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MasterMinds: Masters of the Twitterverse: Part 1

**Editor’s Note: MasterMinds is a biweekly feature in which we invite leading master agents to share information, insights and expert opinions about what’s going on in their agencies, the IT/telecom channel or the business community in general.**

There are currently around 313 million monthly active users on Twitter, according to the company, with more than 500 million tweets being sent each day. And members of this global audience are on Twitter to find and share information — making it a valuable component of any marketing plan. In fact, in the “Customer Insights 2016” study conducted by Twitter and Survey Now, 66 percent of respondents said they discovered a new SMB on Twitter, 94 percent said they planned to purchase from the SMBs they follow and 69 percent said they purchased from an SMB because of something they saw on Twitter.

As the survey responses indicate, Twitter’s value to your marketing plan is in its ability to engage followers and to enable you to educate and become acquainted with your audience. Keep in mind, Twitter is a social media platform and definitely not a venue for hard sales tactics. Be careful never to cross the line from promotion to pitch.

Whether you’re considering using Twitter for the first time, or you want to get better results from the Twitter account you already have, you need to review all the tools at your disposal and make sure that you’re using them to their maximum effect.

So let’s start with making a great first impression. You do that with your Twitter profile and by using all five parts of it to your full advantage. In order of importance, those five parts are:

Twitter @name. It appears under your profile photo, along with your user name. It can contain up to 15 characters. Your @name — or handle — is your unique Twitter identity. It’s permanent, so put some thought into its creation. Obviously, the most logical thing to do would be to use your company name. If you can’t fit your entire company name into 15 characters, use a shortened version or an abbreviation that makes sense. On the other hand, don’t feel obligated to use all 15 characters. The shorter your @name, the easier it is for someone to mention you in their tweets.

You have 15 characters for your user name as well. But unlike your @name, your user name can be changed, although you probably will never have a need to, unless your company name changes.

Profile photo. This is essentially the visual equivalent of your Twitter handle, as it appears on every Tweet you post. This is a no-brainer: Use your logo. Unlike your @name, the profile photo can be changed, but in the case of a business Twitter account, pretend you …

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… don’t know that, and once the logo is uploaded, leave it alone. Think: brand identity reinforcement.

Twitter recommends uploading an image that is 400 x 400 pixels for your profile photo. It will be resized to fit. Use a JPG or PNG file for photos and a GIF or PNG file for vector-based and line art images.

Bio. Directly under your @name is a field where you have up to 160 characters to tell people something about your company. This is a good place to use that one-sentence introduction you worked so hard to develop. If you work mostly with local clients, you could include information such as your street address, phone number and hours of operation.

Header image. The most prominent feature of your Twitter profile, the header image can be changed at any time, so use it like a revolving billboard to highlight events, news and products. Upload a JPG or PNG file for photos, GIF or PNG file for vector-based and line art images, ideally at 1500 x 1500 pixels. It will automatically be cropped to a 2:1 aspect ratio on mobile devices.

Pinned tweet. You can keep your biggest, most recent news front and center by pinning it at the top of your timeline. Simply click the “more” option (the downward arrow in the upper right-hand corner) on the tweet you want to pin and select “Pin to your profile page.”

To complete your profile, be sure to enter your location and website URL. You can even choose a theme color that goes with your logo.

So now it’s time to start tweeting, and you want to make sure that you sound as good as you look. Up next: getting your words’ worth in tweets.

Have a question or topic you would like considered for discussion? Submit it to buffy.naylor@informa.com


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