What makes a Twitter profile good? In this post, I’ll share a few tips on how to set up your account and engage well.
You already know how to set up your Twitter account (If you don’t, go here.) But now you want to know if your account is professional. In other words, does your Twitter profile look good?
Not only will this article review how you set up your own account, but these points will help you decide who to follow, hire, or do business with that person or brand.
Sure, good is subjective.
What’s good to you? It differs for everyone. I have been using Twitter since 2007. What I look for in an account that I choose to follow hasn’t changed much in those years.
Your Twitter Bio Should Be Clear
Your bio should make sense. What is it that you do? Does your 96-year-old grandmother understand it?
Your account should have a header, a clear photo, a website, and a bio. Your bio should be clear to people outside of your niche and be optimized for keywords. Don’t waste too much of your 160 characters on hashtags unless you really want it.
“Just as you would when optimizing a Web page for search engines, when you write your Twitter bio think about your desired spheres and include words and phrases about them. A touch of personality is helpful, too.” Convince & Convert
Your photo, header, and bio should be complete before you start following people. As a bonus, I also look to see if you’ve created lists.
More about your bio here:
Here are Examples Of Good Twitter Profiles
Here’s Carol Stephen’s Twitter profile. She’s got a very healthy setup and has been a user since 2009.
- She has a header photo that is relevant. It’s the baseball diamond for the SF Giants. She’s in the Bay Area.
- Her photo is recognizable even on mobile. At least half of Twitter users are on mobile and there your Twitter avatar is about 1 cm squared. That’s pretty small.
- Her bio makes sense. It tells you something about her hobbies and her business. (She is a gym mouse and a conscious soul.) But also, she blogs for startups (what she does). Bonus points for her Amazon Author Page and Twitter Chat info.
- Location is filled in and makes sense. It’s not vague or a GPS number. Seriously, stop it.
- Link is her website.
- She follows over 18,000 people and has 23,400 followers. This is good. Personally, I aim for a 1:1 ratio because Twitter is one of the only social networks that enforces following/follower ratios.
- She has lists.
- Bonus points for a pinned tweet from the last Twitter chat.
Here is an example from a business account, my friends at Blue Steele Solutions.
- The header photo is branded and matches their website.
- They are using a square version of their logo–the image of which is reinforced on their header photo and, of course, website.
- Their bio tells you they are a branding agency. Bonus points for identifying their company-wide love of tacos.
- Location is accurate.
- Link is her website.
- They follow 2,823 and have 2,851 followers. This is great for a newer account like theirs. (Seriously, the first 1,000 followers are the hardest. I’d aim for growth near 1,000 a year if you spend two hours a day.)
- They have lists.
- Bonus points for a pinned tweet going back to their website.
Why does following back on Twitter matter?
Social media is about connection and engagement. If you’re only following 30 people, it tells me you don’t know how to use lists. It tells me that you don’t think followers are valuable to you.
Now, some people are going to be offended and say they don’t like people “cluttering their feed.” Feel free to disagree; however, it’s a social network. Being social is important.
A Word About Vanity Metrics on Twitter
This is where we talk about vanity metrics. That is, x amount of followers as social proof. Does it matter?
This is a “it depends” territory. If you’re a self-professed social media guru with less than 1,000 followers and you’ve been on Twitter since 2007, maybe I don’t believe it. And I get the whole, “a cobbler’s children have no shoes” axiom. I mean, I haven’t blogged here in a month. I get it. The day job tends to take away all of our attention.
To me, the ratio and engagement say more about whether they’re good at social. So, that’s my segue.
Good Engagement on Twitter
If vanity metrics are only a shadow of social proof, then the actual proof is in the eating — I mean tweeting.
I like to see a good mix of tweets, retweets, and replies. I call this granola.
If you only have oats in your granola, it’s just uncooked oatmeal. A good granola needs nuts, oats, and probably carob chips. A healthy mix. Or take salad if you like that better. Iceberg lettuce does not a salad make. You at least need carrots and tomatoes. And do you have to beg for croutons? Come on. But I digress.
To audit an account (yours, for example) look at the Tweets and Replies Tab. For Carol, this would be here.
Note: on mobile, all of the tweets, saved the pinned tweet, are mixed together. This is why I think it’s even more important to have a healthy mix.
She’s replying to people, sharing her own content, sharing other’s content, and retweeting (bonus points for old school retweet, too).
Response Time On Twitter
If you tweet someone and they respond six months later, I’d say that’s not a healthy account. Now, that’s not obvious from a cursory (visual) audit. Let it be a cautionary tale. Social Media Managers may come and go (are you paying them enough?) but it’s your account, company, brand. You should care the most.
No one can care more about your account than you. My friend Robert Nissenbaum even goes as far as to say that outsourcing your social isn’t authentic. On this we disagree, but he’s partially right. That person should be you or your brand.
Being on Brand on Twitter
Some people think that replies and retweets are off-brand. Firstly, I’d say that it’s rarely true.
Secondly, I’d say that you should follow parallel industries. For contractors, follow real estate brokers and local businesses. For social media managers, follow website developers. For WordPress plugin authors follow developers and businesses that would use your plugin. You get it.
Showing more than one dimension is not only a demonstration that you “get social media” but it’s social.
Have you ever gone out to dinner with someone who wouldn’t shut up about themselves? How often do you repeat that?
If your brand is human, your conversations on Twitter are inherently “on brand.” Interaction is how we build relationships. Relationship marketing matters for brand building and, therefore, business building.
Make Your Twitter Stand Out
- Completely fill out your bio. You have 160 characters. Make them count.
- Tweet your own content on a regular basis.
- Pin a tweet leading to your website.
- Spend time replying to people.
- Share other people’s content in a new tweet.
- Respond to tweets. Thank people who share your content.
- Be a polite, human being. That’s never off-brand.
Need Help? Get A Twitter Audit
I do offer a Twitter Audit for a very low price if you’d like more specific advice for your company.