When you create a Twitter account, you will be asked to enter some profile information, including your name, URL, description, and photo. All of these are critically important: Many people will look at them to decide whether they want to follow you. If you have not set these up, other Twitter users likely will ignore you!
Consider carefully how to make your Twitter profile reflect how you want to be seen to potential conversation partners. You can only have one profile picture, one URL, and one name, so what do you want to say about you?
Your twitter ID should be capitalized appropriately to help people identify you. I use capital S and F to show that SFoskett is my first initial and last name. If your twitter ID consists of multiple words run together, consider capitalizing them in CamelCase to highlight each word.
If you wish to be identified as a real person, enter your complete name in your profile. Know that most Twitter clients will highlight the name rather than the twitter ID, so this is what people will see as they read your tweets. I use my full proper name, but others sometimes enter a humorous description of themselves. But this should not change too often to avoid alienating your followers.
Your avatar photo is one of the most visible elements of your Twitter account. Many people change their avatar fairly frequently, even though this can be confusing for followers. I like to keep mine consistent, with only occasional tweaks, so that I’m more recognizable. And I recommend that “real people” Twitter accounts use a recognizable photo of their face.
Twitter only lets you enter one URL, so make sure it’s a good one. Recognize, too, that Google and other search engines use this URL to associate a twitter account with a website. Although many people have a large Internet presence, it is important to pick the one site that best represents you. I use my blog URL, since I can control that content and include links there to my other sites.
Pay some attention to creating an interesting and informative description of yourself for your profile. Don’t stress too much over this, since it’s easy and non-disruptive to change it later. But know that many potential followers will read it, so it should reflect the type of conversation you would like to have on Twitter. If you are sneaky, you can stick another URL in your description, but don’t count on people clicking on it, since most clients don’t allow this.
You may also enter a location in your profile, but these are not widely used, and a static location value may be more confusing than useful. You can tweak the colors and backgrounds of your profile page, but this is much less important since many people use a third-party Twitter client and will not see this page. So don’t stress much about location and colors.