Just Starting on Twitter? Get Rid of the Egg.

Jan 24th, 20113 Comments

You’re ready to get started with Twitter.  Maybe all the media buzz piqued your interest or an article like 80 Ways to Use Twitter As a SMB Owner sparked some fresh ideas for your business.

How do you get started?

First, claim your Twitter username or “handle”.  It’s important to choose a good name that represents you or your business.   Once you do that, your Twitter account will display the default Twitter avatar picture, which is an egg.

Default Twitter avatarYou’ll want to “hatch” this egg by substituting your own profile picture.  You should also include a bio and web link.  HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella  notes that Twitter users with a profile picture have 10 times more followers and those with a Twitter bio have 8 times more followers.

Your Profile Picture – First Impressions Count

Should your profile picture be your photo or your company’s logo?  At the risk of over-simplifying the logo-vs-photo debate:  Use whatever your customers – and potential customers – are most familiar with.   (For more debate, see Michael Martin’s ProBlogDesign.)

Whole Foods, the Austin-American Statesman and South by Southwest use their logos:

Whole Foods twitter avatarAustin American Statesman twitter avatarSXSW twitter avatar

If you, not your logo, best represent your products or services, then use your own photo. Professional service providers such as financial planners, dentists, consultants, real estate agents, etc, should use their own photo, as should “power networkers” and Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople. Austinites Vicki Flaugher and Elijah May and of course, Lance Armstrong, use their photos as Twitter avatars:

Vicki Flaugher of smartwomanguides.comElijah MayLance Armstrong

Whatever you decide, edit or crop your image to be square, preferably 200 pixels by 200 pixels or larger, so that 1) if someone clicks on it, they can see the larger image, and 2) you can use it on other social media sites.   For the full scoop on profile pic details, See Mashable’s article on 5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Profile Pic

Your Twitter Bio – 160 Characters to Explain Yourself and Entice Others

Who are you and why should others care?  Unless you ARE Lance Armstrong or a well-known brand like Whole Foods, your Twitter bio should answer these questions.  SmartWoman’s bio is good, as is The Soup Peddler’s.  I love Alamo Drafthouse, but their bio could use some personality.

  • SmartWoman bio:  B2B social media & online marketing implementation specialist by day, karaoke singing joy freak by night. Enjoy travel, creativity & those crazy interwebs.
  • Soup Peddler bio:  The dude that started a business in Austin delivering soup by a bicycle.
  • Alamo Drafthouse bio:   This feed is for news about the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Ritz, Village, Lake Creek and Lamar
  • My bio:  Email marketing and social media for small businesses, in constant learning mode, I usually tweet in spurts during cool webinars & events.

In my bio, I clear up confusion about my feast-or-famine tweeting, explaining that I typically tweet only during webinars when I learn something that might be useful to my followers.

A bio is also a great place for a company to list WHO is actually tweeting, because people really do want to connect with a real person.  Southwest Airlines does a great job of this:

  • SouthwestAir bio:  The LUV Airline! Planes can’t type so @christimcneill is piloting the Twitterverse! For official concerns please use the link provided.
  • Keller Williams Realty: The official Twitter page for the third largest real estate company in the United States. Tweets come from Amber P. at the HQ in Austin, TX.

Use that Web Link!

Your Twitter profile allows you one web link to promote, so take advantage of it.  Link to your company’s website, your personal website, your Facebook fan or personal page, your LinkedIn page – whatever you most want the world to see.

Want more details on fine-tuning your Twitter profile?  Take a look at Mashable’s How to Make the Most of Your Twitter Profile Page.  And before you start tweeting away, be sure to get familiar with Twitter best practices.  This HubSpot blog gives you 9 Twitter strategies to avoid.

Got some great examples of Austin Twitter profiles and bios?

-Suzanne Doughty

2 Responses to “Just Starting on Twitter? Get Rid of the Egg.”

  1. [...] not an effective use of their time to market on Twitter.  But by claiming their Twitter handle and adding a logo, bio and web link, any potential customers searching for Cowgirls and Lace on Twitter can find [...]

  2. Really good site, thank you so much for your time in writting this post.

  3. Suzanne says:

    You’re welcome. Glad to be helpful!

Leave a Reply

1 Trackback

  1. Why to Sign Up for Twitter Even If You Hate It « Cedar Sage

    [...] not an effective use of their time to market on Twitter.  But by claiming their Twitter handle and adding a logo, bio and web link, any potential customers searching for Cowgirls and Lace on Twitter can find [...]