Join this former Twitter skeptic as he determines what makes a Twitter profile good
OK, guys, I'm going to have to be honest. I was a little intimidated when I found out I'd be writing an article like this. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that I was just shedding my Twitter skepticism. As I used Twitter more, the more I realized Twitter is actually pretty cool and has its uses. I also admitted that I still was not yet tweeting much myself. And everybody will have a different idea of what makes something "good"; it is a rather subjective term.
Still, I can sure share what I think makes a good profile. I want to hear your thoughts on the matter, too. We all have something we can learn from each other.
Determine your audience
You should determine who your audience is and what you hope to accomplish with your Twitter account. I think this is what everything hinges on. If you mostly intend for your Twitter account to be like your own personal journal, that's completely fine. After all, Twitter is a "microblogging" service. Just be sure to remember anybody can follow you, so Twitter isn't really the most private of platforms.
Also keep in mind that, especially if you position yourself as a professional or a representative of a company or organization, your followers might not be terribly interested in the intricate details of your day-to-day life. In this case, too much detail could be seen as spam and drive followers away. However, if you tweet mostly for yourself or for people who are your friends, a bit more detail may be OK.
Some people may try to represent a company or organization and share some personal views or details of their personal life, and it certainly can work. John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile USA, does just this.
Of course, Legere shares T-Mobile-related news via his Twitter account. He has also made waves in the Twitterverse because he is known for roasting T-Mobile's wireless competitors and their executives, like this:
Sometimes, he will also share thoughts on things that aren't really relevant to T-Mobile or his competitors. Take this, for example:
In my opinion, what Legere does works. Yes, he is vocal about things inside and outside of the wireless industry, but it all kind of builds this image of Legere as an opinionated, out-there guy. Some people may find his vocal nature off-putting, but what he does has definitely gotten him noticed on Twitter.
Make it yours, make it relevant
Twitter allows you to customize parts of your profile, like your name. Your name is not the same as your handle, or your Twitter username (for example, mine is @JordanMiera89). If you put your real name here in place of some kind of alias, it will make it easier for people to remember who you are and follow you on other social media platforms.
You can also write your own biography for your profile. 160 characters can actually say a lot in your bio. You can use them to paint a picture of who you are, what you do and what your interests are. This is your chance to help the world learn more about who you are and why you are awesome.
Speaking of pictures, your profile photo and header photos are customizable. For the profile photo (the one displayed next to your tweets), I think headshots are the best. Profile pictures normally aren't too big when they're displayed in Twitter. Headshots also make you more approachable and help your followers remember that there is a real person behind the thoughts you're publishing in the form of tweets.
As for header photos, displayed as a banner at the top of your profile page, I like pictures that elaborate more on who you are and what you like. I currently have a picture of aspens with their leaves changing colors set as my header photo. I am ready for fall to be here. I also love aspens because they remind me of some property my family has in the mountains of northern New Mexico. I have my initials carved in one of those aspens up there.
You can also tell people where you currently live and what your website is. You can choose any website you want. John Legere has his Instagram account shown as his website. I have Android Central as mine. You might have your Facebook or Google + profile as yours. What other website do you want to associate yourself with? What says the most about you?
Oh, and you can also choose the theme color, or how certain text, links and buttons will be displayed on your profile. You can choose your favorite color and set it as your theme color. I'm personally a fan of kind of a dark green.
Don't follow everybody in sight
I'm not going to lie, I get a little suspicious when I see somebody is following 5,000 people and only 50 are following them. Are they just trying to follow as many people as possible, hoping people will follow them back? Are they truly interested in that many people or organizations? Is it worth following them? Just follow those you have interest in and/or fit within your Twitter objectives.
If it lends itself to your Twitter objectives, engage with your followers! Twitter is an online community. Some celebrities engage by live tweeting with their followers as their show is airing. Many journalists will tweet links to their articles as they're published and interact with readers as responses come pouring in. Determine where interacting with your followers fits in with your Twitter objectives and go for it. This is something I'll try to improve upon.
I mentioned this at the beginning. Now I want to hear your thoughts. What makes a Twitter profile good or great? What makes you want to follow somebody?