Ah, the beloved Twitter bio, the place to condense your life into a mere 160 characters. Here are a few ways to utilize the Twitter bio in ways that will keep you credible and gain followers in Twitter’s diverse and far-reaching community:
1. Use your 160 characters
Twitter gives you an extra twenty characters in the bio, so use them! Whether the Twitter account represents a brand or an individual, taking the time to construct a concise, yet descriptive bio is a best practice. Use the space to describe who you are, what you do, and what your interests are. The way you craft a Twitter bio can make or break how potential followers view the account, so choose your words wisely.
2. Full disclosure is a must
If you want a Twitter account to be considered the “official” account for a company or brand, that should be the first thing listed in the bio. If it is an official company account, the bio should also list who is managing it. Letting consumers know who is interacting with them on Twitter gives a branded account a more approachable personality.
3. Optimize the way you tell users who you are
A Twitter bio should include keywords that people would use when searching for related topics. Bios should also include a link to other owned online properties, such as brand websites, blogs, or other social profiles like Facebook. This adds credibility to the Twitter account because it demonstrates an investment into a larger online footprint. In a time where people need to see, watch, or hear news up to ten times before believing it, seeing an online footprint in multiple places allows users to build trust in your online profile and associate you with the trending topics.
4. Rules and restrictions
Twitter is a great platform for hosting contests. Using the bio section to link to rules and regulations for contests is a great option but make sure you also link in each tweet supporting the contest. Some Twitter accounts share content that is only intended for certain age groups, such as tweets for beer companies. The bio is a place to let users know that they should be of a certain age, or agree to certain terms, in order to follow that account.
5. Tell users when you tweet
Users want to wait for your response just as much as they want to wait for the cable guy. Twitter is a network built on real-time communication; conversations on Twitter are instant and do not have a long shelf life. Conversations occur around the clock, so if a user offers a service, responses should happen 24/7, too. That said, this is a difficult goal to achieve; not every Twitter account is managed with staff in multiple time zones, and sometimes even community managers have to sleep. Letting users know when you will be tweeting allows them to be more realistic about when they should expect to receive a response, which will ultimately help you to support them.
Taking the time to create a thoughtful, clear and transparent bio is the first step towards having an engaging and useful Twitter account. Any tips you would add to the ones above? Tweet me your thoughts and cc: @EdelmanDigital of course!
Disclosure: BlackBerry and Starbucks are Edelman clients.
Image credit: maybeemily
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