11 Feb What doing a Twitter audit taught me about my brand
Doing a Twitter audit is an excellent way to find out what’s working for your brand, what’s not, and how you can use the platform more effectively.
Whether you’re new to tweeting or you’ve been active on Twitter for a while, doing a Twitter audit is a great way of improving your profile and making it work for you.
I decided to do a Twitter audit on my own profile to see what it could teach me about my brand, and it really opened my eyes!
In this post I wanted to share how to do a Twitter audit, what I learned from mine, and how doing a Twitter audit can help you build your brand…
What is a Twitter audit?
A Twitter audit is essentially a health check on your Twitter account. When you’re doing a Twitter audit you’ll want to take a look at the content you share, what you tweet, who your followers are and the overall branding of your account.
The goal of a Twitter audit is to find any weaknesses in your profile and potential opportunities to improve.
If you’re active on Twitter, you’re probably spending a lot of time and effort growing your account, getting more followers and increasing traffic, right? But how often do you step back to see if everything you’re doing is working? A Twitter audit will tell you just that.
When you’re scheduling content, trying to stay active on Twitter and juggling a million other things, it can be hard to step back and see what’s working. I definitely needed to spend some time auditing my Twitter profile, and I bet you could benefit from it to. Read on to find out what I learnt…
(By the way, all of this audit was done without looking “behind the scenes” – so if you still haven’t got your head around analytics, don’t worry! You can still learn a lot, and make big improvements, just by looking at what’s going on in your profile. I’d still recommend getting to grips with analytics, but we’ll talk about that another day!)
Where do you start when you’re doing a Twitter audit?
4 steps to perfecting your Twitter profile:
What first impression are you making? In real life, you have around 3 seconds before someone forms a first impression of you. Twitter is no different.
The first step in your Twitter audit should be to make sure you’re giving off the right impression.
- Cover image
Your cover image should be good quality, high resolution and well branded to draw people’s attention and tell them what you do.
It should also be the right size so it works on desktop and mobile. If you’ve got text or important information on there, remember that it’s responsive, so even if it looks right on desktop, important information might be lost or covered by your profile picture on mobile.
Confession time: my cover image looks awful on desktop! I made my cover photo really quickly when I first started this account, and haven’t really updated it since. I figured most people use Twitter on their mobiles – I even made and uploaded my cover on my phone, so I’ve never really thought about checking how it looks on a bigger screen. It’s definitely time for a change!
My cover image is pixelated and clearly the wrong size for desktop. Honestly, it’s off-putting to new profile visitors, makes me look like an amateur and doesn’t show my brand in the best light.
I’m also not making the best use of the cover image space. Self-promotion doesn’t work on Twitter (it’s all about relationship building), so this is a prime piece of profile real estate when it comes to showing off what you do best!
My current cover photo shows what my brand is, but not what it’s all about. A strong cover photo should reflect your brand values, tell people more about what you do, and make a good first impression. Check out these examples of brands getting it right with their Twitter cover photos for more inspiration.
One person I think does this really well is Janet Murray. Like me, she has a Facebook group (have you joined the #EthicalHour Growth Network yet?), and in her podcast she talks about how she’s made her calls to action consistent across her profiles.
Jan’s really clear on her social media goals – to get people into her Facebook group so she can build relationships with them and help solve their problems through her services. This clarity is reflected in the precise call to action on her cover photo.
It shows us who she is, what she’s all about, and what you’ll get by interacting with her, as well as what you should do next. All in one image. Now that’s inspiring!
- Profile photo
Your social media profile photos should be consistent across platforms. This helps people recognise you in their feed, as often usernames can get missed (try to make sure they’re consistent too).
Use a real picture! Don’t hide behind a cartoon, avatar or stock image. A simple headshot is ideal. Make sure it’s good quality and the right size, but it doesn’t have to be professional.
Top tip: Don’t change your profile photo too often. Most Twitter users remember profile photos more than usernames so keep it consistent to build loyalty.
I use the same profile photo across my Twitter and LinkedIn to give it some consistency, so that’s a big tick on my Twitter audit!
I’m not smiling too much but I went with a photo where I felt most comfortable, because I think that makes me look more approachable. I’ve settled on a photo I’m happy with and don’t plan to change it any time soon. I also haven’t hidden behind my brand. People want to build relationships with other people, so by using a headshot instead of a logo, people will feel more comfortable chatting to me (obviously this is a bit different if it’s your brand profile, but it’s still worth thinking about).
I’m fairly happy with my profile photo, so no changes for now.
- Twitter bio
You don’t have many characters for your bio – just 160 – but it’s your main opportunity to introduce yourself, tell people what they can expect from following you and why they should. It’s also how you’ll get found on Twitter.
You need to think about your ideal audience, and optimise your bio for search too.
Think of social media like a dinner party. You’ve just sat down next to somebody you’ve never met. You wouldn’t start selling to them, would you? (Not unless you’re the jerk who doesn’t get invited back!)
No. You’d politely introduce yourself, find out about them and find common points of interest to start a conversation.
On Twitter, you already know about them. They are your ideal customer, and you already have a profile of them (you do have a customer profile, right?!). So think about what you do and what you have in common with them that you can talk about. THAT’S you Twitter bio!
Check out Neil Patel’s guide to creating a powerful Twitter bio, and if you’re still struggling, watch this video and create a message map for yourself. It should help you reduce it to 160 characters.
Top Tip: lots of social media “gurus” will tell you to use the same bios across all your platforms for consistency. Yes, you need to be consistent in explaining what you do, but you should also have different goals for each social media platform – because they each have their own purpose. Perfect your message map but tweak your description for each one. It’s also better for SEO!
“Social Enterprise Supporter | Mentor | Marketing | Helping ethical businesses grow online. #EthicalHour Co-founder @lovelittlelotus Founder @EthicalHour”
Unlike my profile photo, I change my Twitter bio quite often. I tweak it to reflect what I’m working on and promoting in my business at the time, because that’s what I’ll be tweeting most about (in a non-salesy way of course!) and I like people to know what they can expect to see when they follow me.
In my bio I’ve tried to communicate who I work with (so I reach my target audience), what I do and what I tweet about. I also want to promote my brand accounts, even though that takes up a lot of space, because it explains why I RT those two accounts so often. My personal profile also takes a secondary role in my marketing strategy behind the two brand accounts, so I want to drive people to those.
I’m fairly pleased with the structure of my bio:
- Who I am
- What I do
- Who I work with
- Where else you can find me
I’m not taking on any coaching clients right now, but I am doing a lot of online training and support, and I felt that “mentor” summed this up as a short, to-the-point keyword. I also recently took the keyword “social media” out of my bio, because I found it was bringing me a lot of irrelevant followers (such as social media management companies). New followers are great, but I want to connect with my target audience, so I’d rather have a smaller, more relevant audience who are engaged with what I’m saying.
It’s all about monitoring what keywords and phrases work for you over time and help you move closer to your goals.
Now my blog is launched, I could probably do with updating my bio a bit to drive more traffic. I want people to join my Facebook group but with the link in my pinned tweet (see tip number 4), I could probably change my bio link to the #EthicalHour blog to increase traffic.
I’ve chosen not to promote any products directly in my bio because I want to build trust and form a relationship with my followers first. Remember the dinner party analogy? Let’s get to know each other then see if we can work together. Hard sell just isn’t my style (and it doesn’t work!)
- Pinned Tweet
So many factors need to be considered when you’re doing a Twitter audit on your brand. One of the most underutilised features (that can really improve your profile) is the pinned tweet.
It’s the perfect tool to improve your Twitter profile and get your message across, but most brands neglect it.
You might have a beautifully-branded profile with the perfectly crafted bio and eye catching cover image, but if you’re not using pinned tweets properly, you’re missing out!
This is the prime opportunity to do some lead generation. Think about your main marketing goal, and how you’re using Twitter to achieve it. You might be running a competition, building your mailing list or promoting a training course. These are all things you could include in a pinned tweet (although stick to one clear message and call to action).
Your pinned tweet is the first tweet people see when they come to your profile, so you want to make it good and get your key message across.
Check out how to pin a tweet, why you should and some ideas for what to include in this post.
My Facebook group is the biggest thing I’m promoting at the moment. It’s where we have more in-depth #EthicalHour conversations and I connect more deeply with my target audience. So that’s the call to action in my pinned post. I’ve included an eye-catching graphic and again I’ve explained who it’s for.
I change my pinned tweet regularly to keep it fresh, and an audit of my Twitter profile has shown me that it’s probably time to rotate it again. Although this tells people what the group is and who it’s for, it doesn’t explain why they should join, so I probably need to make my copy stronger on this one.
What I learned by doing a Twitter audit on my own brand
Auditing the visuals, branding and messaging on my Twitter profile was a really useful exercise. It helps to take a step back and think about how well your profile is performing, especially when you’re usually focused on creating new content to share.
All the elements of a high-performing profile are in place, which is reassuring, but doing a Twitter audit has shown me the areas I need to improve. With tighter marketing messaging, stronger calls to action and utilising space more effectively I could make my profile work even harder in generating leads for me. I also need a bit of a branding update to show my brand in its best light.
The changes I’ve recommended as a result of doing a Twitter audit will probably only take me an hour, but they will have a big impact on how well my profile is performing.
Now it’s your turn…
Doing a Twitter audit on your profile and branding is just the start. A really effective audit should also take a look at your content and engagement levels too.
You need to understand who your audience is and how to reach them. What content is getting the most engagement? Which hashtags should you be using? How often should you be tweeting? Who should you be talking to?