The Twitter profiles of world leaders and governments are seldom innovative, or engaging. Most of them rather blandly declare that “This is the official Twitter account…” of a government/foreign ministry etc. – and this even when the account has been verified by Twitter and proudly displays the blue badge. Interestingly, the most used words on the Twitter bios of world leaders are ‘Official’, ‘Twitter’ and ‘Account’.
Here are 10 tips to help you make the most out of the 160-characters in your Twitter bio and why it pays to improve it.
The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account is authentic and official. Most world leaders and government accounts have now been verified. If you want the blue badge, simply submit a request here.
Fly the Flag
Twitter profiles now support all emojis. So why not add your country flag behind your Twitter name? The Foreign Ministry of Moldova recently became the first foreign office to fly the flag adding a touch of colour to its profile. The Presidency of Senegal also uses his country’s emoji flag in its Twitter bio. On personal accounts, you might want to add your hobbies using the sporty emojis.
Adding hashtags in a Twitter bio is important as it indicates to your potential followers what topics you are tweeting about. Adding hashtags to each topic is also the best way to improve your SEO on Twitter searches for those topics.
Promote other accounts
If your organisation is on Snapchat, add the Snapcode as your profile picture, or use the ghost emoji? to indicate your Snapchat handle.
Feature the President
It pays to promote the personal Twitter handle of the President, or the Minister, in the Twitter bio. We also recommend creating public Twitter lists with all the government accounts and all diplomatic missions on Twitter.
Add an email or telephone
Space permitting, you might want to add your organisation’s email, telephone or opening times preceded by the relevant emoji.
Open Direct Messages
It makes sense to allow any Twitter user to send you Direct Messages. Don’t worry about receiving an avalanche of DMs. Direct message spam has been significantly reduced over the past years.
Add your National Day
Governments and foreign ministries should consider adding their national holiday as their official birthday on the profile. On the national day, balloons will fly across your profile to celebrate.
Add Vine and Periscope
You can also feature your Vine and Periscope accounts on your profile. While Vine is a niche video network, it may be useful to set up a Periscope channel, which allows you to go live at the click of a button.
For conferences and specific topics, it is useful to create collections of tweets using Twitter’s new Moments feature which are optimised for mobile viewing and which will be displayed on your public Twitter profile.