Unfortunately, too many think of that bio as a hassle. Something they've gotta plug a few words into. Or, worse yet, some people don't put anything at all. Big mistake. Your Twitter bio is your one shot to sell yourself to a stranger; don't blow it.
Think of it this way. Twitter is a networking event or a cocktail party. A stranger approaches you in the crowd, "Hi, I'm John," he says. "So, tell me about yourself." Your Twitter bio is, in essence, the two or three sentences that you'd use to answer that question.
Your bio opens the gateway to meet people and showcase your personality. A good combo of your professional interests and hobbies usually make for the best Twitter bios. Those few words can open doors and welcome others into your world. Unfortunately, nothing can yank away that welcome mat faster than including the following phrases in your Twitter bio:
Staunch Republican or Liberal Democrat
We all have opinions, but why put one out there that at least 50% of the people are bound to disagree with? Twitter is about expanding your network; not creating conflict.
Sure, I know that lots of people do affiliate marketing. Even some big time bloggers have affiliate links on their sites. But, none of those people use the term "affiliate marketer" to describe themselves. To do so, in my humble opinion, makes me feel like you're gonna spam me with your affiliate links. I already feel under attack before we've even connected.
I Tweet a Lot
This is something I see fairly frequently. It's not a practice that scares me aware, but I love Twitter and manage my stream pretty well. However, folks who are new to Twitter can get really overwhelmed when they see that. Forge the connection first and let them decide if you tweet too much. If you do, they'll unfollow. If not, maybe they'll become your new best friend or next client.
Follower of Christ
Okay, I know some people are gonna beat me up for this one. And, no, I'm not a Satan worshipper. But, much like politics, religion can create divisions. Your purpose on Twitter is to meet new people, right? So, why put up walls that may alienate people who think differently?
I Follow Back or #TeamFollowBack
Ugh. I hate these ones. People who say this stuff are almost always all about numbers. They don't care about connecting with you or me, they just want to grow their follower count. You'll never be Sally or Stewart to them, you're just someone who has helped them reach that next milestone.
So, back to the cocktail party. John has asked you about yourself. What phrases will describe you, while putting out that welcome mat? What will give John an overview of the value you can bring to this new relationship (professionally or personally)? Is there anything you could say that might spark a positive conversation? Why should John introduce you around to others?
If your Twitter bio isn't something you'd use to answer John's question, perhaps it's time to tinker with it a little. It's only 160 characters, but it's someone's first impression of you. Shouldn't it be the best you can offer?
What can someone put in their Twitter bio that's an immediate deal breaker for you? What key phrases draw you in or push you away?