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Summary:

A good bio shares your experience, builds your credibility, makes a first impression and displays your personality. Having a great Twitter bio is important as it can make or break a person’s decision whether to follow you or not. Not only do you need to pay attention […]

A good bio shares your experience, builds your credibility, makes a first impression and displays your personality. Having a great Twitter bio is important as it can make or break a person’s decision whether to follow you or not.

Not only do you need to pay attention to what your bio says about you, but also the other fields in your profile including “Web” and “Location.” The Twitter bio may be small, but it’s powerful. Here is a checklist to ensure you your bio passes muster.

Does your bio include relevant keywords? Do you want people to find you by your career, company, industry, location? Why are you using Twitter? Who are the people you want to connect with? Use these to figure out what keywords to use.

The keywords for me include “writer,” “editor” and “games” (I do game reviews.) I built my bio around those and added a personal touch at the end: “Content maven aka writer, editor and bookwormette who plays with words and games (www.thegamezen.com) in between PTA work and refereeing the kids.” Yes, I snuck in a URL, even though it’s not clickable.

Does your bio cover what you do? People who use Twitter for networking and business tend to follow people based on what they do and their topics of interest. The “what you do” part can also get you on people’s lists. For instance, I have lists for writers, marketers, PR peeps and so on; and it’s the bios that helped me with building my Twitter lists.

What do you have under “Location”? While many of us can work with people all over the world, our locations can lead to surprising opportunities. In fact, I had lunch with someone I met in Twitter. Within just a few tweets, we found out that we live within a mile of each other! Again, this can get you on location-based Twitter lists like mine, which covers Dallas-Fort Worth.

Have you seen nonsense numbers for location such as UT: 12.345678, -234.5678? This comes from Twitter applications like Ubertwitter, but these mean nothing to most people. (FYI: you can enter these coordinates in Google Maps to find the person’s location.) Originally, I had “Plano, Texas” and changed it to “Plano, Texas, north of Dallas” so those searching for “Dallas” will find me.

What does your web link look like? This might seem like a strange question, but some people put in short URLs (tinyurl, bit.ly, ow.ly, is.gd, etc.) in this field. Most of us have learned the hard way not to trust this. Twitter doesn’t shorten the links in this field, so don’t use a shortened URL link. It reeks of spam. “Hidden URLs are usually spam sites or MLM marketing,” tweets Suzanne (aka ZeroCattle.)

Where does your web link go? There’s no one single obvious answer. Often I want to go straight to a person’s blog, if they have one. Sometimes I just want to read more about the person. Some people create a landing page specifically for Twitter, which is where my link goes. However, I wonder if pointing to my blog would be a better idea.

Suzanne suggests linking to your business’ web site or to a profile on a social network site, if you don’t have your own site. While it’s easy to set up your own site, not everyone has the need for one especially those in corporate careers. Peggy Dolane (aka FreeRangeMom) likes to see a person’s web link take her where she can learn more about them or their passions.

Don’t worry too much about having the perfect bio. Many of us have tweaked our bios over time while becoming more comfortable and familiar with Twitter. Even my own is probably version 3.3. Remember, be yourself. That’s what makes you stand out.

What do you look for in a Twitter profile?

  1. Ethical DIY Conservatories Chris Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Hey that’s great advice for twitter account info.
    I’ve just tweaked my bio and going to change my web link to land on our ‘about us’ page.
    It makes more sense from Twitter as I want people to find out more about my business ethos rather than products when coming from Twitter.
    Thansk for the tips

  2. How to Build a Better Twitter Bio | Ashton Technology Blog Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    [...] How to Build a Better Twitter Bio. [...]

  3. Useful post. I’m surprised how few people realize the biography text helps people find you, trust you, and identify if you are someone they want to learn from. When you’re ready to look at great landing page examples, here is a list we compiled of some favorites.

    http://pistachioconsulting.com/featured-articles/getting-started-on-twitter/twitter-landing-pages/

    – @marciamarcia

  4. Great post and timely reminder. I too have updated my twitter profile and bio @NomadicApps.

  5. Thanks, Chris, Marcia and Brian. Some folks create their Twitter bios thinking they just tell about themselves and move on. But even experienced Twitter users forget to plug in terms that are important to them in their Twitter conversations. I originally left out a word or two — just not realizing it. Gotta make the most of the 160.

  6. Smart tip on expanding the location. I hadn’t thought of the target audience I might be missing because I am listing a suburb of Detroit versus Detroit itself.

    Off to fix that.

    I also think having a dedicated Twitter landing page is critical–another TODO item.

    Great stuff!

  7. Superb advice. I am always in the tweaking stage, especially on the links. I like to switch them: capture page, tour page (no opt-in), blog. As for the bio I like to keep it short and sweet. No sense in trying to get too clever; people appreciate directness more than anything else when it comes to your bio.

  8. I think a lot of people either forget that Twitter allows for a bio, or underestimate the importance. If someone starts following me and doesn’t have any bio or web link, I’m 99% likely to not follow back, unless it’s someone I personally know.

  9. Great post – some things I haven’t covered in my Twitter presentations and should. Thanks!

  10. Nicolette Tallmadge Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Thanks for this post. I’m always telling my clients not to forget the bio because that’s one way that people can decide whether or not to follow you. At least that’s one thing that I look at before I click that “Follow” button. I love the idea of having a personalized landing page for the URL and it seems like most of my Twitter followers like it too!

    @marciamarcia Thanks for the link, a great place for inspiration…I actually got the idea of the landing page from Pistachio Consulting a while back.

    @nikolena

  11. links for 2009-11-12 | Hello (a blog from Stratepedia) Thursday, November 12, 2009

    [...] How to Build a Better Twitter Bio (tags: twitter) [...]

  12. How does this sound?

    “Highly recommended by people who like things that don’t suck.”

    It gets lots of thumbs-ups!

    @socialmedia411

  13. Kortbloggat:Digitalpr.se-2009/11/12 Thursday, November 12, 2009

    [...] How to Build a Better Twitter Bio [...]

  14. Great specifics on how to maximize a short bio! I tried to include both my professional areas (graphic designer, etc) with my personal (artist). After reading your blog, though, I think I’m due for a bio tweak!

    I am very suspicious of people who have no location or bio info. Are they spammers? Or shy? Or do they just not understand the conversation/relationship/engagement culture of twitter?

  15. Meryl,

    Thanks for the reminder. I have been meaning to do it but forgot.

    And you gave me some tips I hadn’t thought about.

    Just revised mine.

    L. W. Myers

  16. How to Build a Better Twitter Bio | The Perfect Storm Team Friday, November 13, 2009

    [...] How to Build a Better Twitter Bio. [...]

  17. Kaila S | Vertical Measures Friday, November 13, 2009

    Putting up the right bio is extremely important. I learned recently that 70% of profiles on Twitter don’t even have a bio! Why is this important? You are 6x as likely for people to follow you if you do have a bio than without one. Those are some numbers that prove to me: Having a bio is essential to Twitter!

    1. I’m trying to reach those users — they just haven’t yet discovered that many folks won’t bother checking their tweets to see if they’re worth a follow. I think many are well-meaning about their twitter use, but they don’t realize having only a location or meaningless bio isn’t enough.

  18. The Zaq Stavano Blog » Blog Archive » links for 2009-11-13 Friday, November 13, 2009

    [...] How to Build a Better Twitter Bio (tags: twitter resource profile) [...]

  19. Laura Alumbaugh Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Great tips! I never thought about where to send my link – just automatically went to the home page. Thanks getting me thinking on this!

  20. Using Twitter for business and networking | Meryl.net Monday, November 16, 2009

    [...] How to Build a Better Twitter Bio: Are you sure you have it covered? [...]

  21. Arthur Barbato Monday, November 16, 2009

    Thx Meryl! bit.ly, ow.ly, is.gd, etc., are all popular shortened URLs and your suggestion not use in Bio link is an excellent tip.

  22. Quick,actionable advice. Many thanks Meryl. Making some twitter-tweaks now!

  23. Writing a Twitter bio that wins followers « FCEdge Powerful Marketing Communications Friday, November 20, 2009

    [...] Writing a Twitter bio that wins followers Your Twitter bio can help determine if someone follows you or not, so make sure it includes the right keywords, explains what you do and provides your location, Meryl Evans writes. “Remember, be yourself. That’s what makes you stand out,” she writes. Be sure that the link to your blog isn’t a shortened URL, since many users may worry that it’s spam, she adds.  Web Worker Daily [...]

  24. How to Build a Better Twitter Bio « Chicago Mac/PC Support Sunday, November 29, 2009

    [...] feel comfortable and able to trust the person.  I am making those changes on my bio now.  Click here to [...]

  25. 10 Things to Do Before the New Year Tuesday, December 29, 2009

    [...] medium and long version of your bio. While you’re at it, review your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles to ensure they’re up to [...]

  26. [...] a short, medium and long version of your bio. While you’re at it, review your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles to ensure they’re up to [...]

  27. 2009 Cleanup « Joel's Scattered Thoughts Thursday, December 31, 2009

    [...] How to Build a Better Twitter Bio from WebWorkerDaily [...]

  28. Wat moet ik in mijn twitter Bi… « de Kat Angelino.nl Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    [...] moet ik in mijn twitter Bio zetten… aha, handig. http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/11/11/how-to-build-a-better-twitter-bio/ [...]

  29. The Power of Your Little Black Book – WebWorkerDaily Thursday, March 18, 2010

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  30. Thanks for the tips Meryl! Twitter can really help you expand your audiences, and a good way to market! A good profile will always yield a good result

    Vlad
    how to build

  31. I want to include more than one link on my twitter, how can I do it ?
    (thanx in advance for the suggestions)

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