Think about what first attracted you to your home. Your initial impression as you pulled up and viewed the unique landscape and exterior architecture. Realtor’s call it “curb appeal.” First impressions are important, as we all remember this warning: "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression." In fact, psychologists, writers, and seminar leaders caution that we only have from seven to seventeen seconds of interacting with strangers before they form an opinion of us. With so much at stake have you considered your Twitter curb appeal? What I’m talking about are the elements of your Twitter page that can be personalized in a way to make your personal brand quickly stand out. Just consider these Twitter factoids from the folks at HubSpot:
• 59% of users fail to provide a web address in their profile
• 47% have not entered a bio in their profile
• Accounts with profile pictures have 10 times more followers than those without
Why are these points important? Because, when people are deciding whether to follow you they quickly look at your bio information, web address, picture icon, page background, location and recent updates to get a sense of who you really are. In short, your Twitter page is an extension of your personal brand. For that reason you should make sure your Twitter profile supports your personal branding goals and objectives. There are five areas of your page that you should focus on:
1. Profile picture. Pick something that fits the personal brand you want to project. In short, if you want people to take you seriously, don’t use an unprofessional picture. Also, consider how you may want to extend your personal brand across other social media platforms. In my case, I use the same profile picture for both Twitter and Facebook. I use a more formal picture for LinkedIn.
2. Bio information. Twitter only gives you 160 characters in this space so think about your personal elevator pitch. Say what you need to say, but don’t be afraid to let some of your personality show through. In addition, think about key word searches that might be run on the bio section through applications like Tweet Adder or Refollow to make sure your profile would surface.
3. Web site URL. Think about where you would want to redirect viewers for additional information. I use LinkedIn because it is a trusted source and recognized by most business professionals. I would not recommend using a URL shortener for this space. Your potential followers may not feel comfortable clicking on a link they don’t recognize, and at this point you don’t want to do anything that would discourage engagement.
4. Location. Some people feel uncomfortable disclosing their location. I believe the risk is worth the reward and that you’ll increase your chances of being found during relevant searches if you display both your city and state. Again, key applications like Tweet Adder and Refollow can leverage location information.
5. Background. Twitter offers several of their own backgrounds. However; if you’re looking to make your personal brand stand out I would recommend a customized background.
There are no mulligans or do-over’s when it comes to first impressions; so take the time to personalize your Twitter page. The extra effort shows your followers that you’re serious about your personal brand, and that encourages them to take you seriously, too.