Getting Started on Twitter

By Twitter

Putting Your Best Foot Foward on Twitter

Nothing irks me more than incomplete Twitter profiles. Ok, other things irk me more, but incomplete profiles are on the list.  Hey, I’m from New Jersey, we get irked a lot here.  Why should a Twitter user care whether their profile is complete or not? Assuming that you are there to network, a big part of networking on Twitter is getting people to follow you. If we can’t get a quick grip on who you are or what you do, chances are we are going to click on and click off your profile without clicking that sought after “Follow” button.

All Twitter asks is that you fill out a few simple pieces of information; your name, location and Bio which can only be up to 160 characters. This should take about 5 minutes, yet many users choose to travel around Twitter half naked. I think the problem is they just don’t know how or where they need to go to add this information. Well, we’re going to clear that up right now.

In New Twitter, under your Name and Avatar in the upper right corner of your Twitter dashboard, click on the down arrow. Click on Settings then select Profile. (In old Twitter you will see a “Settings” link without having to select the down arrow.)

Once the Profile Screen is open, follow these tips for making a great first impression on Twitter.

•   Link to website, blog,  LinkedIn profile or Facebook page. I am always clicking on the links in users profiles to learn more about the person or company and I know I am not alone. Be sure this link is driving leads to the most helpful page on your website or elsewhere.

•   Fill out your Location. People like to connect with people in their area. I don’t use a specific town, I use New Jersey. If I have a client that serves a specific local, I might list several towns they target.

•  Fill out your Bio: Give me a quick snapshot of what you are all about. Why are you on Twitter? What’s your story? People are inpatient (did I mention I was from New Jersey?) get to the point and let your new followers come to a quick decision to follow you back. But here’s a big caution, don’t use your Bio to sell your product. Remember the Golden Rule of Social Media. Be real, be helpful and be patient. Don’t expect to sell your product in 180 characters on your Twitter profile.

•   Upload a picture: Do not use Twitter’s default Egg as your Avatar for long. Nothing says “newbie” like the big, blue egg. If you don’t want to use a personal photo, then a logo or other avatar that represents you or your business can be used.

•   Eventually, you might want to utilize a custom Twitter background service to customize your background.  It’s not something you need to do right away, but down the line it can help expand on your or your company.

Follow these steps, and you are on your way to a complete and professional Twitter profile.  For more tips on getting started with Twitter, read Choosing Your Twitter Handle and The Art of the RT. Now that you have a profile that tells me all about you, I will no longer be “irked” and I will be sure to follow you back. Find me here @DeborahLSmith or here @JerseyBites.

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