From the minutia department, I’ve been talking a lot about Twitter avatars lately. I enjoy swapping out my avatar. It’s my version of a t-shirt --expressing my personality in a small way. And, as I have my pic on my Twitter background, people can put a face with the name the first time a person follows me.
This goes against conventional Twitter wisdom. In Trust Agents, Brogan and Smith recommend using your picture across all social site profiles in an effort to be more human online. Even Twitter notes: “A real picture of yourself is encouraged. It adds personableness to your tweets.”
But avatars are very polarizing. The Bob Ross and Big Boy avatars never fail to encourage Twitter love. While the Charlton Heston and Hanson Brother avatars usually wig people out a bit. The end result is that changing out my avatars has become a great conversation starter on Twitter.
At the same time Trust Agents also talks about the benefit of going against conventional wisdom. The book devotes an entire chapter to making your own game. Now I’m not going to try and tell you that swapping out my avatars is a strategy or a game-changing technique on Twitter. Or is it?
Millions of Mad Men
AMC’s MadMen Yourself is the most recent avatar-swapping craze to hit Twitter. It resulted in 1 million visits to AMC’s microsite and 600,000 avatars have been created. This is a great example of everyone wanting to wear the MadMen t-shirt by turning themselves into an early 60’s cartoon. And it successfully flies in the face of Twitter wisdom. Sure I can see a resemblance between people and their avatars, but only if I already know what they look like.
At the end of the day, I guess I’m saying there’s more than one way to skin your profile on Twitter. Whatever approach you take, make sure your tweets, background and profile give potential followers a good idea of who you are as a person.