT. Husband and also Dad to two boys. Often found #running or volunteering at West Common for @fieldrunUK on Saturdays. London via Dublin.
Being an active twitter user doesn’t mean having to tweet everyday – aiming for once or twice a week for a personal account if fine. Contributing also doesn’t mean having to publish a tweet. Retweeting other people’s messages that are of interest to you is also a way of keeping your profile active.
Think of twitter as an online networking event. If you attended a networking event, you’d find something to say to other people in the room – even if it’s the weather or the latest breaking news. Tweet pictures of things you’ve seen that day, or are unsure about. If you’ve seen a bird but not sure what type it is, send a tweet of the picture out to the Twitter community and ask – someone will know, be interested, and will most likely get back to you.