First impressions count, so when you use Twitter you need to make sure your profile is up to scratch. Watch the following screencast by Esther as she shows you the different elements of a Twitter profile and what you can do to get the most out of it. (Note: excuse the dog bark in the middle. It was quieter to do this at home. Until it wasn’t!)
Please bear in mind that this recording was made in October 2019. Twitter has recently changed it’s look, but could do again so if things look different to the way they are displayed in the video, take a look around and you’ll no doubt find the element you’re looking for in a slightly different place.
Notes and further considerations
Your display name
You have space for 50 characters for your display name. Make use of the space as much as you can and consider adding a hashtag to your display name. This makes you more visible in People search on Twitter.
Twitter allows you 160 characters for your biography including spaces. There are two things you want to achieve:
- Describe who you are and what you do in compelling and convincing way
- Be found more easily in People Search by using hashtags
Your biography needs to tell people what you do. The simplest formula for professional speakers is: I help [target market] get [benefit] by [key differentiator]. Build upon this to use as many characters as you can and include hashtags that are relevant to your audience – ones that they are likely to search for.
Derric Haynie has this to say about creating your profile image over on the Rebrandly blog:
“Use a headshot, not too close, slightly asymmetrical… The key is that you want people to be able to recognize you in public and connect online with IRL (In Real Life, for the less nerdy). You also need to test it to make sure this image works on circular profiles as well… A personal branding best practice would be to use the same profile picture across all channels.”
Use a high-resolution picture for this (and in fact your profile image). Think about how to stand out and be original. As a professional speaker, showing something that aligns with your brand is always a good idea. Avoid using too much text – the results on mobile are unpredictable. We advise against using a stock image.
Twitter gives you the option of pinning a tweet to the top of your timeline. You can pin your most popular tweet there and change it occasionally; a tweet containing your most popular blog post, or most retweeted tweet, latest book promotion or link to your book on Amazon. A better choice would be to use this space for a tweet that performs as a lead magnet or a call-to-action. Often a pinned tweet will receive a higher click-through from people visiting your profile for the first time. Use a link with your website URL to create trust and, as with your website link (above), track the clicks and get insights into how effective this is for you. The best choice of all, in my opinion, would be a tweet containing a short video. As a speaker, a video explaining what you do and what you speak about is a great way to build brand awareness.
Your website link
Track visits to your website from your Twitter profile. To do this, ask your web developer to add the following to the end of your website URL:?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=bio&utm_campaign=twitter
So, if your website link is yourdomain.com/page, the link you would enter for your website would look something like:
This will allow you to track page visits, conversions and other useful metrics in Google Analytics that come directly from Twitter. It is also important that your website link contains a call-to-action (CTA) and goes to a specific page created for your Twitter followers. The link to that page should encourage people to click through to your website. Such as:
Profile settings – direct messages
Don’t send automated direct messages to people who follow you. You will lose followers. The Twitter Safety update on the Twitter Rules for spam warns people about autoDMs and is actively suspending accounts of people who do. If you have an auto-thank you in place, disable it.
Go into Settings > Apps > and Disable any apps that you’ve given permission to that might be auto-tweeting on your behalf.
- Leave enough room in your bio to add a second or even third website (shorten using bit.ly).
- As a professional speaker, location is not important (unless you are a speaker only interested in low-paying gigs in your local area). Use the space provided by this field to provide further information.