Communicating your personal brand on Twitter can be challenging but with a little time setting things up and planning for your personal brand, you'll be tweeting like a pro in no time.
How you choose to present yourself on Twitter to share who you are and what you're all about is key. Every choice that you make in setting up your Twitter account is a little piece of what people know about you and what you tweet is, of course, also important.
Let's look at how you can put the pieces together to create a solid personal brand on Twitter.
Write a great Twitter bio
Twitter allows 160 characters for your bio so you need to be concise and compelling with a tiny bit of space. The first thing I wrote on Twitter was my bio and one bit of that has remained consistently there in my bio although other aspects of it have changed. “Rockin' a positive attitude” is the foundation for my Twitter bio – just as it is in my every life. This statement is authentically me so it fits.
Start by making a list of things that are unique and important to you that you want people to know about you. Give them a reason to click that follow button and connect with you on Twitter.
Sprout Social says, “This first impression can make or break your brand, helping people decide whether to follow or click away. That could also mean the difference between gaining and losing a customer.
Publishing a lackluster bio, or not including one at all, is too big a risk to take.”
It's important to use keywords in your bio because this helps Twitter populate your Twitter account in search and recommend your account in connection with related Twitter accounts.
Choose a solid social profile photo
Your personal photo, or avatar, is another crucial part of your Twitter personal brand. A tiny photo is in the top left-hand corner of every tweet that you send so people see the tweet is from you.
Your face provides the most data about what kind of person you are. Thus your avatar shouldn’t show your family, friends, dog, or car, because there isn’t room. This also means you should not use a logo or graphic design unless the avatar is for an organization.
Here are three additional avatar tips from The Art of Social Media:
Go asymmetrical. Symmetry makes a picture less interesting, so don’t stick your face exactly in the middle. Divide a picture into thirds and place your eyes near one of the vertical lines.
Face the light. The source of light should come from in front of you. If the light comes from behind you, your face will probably be underexposed unless you force a ll ash on your camera or use a photo editor.
Think big. When people scan posts and comments, they see your avatar at a postage-stamp size. When they click on it, however, they should see a big, crisp photo, so upload a picture that is at least 600 pixels wide.
Design a cover photo that tells a story
In addition to an avatar, platforms permit a second, larger photo, called a “cover” (Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn) or a “header” (Twitter). Its purpose is to tell a story and communicate information about what’s important to you.
This is where you can show a photo of your family, dog, car, product, or passion. Platforms change the optimal dimensions of avatars and cover/header photos all the time, so I monitor what the platforms do and regularly update in a blog post called “Quick Tips for Great Social Media Graphics.” Refer back to it whenever you want to know what’s optimal.
The cover is a place where you can blow your social media credibility by not changing the default design that platforms provide. If you don’t add a custom photo, you are screaming that you are clueless about social media.
Here's a few examples of great cover photos:
Pauline Cabrera of Twelveskip. Pauline uses a personal photo to connect with people and her blog name for her Twitter name, @Twelveskip. Her cover photo shows who she is, what she does, and how you can work with her.
Guy Kawasaki. Guy always has super clever and on-target bios for social media. Take the time to tweak them every once in awhile to keep them fresh and reflect what's going on in your world.
This is one of Guy's favorite storytelling covers. It shows him at a really cool event that he moderated with Virgin and Richard Branson in Silicon Valley. Everyone is laughing and having a great time. It gives you a sneak peak into Guy's professional world and part of who he is as a person. Smart, funny, and really well connected.
Sizes for Twitter graphics
- Header image 1,500 x 500 pixels
- Tweet image 1,000 x 500 – 2:1 aspect ratio
- Profile photo 400 x 400 pixels
Define your personal brand on Twitter
To keep your brand tight, you want to come up with two or three main topics for your brand content. I call these the three seeds of your brand. Your blog or website may already have one theme that is your main brand focus so of course this will be one of the seeds.
Focusing on building a niche with tightly curated content on these topics will help create a really great flow on content on your Twitter stream. My three seeds are social media, author, and marketing. These are the main things that I share content about so people know that they can find these things on my Twitter profile.
Make a list of your main focus with three seeds or go super-niched with one main focus and you'll build a solid Twitter following that will love your content.
Consistently tweet interesting stories
It's not enough to set up your profile and abandon it. Twitter needs constant feeding since the average life of a tweet is about twenty minutes. Yikes! Then it's gone.
Set up an account on the social media management platform of your choice and schedule tweets spread out over the day and week. I love using Sprout Social to manage my Twitter. You can schedule content into Sprout Social, respond to tweets, and get reports on your Twitter activity. I love that I can click on a person's account and see all the past conversations on Twitter. This is especially helpful for community management.
Buffer is also an option for Twitter management. You can schedule content into Twitter but you can't respond to tweets so it's for content management, not social media conversation and listening.
Communicate with others
Communicating with others is the fun part! Twitter is the place to communicate one-to-one or to large groups. You can tweet directly with others, tweet to everyone who follows you, or tweet into a hashtag community or Twitter chat to reach a new group of people.
Making sure that you're tweeting conversational tweets to people to connect and grow your personal brand on Twitter. You don't want to send out only links or retweets. Your personal tweets to people and joining bigger conversations are an important element of your personal brand and what people think when they look at your Twitter feed.
Make sure the content that you tweet in conversations is also on brand, professional, and ready to be seen by whomever checks your Twitter profile.
Tools for Twitter to make your life easier!
Sprout Social – My social media management platform. I use it on desktop and mobile to manage multiple accounts, respond to tweets, and follow keywords.
Big Stock Photos – I love using this for photos on social media or for my blog.
Social Bro – Everything you need to optimize your Twitter strategy.
Canva for graphics
Giphy for GIFs
I hope that this gives you some ideas to create your own fantastic personal brand using Twitter. Of course, many of these ideas can help you on other social media platforms as well.