Monday, February 11, 2013

Social Media Monday—The Tweet Life Part Two—Take Advantage of Your Twitter Profile Settings

Last week I started again with the basics of Twitter. Here’s the link to Why Bother With Twitter, in case you missed it.

Today I want to concentrate on how to take advantage of your Twitter profile settings. There are several parts of your profile settings that, when utilized effectively, can net you more followers. When done correctly, your profile will enhance and establish your brand, as well as give potential followers a clear picture of your passions and what they can expect when they follow you on Twitter.

I’m assuming the majority of you have already opened your Twitter account, so I’m including directions on how to edit your profile settings. If you’re just now opening your account, you’ll utilize these instructions AS you complete your registration.

To edit your profile settings, click on the ME tab at the top of your Twitter page. Then move your cursor to hover over the area of your picture. When you do, you’ll see the EDIT button pop up in the upper right side of the screen. Click the EDIT button.

Here's what you'll see after you click EDIT:

Twitter now allows you to have a PHOTO and a HEADER. In the screenshot above, the photo is the picture of me, and the header is the close-up of the typewriter.

What You Need for Your Photo

The most effective photo you can use is a headshot, preferably with you smiling. This is the type of photo that will help people connect with you. Do not use an animated icon or anything else. It may seem cute or clever, but it will keep you from getting as many followers. That’s not my opinion, it’s based on studies that have been done.

Here are the specs for the Photo image:
Profile Photo:                                                                         
Pixels: 128 x 128                                                                   
Maximum file size: 700k                                                        
File Type: jpeg, png, gif          

What You Need for Your Header
Your header photo gives you more room to establish your brand. Since I’m connecting to writers at this point in my career, I chose a typewriter to reinforce that brand.

Here are the specs for your Header image:
Header Photo:
Pixels: 1252 x 626
Maximum file size: 5MB
File Types: jpeg, png, gif

Click here for a post on Howto Resize Images

Ideally, you want your Twitter handle (@EdieMelson) to be the same as the name you’re known by. But in today’s world that isn’t always possible. If there were another Edie Melson, I might have to be @AuthorEdieMelson or @EdieMelsonWriter.

No matter what your Twitter handle, this next section of your profile asks for your name—the name people will recognize. This is the name you’re known by, NOT your Twitter handle.

Some people only generalize their location. If your location is a matter of security or safety, then that’s fine. Otherwise, the more specific you can be, the better. The reason is that many people on Twitter like to connect with others who are local to their geographic region.

This is also VERY important. We are on Twitter to be found, as well as to increase our web presence. So be sure to include your site’s URL. You’ll get much more visibility for your blog.

This is an often overlooked section of the Twitter profile. That’s a shame, because it’s one of the most important. You only have 160 characters, but you need to make those paint a picture of who you are. This is your chance to introduce yourself in a way that makes others want to connect with you.
Here's mine:

And believe me, a series of job descriptions won’t accomplish that. I’ve seen so many bios like this:
Writer, wife, mom, dog lover, gardener, and fun person who loves Jesus.


We are each so much more than just the product of a job description. Let me see a glimpse of your heart and passion. Use this to show me what I can expect from your Tweets.

At the bottom of your profile you'll see the option of posting your tweets to your Facebook page. Do yourself a favor and resist (with every fiber of your being!) the urge to do that. You may think it will save time, or be a back up in case you forget to post something on Facebook. 

All those sound good, but they aren't. There will be many times you just want to tweet about something and won't need to clog the Facebook timeline with the information. If you want to send an update to Twitter and Facebook at the same time, use Hootsuite or another ancillary program.

Well this is the basics of how to take advantage of your Twitter profile settings. Any questions? If so be sure to post them in the comments section below. I'd also love to know what you'd like me to cover next on my series about Twitter. Leave your suggestions in the comments and I'll be sure all your questions get answered.

Also, let us know if you're on Twitter. Leave your Twitter handle in the comments and we'll all be able to find new people to follow and get new followers!

Don't forget to join the conversation!


  1. Your posts on the fundamentals are SO helpful.

    1. Ashley, thank you for stopping by! I'm glad I'm able to help, Blessings, E

  2. Hey my precious friend! This is a very helpful post. I'd personally love to see a way to reply to tweats without using the mouse. My Twitter name is britt_jamie. Love you, sweet friend!

    1. Jamie, I did some research and found an article that gives the keyboard shortcuts for Twitter. You have to be using Twitter, not Hootsuite or another program, but these should work. Special Note: They do NOT work on a Mac. It's a different operating system.
      The keyboard shortcut for reply is r
      The keyboard shortcut for retweet is t

      Here's the link to the article:

      Blessings, E

  3. Thanks, Edie. One of my writing goals this year is to get comfortable with Twitter and get more followers - you are a great help!

    1. Stephanie, I've discovered getting used to Twitter is a lot like entering a cold swimming pool on a hot day. It's best to dive right in and the result is momentary panic, but long-term relief! Blessings, E

  4. Twitter to do list: 1) review bio; 2) find new header.

    Which begs the question: is there any way to change the font color? So often it's hard to read people's info because of the light font on a light header.

    Thanks, Edie. Your posts are very helpful.

    1. Johnnie, I wish there was. But no, that's something Twitter decides. Hopefully they'll make that part of their next update. Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, E

  5. You write such informative articles. Thank you. One question. How do you connect FB with tweetdeck?

    1. Jennifer, Click on the COG icon just to the left of the blue update icon. Then, in the drop-down menu click accounts. It should have two options, Add Twitter account and Add Facebook. When you add Facebook, ALL your linked Facebook pages will be included. You'll see them when you click on the update icon to post an update. If you have more than one Facebook account - meaning Facebook accounts under different email addresses you can't add that. Tweetdeck is only for one person, not a team. Also, if you have multiple Facebook accounts under multiple email addresses you have bigger problems. You're in violation of the Facebook User Guidelines.

      I've add a second post today about that specific issue - it's live now on the blog. Just click the HOME tab at the top of the page and you'll see it.

      I hope this helps! Blessings, E

    2. Thanks! I'll try and figure it out...

  6. Another helpful post, Edie! As you know, I struggled in the cold water of Twitter for several months. I've learned a lot and my followers are steadily increasing. Following others has been educational as well.
    I definitely need to update my bio and get a header. Thanks for all your help. Find me on twitter at Sally_Matheny.

    1. Sally, you're doing well with Twitter. No one should expect to explode with success. Your progress is the perfect example of the right way to get started. Thanks for stopping by! Blessings, E

  7. If you change your twitter handle, do you need to let your followers know somehow?

    1. Ellen, your Twitter handle is your user name. It's what you set your account up with. Only in very rare instances would I suggest changing that. But yes, if you do you need to send out several Tweets letting your followers know. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  8. So helpful, Edie. I went straight in and adjusted my about me. I confess I'm not that clever, but I think it achieves something that connects with my personality and who I am. Thanks so much for the tips!

    1. Marji, I took a peek and it looks great! I love the play on words. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E