Quick, Easy, and Free Ways to a Fantastic Twitter Avatar

Quick, Easy, and Free Ways to a Fantastic Twitter Avatar

Quick, Easy, and Free Ways to a Fantastic Twitter Avatar

A few days ago, I got into my Wayback Machine and traveled to 2012. Back, back, back to my first blog post about how to create a Twitter Avatar. Kind of amazing how quickly five years flies by, isn’t it? And while researching for this post, I found this great article about the people behind the Wayback Machine (an Internet archive). But I digress.  Ahem! This post is about how you can get a quick, easy, and free Twitter avatar.

Pick Ten Avatars You Like

Pick Ten Avatars You Like

Pick Ten Avatars You Like

Get on Twitter and start looking around. Search on something similar to your business, to begin with. Say you’re in a particular area, such as Santa Cruz. You could search on the hashtag #SantaCruz. Or just the words Santa Cruz.

Narrow the Field

Narrow the Field

Narrow the Field

Of the ten avatars you find, choose the three you like the most. For example, here are three accounts in the Santa Cruz area that I admire. Follow them and check out their tweets (but come right back! I’ll wait here.).

Bookshop Santa Cruz Avatar

Bookshop Santa Cruz Avatar (@BookshopSC)

Santa Cruz Hilltromper Avatar

Santa Cruz Hilltromper Avatar (@HilltromperSC)

 

Sempervirens Fund Avatar

Sempervirens Fund Avatar (@SempervirensFnd)

Ask Yourself Some Questions

Ask Yourself Some Questions

Ask Yourself Some Questions

Notice how all three images easily identify the organization. Now, ask yourself a few questions. For instance:

  1. Why do you like the avatars?
  2. What specifically do you like about the images?
  3. Do you prefer a photo or a drawing?
  4. Would you use similar colors in your own avatar?
  5. What traits identify you or your brand?
Brand Identity

Brand Identity

Brand Identity

This post is not about brand identity. However, if you have no idea what brand identity means, read this thorough article by Clement Lim: Creating a Kick-Ass Brand Identity.

List the Traits of Your Top Three Favorite Avatars

List the Traits of Your Top Three Favorite Avatars

List the Traits of Your Top Three Favorite Avatars

My top three have a few things in common. Namely:

  1. They’re all images, not photos.
  2. They’re clutter-free.
  3. Each one tells a story.
  4. Each one is monochromatic (black, green, and brown).
Incorporate Those Traits Into Your Avatar

Incorporate Those Traits Into Your Avatar

Incorporate Those Traits Into Your Avatar

If I were redoing my avatar, I could start with a photo and convert it to a drawing. I take a lot of photos (don’t we all since the invention of smart phones?). Then I could clean up all the extraneous lines, unnecessary stuff until it was more like a line drawing. I’d want to make sure that the image told a story about my business.

CONVERSATION photo

Color is Critical

Next, I’d choose a favorite color. Here’s a good article about What Your Logo’s Color Says About Your Business from Fast Company. For instance, did you know the following:

almost 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% of people believe color increases brand recognition.

CONVERSATION photo

Create Three Draft Avatars

After that, you could create a few mockups of avatars, with slight or not-so-slight variations. Okay, maybe three. Or two! You could have just two, to keep it really simple.

Ask Your Friends

The really fun part is having a little branding-your-Twitter-avatar party. Have snacks and bubbly drinks and have your friends give their opinions. They’ll surprise you with some of what they say.

CONVERSATION photo

How Did You Figure out What Your Twitter Avatar Would Be?

What would you tell someone else who needed an avatar? I’d really like to know! And thank you.

Creating an Awesome Twitter Avatar

 

 

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.

Browse Twitter for Avatars You Like: Before you make a decision about an avatar, consider looking around on Twitter and choosing a few avatars that you like. Maybe pick 10 and then narrow it to three that you really like. Could you easily create an avatar that looks like one of them? Or find someone who could make one for you? There are some amazingly creative people on Twitter, so look around and see what makes you say “Oh! I like that one!”

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.

 

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