Your Twitter Profile and First Impressions

February 27, 2009

Twitter LogoSo you’ve signed up on Twitter, and chosen a good Twitter name—and now you’re ready to post something. Wait! Don’t do it! Before you utter a peep (or a “tweet”), it’s important to set your profile to make it helpful to others. As in any social setting, first impressions matter.

There are two types of people in this world: those who know you, and those who don’t. Your Twitter profile is important to both. Using my profile as an example, the main body starts with

Twitter profile left side

Those who know me will check the photo to make sure this is the same Jon Reid they know. So don’t use a long shot, but make the photo focus on your face.

Those who don’t know me will glance at the photo and form a first impression. So smile! (Your artsy photo featuring your scowl will work to convey a different sort of feel, but ask yourself if it attracts or repels.)

The right column of my profile begins with

Twitter profile right side

Those who know me will look at the name and location to double-check that they have the right person. So unless you are deliberately concealing your identity, use your real name and location.

Those who don’t know me will glance at the bio and click on the web site to get a feel for who I am. Your bio is a chance to introduce yourself. The web site address will be abbreviated as shown, but clicks through just fine. If you have an online presence of any kind, list it on your profile so that people can learn more about you.

Again, set this basic information (in Account and Picture under Settings) before you say anything on Twitter. Otherwise, people will see the generic photo

Twitter generic photo

and not know what to make of you.

Before You Sign Up for Twitter series:

  1. How to Choose Good Twitter Names
  2. Your Twitter Profile and First Impressions
  3. Twitter Background: Don’t Do It!
  4. Tweet Before You Follow

More Twitter resources:

Jon Reid

Posts Twitter Google+

As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

4 responses to Your Twitter Profile and First Impressions

  1. I think is a perfectly reasonable image for me. 🙂

  2. Your blog finally convinced me to do the bio thing…never really thought much about it before…thanks!

    • Carrie, great! I think the big mind-switch is to consider the needs of “those who don’t know me.” Gosh, that almost sounds biblical. Anyway, thanks for letting me know—it makes my blogging worth it.