The biggest challenge in writing a good Twitter bio is that Twitter allows you only 160 characters. That means your bio must capture the attention of a potential follower in about 20 words.
Writing 20 words shouldn’t be tough, but it’s actually harder to write succinctly than it is to write at length. Here are five important tips to help you write your Twitter bio, along with some good Twitter bio examples.
Tip #1 – Include Your Area of Expertise
Your expertise should be included in your Twitter bio, showing off what you are good at. This is an opportunity to highlight what’s unique about you so people can decide if they want to follow you. Here’s a good example from a personal trainer and fitness coach that clearly states her area of expertise (helping clients overcome their mental blocks):
@coachkate1 Kate is a Health & Fitness Coach who helps clients overcome their mental blocks to living a healthy lifestyle.
Tip #2 – Use Powerful Keywords
Don’t neglect keywords on Twitter. Using relevant keywords in your bio helps people who have the same interests to find you, and will also help you show up in search results. In addition, using keywords in your bio will help you pop up in Twitter apps that group users together by interest.
For example, can you guess what keywords the @mashsocialmedia bio is targeting?
The latest happenings in social media, plus tips on using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare and more.
If you guessed “social media” plus the four major social media sites mentioned, you’d be correct.
Here’s another example of someone who does a good job of using keywords in her Twitter bio:
@MyMelange #Italy & #France travel planning, #travel consulting, #food tours Writer. Queen of the carry-on bag. How can I help with your next trip?
I don’t need to tell you that @MyMelange (Robin Locker Lacey) specializes in Italy and France travel planning: it’s clear from her bio.
Notice Robin’s use of hashtags, which makes it even more likely that she will be found in the top results when someone searches Twitter for those words.
Robin finishes her bio with the question “How can I help with your next trip?” which addresses the advice in the next tip – “mention what you offer”. Robin’s clever question makes it clear that she offers Italy and France trip planning services.
Tip #3 – Mention What You Offer
Mention what you offer within your Twitter profile. Show potential followers who you are and how you can be useful to them.
My friend and colleague Natalie Tucker Miller has a company called “Ageless-Sages”, which provides picture books for elders. Here’s how she mentions in her Twitter bio what her company offers, while at the same time including her other main activity as a coach certifier and educator:
@NatalieTM Helping families reconnect through Picture Books for Elders™ Teaching the magic of loving all phases. IAC Lead Certifier, coach educator.
Here’s another good example that shows how to mention what you offer in an engaging way:
@danielgoh Beer hawker, entrepreneur and owner of The Good Beer Company. Food fanatic. Avid geek. Blogger and social media enthusiast.
When you read Daniel’s bio, you instantly know that he’s interested in beer, food, business, blogging and social media. Pretty efficient use of 19 words!
Tip #4 – Write with Personality
Last, give a sense of your personality in your Twitter bio. Are you funny, sincere, sarcastic? Don’t be afraid to be real – that’s what people enjoy. Letting your personality shine through takes a profile from ho-hum to intriguing – which will make people want to follow.
Looking again at Daniel Goh’s bio above, you get a sense of his personality from the use of words such as “hawker”, “fanatic” and “geek”. Someone who uses those types of descriptors is probably witty, unpretentious and enthusiastic about his interests. I follow Daniel, and I can tell you that he’s definitely all three of those things!
Tip #5 – Remember, It’s All Public
In the previous tip I advised “Don’t be afraid to be real”. I’m now going to put a caveat on that. Remember that everything you write on Twitter is public and shows up in the search engines, even if you’ve deleted it.
That bitingly funny Twitter bio you wrote and then deleted after realizing that it could offend some of your customers? It’s not really deleted. It’s indexed in the search engines for anyone to see…forever.
Even if you just use Twitter for friends (and not for business purposes), keep in mind that business contacts can and will read your Twitter page. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a completely open platform; people do not need permission to follow you. Sure you can block someone; but they can still do a Google search for site:twitter.com/yourtwittername and see every tweet you’ve ever published. Try it.
Socializing on Twitter is not the same as socializing in the privacy of your own home, or even your local coffee shop. As my mother used to tell me about gossip, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want published on the front page of the newspaper. Twitter is the digital age equivalent of the front page of the newspaper. So yes, be real and be professional as well.