Tips for Vacation Rental Owners on Selecting a Twitter Profile Picture

I know, I know… you’re thinking to yourself, “Do I really need to read an entire blog post about my Twitter profile picture?”

Yes, you do.

The Twitter world is a complex one. In order to succeed in it, there are certain things you need to do.

The gut reaction of most VR owners who are on Twitter is to use a nice photo of their property as a profile picture (or avatar). That’s good, right?


In my post about the vacation rental owner’s rules of engagement on Twitter, I discussed the right way to reach out to people on Twitter. The gist is this: You don’t just jump on top of people on Twitter and sell to them. You have to ease your way into conversations and build relationships. When the time is right (your gut will tell you when it is), you can go in for a sale.

So what does this have to do with your profile picture? A lot, actually.

There are a lot of businesses on Twitter who don’t know anything about or simply don’t care about Twitter’s rules of engagement. All they’re trying to do is sell, sell, sell.

Anyone who has been on Twitter for some time has encountered such a business. They are not liked. And the vast majority of them use logos or product images for profile pictures.

If you’re using a picture of your house as your profile picture, you’re at an instant disadvantage. Most Twitter users will instinctively think you are a business who is going to just want to sell to them. The users you are trying to reach will be less likely to take you seriously. And they might not talk to you or follow you back.

Not good!

What you need to use for an avatar is your smiling, pretty (or handsome!) face.

Remember… Twitter is SOCIAL media. People use it to connect with other people – not faceless businesses. Even big corporate brands understand this. Many of them are rushing to humanize their brands on social media. Side note… huge corporations can get away with using logos for profile pictures because they are so recognizable.

In my post about vacation renters using Twitter the wrong way, I compare Twitter to a large cocktail party. Using a picture of your house as an avatar is a lot like wearing a mask at the party. You certainly wouldn’t wear a mask while trying to network at a real party. Why would you do it on Twitter? Be yourself!

Here’s another way to think about it… many VR owners I’ve talked to value pre-booking, one-on-one interaction with their guests. They like to have a phone conversation or even a face-to-face meeting if it’s possible. This type of interaction is one of the main reasons why so many VR owners are against instant booking models.

So why take your personality out of Twitter?

As for picture choice, make sure the picture you use is a good one. Make it stand out.  Make sure you pop off of the background. Make sure it’s not grainy. And I’ll say it again – smile!  You should look inviting and pleasant.

And don’t throw away that nice picture of your house. You can set it as your header picture. This is the image that serves as a background to your profile picture and description. Doing this will create your brand and help establish yourself as a VR owner.

In a future post, I’ll discuss your Twitter name, username, and description. These items also tie in to choosing your profile picture.  Until then, happy Tweeting!

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