13 things to avoid in your Twitter bio

10 things to avoid in your Twitter bioHere are some examples of content that you should avoid using in your Twitter bio, which I came across by scrolling through the followers of my personal Twitter account and work Twitter account (not through the lists of people I am following, as for me a poor bio equals no follow).

1. Any bio that sounds like the personal statement from a CV. “A passionate <insert job title> with a keen interest in <insert interest> and an aspiring entrepreneur”. Write something interesting, not something that is so transparently trying to convince people that you’d be a great business partner.

2. #Teamfollowback #wefollowback and anything similar. If you follow any old account, chances are your content is mostly garbage. Your tweets should make me want to follow you, not a reciprocal follower relationship.

3. Describing yourself as a social media guru in your bio tells me that you probably just know a little bit more about social media than your friends do. That doesn’t make you a guru. It makes you a little bit sad for using the term ‘guru’.

4. Silly mistakes. Check your bio for grammar and spelling errors. It’s only 160 characters (or less), so make sure they’re right.

5. <…..blank bio…..>. No bio at all? You may as well not bother trying to gain followers. Accounts without bios look like spam accounts. Same goes for those accounts that don’t have a personalised profile picture.

6. Just a taster. Copy & Paste Twitter bios that ignore the character limit and get cut off half way through are really anno…

7. Anything mentioning #Tigerblood. It’s old hat, move on.

8. USING CAPITALS IS SHOUTY AND IT WILL PUT PEOPLE OFF. So avoid doing it. Exclamation marks, whether used individually or in groups, are not required in a bio. Resist the urge! (!!!!)

9. Website in bio. This is open to debate, but personally I don’t think that you should include web addresses within the bio text of your profile. Users have the option to add a website as well, so there isn’t a need to add it to your bio as well. Yes, your weblink doesn’t show in follower lists on apps such as Tweetdeck, but if your content is good enough then people will click onto your profile and visit your site.

10. Tailor your profile for your audience. Avoid any swear words if your account is to be used for corporate purposes. Use the ‘stranger on the bus’ technique. Would you use your bio to introduce yourself to a stranger?

“Hi, my name is Andy. I f**king love Manchester City and think that Manchester United are sh*t”

If the stranger would move seats, then your bio needs changing. This sort of bio hardly projects the image of a person of sound mind. A similar technique (stranger on the bus, not excessively swearing in a bio) should be used for your tweet content to avoid sending anything that you might later regret, say if your Grandma joins Twitter or a potential employer looks you up.

11. A nudey profile picture. Avoid profile pictures containing your rudey bits. Again, the silver surfer market continues to grow from strength to strength. You don’t want Granny seeing anything like that!

12. Other people’s quotes in your bio. This one is suggested by @naomitimperley. You’re an intellegent person, think of your own bio.

13. Using a QR code as a profile picture. This is an example of using tools just for the sake of it [if you don’t know what they are, here is a short overview of how to use QR codes]. Think about it, QR codes are generally scanned using a mobile device. A high percentage of Twitter users access their accounts via their mobile device, so how will they scan it? Even those accessing Twitter via a desktop, why would they scan a QR code when they can just click a link on your bio. QR codes for profile pictures = poor show in my opinion.

I’m not saying my bio is perfect, in fact far from it:

“Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager for Premiership Rugby Union Club @SaleSharksRugby. Dad, husband, blogger & Man City fan. Loves melted cheese. Own views”

But it picks up on what I’m about on Twitter. Not too serious, bit of social media, bit of Man City, bit of being a Dad and there is a warning that I occasionally mildly swear. There is no set structure, but you can certainly turn people off with a poor bio.

What does your Twitter bio say about you?

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Wait a minute. I think I may have sussed it…

    Reply

  2. I have a gravatar (set up on http://en.gravatar.com/) which matches a photo/avatar to an email address so that will be where it picks mine up from. If you already have a gravatar set up, just make sure you have all of your email addresses associated with it.

    Reply

  3. Andy, a good, practical post! The only one I would add is to extend your ‘guru’ point. As a coach, connected with loads of people in the personal development and leadership space, my personal peeve is bios where people claim to offer ‘success secrets’!

    Reply

    • Good call Ian.

      I would also like to add that, if you are a person on Twitter, don’t use a logo for a profile picture.

      If you’re a business, either tweet as your brand with a logo for a profile picture, or tweet as a person from your brand with a lovely picture of your face.

      Reply

      • Andy, I agree about not using a logo. But… I just noticed that your reply on the blog comes up with a strange image next to your name which I assume is the default image. If you haven’t got one, it might be worth setting a Gravatar up so that it picks up your photo.

      • Hi Ian,
        I know, what a hypocrite I am?! This blog is a WordPress.com one and I cannot, for the life of me, work out how to change my profile to add a picture. I’ve tried a couple of times before and just gave up!
        Any help would be gratefully received!
        Cheers,
        Andy

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