When I started using Twitter, there were a million small things I wish I had known to start with. About 1500 followers later, I have a series of blog tips to share with you newbies! To begin, let’s take a look at your Twitter profile…
Step One: Your Twitter Profile
Your profile – the combination of your name, Twitter handle (with the @ sign), profile picture, background, blurb, and pinned Tweet (if any) – is the first thing people will judge you by. Here are some tips to setting these up right, many of them garnered from professional sources like agents and editors:
- Use your real name as your profile name. Use whatever name you plan to send queries under (pen names are trickier, but still ok). This makes it easier for people to find you and adds to your professionalism.
- Use something SHORT and EASY as your handle. Short handles make it easier for people to preserve space for extra letters when they add your handle to posts, and losing the underscores/numbers makes it much easier to remember. I chose @micascotti for mine – a combination of my first and middle names.
- Use your NAME in your handle. It doesn’t have to be your full name (see mine), but unless you’re an established author, it actually looks unprofessional to show @mica_rox_at_writing on your business cards.
- Use a picture of you for your profile image. Again, this helps people who’ve met you (like agents at conferences!) know they’ve found the right person. It also makes you look more professional and “real.”
- DON’T fill your blurb with hashtags. It clutters up the blurb, making you look childish, and it really doesn’t give you any personality. (For example, I’m a #fantasy #YA #writer seeking #publication! is a little hard on the eyes, don’t you think?)
- Make sure your background doesn’t show up pixelated. Come on – you can find a larger image to use. Twitter headers have to be at least 500 x 1500 pixels. But be aware – sometimes a tiny bit of blurring can’t be helped (see my image). Twitter can’t support high-res images because it slows page loading time.
- Strategically use your pinned Tweet. (Pin a Tweet by clicking the triple-dot icon on any Tweet and selecting the option.) It’s the first Tweet people see when they come to your profile – make it good, even if it’s just an advertisement for your book.
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