Having a personalized, customized Twitter page can help make your Twitter presence appear more professional, more credible and warmer. People who see customized pages are more likely to spend time looking at the pages, more likely to read your tweets, more likely to pay attention to what you have to say and more likely to follow you.
If you’re still using your default Twitter background or if you don’t have your profile picture and bio properly setup, chances are you’re losing followers. Twitter users know that brands whore serious about connecting with their Twitter base have all taken the time to make their feeds look as great as possible.
Here’s everything you need to know about setting up your account and customizing your page.
Step 1: Accessing Your Profile
To begin to make changes to your profile, go to “View Profile” in the upper left corner of your Twitter main page
Then click on “Edit Profile.”
Step 2: Change Your Profile Picture
Your profile picture is the only graphical element you can change in the main window itself. It makes a big difference on how your page as a whole is perceived.
Your profile picture should be a head shot, it should be clear, the colors should be sharp and bright and it should appear professional. For brands, using a logo or using a photo that represents your brand (such as a product image) works well.
When you’re picking your profile photo, consider what you plan to put in your background as well. Ideally, the profile picture will compliment the background.
Step 3: Write Your Bio
Next, write your bio. The bio goes directly under your name and Twitter account in your main page.
Your bio should be descriptive. It should catch people’s attention and get them to read your feed. It should contain your primary keywords.
Below your bio, you can enter a website address. This is the best place to link to your main website.
Here’s an example of what your profile photo, bio line and website might look like after it’s complete:
Step 4: Switch to Design
To change how the rest of your page looks, switch to the design editor. Click “Design” in the left hand side of your “Edit Profile” menu.
Step 5: Choose a Premade Design
If you don’t want to make your own design, you can choose from one of the many designs Twitter has available.
Using this system is quite simple. Just click on any of the designs to instantly see it in effect. Save the changes to have your Twitter feed instantly updated to the new design.
Step 6: Upload Your Own Design
If you want to design something completely from scratch, upload it here. There are a few important things to note for Twitter page designs.
First, images justify to the top left. Also, images do not scale out. In other words, you can’t tell Twitter to simply stretch your image to fit the screen. Small images just go to the top left.
You have the option of patterning your design across the Twitter page. Just click the “Tile Background” checkbox to use this option.
Your image has to be a GIF, JPG or PNG image. It cannot be an animated GIF. Maximum file size is 800 KB.
Step 7: Set Your Background & Link Colors
If you’re using a smaller image that doesn’t cover the entire background, make sure you set the background color to the same color as your background image. Even if you use a large image, it’s a good idea to set this anyway.
Link color changes the hyperlink text color of your Twitter page. This is useful for making your link colors compliment the rest of your design.
Step 8: Using Themeleon
Themeleon (http://www.colourlovers.com/themeleon/twitter) is a theme designer that’s recognized and promoted by Twitter. It makes it very easy for users to change up how their Twitter feed looks.
To start with Themeleon, just sign in to your Twitter account.
You can then select the theme you want to use from one of their many choices.
Any changes you make will be immediately applied in the preview window.
Instead of using a background image, you can also just choose a theme color. Again, you’ll see how your profile will look immediately in the preview area. Choosing a theme color changes your border colors, your background colors and your link colors all to complimentary colors.
Once your profile looks the way you want it to, click “Save Profile” above the preview area. Because your Twitter account is linked into Themeleon, Themeleon can instantly save the changes to your Twitter profile.
Step 9: Downloading More Themes
There are dozens of different sites you can get themes from. Just browse Google for free Twitter theme sites.
Here are some of the more popular free Twitter theme sites:
Twit Backs – http://www.twitbacks.com/
Twit Paper – http://twitpaper.com
Twitr Backgrounds – http://www.twitrbackgrounds.com
Twitter Gallery – http://www.twittergallery.com
Note that some of these sites will add a watermark of their logo to their designs. You can pay between $3 and $15 depending on the site to have the watermark removed.
Here are a few popular premium custom Twitter design services. These sites will design a new theme for your profile from scratch, based on your brand, your photos and your color preferences.
Social Identities – http://www.socialidentities.com – Premium custom designs for $129.
Tweet Xillia – http://tweetxilla.com/ – Has free designs and does custom designs for $95.
Twit Art – http://www.twitart.com – Premium custom designs for $79.
Downloading a theme is quite simple. Many of these sites will simply plugin to your Twitter account and update it for you.
If you need to do a manual install, just download the Twitter background image from the theme site.
You’ll then need to change the rest of your theme to match the background image. Generally the theme site will provide you with a list of directions on what you need to change. For example:
That’s how you change your Twitter profile picture, your bio line, your background image and the rest of your profile. You now know everything you need to know to create a highly customized Twitter experience!