How To Create A Killer Twitter Profile For Professionals

Twitter is one of the top social media platforms for news, entertainment, and advice.  There are over 200 million users, and they are sending out over 400 million tweets per day.  Twitter is one of the best platforms to represent yourself as an expert in your field and build an industry related following.  Twitter is also one of the most simplistic networks to set-up and use, so let’s get started.

Twitter Handle

Your handle is the “@” symbol followed by the name you want to go by when on Twitter.  Think ahead when selecting your handle, and keep your other social media sites in mind.  Try to use the same handle for all of your sites.  Keep it simple and easy to remember.  Use your name if it’s available.  You should think of this as your signature.

Bio

This is where you need to stop and think.  You want to write a catchy bio which tells who you are and what you do.  You can also add a bit of personal information and some humor.  However, you should be strategic when writing your bio.  Think of how you want to be thought of or what people will be searching for.  Use industry-related key words.  You only have 160 characters, so make them count.

Location

Make sure you list the closest major city and state to you (this will allow you to show up in geo-searches).

Link

Include a link to your website or blog, but do not include the “http://www.”

Profile Picture

It is extremely important to select the right photo to use as your profile picture.  Make sure you use a professional photo, and it is a good idea to use the same photo from your LinkedIn profile.  It should be a clear head shot and depict your personality.  Yes, you should smile.  This image should be 81×81 px.

Profile Header

This is one of the most important steps in creating a Twitter Profile for business.  This image should be 520×260 px.  Note that your name, handle, and bio will be placed over this photo, so make sure  you will be able to read that text.  You can add some more custom information here, but don’t over do it.  A simple tag line or a note letting visitors know where else they may find you on the web will do.

Profile Background

Twitter allows you to add a background image to your profile.  Most people don’t add a background photo.  However, if you choose not to add one, you will be missing out on some valuable real-estate.  You can add a custom background and include any important information in the side bar.  This image should be centered, under 2MB, and not under 600 px  (1252×626 is recommended).

Photos

You should tweet relevant photos to engage your following.  The most recent 6 will show up in your side bar, so post 6 photos right away.

Lists

You can organize the accounts you follow into lists.  Twitter allows you to create up to 20 different lists, and you can add up to 500 accounts to each list.  This is not only a great way to stay organized, but it’s also a great way for you to see only what you want to see (without ads) when you are browsing your feed.  You can create a list of clients, potential clients, related companies, etc.  You can also make these lists public or private.  If you make them public, other people can follow your list.

Time

You want to post when your target audience is online.  If you are looking for maximum engagement and RT’s (Re-Tweets), then post late afternoon or early evening.  Unlike other networks, it is acceptable to post the same tweets at different times of the day.  Note: Twitter moves fast, so your tweet doesn’t spend much time in the feed of your followers.

Tweets

Tweets, or Posts, are the way you get your message out.  Be strategic when it comes to the content and time of your posts.  Share breaking news, articles, and other industry related information.  Be the person whom others turn to for updates and questions.  Make sure your content is both engaging and valuable.  There are over 140 million tweets per day, so you will need to make yours stand out.

Tweet Format

There is a 140 character limit to your tweet, so you have to make every character count.  Lead off with your message, or call to action.  Next, include a shortened link to what you are referencing.  Finally, consider using one or two relevant hash tags.

#Hash Tags#

A hash tag is a way to link related information.  If you are sharing an article about social media, you may want to include the hash tag “socialmedia” (#socialmedia).  Then, anyone reading your post who would like to see more information regarding social media can simply click on the hash tag, and they will see a feed of social media related posts.  You can also use this to make a connection for company related events or products.

Respond

Make sure you monitor your communication and provide timely feedback.  Thank those who leave compliments, and respond to those who have complaints.  This is your chance to make it right, so take full advantage of it.

Engage

Show the love…  comment on posts, provide feedback, and add insight.  Re-Tweet if you feel the post adds value to your following.  If you do re-tweet, be sure to add some personal commentary.

Direct Message

If you follow a person and they follow you back, you will be able to send them a private direct message.  If there isn’t a mutual following, your messages will be as public tweets on their profile.

Now that you’ve set-up your account and have customized it to represent your brand, you can now start using it.  First things first, start following industry related people and companies.  You should follow at least 10-20 new people per day.  Once you start following other accounts, you will notice your followers building.  Follow those who engage with you.  Remember, follow mostly industry related accounts, and never purchase followers just to look popular.  Your followers will grow in time.

This is a social network, so be social.  Under your profile header, Twitter will display the number of accounts you follow and the number of accounts that follow you.  They will also display the number of tweets you have made and the number of posts you have liked.  It is important to stay active and give people a reason to follow you.  Remember Twitter moves fast, so share and share often.  Don’t be too pushy or over sell.  Actually, don’t sell much at all.  You should focus on sharing engaging content and developing meaningful relationships.

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