An avatar—that little picture that appears next to your tweets—represents you and your brand on Twitter. The success of your profile can hang at its weakest point. Your audience will initially look at your content and numbers (followers/following) to get a feel for who you are, but the real hang-up can be upon whom, or what, you chose to use as the face of your business.
You want your avatar to be instantly recognizable so that you and your brand can be seen as professional. Putting in a little time to create an avatar provides clients with the confidence they demand from a product or service they will invest their time and energy in.
People Like to Talk to People: The number one choice for all social media avatars is a picture of your face. People like to know that they’re talking to another person, not an object. That said, you still have some decisions to make.
Use a Drawing: Some people have created caricatures or drawings of themselves. Remember that time you were on vacation and that guy made a caricature of you? Maybe you could pull it out and use that. Since you don’t have a lot of space in Twitter, make sure to use the entire space up to the edges. Or maybe you have a talented graphic designer friend who could create a line drawing for you.
Use a Photo: One of the benefits of using a photo is that you probably have one that you can put up relatively quickly. Make sure it looks good on Twitter—that it’s in focus and there is good contrast. You don’t get a lot of space, so make sure it fills the entire space. If the photo looks unprofessional, that could reflect on your business. Consider using a professional makeup artist and photographer to get a really great shot. It really is a good investment.
Use a Group Photo: How about a group photo of the people who work in your business? Just make sure that the photo isn’t too small.
Logo: Although I like faces best, a logo or symbol could be terrific, too. A logo allows your business to look professional, multiple people can tweet from the same account, and other professionals will want to connect with you. If you already have a logo, that’s great! But don’t let getting a logo stop you from getting started on Twitter. Put up a photo and get going. You can change it later.
Mascot: A mascot is a fabulous way to get started. If you have a shop, you could have a shop dog. People identify with animals and will say things they wouldn’t say to a person or to a logo. (My cat, @Purrsilla1 has an account, and people love to chat with her.) Downside: a mascot might not be seen as “professional” in some businesses.
Anything But An Egg: If none of the choices above call to you, don’t worry. The main thing is that you get away from the default egg. If you keep the egg, a lot of people will look at you like you’re a spammer, and that’s the last thing you want. Any random picture (Easter bunny, daffodil, smiley face) is better than an egg.