Creating a professional presence on Twitter is important to the success and branding of your social media efforts. While it is impossible to address even a tiny portion of the various techniques and approaches in this article, I do think it is possible to highlight some simple ways to make your Twitter account more professional.
What is the purpose of your Twitter account?
How do you see yourself using your Twitter account? Do you intend to use it to connect with friends and family, or is it a business tool to connect with clients or potential customers?
If your Twitter use will be predominantly for personal use, then you can probably stop reading this article now. But if Twitter is going to be used as a business tool you may want to read on.
1. Get a custom background
A professional appearance starts with a custom Twitter background. Not only does a custom background help brand your business, but it can be used to show a wealth of information that is not possible to display simply using your Twitter profile information. A great example of a custom background can be found at Chris Brogan’s Twitter page.
2. Use a personal photo of yourself
It’s generally agreed that a personal photo, rather than a business logo, is the best image to use for your Twitter business account. The photo you choose does not have to be a professional studio shot, but rather a nice photo showing you in a personal way. Depending on the type of business you have this photo can take many forms. You are the best judge of the image you wish to present. Choose a personal photo that fits how you want others to perceive you.
People love to establish relationships on Twitter and it’s hard to establish a relationship with a business logo, but it’s easy to establish a relationship with a personal photo.
3. Use your phone number
Real businesses – even those who conduct all their business online – have a phone number. Make certain that you include it somewhere in your Twitter profile, or at the very least in your custom Twitter background image.
4. List your email address
Ditto for an email address. Make certain there is an easy way for clients or customers to contact you. List your email address in your Twitter profile or in your custom background image.
I think it’s best to use a separate email account for your Twitter contact. Fortunately, services like Gmail make it easy to have a secondary email address for your Twitter account.
5. Be careful with your Tweets
Those who choose to follow you on Twitter do so for a reason. In order to establish a trusting relationship you need to make certain that your Tweets are professional and appropriate. Assume everything that you Tweet will be saved forever because it undoubtedly will be.
Interact regularly with your followers, but choose your words wisely.
6. Tweet regularly
Your followers want to hear from you. That’s why they signed on to follow your Tweets. But don’t overdue it. Each situation is different, but make certain you don’t Tweet to the point of being obnoxious. Your followers want to hear from you – but only so often! The frequency is up to you.
7. Only follow people that you are truly interested in
You and I both know that it’s not possible to follow thousands of people on Twitter. There simply is no way to stay current with that many people. Although it might be cool to follow 3,000 people, I think most of us recognize that a number like that is really meaningless in terms of relationship building. Keep it real. Follow only those people who interest you and with whom you have time to establish a social media relationship.
I hope these suggestions will be of some help as you establish your Twitter presence. As always, please leave a comment and let me know what things you do as part of your Twitter strategy.