Are you using the full potential of your Twitter bio?

You’ve created a Twitter profile that you’re posting to semi-regularly and you’re working on building up your following. That’s fantastic!

But are you not getting as many followers as you might like?

That could be because your Twitter bio could use a little TLC. It won’t take much, I promise you. I’m sure you’ve heard that you only have a few seconds to catch a person’s attention on social media. So, those few seconds better count.

You did away with the egg as your Twitter icon image right away, I’m sure. But have you thought about how your icon looks when it’s teeny tiny? If you have words in your icon, are they still legible when the icon is being viewed in someone’s Twitter stream? If your icon is an image of you, is it still clear that you are you in the tiny icon? In other words, are you using a clear image of just your head and shoulders? If your icon is your company logo, is it still clear that it’s your logo when it’s small?

Now for your bio itself. There isn’t tons of space there to tell the whole story of what your brand does, but there’s enough room to give potential followers a pretty good idea. Use this space! Don’t waste it! Only huge, big-name celebs whose faces are instantly recognizable can skip this.

You get 160 characters for your bio, which is 20 characters longer than a tweet, so not a ton, but enough that it should be instantly clear from your bio what you’re all about. You can use hashtags in your bio if you wish. Since they will be hyperlinked, those words will stand out the most. I recommend using these sparingly and not filling your bio with hashtags. Just using keywords that relate to your brand will also surface your Twitter page in search results; the keywords do not all have to be hashtags.

Humor is definitely allowed and encouraged, but you might want to test it out on people you trust first. At one time I had “cat smoocher” in my bio, which I thought lent a human element to my bio, but several people told me that I risked implying that I’m a cat lady and alienating people who hate cats (which I certainly have no intention of doing). And since there isn’t enough space to qualify that I also adore dogs, I took my friends’ advice and removed that bit.

It’s not like your bio is permanent either. You can test out different phrasings every week if you feel like. You can even use your bio to play up something temporary. Maybe you’re offering a holiday special to potential clients. You can absolutely work that into your bio and then remove it when the special is over. But don’t forget to remove it after. Having a special mentioned in your bio that expired 6 months prior is not so hot.

Another area of your Twitter profile that you can use to your advantage is the header image. Certainly you want this image to match the color scheme of your brand. You can also create an image that includes more information about your brand. Just be careful with that and be sure to test out that the text in the header is legible on various mobile devices and computer screen sizes.

The Twitter bio allows for the inclusion of one URL below the bio itself. This would presumably be a link to your site. Go ahead and use the full URL so that people can tell what you are linking to. Don’t use a link. You might be saying, “yes, but I want to track who is coming to my site via my Twitter page.” I understand that you want to do that, but to track visitors to your site, you would be better served by using Google analytics or something similar. When you have one opportunity to grab the attention of a potential client with a link to your site, you want it to be clear that you are sending them to your site. With a short URL (such as a link) people have no idea what they’re clicking on. That’s definitely not ideal.

Maybe you want to include more than one URL. You can certainly do that. Just put the less important URL in the body of your bio. In that instance you probably do want to use a short URL in the interest of saving space. I highly recommend customizing that URL, however. With a free account to, for example, you can customize any URL, as long as that customization has not been used previously.

For the location aspect of your bio, definitely put something if you are seeking followers who are local to you. Feel free to describe your area in any way you choose. On mine I have NoVa and DC since I am in the DC area, but I live in Northern Virginia. You’re not limited to pre-defined geographical areas with this. Be creative! Lots of people who aren’t limited to a certain area will put things like: the world, the universe, etc.

I think that about covers it. Keep in mind that you only have a few seconds to get a potential client’s attention with your Twitter bio. And remember that a person is also likely to glance at your most recent 3-5 tweets. So, if you have been tweeting out automated posts such as the number of followers you gained this week or what song is playing on your computer or whatever, stop doing that. Imagine a potential client coming to your Twitter page and making a split-second decision whether or not to follow you. If he sees automated posts, he might turn away.

This is all just my take on how to do Twitter. Please feel free to try one or none of these techniques and see what works for you. If you hate my suggestions or love them, that’s cool. Let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions.

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