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