There are thousands of aspects of Twitter that I could write about but it seems people are not aware of how much impact this little bio can have. So I thought I'd share a few "Do's" and "Don't's" based on what I've observed.
How to create a great bio:
- Do take the time to draft your bio and not rush when filling out your profile. Suggest you write it in Word and use the word count (all characters) to make it fit. I believe it was T.S Eliot who said "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter." It takes some time to write pithy. Be pithy.
- Do share with people what you do and/or what you like. Let them know who you are. People want to follow those for whom they share an affinity or find interesting. And you want people to follow you for a reason, not just because you happen to be on Twitter.
- Do be sure that you use the space. You can use all 160 characters although you don't have to. Keep in mind that if all you say is "I like turtles" then many people won't follow. Substance is always important, whether in the copy for your bio or tweets.
- Do take the time to edit, ensuring there are no typos and that no words are cut off at the end. I've had trouble with the length measurement when I thought the copy fit originally but later found the last word was cut off. So please check the copy a day or so later just to give it a good review with fresh eyes.
And here are some things to watch out for:
- Don't leave the bio space blank. People will often not follow the person who hasn't taken the time to write a few words about their own personal brand. Decisions about following get made very quickly and people often don't even go to your Twitter page to make their choice -- they just look at your photo and bio and either click "follow" or pass you by.
- Don't use the space to put in another URL; comes across too promotional. There's a separate field for the URL of either your main web site or blog and people will click there if they want to get to know you better or read your material.
- Don't use the space to write a "thank you for following me" message; that's what Replies or Direct Messages (DMs) are for.
- Don't try to sell within your bio. One basic rule of direct marketing is to sell the next step. The next step here is the initial step and there's a lot of relationship building that has to happen before you can start promoting your wares. It's way too early to sell in your bio. It's a turn off and all you're trying to achieve in your bio is establish a follower connection by quickly communicating your brand.
If you have any questions about how best to create your brand on the social networks, please add a comment here on this blog or tweet me at www.twitter.com/sallywitzky.