Spending hours on Twitter with nothing to show for it? Having trouble even getting started? Want to punch that tiny blue bird in the face? Don’t give up. Twitter is a powerful marketing tool. But only when it’s used the right way. Make sure you’re set up to leverage the full power of the Twitterverse with these simple guidelines from Denise Mooney.
1. Your username
Use your real name. Twitter users want to engage with a human not a company. I know you’re representing your company, but you are not your company. I made this mistake myself when I first started and it’s harder to change now that people know me as @clickablecopy. Plus if you decide to start a new venture or change your company name down the track, you end up juggling multiple accounts or starting from scratch. Both of which would suck.
When you’re choosing a username make sure it’s not too long. You only have 140 characters to play with. That’s fine for your tweets but an outrageously long username will make it harder for followers to retweet your posts, which won’t help your marketing efforts. Try and shorten it or use a nickname, something easy to remember so people can find you. Similarly if your name is hard to spell, you might want to think about abbreviating it.
If your brand is fun and quirky I do think you can get away with names like @sarahcuda or @mickipedia (clever!). But @smokeybear or crazysue_4u, not so much.
2. Your photo
This one tends to be a trap for young players. Yes, you should use your real photo. Not your logo, some random cartoon character or a photo of your dog.
I know that using a logo can seem like the way to go because you want to look professional. But Twitter is about building relationships. And hiding behind a logo or avatar will not help you accomplish that. If anything it makes you appear less trustworthy. We like to put a face to a name. It’s just human nature. And I know some people won’t follow users with a logo or avatar in case they’re spammers. You’ve been warned. If you can, use a professional headshot. It will make a huge difference to how you’re perceived.
3. Your bio
This is super important. Your bio will make all the difference when it comes to getting followers. So it’s worth taking the time to craft a really effective one. You’ve only got 160 characters so make it snappy, engaging, and relevant to your target audience. Hone in on the reason why people should follow you. Twitter users love humour, the more irreverent the better. You don’t have to be all business-like and formal on there. Here are some cool bios to inspire you.
Some of these examples break my “real names” rule but I think they’ve crafted great bios. The main thing is to get people’s attention and give them a compelling reason to follow you.
I’ve tried to apply this thinking to my own bio. (Shameless self-promotion alert!).
4. Your web address
Please, please don’t go to all this effort and then forget to include your web address in your profile. Your followers will (hopefully) want to find out more about your business, so make it easy for them. One thing I’ve seen people do is link to a special ‘About Page’ for Twitter followers. Smart thinking.
One last thing. If you want to be taken seriously, you should have a personalised Twitter background. A designer can easily do this for you or you can use one of the free Twitter design tools if you want to DIY. If you’re a photographer or a designer this is a great place to show off your work.
Now you’re probably thinking. That’s all very well but what am I supposed to tweet about? Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a wit or philosophiser to make this work. It’s about being helpful, sharing tips, having conversations and asking questions. More on that next time…