What does your profile say about you?

Inspired by a blog post by Nicky Kriel I wanted to highlight the importance of having a good Profile on Twitter if you’re using it for your business.  You can think of your Profile as a business card and just as you would ensure that these cards would be reflective of you and your business you should pay close attention to what you put onto profile so that you are portraying the right message.

Name – Quite self-explanatory, this should be your real name just as you would have it displayed on your business card.  Twitter says that you’re more likely to turn up in Twitter search if you’ve used your real name which is an important factor to attract potential clients.

Picture – Your picture personalises your Twitter account and since people like doing business with people it is better to have a good quality picture of yourself.  Many companies use their company logo but this makes it faceless and the whole point of Social Media is about being social so I’d rather interact with someone when I can ‘see’ them.  By good quality picture I mean a photograph that is clear, taken with a good camera, a head shot and preferably of you smiling.  Remember also that this image is going to show up beside your tweets in people’s time-lines so having a picture of you taken from afar is not going to show up so easily.

Location – Another element that Twitter says will have an effect on you appearing in Twitter searches in addition to your real name.  People may also perform searches and narrow these searches to specific geographic locations so again it’s important to have this filled in correctly.

Web – This field is very important as it provides people with a link to your website or blog.  You should definitely use this so that people can click-through and discover more about your and your business.  If you have a blog and you enter a link to it here it would allow people to consume the great content you’ve been creating and posting.

Bio – Going back to the people like doing business with people this is where you can tell people about yourself. You’ll have to be succinct however as you only have 160 characters in which to do this.  Within those 160 characters you need to try and get across what you’re about and why your business exists – think of it as being the equivalent of an elevator speech (with a lot lot less words).  Don’t make it all business – try to add something here that also gets across who you are as a person to further personalise it.

Your profile is a very important element of your social media strategy because as you are exposed to other twitter users one of the first things they will look at if your profile so you want to ensure you have the right information there to keep them interested.  They may then look at your other tweets and generally they’re going to look at your last 10-20 tweets so it’s important that what you’ve written in profile and what you’re tweeting are somewhat related.  If you’re using your twitter account to get more business and your profile is set up that way yet your tweets are mostly about personal items then there may not be much incentive for the person to follow you.  Having said that all of your tweets shouldn’t be just about business either so include some personal tweets which again allow people to say the human side of you.  People’s opinions differ in terms of what percentage of tweets should be business and what should be personal – my own opinion on this is to use the 80/20 rule when using your twitter account for business.  80% business and 20% personal – I say this based on my own personal preferences on people I’m following since I’m following them for their business tweets but it’s nice to interact with them on a personal level from time to time too.

I’ve included my twitter profile as an example of the above and I encourage you to update your profiles if they are missing any information and/or if it could be improved with some of the tips I’ve provided.  I would also recommend looking at profiles of others that you interact with and that you see on your time-lines to get some ideas on the creative ways people are using their profiles to get their message across.  If you do come across some really innovative or novel ones people feel to share them here for us all to learn from.

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