Construction Business Management


4 Ways for Businesses to Create a Good First Impression on Twitter

The RCD SWOT Team monitors trends in the AEC sector to provide targeted information about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that may impact your business.

In his recent bestseller Word of Mouth Marketing, Andy Sernovitz wrote “Be interesting, or be invisible.” Following Mr. Sernovitz’s advice is critical for success in business, much less the twittersphere. Presently, there are over 200 million Twitter users, with 450 thousand new Twitter accounts created daily. First impressions count, and as such, the design and look of one’s Twitter page can draw or repel followers. Here are some best practices to create first-glance interest in your Twitter profile page.

Twitter handles aren’t equipped with GPS
1. Name - If your twitter feed is a corporate one, use the company name to make it easier for people to find you. Twitter for business is not the same as an instant messaging or citizens band radio handle where people bask in anonymity. The connection between your company name and Twitter handle should be direct, not a scavenger hunt. A company named "Widgets r Us" should select @widgetsrus as its user name instead of @widgetmeister. Sometimes an alternate handle cannot be avoided because twitter has a 15-character limit for user names. Our good friends at DesignIntelligence chose @dinet for their Twitter user name. It's short, sweet and easy to remember.

Hello my name is @jargon and I don't make sense
2. Bio - Twitter gives its users 160 characters to describe themselves, which can seem like a small amount of space to define a business. In reality, 160 characters are more than sufficient to state what your company does best.

Just remember to use keywords in your summary and ensure that your content makes sense.  For example, if you make widgets for building contractors, then write, "We make widgets for the construction industry.” In this example, the first sentence is 45 characters, leaving 115 characters remaining to supplement the bio. Never post a bio exclusively with a grocery list of keywords. It’s robotic, uninteresting and it reads like spam.

Dallas architect Bob Borson managed to squeeze the name of his blog AND his long list of architectural credentials into his Twitter bio. Some Twitter feeds, such as those from AIA National and Draper Inc name the person who does the tweeting, which is nice because it is more personal and therefore more social.

Size does matter
3. Avatar –The two important concepts to remember about having a great avatar image are size and shape.
Start with a large square image. Twitter accepts images as big as 700k. Media Bistro recommends using a 400 x 400 pixel image, which is huge.

Don’t worry about reducing it to a small thumbnail because it’s not the same as holding in your gut for your high school reunion photo. After the image is uploaded, Twitter will minimize it to 48 x 48 pixels.

This isn’t the Mona Lisa, so keep the background in focus
4. Background - Think of Twitter's background as extra branding landscape.  A favorite, Home Depot, lists its other social media profiles in the background. Twitter has a selection of backgrounds, but they're a bit humdrum. Don't leave your background as the "plain old vanilla" default as it's the preferred background of spammers. Some of the most fascinating backgrounds complement Twitter's layout.

It might not always be fair, but in life first impressions count. Make your Twitter layout interesting, or risk becoming one of Twitter’s many invisible streams. 

Do you have a Twitter strategy? Let's discuss it. Leave us a comment; we’d love to hear from you.

Deborah Reale has twenty years of experience in business management developing strategies that covers the construction, retail, public relations industries. Currently, she serves as the social media strategist at Reed Construction Data. In addition, Deborah is pursuing a doctorate degree in Business Administration with a concentration on Information Systems and Marketing.


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