By Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist and Social Media Strategist
It’s late at night, you hear the wind against your window and you rub your eyes to ease the strain from the glow of the computer screen. The number stares back at you, and you find yourself at a standoff as the minute-hand ticks the night away.
You’re still stuck at 100 followers.
Do you need to tweet more? Less? At a different time? At a new audience? With more photos? Less photos? Is the current design the issue? Should you just delete it and forget the whole thing?
Before you get lost down the rabbit hole of Twitter tinkering, take a breath, and try just tweaking the small things first. The small things are the best places to start, and more often than not, they’re the only changes you need to make in the first place.
Here are five quick tweaks you can make to get the most out of your Twitter profile, in just 10 seconds:
1. Make your profile photo a close-up of you, not your book cover. Studies have shown that people are more likely to follow people, not logos, brands or book covers. This finding is an indicator of a larger sentiment on social media as a whole – the point is to form a connection with people! Choose a clear photo of you for your profile photo, and make sure to crop it from mid-chest or shoulders up.
2. Choose a Twitter handle as close to your name as you make it. Simply put, you want to make it as easy for people to find you as possible. While witty handles are always entertaining, if you’re just starting out on Twitter you make it more difficult for people to find you by forcing them to wade through endless handles to find the right you.
3. Turn self-promotion into conversation. If you’re typing out a tweet that involves showcasing the latest about your book, tweak it by adding a conversation- or thought-provoking question that ties into your content instead. That will get people talking, not unfollowing. For example, “Check out my latest book on traveling smart solo” could be more effective and more well-received by changing it to: “#Didyouknow that the percentage of people traveling alone has doubled? Find more from my new novel here.”
4. Add a relevant hashtag to your bio. Even one will do! Simply tweaking “leadership author” to “#leadership author” can help you gain eyeballs – and followers.
5. Clarify what you tweet about and your interests in your bio. In a way, your bio is your sales pitch for people to follow you. That means listing 3-5 things they can expect you to tweet from within your bio. Whether it’s “likes cupcakes and the latest in dystopian fiction” or “follow me for the latest in leadership development,” a little direction will go a long way in ensuring that the right Twitter users find – and follow – you.
Whether you feel like your numbers have reached a plateau on Twitter, or you’re just looking to optimize your profile, often the solution is just a few quick tweaks that can lead to better search optimization and better access to the specific audience you’re looking to reach. Just be sure to record your analytics numbers to get the best snapshot of a before and after to see what worked best for you!