Twitter is a lonely place if you have no followers. Of course, following other people is a big part of it, but it’s not much fun tweeting when you know no one’s reading.
Twitter is a network, so what you get out of it is directly affected by how much you put in. Gaining followers is, of course, predominantly based on your content – if you’re tweeting about what you eat for breakfast every day, chances are most of us in the Twitterverse are not going to be interested.
To gain followers, and keep them, you must offer something of value, whether that is information, news, knowledge about a specific industry or just some light entertainment.
However, your Twitter bio is a powerful tool in gaining followers and is the online equivalent of a first impression. Think about when someone follows you, what do you do? You check their bio and see if they’re worth following back. They will do the same to you, so make sure you’re bio is as enticing and relevant as possible, in order to attract followers who will be interested in your posts.
Your bio space is limited and precious, so use it wisely. For a start, don’t leave it blank. Write something; it won’t take long and you will reap the benefits when you have (let’s be optimistic) thousands of followers.
Below are three golden rules that you should follow to optimise the effectiveness of your bio:
Get a Picture
Firstly, make sure it’s suitable. We all hate the egg. It either makes us think you don’t put enough effort into Twitter – and therefore your tweets are unlikely to be regular and/or interesting – or that you are a spambot.
Twitter is, above all, a social network, so having a picture of yourself is preferable, to put a face to the name.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable having an image of yourself, choose something else representative. And, unless you want to attract the wrong kind of followers (and embarrass your boss), avoid any ‘Myspace-style’ or revealing photos. Keep those for your (hopefully private) Facebook page if you must publish them.
Include your Main Interests
People will want to know what you’re likely to be posting about. Don’t say something like ‘Interested in social media monitoring and marketing’ when all you post is pictures of your dog and updates about your latest ASOS purchase.
Keep your bio true to your account as much as possible. If you are promoting your business, say what and where that business is. By all means include keywords, if they are relevant, as these will help your visibility in searches, but do not just list a bunch of popular search terms.
There’s no point trying to fool people into following you – they will unfollow just as quickly once they realise your game. Also, if you have a blog/website then by all means include the link, if it is relevant to your profile.
There’s nothing wrong with have a little bit of personality – and humour – in your bio. It’s preferable to include your real name (even if just your first name) and your location. Feel free to make a joke, list your hobbies, use your favourite catchphrase and so on, just as long as it is appropriate and adds something of value and isn’t anything too personal (i.e. don’t list your phone number/address/medical history/shoe size. Ok maybe that last one is ok, if a bit dull).
Of course, some people can break all the rules and still have a great bio, but unless you are unnervingly witty/a celeb/have thousands of friends/ are a social media ninja, then it’s probably best to stick to them. If you need some inspiration, check out these examples of some great Twitter bios.
Oh and one other thing…never participate in #teamfollowback. Those people just annoy everyone.