How to Optimize Twitter Profile Photos for Visual Social Marketing

Your profile photo is the small, square image that's displayed beside the name of the Twitter account you created for your visual social marketing efforts. Your profile photo is arguably the most important element on your profile because whenever people see your posts anywhere on Twitter, they also see this image.

Twitter may occasionally refer to your profile photo as your avatar.

Make your profile picture stand out, and make it instantly recognizable. Because Twitter users often follow lots of people and have a large number of tweets available to read when they log on, many people skim their Twitter newsfeeds rather than read every post. As they skim, they look for the profile images of the accounts in which they're the most interested.

You can edit your Twitter profile picture in two ways. First, when viewing your Twitter profile, click the Edit Profile button below the header image. When you click the pencil icon that appears over the profile image, you have these options: Upload Photo, Take Photo, Remove, and Cancel. To change the photo, select Upload Photo and choose a new image from your computer.

You can also edit your profile by clicking the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen when you're logged in and clicking Settings. Then choose Profile from the Settings options on the left. Your current photo is then displayed at the top of the screen, and you can click Change Photo and then Upload Photo to upload a new photo to your Twitter profile.

When you're choosing a profile image for Twitter, follow these best practices — these guidelines also apply to profile images for your personal Twitter profile:

  • Use a square image or optimize for a square shape. The image you choose should be a square, or an image where a square portion of the image can be used for the profile image.

  • Incorporate your logo or another easily identifiable element. Your logo, or another element that easily identifies your business visually, is the best choice for your Twitter profile photo. The image should be professional-looking and stand out in some way.

  • Use the image that best matches your strategy. You may wonder whether a Twitter profile image should be a logo, an image of the person who manages the account, or a hybrid of the two. No single answer is correct, and many successful Twitter strategies have used different types of images. The image you use should match your strategy.

  • Make it professional and appropriate. Make your profile picture match the image that you're trying to create professionally. A blurry logo that's cut off in the square-shaped profile image probably wouldn't reflect well on you professionally. If you choose to use a personal photo, the image should be a headshot that clearly shows your face.

  • Resist the urge to change your profile photo too often. Many Twitter users quickly skim their newsfeeds, looking for posts from the people and businesses they care about — and the profile image is the item they look for in order to identify posts. If the photo is continually changing, you face difficulty in building recognition with your fans.

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