Personal branding is something we all interact with in this digital age, whether consciously or not. Creating a username for a site you sign up to is one of the simplest ways this can play out: that username you choose is meant to reflect you, your identity, and act as an identifier for others, alerting them to your posts and interactions. Further signifiers such as your profile picture/dp/avatar and bio boxes solidify this identity, giving other people more information about the online persona.
Let’s take a look at my own twitter profile and what I believe it says about me:
- Cover photo/Background image: My cover photo was chosen because it reflects a moment of me accomplishing something huge; climbing up to the top of a dormant volcano, despite stress and anxiety at being unfit comparatively to the rest of my family. While not all those who visit my profile know this backstory, it represents a my ability to persevere in difficult situations; while also placing me at the top of the world visually, due to the angle of the image, and the clouds behind.
- Avatar: My avatar relates back to branding of my YouTube channel. When my twitter account was first created, it was primarily used to promote new and upcoming videos, and so having the same avatar across platforms became an easy identifier. Since it is no longer the primary use of my twitter account, the image has remained unchanged because it shows thought into the way it has been structured: that is to say, it’s not just a random photo taken with friends, it’s a head shot edited onto a patterned background.
- Displayed Name: My display name is simply “Elysse”; not because I don’t want people knowing my last name, but because my last name has never been an online identifier for me. The first name is utilised to create a sense of connection between myself and others, which extends beyond my twitter handle/username.
- Twitter Handle: My twitter handle stems from my online identifier which began in 2007 – the phrase oranges are pink became associated with me in highschool from a one off sarcastic remark, and then stuck because the notion was so absurd. When creating twitter @orangesarepink was taken, but I wanted to continue consistency with my online identifying username, and so I added a second k to the end.
- Bio Box: The twitter bio box can vary from profile to profile, as it allows you to write whatever you want, without predetermined categorical fields. I personally utilise it to list my professional pursuits, so that incoming visitors can quickly understand what sort of themes I’m likely to tweet about.
- Location: The location feature is usually used to place a geographical tie to ones profile. Ideally, my profile should list Australia, or Sydney; however it instead lists Pigfarts. Due to this choice, instead of giving me a physical tie to a single place, I am creating a tie to an online community: the fan base of Team Starkid; but referencing a location in their parody Harry Potter musical.
- Website: Until late last year, my website linked to my tumblr profile, which was a mixture of Darren Criss, and art reblogs – very rarely would my original content make it to Tumblr. I changed my website to that of my WordPress, as I believe it more accurately represents my professionalised self, showcasing research into various fields, as well as my craft – design, art, music, and beyond.
- Pinned Tweet: My pinned tweet was originally a teaser for an upcoming project; but has now become another representation of my craft, as well as my interests (design and camping).
Now after writing this; I asked a few people to have a look at my twitter profile, and tell me what they think it said about me:
“You’re colourblind” – Devon Mace
Our social media profiles are essentially a performance of who we want to portray. As outlined just before, I try to portray myself as a designer, however from the responses I got, perhaps I don’t curate around design as much as I had originally believed to.