Smiling Photo – This person wants to connect, they are open, sociable and want to give their Twitter feed that personal touch.
Then is their photo a professional one or a snapshot from a family album? If it’s a professional photo then it might indicate someone who is using Twitter for business. Is it a photo taken on a night out or a holiday? If it is, this person might want to give a younger, more carefree image.
Photo with a partner – If you view your other half or child or business partner as very important in your life then you might be introducing them to others. Photos with a celebrity, a new baby or new husband can also be a way of displaying an achievement in your life (getting wed, becoming a parent, meeting someone famous…) In the same way photos of people achieving something – holding a rosette, prize or even playing football or golf – might also signify their achievement.
A cartoon – This person might want to remain anonymous. They might have good reasons – perhaps they are making controversial comments. Alternatively – particularly if it’s a caricature – they might be the sort of person who has a huge sense of fun and doesn’t want their Twitter feed to be taken by followers too seriously…
Business logo – All about branding. This is a company which has – or wants to promote their business first.
Twitter egg – Beginner on Twitter – there are even tools which will unfollow any ‘eggheads’ you follow… Alternatively they might just be an observer who simply wants to follow interesting tweeters (and nothing wrong with that…)
Their written bio
Statistics show Twitter profiles with a bio will attract eight times as many followers as those without. These are usually divided into:
Strictly Business – Looking at this person’s profile, there won’t be any information that says they are married with children or like cakes. They will be solely talking about the business they run – so don’t expect many personal anecdotes, if any. They are also unlikely to be chatting to friends or colleagues using this account.
Business with a touch of domesticity – An example is someone who writes what they do for a living and then adds ‘and I have 2 kids’ or ‘I’m an avid runner’ after their business, showing they are likely to chat to friends and colleagues using this account too.
Purely personal– They don’t mention any company and their job might simply mentioned along with other hobbies and pursuits.
No written bio – This person might be just following interesting accounts. Alternatively it is a robot or could be spam.
Following more than follow them – If they are following 2000 accounts but have just a few followers, that might ring alarm bells (why are so many people not following them back?). Otherwise this demonstrates a person who is interested in lots of accounts, is friendly and eager to connect with others.
Following much fewer accounts than follow them – If someone has over 1000 followers for example but only follows a few hundred then they are either a celebrity or their tweets are so fascinating that people are happy to follow them in the knowledge that tweeter doesn’t feel the same about them. It could also show they are the sort of Twitter person who follows someone and then quickly unfollows. Alternatively they don’t really find what most people have to tweet about very interesting…
Similar balance between followers and followed accounts: This person might not follow everyone but he or she wants to connect on Twitter and make strong bonds. The fact they follow lots of accounts also means they are equally interested in not only tweeting to an audience but also have an interest in what others have to say as well.
Number of Tweets
No Tweets: Either they’ve only just got onto Twitter, they are simply an observer who’s following others or they are a robot.
Chatty Tweets: This person might use Twitter as their main network to speak to friends. Unless you are part of their clique a great many chats can be hard to follow.
Tweets lots of links If they link to their blog or website, then they are likely to have a business to promote. Alternatively they might be the sort of person who enjoys sharing items of interest they find on the web with their followers.
When they last tweeted:
A few days ago – they’ve just been too busy.
Up to two weeks ago – On holiday.
Longer than two weeks – account might have been abandoned.
Never – a newbie or a spam bot (incredibly though people do follow them…)
Many people on Twitter tweet perfectly successfully with no special Twitter background photo – instead relying on a basic default colour. But a glance at someone’s background can tell you lots – for example is there a logo (a business) or a photo (perhaps connected with their blog?) Not a designer? Then your background might be a photo on a repeat pattern. Meanwhile, a profile that blends with someone’s website or has consistent branding shows someone who takes Twitter seriously, probably to promote themselves, a service or business.
Finally, who else follows the profile you are reading? If your Twitter friends already follow this person, then that’s a good recommendation…
What do you look for when you follow someone on Twitter? Let us know below…