Twitter Tip Tuesday is a weekly blog series from Sprout Social Insights.

Every Tuesday we’ll focus on just one Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy.

Today’s Twitter Tip Tuesday: The First Thing To Change After Creating Your Twitter Account

So, you’ve jumped into the social media deep end and created yourself a Twitter account. But did you know that you can actually do more damage than good to your brand if you just leave your new Twitter account sitting there with the default Twitter profile picture?

Here is the first thing you should change after creating your Twitter account.

Upload a Profile Picture

Yes, this may sound harsh but the reality is, people make their mind up about you very quickly on Twitter.

If your stick with the default Twitter egg as your profile picture, or “avatar”, at worst people may think you’re a spam account and at best they may simply ignore you. In fact, your profile picture is most probably the first and most powerful thing people will consider when they decide whether to follow you or not on Twitter.

So, the first thing you should do after creating your Twitter account is to upload a profile picture that is a good representation of you or your business.

Your image must be square, JPG, GIF, or PNG format, with a maximum size of 700k, (that’s just under 3/4 of 1 megabyte). We recommend you start with as high a resolution source image as you can fit within 700k because Twitter will automatically scale your source image to the correct viewing size on screen.

How to Change the Default Twitter Profile Image

While logged into Twitter, click “Settings”, then click the “Profile” tab. At the top of the page, you’ll see this:

Change your default Twitter avatar

Click the “Choose File” button and navigate to the source image on your computer.

Once you’ve chosen the file, click the blue “Save” button at the bottom of the screen. You should see a thumbnail of the image you’ve selected.

Finally, click the “Home” tab and do a search for your Twitter handle.

search for profileClick your name in the “People results” on the top right hand side of the screen to see your new profile picture at full size.

Note: Sometimes there is a small delay between when you change your profile picture and when it actually displays in Twitter. Also, you may need to send a few tweets with your new profile picture before it shows up in your tweet stream.

Things to Consider

  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that people respond much more favorably to a human face than they do a business logo. Consider whether or not a more personal image is appropriate for your business.
  • Your profile photo’s maximum display size in Twitter is 128 pixels wide x 128 pixels high. But the version of your image that displays in your timeline (ie: your tweets) is scaled down to 48×48 pixels.Don Power profile pictureWhatever image you choose, you’ll need to see what it looks like at both sizes. Words and sentences don’t typically appear large enough to read at the smaller size, so create your source image accordingly.
  • Although creating an image that people can instantly recognize is your ultimate goal, sometimes it takes a few tries at the beginning to get it right.You can upload a new image and try it out as often as you like. But once you find an image that works, stick with it. Once you’ve decided on a brand image you should maintain it as long as possible.

Got a great Twitter profile image? Log in with Twitter in the comments below and show it off and you could be featured in the next Fan Friday post.