Clean Up Your Twitter Bio! – Working Magic with 160 Characters
It is a paltry 160 characters, but your Twitter bio is one of the most important aspects of your Twitter profile. More often than not it is the first thing a potential follower will notice about your profile. If it’s uninteresting, they won’t bother to read your tweets, and definitely won’t follow you.
What are you passionate about? What are your interests? Let people know as succinctly as possible. Be certain everything is spelled correctly. Not only do spelling errors look unprofessional, but people will have a difficult time finding you on Google and Twitter if your bio isn’t spell-checked.
The best place to start is to decide whom you’re trying to attract and whom you want to interact with on Twitter. Tailor your bio for that audience. Below are some general guidelines to follow when completing your profile and bio.
- Company/Position – Where do you work? What do you do there?
- Interests/Passions – What do you love? What drives you?
- Personality – What do you bring to the community of Twitter?
It’s as simple as that. Blank bios are a common trait of bots, spammers, and other undesirables. You’re not one of them, are you? Good. Then who are you?
“Expert” and “Guru”
You might think words like expert and guru would draw people in, but sometimes the exact opposite is the case. People are skeptical when someone they don’t know claims to be an expert. “But I really am an expert!” Ok, prove it. Don’t just claim to be an expert, BE an expert. Your Twitter stream, your updates and interactions with others, will be all the proof they need. Show, don’t tell, or as Mark Twain said “Don’t just say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.”
Hashtags, ALL CAPS, Expletives, Emoticons, and Ascii art
Including any of these things in your bio is a mistake. Are you a pre-teen gossiping with your friends on Twitter? If so, go for it! Have at the Ascii art. Put smiley faces, hearts, and music notes everywhere. They are not without their appeal, but in the end the are very unprofessional and tend to put a lot of people off.
Save the quotes for your updates. If you didn’t say it, it doesn’t belong in your bio. They’re looking at your profile to learn about you, not Amelia Earhart, Winston Churchill, or *ahem* Mark Twain.
Sales pitches/Corporate jargon/Industry speak
These can be just plain boring, and unattractive. Personality is key to a successful bio, so let yours shine through. Not everyone works in a super glamorous career, but it’s possible to say you’re in business without talking about “quarterly earnings” and “mergers and acquisitions” in your bio. If you’re using Twitter to attract customers or clients to your business, your bio is your first and only chance to really draw them in.
There you have it. It may seem daunting, at first, to describe yourself, but you can do it. Be informative, authentic, and engaging. Invite them to follow you with a smile. If you grow bored with your bio, feel free to change it up! Have fun with language. “I write books.” > “Author of Romantic, Medieval Fiction” > “Knights and castles and romance — oh my!” Try something new for a week and note the change (or lack thereof) in your rate of engagement. You don’t have to be a wordsmith, but on Twitter, words are almost all you have, so make the most of them!
Here are some examples of Twitter bios I particularly enjoy:
Marvel Executive Editorial Director, Ryan Penegos, is a great example of what can be done with a Twitter bio. His profile picture conveys that he works in the comic book field. He has a complete profile including his position, company name, company website and Twitter page, personal interests and personal website. He keeps it light and humorous while informing you exactly of who he is.
Geek goddess, Felicia Day, keeps her bio matter-of-fact and to the point, proving that less can be more.
This is a great example of a business bio. In one sentence they’ve completely spelled out what they do, who they are, and what they’re passionate about. Their profile is completely filled out, and they have an attractive, simple logo. It’s quickly clear what IFB is all about.
Peter Shallard keeps his bio short and sweet, with a touch of humor.
Have you seen an interesting, witty, or unique bio on Twitter? I’d love to read it. Please share!
CEO of WePost Media