When you’re on Twitter looking for new people to follow, how do you decide who makes the cut?
Your first step is to check out the person’s bio, right? Yep, that’s what everyone else does too.
And since the short bio connected to your profile is easily visible and the #1 thing people use to determine whether to follow you or click on the links you tweet out, it makes sense to create the best bio you can.
So, what makes a good Twitter bio?
The best Twitter bios are interesting, engaging and offer insight into your business and/or your personality, while conveying some benefit to following you. And since Twitter is less formal than other social media platforms, it’s a good idea to lighten up a little and show some personality here.
You get 160 characters to summarize your business and what you have to offer, so you’ve got to be strategic about what to include.
In a nutshell, try to do following: tell people who you are and why they should follow you, state the benefit of following you while using your best keywords, and include your website or blog URL.
Keywords in your bio are important because that’s what gets your profile found – Twitter search engines look at these keywords when they recommend profiles for others to follow. (You can use hashtags for the same purpose. A hashtag is the symbol # placed before a relevant keyword or phrase in a Tweet, with no spaces, to categorize Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.)
And here’s a little tip not everyone knows – you can actually have two clickable links in your Twitter bio field.
There are a couple of ways to use this to your benefit: you can place your website URL in both the Web and Bio fields of your profile so that it’s easily visible and accessible to your followers, or, you can use the second live link to promote something else you want to direct attention to. For example, you could include the link to your Facebook business page or other social media profile, an email opt-in page, or an opt-in for an upcoming webinar, etc.
Let’s look at a few Twitter bio examples, both the good and the not-so-good, and talk about what makes them that way. (These are all real examples I pulled from Twitter.)
First we have what I call “The Laundry List”:
Personal Development, Body and Mind Fitness, Life Coaching, NLP, Smart Teaching and Learning, Travel, Yoga and Meditation
This is merely a string of semi-related words that don’t add up to enough strategic information about this person or their business to make folks want to follow. How do we know which of these phrases relate to this person’s business and which to her personal life? And what about a website link for more information? This bio doesn’t pique my interest enough to make me want to click over to her profile for more info.
Next we have the hopelessly vague:
We love to Inspire, Motivate & help others around us to reach Success. Follow & Interact with us now & Please Like Us On Facebook.
This is another kind of Twitter bio that’s all too common. It’s vague, and the benefit to following is not clearly defined. More specific info on how they “help others achieve success” and/or what kind of success they mean would improve this bio. Is it weight loss success? Small business success? Financial success? If I’m going to follow this person, I want to know.
And then we have everybody’s favorite, the “Hashtag Stuffer”:
#Blogger, #entrepreneur, digital marketing #consultant and recording #artist. I make #money online and #teach others how to do the same.
The Hashtag Stuffer places as many keywords in the bio field as possible in hopes of being found through Twitter Search or similar. You want to avoid this, not only because it’s annoying to other Twitter users and considered bad form, but more importantly, Google views the overuse of hashtags much like spam, which means those tweets will be excluded from real time search results.
And then there’s The Deadly Dull, another very common approach to Twitter bios:
As a prominent author, speaker and coach, ______’s expertise is utilized to gain insight and to create change in leadership and communication.
The Deadly Dull bio gives us enough information about who someone is and what they do, but it’s not very compelling. And the phrase “expertise is utilized to gain insight and to create change” is unwieldy and overly formal. This is Twitter, not a resume. So please, ok?
And now for a few examples of interesting, engaging and benefit-driven Twitter bios:
I use my punk-rock personality to create super fun tools that help business owners and entrepreneurs assault and trample their technical fears.
This bio works because it’s witty and shows personality, while at the same time clearly outlining the benefit of following her profile. You get a sense of who she is – “punk-rock personality” – who she helps – “business owners and entrepreneurs” – and how she helps them – “assault and trample technical fears.”
Facebook Marketing expert Amy Porterfield’s Twitter bio is effective because it quickly tells us who she is and what she does, and provides two relevant links:
I’m a social media strategist who specializes in Facebook (http://AmyPorterfield.com/Webinar). Co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies.
Here’s the bio for Sean Malarkey, an online business professional and Social Media Author and Speaker.
What’s interesting here is that Sean’s LinkedIn bio is much more formal and business-like telling us more about his business, while on Twitter he follows the protocol of less formal and more personal:
Blogger, Chocolate lover, Living a dream by living PT in Argentina, Retired Real Estate Investor. Husband, Dad, Good friend to many.
And last, we have the bio of a photographer who manages to get across in a very succinct and poetic way the benefits of using her service:
@AnnieVaiPhoto Live the Moment. Inspire the Love. Capture the Memory. Wilmington, NC http://www.annievaiphotography.com
And there you have it.
Use these guidelines and examples as a starting point to create your own Twitter bio – a compelling, strategic, benefit-driven masterpiece, all in 160 characters or less.
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