I was drawn to Twitter.com last week for something I don’t recall and decided to follow a bunch of peeps who had kindly followed me. I can really only do this en masse via Twitter’s platform and not via HootSuite, my app of choice.
Reviewing about a few hundred profiles all at once to determine if someone was fit to follow was a cringeful (yep, that’s a word) experience. I was taken aback that peeps still aren’t writing Twitter profiles with substance.
Here’s what I saw that I didn’t like:
- Locked profiles. Why do this when were all trying to engage? If you’re afraid, maybe you shouldn’t be on Twitter anyway? If someone is stalking you, then just delete that individual profile instead of turning away everyone else.
- I Love My Wife. Are you so sexy that women are asking for your phone number, Guys? Should I say “single and seeking” on my profile and should my friend say “In love with my hubby?” I wonder if this is a statement to appease the wives who wonder what the heck their husbands are doing online all the time and with whom? Too much personal for me.
- Nothing. For goodness sakes, add something to your profile. Add some key words that describe your job, who you want to follow, your hobbies, where you live, if you’re a student, or something descriptive.
- Wacked avatar. I’ve written about this in the past; you need an avatar someone can align to, can feel comfortable about, that is not an animal or a building. We’re communicating on a very social platform; show me your face!
- Caps. Please don’t scream at me. I don’t need to see your profile in all caps, especially when you’re spouting off about yourself, too.
- Sales Pitch. Folks selling products? Fine, I respect that, but please be more creative with the profile. Rather than carry on about the product features, tell my why I should engage with you? I’m gonna pass you by because you’re a product and not a person.
What else have you seen that I didn’t add above?
So, here are 10 tips for how to write a Twitter profile (just short of turning all the above around into positives):
1. Be personable and show me who you are with key words that give me a sense of your profession and interests.
2. Limit family talk but not all the time. If you want to talk about your family, please do, but don’t ever assume you have to add the number of children in your household (unless you’re a mommy blogger or mom seeking same and then you’re probably not going to follow me anyway?) or whether you’re in love with your spouse. This goes into your goals (see below) for Twitter — personal or business?
3. Keep politics out of your profile unless you’re running for election. That will be the death of your brand. The U.S. is too divided today to accept either side of the aisle in casual tweets.
4. Share something about your aptitude. Maybe you work for a living as a professional? Maybe you teach? Maybe you’re a pro boxer? Musician? Whatever, Share that as it gives someone an opportunity to follow you with a common thread.
6. Please add an avatar of your face? It is so frustrating not being able to visualize someone on the other side of a tweet after so many years of tweeting together. (I’ve been told people hide for various personal reasons.)
7. Can you show me some personality? You’ve got a short space to describe who you are, but challenge yourself to be creative and show as many sides of yourself as you can.
8. Take your profile to Twellow and We Follow; register yourself to connect with like-minded Tweeps. When you synch your Twitter account, your profile is how you attract new followers.
9. Write a profile with the goal of attaining something – new business, a job, a guest blog post, or something. If you’re seeking a spouse, head to Match.com.
10. Set goals for your Twitter experience (different than a goal for your profile). Are you on Twitter for business or personal reasons? Write content in alignment with your goals. A profile is a mirror of that ultimate strategy.