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Todd tweetingMake your first Twitter impression count

Making a good first impression is vital in building a good relationship from the start, and that's exactly what we are trying to achieve on Twitter.

Writing a good Twitter bio is essential to gaining new followers. We all make assumptions and try to assess a person when we first meet them, and Twitter is no exception...

So here's how to make a great first impression and write the best Twitter bio.

Your bio on Twitter (Twitter’s profile page) is your landing page, your followers’ first port of call, and the first (and often only) chance to grab the attention of potential followers. Getting this right is vital not only for people who actually find your page on Twitter, but for attracting people who didn't even know you had an account. There are many key points to a bio:

  • Avatar - Your photo or logo.

  • Description - 160 characters that describe you, your tweets, hobbies, interests, business, or simply your reasons for tweeting.

  • Website link - Your website, blog or another place online with more information.

  • Location - This lets people know where you are in the world, it's not live though so this doesn't track your every move.

  • Tweets - All your tweets, mentions, and favourites.

  • Followers and people you follow are also visible for all to see.

     

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So what do you need to focus on?

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Firstly, the main attraction to any bio is something we're trained to do by thousands of years of evolution - reading faces! We do it all day, every day. We judge and try to work out a person from their face, their appearance, and their body language. I often liken to this human habit in our workshops to our behaviour whilst talking to someone on the phone. You can't see this person but you can hear them, so you try to work out what they're about and what they look like. We need to know this as it's very important for us in order to know who we're dealing with.

Put this theory into Twitter and you can see why a photo of you and not your logo is very important. Twitter is and always has been about building relationships. We're genetically engineered to connect with a person's face, and a logo will look very cold and unwelcoming.

Bio Description

For obvious reasons your avatar is a static image, and reading it could be difficult. This is where your description comes into play - filling in the blanks and creating your image to others. Make sure that your tweets and activity on Twitter reflect this though, there's nothing more off-putting than an account that doesn't measure up to the reason you followed it. The brilliant thing about a bio is that you can cram it full of keywords and phrases just like a website. Twitter is digital after all, so it makes sense that you can be found by using the correct words and phrases, just like you can by your tweets as I blogged about recently. I often search Twitter for answers and information, and an account that has those words and phrases in the bio will come up. Keep this in mind with your bio and review it all the time. As you develop and change so should your description of you or your business. Want to know how to make your description longer than 160 characters? Then read on...

Website link

This field is pretty obvious really, but you can be clever with this too. Our website link for example is not for our .co.uk, it's for our .co.uk/twitter-school page. We want people to find out what WE want them to. If your homepage does, this then send them there. If you have an about us page which really sells you, then send them there. If you have a book for sale...? Well I think you get the picture. Put simply, the website link you put on your bio can and should be an extension of your description. 160 characters is very a short space when you're trying to stand out from a 600 million-strong crowd.

Location, location, location!

So many people fail here, and I don't understand why. I don't follow an account that hasn't specified its tweeter's location. This will not give away your exact location every time you post a tweet like a geo tag would; it's merely to give people an idea where in the world you're based. Twitter is worldwide - think about that. The location is also searchable on Twitter and can help with localised searching of tweets. Miss it and miss out!

Tweets also appear on your bio

...even the ugly ones! We all do it - we get bogged down in conversation about all manner of things to all nature of folk. It's what drives Twitter, and I'm not suggesting you don't do it. Think about it though; those tweets appear on your profile page, so when someone finds you on Twitter, they go to your page, they check you out and see those latest 5-10 tweets... do they sell you well enough for them to follow? Obviously they will see your smiling face (not a logo) and read your epic 160 character description, but this snapshot of your Twitter presence can be the deciding factor. Personally I would follow a conversational account and not one that was too automated or full of website links, or one that hasn't tweeted for a little while - but that's my choice. The point is, if you sell sausages but only talk about cupcakes then you're not attracting all the attention that you could be.

 

We can help you with your Twitter and social media. Contact us now to get started!


Right, here comes the science bit *flicks hair back and pouts* .

To back all this up I'm referring to neuroscience and biometrics. Yup, I'm getting all technical in my old age. There's a science that uses eyesight tracking and it helps designers assess their advertisements.

A great article on this was pointed out to me by @pinky_princess recently while we were brainstorming, and it reminded me that I'd seen one used on social media pages a while ago.

I often refer to the evidence in that article in our Twitter School, so I thought I'd dig it out.

When we look at an ad, or indeed a webpage (which is effectively doing the same job) our eyes are being naturally drawn to different areas. This article on Mashable shows this brilliantly. Key points to focus on are that people are attracted towards the avatars more than the tweets (or wording), so on your bio they are more likely to focus on your avatar than your description. This is such a great argument for ditching that logo, especially when you think about our natural engagement 'off' Twitter as I discussed above.

Eye tracking via Mashable

Look at the screenshot of the Twitter page - the little square avatars in the timeline receive more interest than the tweets displayed too, showing again that we are drawn towards visual stimulus on a webpage. Colours are important too. When you put all this into place there's also a huge argument for sharing photos on Twitter as they will appear as a thumbnail too.

Attract attention, stand out, be different.

"There are 600 million users and rising, so you need to keep ahead."

What do you think? Logo or photo? Are images more important than content? We’d love to hear what you think. 

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We can help you with your Twitter and social media. Contact us now to get started!

My name is Graham Todd and I’ve been immersed in social media for almost three years. I train, blog and manage social media for business.

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Leave a comment

Posted by Bobby Stearns on
Fantabulous blog again Mister T. I agree largely on the point of avatar photos of yourself, except where your company branding is immensely important to the sale of your product. I tried a picture of myself once our @wbc account and it just didn't make sense. I think where you're diligent (or interesting enough) to build a voice and personality through the way you tweet then your avatar need not be a selfie portrait. In your case Todd, you are your brand, so picture of yourself is essential, when I click on @WarwickTweetup I'm buying largely into your identity. In WBC's instance, I tweet on behalf of the company I work for, and I become the voice of the brand. We've tried to build a strong corporate identity and over the years our brand has solidified in strength. We now have our main account @wbc branded with our logo, and then sub accounts @wbc_maria @wbc_tom - staff members who show face and character through and through. I guess each business is different, but it seems to work for us, what do you think?
Posted by Warwicktweetup on
Hey Bobby, thanks for you comments.

You are, and always have been the exception to the rule. I work with many digital designers who use their logo and brand image to consistently sell their products - in your case your brand is so important to your online persona. I agree to a certain extent that brands need to keep their company flag flying, but I'm also a firm believer in 'People buy from people", so you could argue the point both ways.

I guess it's all about finding the right balance, and like you have, testing the digital water once in a while!
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