How to Write a Great Twitter Bio to Get Targeted Followers

Much has been written about using Twitter for business, for social networking, for personal connections, for making money with and increasing follower count. But many people forget that without a good (great) Twitter bio, it’s virtually impossible to get targeted followers, much less engage meaningfully with them.

Now some may argue that writing an itty bit bio of a 160 characters is hardly rocket science and they’d be right. But the number of atrocious bios I’ve seen lately has inspired this post. It’s not always easy to combine brevity, meaning and interest.

Whether you use Twitter for business or other, take a good look at your Twitter bio and ask yourself “Will someone reading my bio want to follow me?” and if yes, then ask “Will that follower be the kind of person I wish to attract?”

No one relevant will follow you if they don’t know who you are. And no one will know who you are if you don’t tell them succinctly. Enter your Twitter bio.


Twitter Bio Don’ts

Now before we discuss what you SHOULD write in your bio, let’s get all the DON’T stuff out of the way first.

  • Don’t copy paste a longer than 160 character bio from somewhere else. Bios that are cut off mid-sentence are sloppy, unprofessional and irritating.
  • Don’t write something in the bio that has nothing to do with you. For example, a popular quote. Besides, it’s cheesy; be original.
  • Don’t throw out a challenge. “Follow me if you dare.” Umm, no thanks, I’m not that daring.
  • Don’t leave it blank. Self explanatory.
  • Don’t use clichés, jargons or buzzwords. They make you sound fake, insincere and a possible spammer. Like all those self-proclaimed “social media gurus” out there.
  • Don’t mix languages unless your audience understands both. It’s annoying enough when you start following someone whose username is in English but who tweets in another tongue!
  • Don’t type like a teenager (unless you are one, but even then it’s a thinly veiled excuse). By that I mean ThE TwITTer bIoS ThAt LoOk lIkE ThIs (Gosh that hurt!)

Remember, the main point of your bio is so that others may determine if you are follow-worthy or not based upon your mutual interests. People like to follow others who:

  1. Have similar interests
  2. They can learn something from (I’m obviously not including news sources and celebs in his mix; just regular people)

Twitter Bio Content Ideas

So then, what should you put in your bio that will attract the right audience?

  1. Your interests, obviously. Your interests could include your hobbies and stuff that you have experience in. Examples could be graphic designer, travel content specialist, wine connoisseur, or whatever else interests you.
  2. What defines you. If someone asks you what do you do, what’s your reply? That’s the reply that goes here. In condensed form, of course. One of my replies is that I’m an online entrepreneur. Another one of my replies is that I’m a proud mom to a toddler. Figure out your priorities and what you want prospective followers to know about you. In my experience, a healthy balance of personal and professional elements in your bio adds interest to the dynamics that make you an individual.
  3. Your areas of expertise. What are you truly great at? What do you consider yourself an expert in? Is it CAD, politics, humor, journalism?
  4. What you are passionate about. This should go without saying, but often people write really weird stuff like “I’m passionate about making money online” as their Twitter bio. Who wouldn’t like to make money online, seriously! Find a real passion and write it here. Your passion could be helping others in a specific way, or buying a Porche, or taking care of cute kittens until they find a good home. Passions are driving factors and people gravitate towards others who follow the same passions.
  5. Keywords. If you want to be found on Twitter search or by the numerous Twitter apps that group people by interest, then it’s vital that you have relevant keywords in your profile. If you are marketing locally, you could have your location plus your business type as part of your Twitter bio–e.g. “NYC’s go-to bakery for bagels.” That way search engines are more likely to find your Twitter profile when searching for the keywords “NYC bakery.”
  6. Usefulness/USP (especially for companies). There’s an example that follows later in this post of a service called BackupYourTweets. They compelled me to follow them on the strength of their Twitter bio. Read below to find out how they’ve artfully combined the unique selling point (USP) of their service into their Twitter bio.
  7. Use adjectives. Instead of saying you are a blogger, say you’re a tech blogger, instead of calling yourself a freelancer, say you’re an experienced freelancer. I use the term “passionate writer” in my bio to distinguish myself from those who write just for money. I write because it’s a passion. Adjectives add flavor to your bio.
  8. A dash of personality. Personally, I feel any Twitter bio is incomplete without this key element. It’s what makes us human (read: interesting). Don’t be afraid to show some personality; done tastefully this can augment your business bio rather than detract from it. I put in “fire-breathing dragon” in my personality section because I want people to know I’m a no-nonsense go-getter. See examples below of other great bios that have a smidgen of personality.

How Do I Fit It All In?

It’s all very well to provide a laundry list of what to include in a Twitter bio, but you may be wondering how the heck am I going to fit all this material in 160 characters? Here are some tips and tricks:

  • Use short phrases. It’s a good idea to use phrases instead of complete sentences; they save space and can convey the same amount of value. So instead of “I have 15 years of experience in internet marketing” write “internet marketing veteran.”
  • Use symbols. I really like the pipe symbol (|) as a separator of key terms. It looks very slick and saves tons of space! Else, just use a comma or semi-colon. Use abbreviations that your industry understands: Example B2B, SEM, etc. You don’t have to use all of the above: stick to what feels comfortable and how much you want to disclose.

Examples of Great Twitter Bios

Here are some examples of great Twitter bios:

  • @BtoBSocialMedia. BtoBSocialMedia offers daily b2b business tips on using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media to increase brand awareness and social influence.
  • @PeterShallard. The Shrink for Entrepreneurs who want freedom, wealth & sanity. 100% Organic Tweeter
  • @backupmytweets. Did you know that Twitter only gives access to your most recent 3,200 tweets? Our service will keep your tweets forever!
  • @garyvee. Family 1st! but after that, Businessman, @winelibrary, @Vaynermedia, Author of Crush IT and a dude that loves the hustle, people and the @nyjets.
  • @marieforleo. CEO | Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur I’ll Turn You Rich Happy & Hot W/a Badass Combo Of Marketing Wisdom, Spiritual Power Tools & Irresistible Booty Moves

And with that, I hope you are off to write or re-write your Twitter bio!

Twitter forces us to condense our thoughts, use brevity and still convey lots of meaning. That’s a big challenge for most people. Find what defines you best and construct your bio using that information. Think of your bio as a concentrated version of your tweets.

Your Turn

Did I miss an important point about Twitter bios? Do you want to showcase a great Twitter bio you’ve seen?

Add it all in the comments below!

Image by jez

Comments

  1. says

    Twitter- the untold success pillar has grown unimaginable..pushing every online junkies to get addicted for promotional purpose rather status updates..
    “Catchy” Bio’s is utmost..
    Thanks for remembering it..

  2. says

    A very good post. I think some people just miss the boat on this. I will be honest and say that unless I LOVE their tweets, if there is nothing in the bio, I do not follow.

    My bio is a mix of professional and personal. About half of my followers are athletes and the other half are freelancers/designers/coders/etc. Because of that, both my bio and my tweets address both audiences, without getting too personal, of course!

  3. says

    My Twitter bio pulls in exactly the followers I want:

    @ KOKEdit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984. Medical editor w/ ESL specialty helping researchers in 20-plus nations get published. Curator, Copyeditors’ Knowledge Base.

  4. says

    @Aaron & Lucian: good to know the post spurred you into action to re-write your bios :) In my opinion, all good profile pages (about us, linkedin, twitter etc) should be updated regularly to ensure they’re accurate and current.

    @Sarbartha: Yups, usually its the first thing a potential follower will see/read about you, so why not make a good first impression!

    @Jen & Dainis: Thank you and good tips! Its important to know your ideal audience so you can “talk” directly to them.

    @Katahrine: Love how your bio is so laser-focused on attracting clients :) It spells out your USP very articulately! I think that’s an important aspect many of us miss out on while trying to strike a balance between who we are and what we do.

  5. says

    Good post. I will likely be revising mine in the near future. Right now it has some useful info (I finished college, studied computers, I’m a web developer, freelance, available, make twitter backgrounds), but it comes off as very casual and laid back.

  6. says

    After seeing a lot of Twitter posts tackling the same old topics, this one really caught my attention. I’m glad I put in effort when writing bios; not just for Twitter, but for all of my online profiles. It gives people an idea about who this person is in a nutshell, making me less of a spammer (or bot) and very much more like a real person online.

  7. says

    As suggested twitter bio plays a major role in follower convertion.
    As an seo expert 3 blind points will help you better.
    1. Twitter username
    2. Twitter profile image
    3. Twitter Bio

  8. says

    reading this article i thought i am in the right path here is mine
    @ameetkarn Freelancer by birth, a proud Indian, giving life to designs, avid PS3 player and a proud father

  9. says

    Great Post!

    Although I think Twitter is a superior tool for creating relationships and conversations, I don’t give it much importance for e-commerce. Especially if your market is B2B oriented.

    I rely much more in “traditional” (?) methods like e-mail marketing. Twitter is a complement not your base your commercial strategy on this media, unless you are in a B2C market and your goal is to build a brand.

  10. says

    There are many reasons to fill your bio:
    Twitter gives you the opportunity to say something about you, so why wasting this opportunity?
    Secondly I don’t follow people who don’t have a bio, I mistrust them (I’m a distrustful person)
    One more important thing is that your bio appears in search engine results, so you can get even more followers!

    Personally, I added my specialties and interests and included a sentence that represents my way of thinking! ;-)

  11. says

    I’ve actually received a few compliments on my Twitter Bio, and I’m glad to say I wrote it with a lot of your pointers in mind. But I definitely appreciated the “Usefulness, USP” reminder because that is something I feel is missing. I’m going to review it and see what can be done.

    Thanks very much!

    @justinplwrites

  12. says

    HAHA, I always disregarded the twitter bio, but after reading this twitter bio post, i started thinking about my twitter ranking. Maybe that is why i don’t have that many followers. I’m going to rewrite my twitter bio, im thankful, You just sparked inspiration in me

  13. says

    Thank you for so comprehensive and convincing post. Now I am going to check out all my bio’s on a web and to rewrite what’s necessary. I would like to invite you to my blog. I hope you will enjoy my artworks and I will receive your constructive suggestions on what should be improved below my pictures for my weak English do not spot the visual impression of my pictures. I hope your visit will be beneficial to us both. Thus till meeting . I am eagerly looking forward to your comments.
    Thanks once again for the lessons you gave to me.

  14. says

    I’m really passionate about buying a Porsche, but you’re right…at this stage of my life, I’ll have to be passionate about buying a Porche :)

    Great post – I’ve had many of the same thoughts about peoples’ lame profiles.

  15. says

    Lots of useful information in this post, Salma; thanks. I do disagree with two of your suggestions, though. The word “passionate” has been so overused it makes me gag. And identifying oneself as a “proud parent” doesn’t seem to help one’s business image. Though of course, you could say the same thing about my calling myself a “capital D Democrat.” ;-)

  16. says

    It’s important to decide, or gradually develop the ‘persona’ (which should be the real you) that you want to present on the web.

    I’ve just started doing (fixing) all my bios to reflect a recent interest in social media and public relations (PR2.0 that is, which is not really public relations but something a little more effective, collaborative, interactive and human).

    In that process you continually have to ask yourself: 1. Who do I want to look like (to others) on the web? 2. What am I trying to sell?

    My ‘brand’ will look something like a guy who is sincere and determined to get other people excited by the new media revolution and use it to help people, governments and organizations develop ongoing meaningful (and genuine) conversations to resolve conflicts and other problems around the world.

    With research by Grunig and others that show two-way symmetrical (powerwise) conversations actually get you a win-win in the long run, which increases ROI and makes organizations (including governments) better able to handle issues and conflicts before they even arise, and after.

    So twitter and social media in general are actually part of a groundbreaking (earthshattering actually) revolution in communication – similar to the invention of moveable type, and the printing press.

  17. Isa says

    This is great information. Thank you. I’m probably gonna change mine a little. The whole quotes thing makes alot of sense. I was reading over the interest part but what do you put there if your a teen? I mean I don’t think people would be interested if I was interested in nail polish.( just as an example)but the info was very helpful. Thanks

  18. Shelley Webb says

    I would just add that a real photo is very important. While I understand the use of logos for business accounts, it’s always nice to know WHO is behind the brand. Above all, get rid of the egg!

    Even though I love chickens, I don’t follow eggs.

    Shelley Webb
    IntentionalCaregiver.com

  19. says

    @Mompreneurmogul Las Vegas
    Influential Mom Blogger Spokesperson,Mompreneur,Encourager,Friend,Lover of Wisdom Rockin Your Blog With Crazy Blog Tips | Worn more rhinestones than Liberace

    I loved this post thanks !

    This is mine :) I change it from time to time because I love change. The Rhinestones part is because I was a Vegas Impersonator for years ( Marilyn, Cher, Shania and others) I stepped down to grow my business & my blog from home and raise our beautiful daughter Matilda born 4/1 2011

  20. says

    This is a great resource. I need to fill in my profile..its blank. Ive never paid attention to tweeter to much but have dabbled in it here an there…and Im sure im missing out. As a small business owner of multiple websites (http://www.asasupplies.com) I love that you can come to blogs like these and get some piratical and useful advise. I already have a clear picture of what my bio and potential followers could be.

    Awesome

  21. says

    I do not usually reply to posts but I will in this case.
    My God, I thought you had been going to chip in along with some decisive insight
    at the end there, not leave it with ‘we leave it to you to decide’.
    Appreciate it!

  22. says

    I am using Youtube past 2 months to optimize my software company website.
    Although i am happy with the output,but want to be serious with twitter to get best from it…As i am newbie,can you please guide me with your ideas and experience,although i lied your ideas and give it a try…Waiting for your response!!

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