So if you’re like me and still feeling out this whole Twitter thing, or have been with it a while but decided it’s time to mix it up a bit, you may be thinking about how best to use those 160 bio characters to your advantage.

Why Your Twitter Bio is Important

Since Twitter is less “people-I-know” based than, say, Facebook, your bio is often the make-or-break for people who are considering following you. That’s not a lot of space to convince someone that you are worth following, so you need to make every little detail count.

I know that there is a mindset of automatically following people/accounts that follow you, and I can see some sense in that, if only as a courtesy follow, but think about if you really want a bunch of random tweets gumming up your feed. I don’t know about you, but finding the time to go through my Twitter feed regularly can be difficult; sorting through tweets that aren’t relevant definitely won’t make the process any faster.

All of that was to say that, for me at least, when I get a notification that someone has started following me, I check out their bio to see if they are someone I should follow back. Hence, the important role of the Twitter bio.

The Nitty-Gritty of Bio Construction

After consulting some sources, both online and in-person, here are some tips that I’ve come away with (all examples completely made up by me):

  • Although this isn’t strictly about the 160 characters, having a photo of an actual person (preferably you) is better than a logo or a caricature in your user icon. People want to know you’re a real person, not a Twitter-bot!
  • As for the actual words you use, be wary of the 3-description trend: “internet marketer. twitter guru. awesome dude.” I personally think it’s pretty overworked these days.*
  • Be sure that the description of yourself is relevant to the tweets you are putting out there — and vice versa. If you’re touting yourself as a “business finance expert” but posting nothing but cute kitten photos, you’re going to lose credibility and followers.
  • On the same note, even though I personally am all about the intersection of life and business, if you’re tweeting about international law, but your bio is all about being a super-dad and an avid bowler, there’s another disconnect.
  • Use real words. Don’t fill your precious little bit of space with industry jargon and trendy gobbledy-gook. Words like “evangelist,” “guru,” and “fanatic” have lost pretty much all of their mojo by being over-used.*
  • It’s ok to use up all your characters. I’d rather know more than less about you. And it doesn’t all have to be 2-3 word “sentences.” A close-to-real sentence is ok: “Founder of LittleTechStuff, where we build cool edu-tech stuff for kids.” or “Follow me to get info about #gadgets #gizmos and super-cool #whatchamacallits.” That actually tells me something!

I hope this helps you get those Twitter-writing muscles warmed up. I will add one last warning, though, PLEASE make sure to have someone you trust look over it before you commit, especially if you know you’re not the best speller. Typos and mis-spells suck, and with so few words to make a first impression, do what you can to make it a good one!

*For funny examples of what not to do, check out the Twitter Bio Generator; it’s pretty funny, to boot.