Think big. Be different.

The complete guide to customizing your Twitter profile.

By Garrett Moon on March 11, 2011 in News.

[This post is part of the ongoing series The Complete How To Guide for Twitter Marketing]

We’ve talked about Twitter several times before, but up to this point, we haven’t spent much time on how you can make it a powerhouse for marketing. Well, today we are going to change that, and give you everything that you need to make your Twitter profile rock.

Why customize?

There is nothing more lonely than a Twitter profile that hasn’t been customized. The dead giveaway is always the colorful Twitter egg icon. I am sure you have seen it before:

Don’t get stuck looking look a Twitter newbie! Customize that Twitter egg.

This icon is used for a new user that has just ‘hatched.’ Get it? The Twitter egg grows up to be the Twitter bird. Anyhow, you don’t want to leave it like this for long. Many people associate these icons with spam, which is not good news for you. Here, is the complete guide to taking your account from an egg to a flying Twitter bird.

To get started customizing your page, visit the settings tab once you are logged into Twitter.

Your profile image

Twitter calls this your picture and many people refer to it as an avatar. No matter what it is called, it is the thing that people will see the most. Every time you tweet, this icon will be attached to your message.

This icon is most often seen at 48 pixels wide by 48 pixels tall, but can be larger in some cases. If your Twitter account is a personal one, then you will definitely want this to be a picture of yourself. After all, people like to know who they are talking to. If you are managing a company account, you may need to use a logo, but try to be creative. Perhaps a picture of your sign or building would do better. You will want something that is unique, personal, and catches peoples eye.

Optimizing your Twitter icon for all sizes is very important.

The right size
You will definitely want to make sure that your image looks good at the 48px by 48px size, but keep in mind that there are some situations where a larger image will be used. The best practice it to start with 300 x 300 pixel canvas in an image editing program like Photoshop. Once you upload your image, Twitter will automatically resize it for the smaller thumbnail.

Your bio

The next thing that you need to customize is your bio. Just like everything on Twitter, your bio is limited to 140 characters, so you will need to be brief. You will also want it to pack a lot of punch. Your bio should quickly tell followers who you are and give them an idea of what you will be talking about. You really need to channel your audience to get this right. What will they want to hear? What will appeal to them?

Your link

When someone visits your Twitter profile, it is very likely that they will click on your link. You need to make sure that you are providing one, and that it is going to the right place. Your homepage is a great place to send people, but not always the best.

Michael Hyatt links to a custom landing page.

Some people, like blogger Michael Hyatt, setup a custom landing page just for Twitter. At Todaymade, we feel that our blog is the best place to direct traffic from Twitter. This content fits our Twitter audience and provides a good introduction to what we will be tweeting about.

Your Background Image

One thing that can really make your Twitter account stand out, is a well customized Twitter background. With the current Twitter design, there are about 110 pixels that can be used on the left side of your background image. This can be a great place to some additional information about yourself, or your company. Some things that you may want to include are your logo, tagline, phone number, or additional links that you want to share. There are many ways that this area can be used. The main idea is to use it in a way that enhances your online brand.

Here you can see how we took advantage of this space with our @scriply profile.

The best method for creating your own background is to create an extra large canvas in Photoshop and start developing a layout. I like to use a canvas that is at least 1280 pixels wide. The easiest way to start would be to use a template file, which can be downloaded from here. These files are very handy, because they give you a good idea of what users will see at different browser sizes.

Make it an ongoing process

Don’t just breeze through this, it is an important step. When you follow someone new, they will inevitably visit your profile page to learn more about you. Whatever you have on this page will tell them if you are worth following or not.

Also, always be tweaking. There is nothing wrong with changing things up every now again. Try new things and constantly try to make your profile better.

  • Celebrity Job Queen

    Awesome website Garrett! As a Twitter newbie I’ve been looking for something like this for weeks. You explain everything very well. Other sites say ‘it’s easy to make a custom Twitter page’ but they neglect to tell you exactly how. If there’s one negative about your site it’s the link to the template. Unfortunately I can’t open it as it’s a .exe file and I use a Mac computer. I tried opening it on a friends PC but that didn’t didn’t work either. After entering e-mail address, phone number etc. it kept taking me round in circles. Now I’m in big trouble – my friend has been SPAMMED with hundreds of ads and coupons and I still don’t have a template! Thanks for all the other good info though…

    • Garrett Moon

      Wow. First of all, I am really glad that you found the site helpful! Second of all, I am really sorry that you had trouble with the file downloads. I have linked that article to a new site that will hopefully be more straight forward. The template files are Photoshop files, so you will need that program to open them. Not sure if that was part of the trouble or not. Good luck.

      • Veda Shaw

        What about a picture on twitter

        • todaymade

          Profile images just need to a square and you should be good to go.

  • Celebrity Job Queen

    Whoohoo – I finally got the template. I’m also a Photoshop Elements newbie and as I’m not so young either, I guess you could say I’m an Oldie but Newbie! (sorry, my bad English humor raises it’s ugly head from time to time) Anyway, I was finally able to create a custom background and couldn’t have done it without you. It may not be the best you’ve ever seen but hey it’s my first attempt. Thank you so very, very much.

  • Pingback: The definitive list of the 100 things you need to know about social media()

  • Pingback: The 100 Things You Need To Know About Social Media « Media, Marketing And Advertising News «

  • Pingback: The 100 Things You Need To Know About Social Media()

  • nonaffiliated

    Thank you so much for this information. I have been anti-social media for so long…I could only see the personal or business aspects which I’m not into. But, then I realized twitter is a great place for a voice on things you really care about. So, I dove in. With a Google search this was my first place to begin the twitter journey. Simple, but such important advice and instructions. If I ever get a follower I’ll be sure to send them this way. Again, thank you so much. While I’m just getting into the actual tweeting, giving good thought to each step (which I’ll be following to the ‘T’ from this page) I hope to eventually have an account I am wholly proud of.
    Great Job! And, again thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    • Garrett Moon

      Great! Good luck!!

  • seerdarr

    i, ı love your web site

    • Garrett Moon


  • Pingback: Twitter Resource Hub - The "" Blog()