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How to Make a Perfect Twitter Profile: A Complete Guide

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  • October 5, 2017

Strategically crafting your Twitter profile page is a huge factor in growing your following. It’s as simple as that. If you’re active on Twitter, people are coming to your profile page.

And while you can set up a profile in a couple of minutes, that doesn’t mean you should. If you’re using Twitter for business, you need to invest some time making a perfect profile that entices visitors to become followers.

In this post, we’ll go over all the elements of your Twitter profile page and give you tips to optimize each for the best results in your Twitter marketing.

twitter profile

We’ll examine the header photo, profile picture, bio, and pinned Tweet. Each element works together to create a short (but crucial) experience for every user that lands on your Twitter profile page.

Ready? Let’s get to it…

Twitter Header Photo

Your header photo is the biggest piece of visual real estate on your Twitter profile page. Take advantage of that space with a creative and attractive design.

We’ll get to that in a moment. But first, a quick discussion on sizing your header photo (it can be a bit of a challenge to get this correct).

Twitter Header Photo Dimensions

Twitter recommends you make the header 1500 x 500 pixels, but there’s a catch. These images are responsive, meaning they change with the resolution and screen size of the device it’s being viewed on.

There will be cropping on the top and the bottom of the image, so you need to account for that. Also, remember that the profile pic overlaps the header photo and it moves with the responsive design.

Leave at least 42 pixels on top and bottom because that will usually be cropped off. And don’t include anything in the 454 x 226 rectangle of the bottom left cover so you don’t cover up important elements with the profile pic.

twitter header dimensions

For those of you using Photoshop, you can download the above template I created to easily design your header photo: click here to download the .psd Twitter header photo template.

You’ll still want to test on different screen sizes and devices, but using these guidelines will save time as you create your header photo.

Frustrated trying to get your #Twitter header right? Here's how! (.PSD template included) #SMMClick To Tweet

Ideas for Your Twitter Header Photo

Now, let’s get to the fun stuff – how to utilize this space.

Think of your Twitter header photo as the headline of your profile page. It’s the first thing most people will see when they land on your page. But they won’t be looking long.

Treat your header photo like a billboard on the highway. People will be flying by it at 70 miles per hour and you only have a few seconds to get your message across.

For instance, check out this billboard:

twitter header billboard

I drive past this almost every day and always think how simple and effective it is. Even flying by, you can’t miss the message. That’s what you should strive for with your Twitter header.

On the other hand, I see this billboard here in town as well:

twitter header billboard 2

It targets the same audience and is essentially the same message, but I’d bet this one converts much, much worse.

This would probably make a great newspaper ad, but it’s not appropriate for a billboard – remember you have to time your message to the medium and often less is best.

On this billboard the image is small and tucked to the side. It draws the eye, but by the time you’ve registered what you’ve seen you’ve driven past it. Plus, there’s a lot of text – too much to absorb at 50 miles per hour (the speed limit on that road).

Again, think about your Twitter cover in the same way. People are clicking and scrolling, moving fast on Twitter. If you don’t get your message across in a few seconds, it’s lost.

So, don’t include a long paragraph of text – it’s unlikely anyone will ever read it. Instead, stick with one quick message or bullet points about your account.

Remember, this is a big part of your account’s introduction to new people, many of whom are quickly deciding whether to follow you or not. Entice them with a reason to connect.

Things you can highlight are:

• Accomplishments

• Social Proof

• Your Website Address

• Brand Values

• Your Products

Twitter Header Photo Examples

Let’s take a look at a few great examples of effective Twitter header photos.

First up, Brian Dean of Backlinko. If you haven’t heard of Brian, he gives some of the best SEO advice on the web through his Backlinko site.

And if you had never heard of him when you stumbled upon his Twitter profile, he immediately establishes credibility by showcasing the major publications his content has been featured in.

twitter header example backlinko

Next up, Animoto. This is a super simple, yet super effective Twitter header.

twitter-header-animoto

If you’re not familiar with Animoto, it’s a super easy platform to make awesome DIY videos. And this header perfectly describes their brand in four words.

Finally, I love how Unbounce, and landing page SaaS company, uses their Twitter header photo.

twitter-header-unbounce

They use images of their new templates and highlight the fact that they were created based on conversion data of nearly 65,000 landing pages. That’s powerful stuff!

Related: How to Use Your Twitter Cover Photo: 11 Clever Ways

Twitter Profile Pic

Your Twitter profile pic matters. After all, it’s the visual representation of YOU on Twitter. Make it count.

For personal accounts and solopreneurs, use a picture of yourself (preferably smiling), from the shoulders up. You want people to recognize you and have happy thoughts when you show up in their timeline.

For brand accounts, you can use a logo or mascot.

If you do use a logo, keep in mind that you’ll upload a square photo but it will be a circle on Twitter. If you have a square logo with words, they’re often cropped out.

So if you start with this:

twitter profile pic square

You’ll end up with this:

twitter profile pic circle

I recommend using a mascot or element of the logo that’s representative of your brand. Your company name will be right next to it anyway.

And even if they are not cropped, make sure any words are big enough to read when the picture is very small (as it will be on timelines).

More Profile Pic Tips

Also, upload a bigger picture at least 400 x 400 pixels so if people choose to click on it, it will get bigger. Some people want a better look at you.

Finally, pick a profile pic and stick with it. Most people follow hundreds (or more) accounts on Twitter and over time they’ll become familiar with your avatar. It’s a part of your personal brand. You wouldn’t change your business logo every week, would you?

And use the same avatar everywhere. Again, this is part of your personal brand. If a Twitter follower stumbles upon you on Instagram and the picture is the same, they’re going to make that connection much quicker (and vice versa).

Twitter Profile Pic Examples

Let’s examine a couple profile pics that work well, one personal and one business account.

For a personal account, I love the pic Convince and Convert‘s Jay Baer uses. He’s looking sharp, smiling and it’s a nice close up of his face.

twitter profile pic jay baer

He just looks approachable, like someone you want to connect with, right? (I think so anyway.)

Plus, it stands out and you can still recognize him when it’s presented smaller in the timeline.

twitter profile pic in tweet

Finally, Jay uses the same picture across all his social media accounts (at least at the time of this writing).

For a business account, I love how Buffer uses only their logo image without words for their profile pic. (Truth be told, I love pretty much everything Buffer does, so this is no surprise).

buffer twitter profile pic

It’s strong branding for the company and immediately recognizable when it shows up in a Twitter feed. While your logo (or elements of it) may not be as recognizable as Buffer’s, you’ll strengthen your branding with every tweet you send.

Think your Twitter profile pic doesn't REALLY matter? Think again!Click To Tweet

Twitter Bio

Next up, your Twitter bio. It’s a mistake to think that because it’s only 160 characters it should be quick and easy to write a great bio – quite the opposite, in fact.

Because of that limitation, you must be creative to fit in all the info you want and have some personality shine through.

Twitter SEO in Your Bio

But there’s another factor to consider when crafting your Twitter bio – SEO. Twitter has it’s own search engine and the words and phrases in your bio should be keyword rich.

Think about what people may be searching on Twitter and what you want to be found for. Then make sure you include those words/phrases in your bio.

For instance, if you search “social media marketing,” the default results include accounts to follow at the top and in the sidebar.

twitter search bio results

And if you click on the “People” tab, you’ll find all the account results for that search.

twitter search people tab

This is how a lot of people find accounts to follow. Make sure to include these words in your bio to get discovered more.

So, your finished bio needs to be a nice mix of keywords and info about you. Remember, your bio is a pitch on why people should care to follow you.

Clickable Elements in Your Bio

Finally, you can (and often should) include clickable elements in your Twitter bio. These include other handles, hashtags and URLs.

BUT, be mindful of what you include. Of course, since these elements are clickable, they’ll take users away from your profile page. Be careful where you send them.

Check out this video from Mike Kawula, CEO of Social Quant, for one HUGE mistake a ton of people make with their Twitter bio and why you should avoid it.

One HUGE Twitter bio mistake to avoid (even some pros do this!) #SMM #TwitterTipsClick To Tweet

Twitter Bio Examples

Now, let’s take a look at some great examples of effective Twitter bios:

First up, Samantha Kelly, a.k.a. The Tweeting Goddess.

twitter bio example Samantha Kelly

There’s a ton of personality in her bio, starting with the “I sprinkle #Twittermagic everywhere!” line. How much better than, “Twitter expert” is that?!

And, yes, while that hashtag is clickable, Samantha pretty much owns the hashtag with her personal brand. Click on it and it will take you to a bunch of her tweets (or tweets about her). She even has an awesome custom GIF for the hashtag:

Another great example is Nika Stewart, CEO of Ghost Tweeting.

twitter bio example nika steward

Nika’s bio is keyword rich with the terms social media, social media agency, and entrepreneurs. She mentions the impressive fact that she blogs for HuffPost. And she includes some personality, telling us she’s a lover of margaritas and sarcasm.

Related: 10 Twitter Bio Ideas From Top Social Media Experts

Pinned Tweet

One element that people don’t always think of as a part of their bio – but they absolutely should – is a pinned tweet.

You can pick any of your tweets to stay pinned to the top of your profile page so it’s the first one everyone sees. Here’s how:

First, find the tweet you want to pin to the top in your timeline. Then click the down arrow in the top left of the tweet:

pin a tweet to your twitter profile

Click the Pin button and you’re done.

pin to your twitter profile page

Seriously, it’s that easy. But I cannot overstate how powerful having a great pinned tweet is. When you’re active on Twitter you’ll get a lot of visits to your profile page.

If you’re curious exactly how many, just check out your free Twitter analytics. As you can see, my profile was visited over 6,000 times last month:

twitter profile visits

And each and everyone of those people had the opportunity to see the exact tweet I wanted them to.

Bonus: for a cool hack on how to replace a pinned tweet with one you’ve used before, check out this video:

Quick tip: lead magnets make excellent pinned tweets to help you build your email list from Twitter.

Related: Lead Generation – How to Create a Powerful Lead Magnet on Twitter

Do you have a pinned tweet? (You're missing out on clicks if you don't!) #SMM #TwitterTipsClick To Tweet

Twitter Profile Color Scheme

The last part of your Twitter profile I want to touch on is the color scheme, which you can change in your Twitter settings. Here’s how:

First, click the Edit Profile button on your Twitter profile page.

edit twitter profile

Next, look under your profile pic and there will be options to choose a new color or even add the HEX code for any color you like.

twitter profile color

A lot of people choose to adjust this to reflect their brand colors.

My preference is to leave it on blue because that is the default color of most hyperlinks on the net and I like to keep things simple and familiar.

The two colors I would definitely not recommend are yellow and black.

On a Twitter profile with a yellow theme, any clickable elements are nearly invisible. And with a black theme, the clickable elements blend in with the rest of the words.

You want links to be obvious and stand out to encourage clicks from Twitter.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there is A LOT that goes into creating the perfect Twitter profile page to maximize your success on the platform.

By employing these tips and strategies for your header photo, profile pic, bio and pinned Tweet, you’ll get more eyes on your profile and more followers from the people that land there.

Remember, all of these elements work together to create an experience for your profile page visitors. These are opportunities you don’t want to squander!

Now, over to you. Any of this you’re excited to try on your Twitter profile? Do you have any questions about what I covered here today? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

twitter profile pinterest

Author David Boutin

David is the Social Quant content Gatekeeper AND Keymaster, as well as a customer relations specialist.Follow and Connect with David on Twitter. 

More posts by David Boutin
  • Awesome Article with Great Coverage! Thank you!

    • Hey Anil, great to hear from you – thanks for reading and commenting!

      We’d love to hear how you update your profile based on the post so keep us updated 🙂

  • Kent Sisco

    Thanks for the tips and strategies. I’m off to go work on them.

  • Hi David. I have a question about the “Use your logo as your profile image.” We actually find that using an action shot with logo overlay is more effective. Working under the theory that “people want to connect with people, not companies.” Obviously there is a little bit of a trade off their for logo recognization, but with smaller brands, its an easy choice. Have you studied this for business accounts? Would you be interested in studying it? Thanks.

    • Hi Derric, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

      Totally agree that people want to connect with people more than brands and if it works to have a person as the face of your business, definitely go for it and use that pic for the profile. Have you guys done any testing to see which performs better for your business? I’d definitely be interested in hearing about it 🙂

  • Susakajo

    Great tips. Thanks for providing real examples to evaluate.

    • Thanks, appreciate it! So glad you like the post and examples 🙂

  • Which works great? Your brand logo or your image in personal account..

    • Hi Ravi, whenever it makes sense, I would advise using a picture of a real person. Of course, that doesn’t make sense for many businesses and for those I’d recommend a mascot or logo that fits in the circle and can easily be read 🙂

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“Since we started using Social Quant on our Twitter profile, our follower count has skyrocketed 40% in 40 days!! And most importantly, engagement on our tweets has risen by the same amount — which means Social Quant is finding exactly the right followers for our brand.”
— Andrew Warner, Mixergy
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“Since we started using Social Quant on our Twitter profile, our follower count has skyrocketed 40% in 40 days!! And most importantly, engagement on our tweets has risen by the same amount — which means Social Quant is finding exactly the right followers for our brand.”
— Andrew Warner, Mixergy