You have just 160 characters to explain who you are, what you do, the things you enjoy and anything else you may feel is important to share with the world. If you’re like most newbies to Twitter, you probably don’t have a clue where to start and that’s OK. I will provide several helpful tips in this article but most importantly, I want to share with you why so few characters can be so important to your success on Twitter and how this careful choice of words will earn you the right followers. Strap in, we’ve got a lot to cover but thankfully we aren’t limited to just a few words and letters.
There are times to spill your guts or post your resume but Twitter is not the time or the place. Twitter is built as a place for brief but meaningful interaction. Unlike the 140 character limit for each Tweet, there is a 160 character limit for writing your bio and you’ll need every bit of it. With networks such as LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to showcase your entire resume – this is what is called a professional network. Each individual network shares different personalities and you should build on each of their individual features. Cross-referencing these for different needs is key to your success online. For example, if you write a new blog via WordPress – post a link to it via all of the networks you manage. If you would like to refer someone to a list of your professional experience, post a link to your LinkedIn profile. If you just want to make friends and get a bit personal, throw in a link to your Facebook page. You have to know how to use each of these networks before you can understand how they can all work together.
On Twitter, your 160 character bio should act as a strong thesis statement. Thankfully, when creating your Twitter profile they will allow a link to be placed with your bio – choose carefully. I link to my personal website that contains everything any network would have but if you aren’t that far along in your personal/professional social branding, I would recommend linking to a LinkedIn profile. Since you won’t have to worry about that, let’s move onto your bio and how it should be structured.
I like to list (usually in this order) who I am, what I do and the things that I enjoy. So, for example, my Twitter bio reads as follows:
“Starving Entrepreneur. Social Enthusiast. Tech Nerd. Apple Fanatic & Trekkie.“
I left room to add one or two more things but what you read above pretty much sums me up with a few short items. After you think of a few things that fit into the categories I listed above, you now need to think about optimizing it for search engines (Google/Bing just picked up social searching).
There are those that say keywords with meta tags have died and some even say that they aren’t necessary anymore. I disagree, somewhat. Search engines may not prioritize results this way anymore, but they do still recognize words, characters, and phrases that are listed similarly across different websites and networks. This means that while you may not feel the need to put together a targeted list of keywords, you should still try to put together a short bio (or versions of a short bio like those on Twitter) and list it on the sites and networks you are becoming a part of. It is important to retain a sense of yourself in your Twitter bio. I know it may be difficult to decide what’s important and what isn’t but once you decide how you want to brand yourself and what for, you’ll have no problem narrowing it down to fit.
In closing, it is even more important now to pay close attention to the structuring of your Twitter bio – sometimes even more than your bios elsewhere. You see, if you choose to follow someone (other than Twitter A-Lister’s) and want them to follow you back, you have to realize that you and your worth to them is valued by your following/followers statistics, amount of tweets posted and bio. In addition, it’s sometimes checked in seconds, much like an advertisement – you only have so much time to show that you are of value. It isn’t anything personal, it’s just important to people to follow those who will contribute to their own specific lifestyle or interests. Ultimately, just have fun with it! Express your personality and get out there. The good news is that you can always fine tune it later.