Welcome! This 9-part blog series explores the best ways to gain Twitter followers by optimizing your profile, from banner to pinned tweet, using real Twitter account examples to illustrate the concepts.
Part 1 is all about defining the importance of optimizing your Twitter profile.
Let’s start with some Twitterverse theory and then let’s dig into some examples 🤓
Let’s cut to the chase: the primary reason to have a great Twitter profile is to get people to follow you.
Much later (or maybe sooner if you’re taking your Twitter game seriously 😎), if you have a bigger audience, it can also become a personal billboard to advertise your projects and maybe become a selling opportunity.
When someone comes across your profile for the first time, they will form an impression of you within seconds. That means you need to make those seconds count by presenting a profile that is relevant and engaging.
See, your Twitter profile is a followers funnel. When someone finds one of your tweets interesting, they usually click or hover on your name and eventually land on your profile. They see the visuals you’ve chosen, read your bio, check out your pinned tweet, scroll through your timeline, and then decide whether or not to follow you.
This makes it obvious that an optimized Twitter profile allows you to put all the chances on your side that any one of your profile visits culminates in the user clicking on that beautiful “Follow” button 😇
People have a baseline skepticism when they first visit your profile that only credibility can overcome. That’s why it’s essential to provide indicators of credibility and trustworthiness throughout your profile. This topic will be covered in depth in the following posts.
Growing on Twitter is subject to the powerful phenomenon we call “The Flywheel Effect”. As you amass a greater number of followers, your reach and influence expand, making it easier to attract even more followers. This virtuous cycle is why bigger accounts grow exponentially. Furthermore, the number of followers you have acts as a signaling mechanism, indicating to others that your content is valuable and worth following. Once more, this social proof perpetuates the cycle of growth.
So be consistent. Know that it will be harder in the beginning - that is from 0 followers to at least 2-3K followers. The only wait to fail at this game is to stop 😉
The next posts of the series will explore each individual profile component, from banner to pinned tweet, but this introduction post is a great opportunity to focus on the profile as a whole.
A cohesive profile, one that takes advantage of using a theme, colors, and repetitive elements, is very important to create your brand. You want people to recognize your brand in the blink of an eye, whether they visit your profile or whether you show up on their timeline. Each individual profile component must contribute to the whole. The whole is greater than the sum of its part 😉
Some of you might be tempted to take a shortcut and buy fake followers or engage in follow-for-follow schemes. To put it mildly, this is not an effective way to grow your audience. These tactics may provide a quick initial boost, but they will not result in a sustainable following. In fact, they may even get you banned from Twitter altogether, which is the worst possible outcome.
Pere’s profile is a beautiful example of coherence in action:
The banner and profile pic do not deviate from the baby blue/pink theme. Pere went so far as to crop out the background in his profile picture for even more callback of the theme colors.
On the same note, my own profile:
As you can see, the orange, purple, and blue gradient is repeated in my banner and profile picture. To take it even further, each time I post a screenshot/picture on my timeline, I use the same gradient as a “brand recall”. It doesn’t take much more effort and it goes a long way!
Another great example is the black-and-white theme by Dagobert Renouf:
Or even more extreme… the black
and white theme by Andrea Bosoni:
Whatever style you prefer, keep it cohesive. Keep it on brand.
You now have a bunch of tips to optimize your Twitter profile. A bunch of experiments you could make. But how can you know if a change you did was truly effective? You don’t just want to be randomly changing stuff on your profile and hope for the best. You need data.
This is where Birdy comes in 😎 Birdy is a tool I created to specifically optimize your Twitter profile. It uses a technique called “A/B testing” under the hood. Create two profile versions and let Birdy determine which one converts more visitors into followers.
In this case, you could come up with one theme for version A (e.g. black and white) and a second theme for version B (e.g. multicolor) and let them compete 😎 Birdy will tell you which version leads to more followers! That's how you optimize a profile.
Now on to Part 2: How to create the best Twitter profile banner where we explore the first of the profile components, the profile banner.