Twitter is a powerhouse platform for your career. For networking and professional growth, it’s a game-changer. And increasingly, companies and organizations are using it to search for talent. So what’s the secret to a successful Twitter presence? A great Twitter profile.
Creating an effective profile is one of the single most important things you’ll do on Twitter. You can’t have a successful Twitter presence without it. But most of us don’t put nearly enough time into this critical calling card.
Here are my top 10 tips to creating a perfect Twitter profile:
1. Make the best first impression.
You have 160 characters plus image, location, name and website link to make that first impression. And when it comes to first impressions, there’s no second chance. Your profile should be succinct and engaging, but not overwhelming.
2. View it like a business card.
Ever agonize over the design and wording of a business card? Your Twitter profile is a virtual business card. Focus on the information you need to convey. As you craft your profile, keep this in mind.
3. Assess yourself.
An intriguing but informative self-description in your Twitter profile is crucial for attracting, maintaining, and retaining followers. That takes some serious self-awareness. Take notes on yourself: personality, habits, communication, social style, passions, inspirations, talents. Draw from this list for your profile.
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4. Imagine your audience.
Some great authors say knowing your audience is a huge part of winning it. Identify who you want to reach with your profile. They’re most likely a broad range, from friends and work peers and like-minded colleagues to business leaders (and don’t forget potential employers and recruiters).
5. Draft your mini-resume.
Your Twitter profile is a mini-resume — emphasis on mini. List expertise, experience, then accomplishments (unless you can start with a great accolade). Use the least words to convey the most information. Round it out: the best Twitter profiles combine work and play, jobs and passions — that’s what makes us interesting.
6. Use keywords.
Keywords are helpful in a profile, especially since you have so little room with which to introduce yourself to the Twittersphere. So turn your profile into a discovery tool by adding a hashtag, like “Job Search coach / #LinkedIn Expert.”
7. Show confidence, not arrogance.
No one is invisible on social media. In fact, the small space and fast pace of twitter means that everything has a potentially greater impact. Apply the same sense of etiquette to your profile as to tweets. Yes: do list honors, but don’t brag “TOP 100!”
8. Make it playful and positive.
How do you convey virtual positive energy on a screen? First, avoid negativity. No whining “#worstjobever” in your experience list. Then stress the positive: define yourself as “Always interested!” instead of “easily distracted.” Add humor to keep it playful.
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9. Show yourself.
Studies show that a personal photo is far more engaging, and a smiling, headshot-style image is more approachable and appealing than a nonsmiling one. Avoid the obvious: no kissing photos, no blurry photos. If you aren’t comfortable using your own face, choose something representative of your business or field.
10. Add links.
There’s a separate place for linking your website in your profile. But you can also add links in your profile itself. They can lend credibility, and may even prompt a follow. Just don’t link to that personal Youtube channel or Facebook page.
When crafting your Twitter profile, the more thinking and planning you do, the better the result. You can always go back and refine your profile. So dive in, join the party! I wish you loads of #success.
Germany Kent is a social media influencer, author, and entrepreneur with decades of experience in personal branding, social networking, and entertainment. Her newest book is You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life (May 2015), a self-help guide packed with tools, tips, tricks, secrets, and strategies for mastering Twitter, and turning it into a powerful vehicle for self-transformation.