Is it possible at all to treat your Twitter profile like you treat your landing page and get more followers in the same time? I strongly believe this is the case. But wait…you may say, landing pages can be tested for conversion (getting a lead, buying) and this is not possible with a Twitter profile! Yes, this is true, however, there are certain proven principles in landing page design (that almost always work) you can use to increase the chances people will become your followers. By that I mean, people that visited your Twitter profile click the “follow” button.
Some of these principles were originally invented by Marketing Experiments as a result of the thousands of tests they’ve done with their partners. What I’m doing here is taking them and trying my best to apply them to creating a ‘convertible’ Twitter profile.
Twitter Background – Explain Who You Are
According to Marketing Experiments, before a user arrives on any type of page they have a brief ‘moment of orientation’ that lasts 2-5 seconds. In that moment they basically ask themselves 2 questions:
- Where am I
- What can I do here
The second question can be easily answered by the Twitter interface. It isn’t hard to see that the 2 main things people can do on your profile is a) read your messages and b) follow you.
It’s up to you to answer the first question. “Where am I” = “Tell me about yourself briefly. Who are you? What do you do?” People want to have a clear description of who are you. Your Twitter background can answer that question in an instant.
Why use background instead of the description? Because more people notice the background than the description. We’ll later discuss one neat trick to make more people read your description.
Ok fast, what’s Photoshop Creative? You can get that answer in 3 seconds. It’s a magazine about Adobe Photoshop. Another good example
If you click on his profile, you’ll see non-intrusive description of who g33kguy is on the left. This might give you an inspiration to make your own background where you’ll post something about yourself without taking up the whole background.
An Idea to Get More People to Read Your Description
If you REALLY want to put who you are in your description (and not background) then there’s one neat trick to make more people to read it.
Make use of the right side of the background. Point a finger or someone looking at your background. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about I’ve included my world-class graphic example:
Okay so maybe a few things missing here like blending the background of the hand with the Twitter background. You can also extend the hand so it comes from somewhere outside of the screen. Another idea is to make a person look at the description.
Why is this useful? Because usability studies show that you have a big influence on where people focus on. By pointing a hand or eyes looking at your description you give people a direction on what to look at first.
Why Should I Follow You?
After the moment of orientation, the third question people ask is ‘Why should I do what you want me to do’ or in this case, ‘Why should I follow you?”
Most people (in landing page design and in designing Twitter profiles) focus on this question FIRST. This is a mistake. After you’ve handled the first 2 questions, you should then focus on this one.
Honestly I can’t give you much good advice on this one because different people follow for different reasons. What I can give you, however, is this tip on negative remarks by Dan Zarella which basically says:
Negative remarks lead to fewer followers. Negative remarks include things like sadness, aggression, negative emotions and feelings, and morbid comments.
Not many people like pessimists online.
Hopefully you found these tips to be useful! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Darko’s latest post on free people search deals with some of the most popular free people search engines online.