Would you ever bother to entertain a salesperson, who reaches your doorstep in stained jammies, unkempt hair, and fails to even articulate the features of what he has on offer? You might, but I believe, most of us won’t. It is instinctive that we tend to pay more attention to those who appear nicely, talk sense and clearly put their points.
Similarly on Twitter, users with a tidy presence and clarity in expression are taken more seriously, followed and attentively heard. To help you spruce up your Twitter personality, here’s a handy list of dos and don’ts, tips and advice. While these tips don’t promise guaranteed results, but will definitely help you in redefining your image on Twitter and elsewhere online.
1. Profile picture, header, background image and bio: If your profile picture still has a default egg, then we suggest you to immediately replace that white egg with your own image. Profiles with an egg as display picture are the highly-neglected users on Twitter. They are presumed to be non-active users, and therefore, their existence on the site hardly interests anyone. Avoid avatars and caricatures unless it’s a page that demands a certain type of profile picture.
Header – which is a large rectangular space right behind your profile picture – should also be given due attention. Fill it with a nice image, which could be either your own image with a nice background or a picture of things and ideas that interest you. Even an image that hints at your profession would also be a right choice. A big NO to the same picture as both your profile picture and header image; it looks repetitive.
I would say that let the background image remain untouched. A plain white background makes your profile appear neater and is soothing to the eyes of visitors. But if you want to put something in background, then choose wisely.
Keep your bio short and crisp. There is no need to use too many adjectives for yourself in the bio.
2. Say NO to the SMS language in tweets: A wide number of users are often seen switching to the SMS language when their tweets fail to fit in the defined limit of 140 characters, without realising that it comes at a cost. Not only tweets written in incorrect and/or SMS language, but the corresponding Twitter handles, are also treated with contempt.Tweeting in 140 characters, while keeping the grammar and language intact, is an art. If you lack it, develop it.
You can drop full stop at the end of your tweet if its length extends by one character and you don’t want to change the construction, but remember to not make it a regular habit. At times, to save your characters, you can replace the word ‘and’ with a comma, but never compromise on the correctness of the language.
3. Don’t retweet every tweet you are mentioned in: Not only your tweets, but retweeting tweets you are mentioned in also reflects on your personality. You are neither supposed nor expected to retweet every tweet other users have mentioned you in. For instance, if someone praises you or extols your virtues mentioning you in a tweet, you shouldn’t retweet it. We advise you to favorite it, which shows acknowledgement. But, let’s say the same tweet has a link to the work you are being praised for then you are advised to retweet it. This way your followers can get to see your work. It’s just one example, you should use your wit to decide what is to be retweeted and which ones are to be favourited (or ignored).
4. Keep your tweets free from profanity: Use of foul language in tweets is not a sign of a wise man or woman. Even if you want to tweet out your anger, you can do so without resorting to the use of irreverent speech and profane words.
5. Follow users only if you find them interesting or of some value: Avoid following people just because they follow you. Abstain from “you follow me, I’ll follow you” practice. Follow people if you genuinely find them of some value. You might have heard number of times that your number of followers should be more than the people you follow. It looks appealing, but don’t let it influence your decision to follow or unfollow someone.
6. Don’t let your timeline appear as an instant-messaging window: It’s nice to reply to people and converse with them on Twitter, but you should not reply to everyone mentioning you in tweets or posing questions to you. Reply, wherever necessary and choose your words carefully. There is no harm in making witty replies, but ensure they don’t sound rude.
7. Prefer automatic retweets over manual retweets: Retweeting using the retweet button is a direct acknowledgement to the user. There is no harm in manually retweeting a tweet, but it is suggested that you manually retweet only when you have something more to add to a tweet that can add weight to it or make it more meaningful.
8. Twitter is a part of your life, don’t make it your life: Even studies have suggested that if you are addicted to Twitter, you may be causing harm to your relationships. Let Twitter remain an interest and not an obsession.
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