Optimizing Your Twitter Account

Optimizing your Twitter account - #TwitterSmarter chat with Eimer Duffy - August 6, 2020

We all know the basics of Twitter, right? Of course, we think we do. However, there’s always something we can improve on our profile. That’s the beauty of social media—you have to constantly upgrade your game or you’ll be left behind. That’s why we invited Eimer Duffy, social media trainer and consultant, to walk us through some of the key aspects of Twitter.

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Eimer Duffy
Topic: Optimizing Your Twitter Account
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What does optimizing your Twitter account mean?

To optimize your Twitter account, you must first complete all required (and some optional) elements in your profile. As Eimer said, this includes,

  • A relevant cover image
  • Clear headshot or a logo for the profile picture
  • Your or your business’s name
  • Proper and relevant handle
  • A bio that explains what you do or offer
  • Call to action link
  • Location

Once you have all of that in place, you can play around with those elements to make it stronger. That’s what optimizing is all about. Keep an eye on what’s happening in your industry and update your bio and hashtags to remain relevant. As Christian pointed out, you can also use pinned tweets to achieve this. Pinning a tweet—and especially a media tweet—is a powerful way to engage your profile visitors. More on that in a bit.

Q2: What should businesses consider when setting their Twitter cover image?

Sure, you can put your favorite baseball team’s logo in your cover image. But should you, though?

As our guest explained to us, use your cover image to talk about yourself and what you offer to your audience. Use a tool like Canva—or Photoshop, if you’re into that—to design a unique cover for your profile. The ideal size should be 1500 x 500 pixels.

You can have both text and pictures in your cover image. But as Laura reminded us, be wary of using too much text. It is, after all, an image.

Q3: Why is the profile picture so important?

As with any social media channel, your profile picture is the first thing people see. That’s why it’s important to have a high-quality, image, whether it’s your headshot or a brand logo. And the ideal size is 400 x 400 pixels.

Deb, from Agorapulse, explained how it works in larger businesses or agencies where multiple people tweet from the brand handle. Each person should try and sign off on their tweets, so that the audience can easily identify know who they’re talking to.

Q4: What should you keep in mind when naming your account and your Twitter handle?

The most important thing to remember when setting up social media is that your name on all profiles across channels should be same or highly similar. This makes it so much easier for your audience to search for you.

The name you choose on social media should match your brand name—whether it’s you or your business. You have a maximum of 50 characters for your Twitter name and 15 characters for your handle.

However, a common problem with Twitter is that your ideal name isn’t always available. In that case, try adding an underscore. More often than not, it’ll be available, like Eimer’s was.

As Azad crudely pointed out, don’t make your handle and profile name obscure. Be as specific as possible, and remain relevant to what you do. Otherwise, you might come across as a random spammer or a bot account.

Q5: Share some tips for creating the ideal Twitter bio.

With a maximum of 160 characters, you have a lot of opportunity to showcase who you are and who you cater to. Make sure you resonate with your ideal audience. You can add in your favorite emojis as well. If you have a branded hashtag, include that too.

As Iynette pointed out, your bio is an indicator of what people will find on your feed. That’s why it’s so important to clearly communicate your work and stance.

Q6: You can only have one link in your bio. What should you highlight?

That one link is a great chance to get heaps of referral traffic. That’s why it should be either your website or a specific landing page that clearly indicates what you want your visitors to do. See that you has distinct calls to action (CTAs) so that people who land on your page can easily convert—whether it’s signing up for your newsletter, purchasing something, or reading more.

It’s worth remembering that you can change that link frequently. This gives you a lot of flexibility. So you can update your links, depending on your current goals or campaigns. For example, Jen said she recently changed her link to direct people to the latest episode of a podcast she’s working on.

Q7: How broad or specific should your location setting be?

This often depends on the type of business you run. If you have a physical office or a storefront, you need to be specific so that people can locate you easily. For example, add the city followed by state, as in Buffalo, New York.

Although, large-scale franchise businesses like KFC and Domino’s don’t have a single location. In that case, they might either have a broad one, or separate regional accounts.

For personal brands, there’s more leeway. Most of our community members suggested using slightly broad locations. As Lance explained, that way, people know approximately where you’re from and your time zone, but not enough for trolls to try and trace you.

Q8: How can you get the most out of pinned tweets?

Just as the case with the link in your bio, it’s a good idea also to update your pinned tweet quite regularly. Use that as a space to promote new content, news, and any events you’re hosting, attending, or even causes you’re supporting. Add visual elements, relevant hashtags, and a targeted link in your pinned tweet to maximize your reach.

Another great way to use pinned tweets is to make it an extension of your bio. As Masooma told us, you can tweet a video explaining your work, your priorities, and introduce yourself to the Twitterverse. You can then pin that tweet so that that’s the immediate next thing people see after they land on your profile and read your bio.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading, and for more great insights from our chat with Eimer, check out this Twitter Moment that Joana put together.

And if you’ve got some spare time next Thursday, join us for #TwitterSmarter at 1pm ET.

About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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