How to Build a Better Twitter Bio

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?

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