Would you go to a job interview in sweatpants?
Of course not. So why would you spend a ton of time crafting your Twitter strategy, following the pros, and attracting the attention of influencers—while neglecting your bio? Yeah, remember that thing you quickly typed up while you were setting up your account years ago and never changed?
Your bio is probably the most important component of your Twitter profile. That’s why you get 20 more characters than a tweet! So with that said, here’s what you need to know about composing the perfect one.
1. Communicate Three Crucial Things
To get the most out of your bio, you need to quickly and succinctly communicate three things: who you are, what you do, and why people should care.
For example, my Twitter bio is:
I’ve established who I am (a writer), and what I do (contribute to USA TODAY and The Daily Muse and serve as Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Cal Poly). The “why people should care” is implicit, not explicit—by aligning myself with names most people know, I position myself as a credible source of info and insights.
Let’s say you’re a sales account executive. Your bio should read something like:
“Sales Account Executive for @company. Our mission is to [insert mission here].”
Simple, clean, informative, and covers all the bases.
2. Use Links
The end goal of Twitter isn’t to get more followers. It’s to get more followers who then do something for you: offer you a job, read your articles, buy your products, check out your company, promote your business, ask to collaborate with you, network with you, and so on.
That’s why everyone—and I mean absolutely everyone—should have at least one link in his or her bio. (You get one link that doesn’t even count in your 160 characters!)
- Your LinkedIn profile
- Your company’s website
- Your personal site
- Your blog
- Your newsletter
3. Don’t Waste Your Space on Just Being Funny
Even Amy Schumer, the famous stand-up comedian, doesn’t have a humorous Twitter bio. Why? Because your bio should first and foremost be reserved for your most important information. If you use those 160 characters to be cute, you’ll make people smile, but you won’t get them to follow you.
Case in point: I had a little extra time the other day, so I started scrolling through my followers.
Here were a couple bios: “93% sarcasm, 7% coffee,” “An American in Paris,” and “Chocolate, wine, and tech lover (not necessarily in that order).”
Mildly amusing, yes. But these bios told me absolutely nothing about what the users would be tweeting or if they were people I’d want to keep up with. I didn’t have time to check out their profiles, so I didn’t follow them.
4. Add Some Personality
However, staying away from funny bios doesn’t mean you can’t give your bio any personality. In fact, you should! A fun fact or two makes you stand out. Once you’ve gotten in all the key elements, think of a few interesting details about yourself.
Have you run a couple of marathons? Add, “I’ve got a habit of running 26.2 miles at a time.” Do you love to cook? Put “Marketing whiz by day, Anthony Bourdain by night.” Can you downward-dog like nobody’s business? Drop in “Yoga junkie.”
Just make sure that you’re only adding “the spice” after the main ingredients are there. So “Biz dev pro at @startup. Our mission is to [insert mission here].” could go to “Biz dev pro @startup. Our mission: share the best urban deals on the web. My personal mission: try every hamburger in Brooklyn—DM me with suggestions.”
Memorable, right? If you’re in a more conservative industry, match your tone accordingly.
Let’s say you’re a biotech researcher.
Your bio could read: “I perform drug research for @[Pharmaceutical company] and write about the pharm industry for @[publication]. Lucky enough to have visited 27 countries.”
To make sure you’re not violating the third rule of a great Twitter bio, put your fun fact last—and make sure it’s not longer than one-third of your whole bio.
We tend to think the longer something has to be, the harder it is to write. But in this case, the brevity of a Twitter bio is what makes crafting a perfect one so darn hard. Here’s to making each and every character count.
TopicsTools & Skills , Twitter , Social Media , Personal Branding , Syndication , Social Media & Blogging , Communication
Photo of Twitter on phone courtesy of Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock.