Thanks to its snappy and immediate nature, Twitter can be a great way of keeping up to date and interacting with your customers. It's the reason why so many brands are on the site and why many now use it for customer service.
However, there are always ways to improve your page and optimise it so that you will get more out of it. Here are a few things you can do to help improve things.
Keep Your Profile Picture Up To Date
The very basics of Twitter dictates that you have a profile photo of some sort so that people can identify who you are and unless, for some bizarre reason, you're a fan of the Twitter egg, you should include an image of yourself or the company's brand, depending on which one is more relevant. Not only should you keep your account image up-to-date, you should also take into consideration how the image will look in thumbnail size.
Not all logos translate well when minimised so your image should be simple and easy to understand. A logo with writing underneath it won't translate well as it will be impossible to read the text. However, a logo that has one main shape or a headshot that takes up the entire image will come across much better.
Also, from an SEO perspective, name the image you're going to use for your profile picture and throw in one or two keywords so it will have a better chance of appearing in search engines.
Optimise Your Twitter Bio
An area that can be easily overlooked, your Twitter bio is basically your elevator pitch to the wider world. While your content is the reason why people will follow you, the bio helps new followers understand who you are and the type of person/business you are online.
By right, your bio should highlight your credentials, but if you can, you should inject a bit of personality into it as well. You can also enter in site addresses into your bio should the website space underneath not suffice, but you're better off avoiding it as can look messy sometimes.
When you have your bio written out, you should also optimise it for SEO by inserting one or two keywords. Make sure you have the bio ready in the first place as you want the bio to sound natural.
Take Advantage Of The Cover Photo & Background
While Twitter backgrounds have been available for a while now, it's the inclusion of cover photos that has led to more vibrant pages and given brands a reason to focus more on design. For the best results, ensure that your complement each other. For example, take Disney Pixar's account. Its cover photo features the lead characters of Finding Nemo (highlighting that it now available in 3D) with the background image showing the aquatic world where the film mostly takes place. The two images relate to each other and gets the message across.
Other brands sometimes use the background image to highlight contact details or extra credentials, that's perfectly fine as well, but make sure the design doesn't clash.
Keep Content Varied & Interesting
If you're not keeping your content varied, then you're not giving users a reason to continue following you. So make sure you mix it up with multimedia. If you come across images, videos, Soundcloud files, or ThingLink cards
that fit in with your overall message, include them. For one, images bring up more engagement so use that to your advantage.
Another overlooked feature on Twitter, lists can be easily missed as the site has pushed them to the side, but if used correctly, they can really help you make sense of your news feed without having to cut down on followers.
There's no limit to the amount of lists you can create, so you can split up your followers into easily definable groups. You can group them as customers, social media managers, people within your industry, thought leaders, CEO, anything that you feel is relevant.
Just remember that when you create a list, those on it won't be notified, but they can see it if they visit their own lists page so don't give them names that could be perceived as offensive.
Use The Embed Function
We've mentioned Twitter's embed function numerous times, but while it's useful for including other people's content on your site, you can use it to promote your own accounts. If you've asked a question or posted something that encourages debate, why not place it on your blog and let your readers get in on the action? Embed it onto a new blog post, maybe write a piece around the discussion and see if you can develop the discussion further.
Optimise Your Followers
Sometimes lists won't do the job and you will want to trim down your follower count to make things more manageable. For one, there are numerous bot accounts out there that tweet articles and posts from other sites, this can be useful, but if you're already following the people or organisations that write these articles, you're seeing the same information twice which isn't useful if it clogs up your feed.
If you have a large number of followers, you can narrow it down by using tools like ManageFlitter to help identify those who are inactive. But there are other factors as well that you should take into consideration. Do they tweet any original content? Is it an account where its the number of people it's following and the number of followers it has are similar and high number? Or is it one that's following a lot of people, but has few if any followers? Keep these in mind when you're identifying those who are just padding your follower numbers.
Save Search Terms
Similar to lists, using Twitter search can be incredibly useful when you want to see what people are saying about you or a specific topic. Twitter's website allows you to save searches for future use, even advanced searches, making it a valuable tool.
Also worth keeping in mind is that services like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite allow you to create numerous feeds so you can keep track of numerous search terms in the one space.
Connect With Your Customers
If you're using a combination of lists and search terms, you can keep up to date with the conversations happening around your brand. You don't have to wait for someone to mention your handle to get in on the conversation, if you feel it's worth joining in, do. Even if it's negative, if you approach a user with genuine interest and a sense of humour, it can make a world of difference.
Use Twitter Plugins
Finally, you need to make people aware that you have a Twitter account, you should invest some time into placing Twitter follow plugins on your site. These can be a handy way of gaining new followers as well as publicising your social media channels. Whether it's for your own business account or for your personal one, having that presence can help build up your following.