Here’s a confession: I’m a Twitter bio snob. In fact, it’s usually THE determining factor of whether I follow a new follower back or not.
I’m not saying my bio is perfect — and I’m constantly tweaking it — but there is nothing more annoying than getting an email notification about a new user and not having a clue who they are or what they’re interested in (and will likely tweet about).
You only have 160 characters to make a first impression on Twitter. And if you’re in Marketing/PR industry, that impression matters even more. Not because it will attract more followers, but because communicating effectively is your job. Regardless of whether your Twitter account is personal or “does not reflect the views of your employer/ clients/ whatever,” a bad bio reflects poorly on you as a professional. Not to mention, it’s highly annoying to those of us looking to connect with new industry people on Twitter.
Unfortunately, there is no one “right” way to write a Twitter bio. Anyone who tells you differently is either trying to sell you their “expert” services or doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about. There’s also plenty of bad ways to write a bio.
When it comes down to it, what you put in your bio will depend on how you’re using Twitter. If you’re looking to use your personal account to connect only with other industry professionals or clients, by all means, keep your bio about work if that’s what feels comfortable to you. But if you’re like the rest of us who mix our professional life with our personal interests on Twitter, keep the sales-speak for your souped-up website. Tell us who you really are and what we can expect to see on your Twitter feed.
Who are you?
No need to get too introspective, but basic details like what you do or where you work certainly help.
What are you about?
This is your chance to connect with a variety of niches. List a few hobbies or areas of interest you tweet about on a regular basis. For instance, in addition to PR and social media, I enjoy connecting with people on topics such as music and running and list them in my bio. Doing this not only gives potential followers a sneak preview of your tweeting topics, but makes you seem like a real person with a real life outside of Twitter.
Where are your tweeting grounds?
Nothing annoys me more than locations listed as the likes of ”Neverland” or “A Galaxy Far Away.” Unless you’re Peter Pan or Yoda, you’re tweeting from somewhere on planet Earth (Editor’s note: And please, don’t list “earth” as your location either. It’s not cute or funny like you probably think it is). In order to connect with likeminded tweeps in your area, list where you are. It’s not necessary to give exact coordinates or an address (we’re not navigating Kingdom of Tonga, people), but a something simple like a city and a state or providence would be nice.
How else can we connect?
If you have another public virtual playground, include a link: your personal blog, other blogs to which you regularly contribute, LinkedIn profile, Tumblr, YouTube channel or even just your online portfolio or about.me page. It gives you another way to let people get to know you beyond your tweets.
What information do you think is essential to include in your Twitter bio?