If the point of your Twitter account is to be amusing, interest your peers, or to even share about your life, then it doesn’t matter one bit what you put in your Twitter bio. But if you’re looking to gain followers or convert customers, it’s important that you know how to write a bio that can provoke engagement and interest. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about writing an effective bio on Twitter, from the big picture to the gritty details.
Your Profile Photo
Studies have revealed that about one in ten people will follow you based on your profile photo, something that disproportionately affects the male demographic. If you’re using Twitter in a business capacity, your profile pic should be a high quality image. Your profile photo should also remain consistent rather than changing every week, making it easier to identify your page.
The Body of the Bio
As you know, your bio is limited to a measly 160 characters, but that should be business as usual for anyone who is used to posting on Twitter. Since there’s a lot of information to pack in to your bio, the body should consist of a very specific summary of who you are, and should only take about 60-80 characters. Being so limited, your bio will need to be equal parts specific and concise. If your page is involved in selling aquariums, vague and concise would be saying you’re involved in aquarium supplies, while specific and concise would be saying you’re a salt water aquarium expert. Rather than being a lawyer, say you’re a maritime lawyer focused on international law. A good example from the corporate sector comes from the @Skittles Twitter page, which manages to make their brand message consistent and useful for their audience.
SEO Friendly Profiles
It’s a good idea to include one or two of the most relevant hashtags in your bio in order to have those keywords attached to your profile in search engines. This could be anything from #dentist or #corporatelaw, as long as they’re the epitome of whatever it is you do on your page.
If you’re trying to force lots of information into a small space, you’ll need to liberally use periods, commas, lines, dashes, or anything else you can find on your keyboard to sort the information into a format that is as readable as possible. For example, “Baseball fan, fiction reader, rainbow aficionado, founder of Brew Fest”, or “Married Family Man | Co-Author 3 Books.” The specifics of this formatting aren’t as important as the formatting itself, provided that your content is perfectly readable.
If you’re a business that receives foot traffic in your local community, you should use your neighborhood and city information in your bio. For instance, an sports store in Seattle might list their location as “Greenwood, Seattle.” If you’re not as regionally linked, or if you ship products countrywide, use your city and state. For our sports store, that would be “Seattle, Washington.” Similarly, if you’re an international enterprise, you’ll want to adjust your location to use your city and country, e.g. “Seattle, United States.”
Use a Call to Action
A call to action invites your reader to perform some act. In an article, a call to action might prompt you to download something, click on a link, or subscribe to a news list. On Twitter, your call to action will usually be some variation of “follow me”, but it’s generally ill advised to be that direct. More casual iterations like “send me a message if…” or “hit me up” are usually more effective and less ham-fisted. After you’ve completed your summary of 60-80 words, thrown in a handful of hashtags, and perhaps added a brief call to action, you may have room left over for one or two more words. This is where you can get creative and stand out. One noteworthy example of this type of creativity comes from Hillary Clinton, who describes herself as a “pantsuit aficionado” and “glass ceiling cracker.”
Last but not least, include a link to your blog or website, and mention your relationship to that link. This may be unnecessary if your name is Jane A Jones, you’re @JaneAJones on Twitter, and your company site is JaneAJonesBrewing.com. But if it’s not that obvious, you should always mention your relationship, such as “Cofounder of @BrewingCompany.” If you’re looking to convert followers into customers, your best bet is to use this link as an opportunity to drive traffic to a landing page on your website. It’s important to understand that Twitter is six times as popular on the mobile platform as it is on desktops, so any landing page you use should be mobile optimized.
Things to Avoid
Finally, there are a handful of things to avoid in writing your bio. First of all, don’t use a bio that you’ve taken from elsewhere on the web. It will read unnaturally and may lead to a SEO nightmare if you also run a website. You should also resist the urge to leave your bio empty, as an empty bio is incredibly uninviting to new readers. Finally, don’t waste any of your precious profile space on anything that has little to do with you, like famous quotations. If you want to make the most of your profile, if stay on point and carefully follow these guidelines, you can’t possibly go wrong.