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How to Create The Perfect Twitter Profile For Your Business

Let's Get You Dressed For Business

Editor's note: Evan Dunn is the Social Media Marketing Manager with Marketeering Group in Seattle, WA. He can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.
 

The Twitter profile is an important and often overlooked element of a Twitter account. The content of a Twitter profile is even more important when it applies to an account that belongs to a business.

Steps to optimizing your Twitter profile

The benefits of optimizing* your Twitter profile include the following:

  1. With the right keywords, more people you want to find you will find you (because you will show up in search results)
  2. Most likely, a higher percentage of people who view your profile will follow you if you have a well crafted profile
  3. More people will take the actions you want them to take upon finding your profile (such as clicking through to your URL

*"Optimizing" is a bit of an overused term. In the context of a profile for a social network, optimizing simply implies "picking the best things to put on there."

Here are the 8 elements we'll be looking at with your Twitter profile:

  1. Profile Photo
  2. Cover Photo
  3. Background Photo
  4. Display Name
  5. Username
  6. Bio
  7. Location
  8. Url

1. Profile Photo

Since this is your business Twitter account, hopefully you've got some brand images tucked away in a folder. You may have a logo or wordmark, as well as a professional headshots of you and your team. Here's what to do with them:

@marketer_social Profile photo

  1. Profile Photo Tips:
    • Professional headshot of you (if you're the CEO, or if you are the main face of your business) - people are more likely to engage with headshotsof other people than they are with business logos.
    • Logo of your business.
       
  2. Avoid:
    • Selfies.
    • Anything else. It's important that the profile photo communicates something - whether it offers the symbol that defines your brand (your logo), or just introduces other users to the face of your organization (your headshot).
       
  3. Requirements:
    • 73px by 73px (so it needs to be square).
    • Less than 700KB file size.

2. Cover Photo

Cover photo example

The big rectangle behind the whole profile. Many users leave this blank, but still have a background photo. In my opinion a cover photo is definitely more important than a background image. Here's why:

  1. No one sees your background image in mobile. When Twitter filed its IPO in October 2013, they claimed that 75% of their monthly active users were on mobile.
  2. Typically (on desktop) if someone clicks your username, it opens a popup version of your profile. This version only displays your cover photo and not your background photo.
  1. Cover Photo Tips:
    • Your company's logo or wordmark, enlarged or with the rest of the space filled with the appropriate color continuation of the logo/wordmark.
    • A grid-style mashup of your team, like Waggener Edstrom's Twitter profile: @WaggenerEdstrom.
    • A thematically-relevant wallpaper image. For example, if you work in cloud technology, you could purchase a professional photo of clouds from nature, such as VMWare VCloud's Twitter profile: @vCloud.
    • A simple image of your brand colors, such as Engadget's Twitter profile: @Engadget.
       
  2. Bad Ideas For Your Cover Photo:
    • Weird, unprofessional, or nonsensical images. They need to be clearly relevant.
       
  3. Cover Photo Requirements:
    • 520px by 260px.
    • Less than 5MB file size.

3. Background Photo

Background photo example

Unless you're a big brand, I don't think you need to make a background photo (the big space in the back that only displays in desktop and some tablet versions of Twitter).

If you really want to have something there, go to Morguefile to find a free-to-use image or use one of Twitter's default background images.

4. Display Name

Display name example

  1. Display Name Tips:
    • Your Name (if you used a headshot for your profile photo and you are the face of your business).
    • Your Business's Name.
       
  2. Avoid:
    • "Best Social Marketer!" (or whatever it is you do).
    • Your Business's Name, but without spaces that normally occur. Don't get confused by the difference between your username and your display name: your username cannot have spaces but your display name can.
       
  3. Display Name Requirements:
    • 20 characters or less.
    • Not restricted to alphanumeric symbols.

5. Username

Username example

The username may be the single most important piece of your profile. If it is weird or difficult to recall, fewer people may reach out to you because they can't remember your username. It is also a major factor in determining Twitter's search results, though not as powerful as your follower count.
 

  1. Username Tips:
    • Relevant Keywords. I use "marketer_social" because people do search things like "social marketing" and "social marketers" (and better usernames were taken).
    • Your Name
    • Something really really short. It's impressive because Twitter's username real estate is disappearing. For example: Kevin Garber (Manageflitter's CEO) has @ke_ga.
    • Your Business's Name. If you'd like you can user underscores "_" to signify spaces.
       
  2. Watch Out For Bad Ideas For Your Username:
    • Something totally weird, like @gf1l20fdo192. It looks like your account is fake.
    • Anything with lots of underscores, like @_____socialmedia. It looks a little desperate, and weird.
       
  3. Username Requirements:
    • 15 characters or less.
    • Not restricted to alphanumeric symbols.

6. Bio

Bio example

Your bio has a big impact on your search results, and is one of the first things people look at to see whether they want to follow or engage with you. Whatever you do, use relevant keywords.

  1. Bio Tips:
    • A brief description of your interests, work, or personal life.
    • A brief description of what you intend to offer your Twitter followers (i.e. what you Tweet).
       
  2. Avoid:
    • Obnoxious sales pitches. They just saw your brand for the first time, it's unlikely they'll pay you for anything yet.
    • Confusing or unclear descriptions. Your bio is how you help people know what you're about.
       
  3. Bio Requirements:
    • 160 characters or less.
    • Not restricted to alphanumeric symbols.

7. Location

The location field is located on the bottom left of your profile. It is very helpful to place your actual city, state/province, and/or country, because people will search those factors.

  1. Location Tips:
    • Some combination of: neighborhood, city, state/province, country.
       
  2. Avoid:
    • GPS coordinates. Maybe it's just me, but I have no idea what they mean and don't always feel like copying and pasting into Google Maps.
    • Abbreviations that are not commonly used.
    • Phone area codes or zip codes. No one searches those.
    • Philosophical things like "Here" or "Everywhere." Sometimes I'm trying to find out where you a business is, so I can know which city to search for their HQ in. "Everywhere" doesn't help.
       
  3. Location Requirements:
    • 30 characters or less.
    • Not restricted to alphanumeric symbols.

8. Url

Adding your business Url

Pretty self-explanatory: place your business URL here. It could be a link to a landing page that may be more sales-optimized than your site's homepage. It could be a bitly link so you can track clicks.

  1. Url Requirements:
    • No real limit: Twitter will shorten to a t.co short-link if you place a long link in the field.

Note: there may be some exceptions to these ideas. That's what comments are for! Go ahead and leave your thoughts and I'll respond.

 

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