While many social media platforms attempt to be all things to all people, in the end each of these platforms is somewhat unique. Thus, one’s presence on each needs to be tailored to the specific platform. Facebook is fundamentally about individual connections. Twitter functions like a worldwide cocktail party in which you can dip in and out of cliques and conversations. Instagram is all about photos and video postcards from your life–images of the moment. There’s plenty of crossover with likes, shares, retweets and comments, but each platform has a different core of how and when and why you interact with others. You need to engage with other users of a given platform based on codes and norms of that platform. But before you get to any of that, you have to tailor your own user profile each platform you use.
On Twitter, you have a bit of freedom. There’s a header image, a profile image, your twitter handle (aka username), your description, your website link, and, if you so desire, a pinned tweet. These elements are all fairly flexible. You want to make sure you’ve crafted each to reflect who you are and what you do. If you’re a filmmaker, your header could be a behind-the-scenes shot or a production still. Something that grabs attention and shows people right away who you are and what you do.
Your profile image is what people will see most frequently–every time you post, in fact. It can be your face, but it doesn’t have to be. Make it something that stands out and it will help your tweets stand out.
Your twitter handle should be appropriate to your goals on the platform. For a personal account, a whimsical nickname is a fine choice. For a project or company, though, you will want a simple, easy to remember handle. It should be unique. You don’t want people to accidentally tag someone else when they mean to tag you in their tweets. If you’ve written a book on rocks, for example, you may not want to use the twitter handle @Rock, or you may start getting messages meant for @TheRock (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). Maybe you’ll want to try @RocksBook, or something closer to your title that people will be unlikely to accidentally type when looking for someone else.
Your description should be a succinct explanation of who you are and why you’re there. If you want to direct people to twitter accounts for your other projects from your personal account, all you have to do is add the twitter handle for the project account to your description. Twitter will automatically convert those handles into clickable links. If you opt to use hashtags to share information about a project instead of a dedicated account, including those hashtags in your description will also convert them into links visitors can click to see posts with that hashtag.
The website link on your twitter profile should lead to the best place to learn the most about you or your project. You probably shouldn’t try to update this regularly with your latest blog post, song, or video. Keep it general and make sure it’s informative. If you or your project have a general website, that’s the obvious, easy choice.
Finally, a pinned tweet is a great way to call attention to a particularly important or representative tweet right away. This can be an announcement, a link to a special project, or even just a particularly pithy tweet that you feel represents you and your profile at their best.
Remember: your Twitter profile is public even if you set your tweets to private, so make sure you’re representing yourself the way with you want the world to see you!
Need some assistance with tailoring your social media profile to the platform? Hit us up at 4MileCircus. We’re here to help.