5 Ways to Shorten Your Twitter Bio

by Marian Schembari on March 24, 2011


I know, I know. I’ve written about Twitter bios and “what not to tweet” more times than is probably healthy. But, what can I say, I’m a giver. I also need to rant about 90% of what happens online, so there you go.

For today’s reading pleasure, I want to address more Twitter bio “don’ts.” Yes, these faux pas sometimes drive me crazy, but omitting these snippets from your bio means you can keep it under the 160 character limit without resorting to writing “u” instead of “you” AND it allows you to write more about who you are rather than focusing on other, completely unimportant, things.

1. “I am” or “Sally is”

If you’re squished for space, there’s no need to include the “I am.” We know it’s you. While you don’t want to appear like you can’t put a sentence together, if you have lots to include, just cut those first two words. Plus, I always think it reads better. It’s more casual. Less stuffy and stilted.

(Also, don’t even think about writing your bio in third person. People don’t want to follow a “professional” bio. They want a real human. Act like it.)

2. “Opinions are mine and not of my employer”

This one’s tricky. Your employer may require you to include it, but that sentence above is forty characters you could spend talking about your cat.

First things first, make sure you don’t need it. If you’re unsure, ask your boss before removing as we don’t want you to get in any trouble now, do we? That said, I feel like a lot of people add that line unnecessarily. Because it sounds all legal-speak and fancy. I bet you a million billion dollars that half the folks who’ve included that line don’t actually need it and their audience doesn’t actually care.

Now, delete. Simple as that. What else can you say in forty characters? Talk about that novel you’ve been working on, your favorite thing to blog about or why we should get in touch.

3. “I don’t autofollow”

I should hope you don’t autofollow. That’s the first thing.

The second thing: Is this really how you want to leave us? So many folks have these great bios and then end on a negative note by saying they maybe probably won’t follow us back.

Listen, following and not following and unfollowing and autofollowing is just part of the Twitter world. If I wanted to know HOW you use Twitter I would ask. I want to know why I should follow you, what you do, what you bring to the table. I couldn’t care less if you don’t follow every tweep that follows you.

4. Listing links

You are aware there’s a space on Twitter where you can post a link to your blog/website?

Even better is when folks know this, paste the link, then paste the link AGAIN in their bio. As if listing it twice will make us more likely to click.

Sometimes though, you have two places you’d like us to go. Then, and only then, are you allowed to post a link within the actual content (but I highly recommend you shorten it to save space).

Have more that two sites? Create separate accounts for your 12 other blogs and I promise you’ll get more out of Twitter.

5. Hashtags

Really? Why? Please, someone raise your hand if you actually search through Twitter bios using a hashtag.

No?

Anybody?

That’s what I thought. Ditch the hashtags folks. They make you look like a newbie and make your entire bio hard to read Plus, that’s one extra character you don’t need to worry about. Trust me, these babies add up.

How about some really GREAT bios?!?

This all said, I always come across these brilliant, clever, funny, interesting bios every so often and I’ve started taking screenshots. Maybe I should turn this into a feature of what to do as opposed to bitching about what not to do?

Check out these two bios I just love:

Thoughts? Any bios you especially love and want to nominate?

{Photo credit}

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  • http://twitter.com/scoucill_pr/status/169913923544416256 Simone Coucill

    5 Ways to Shorten Your Twitter Bio http://t.co/pFFiQMRV via @MarianSchembari

  • http://twitter.com/giorgiavvvom/status/177051130621214720 Giorgia Benjamin

    Twitter
    5 Tips on writing a #Twitter Bio http://t.co/qvm6YWSY

  • http://writeabio.com/ Barbra @ Write a Bio

    I enjoyed your article and you make some great points. However, I disagree that Kate Gallison’s bio is one to emulate. Her bio doesn’t tell me much about her. Is there some relevance to the witch thing, or is that just for cuteness? What does she do exactly? Her bio doesn’t tell me enough to make me want to follow her. Her photo, on the other hand, is great. The hat and her expression suggest that she’s a comedian or some kind of fun person.

    • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

       Thanks Barbra! The great thing about social media is that we all have our personal preferences and there’s no such thing as One Perfect Bio that will entice every Twitter user in the world to follow you.

      I like Kate’s bio because it’s a conversation starter. It’s really unique and while it may not give me a list of everything she’s ever done, it gives me a taste of her personality, which is so much more refreshing than a list of qualifications.

      That said, to each her own!

  • http://twitter.com/luigicentenaro/status/189475525104893952 Luigi Centenaro

    RT @MarianSchembari: 5 Ways to Shorten Your Twitter Bio http://t.co/aG2txMg2

  • Jim Ayer

    Here is my bio from Twitter: I love to HELP Charity. TRUE Experts LISTEN, INSPIRE, and ADVISE. Kids are our FUTURE. Cooking, joking, planning, and HELPING others help THEMSELVES is my life.

    • Izzy

      Ditch the all-caps words. It makes it difficult to read. It also makes you seem obnoxious because it looks like you’re shouting all of those words.

  • http://twitter.com/mrjimayer/status/206875078141542401 Jim Ayer

    FIVE Ways to Shorten Your Twitter Bio – http://t.co/zOCg7FX3

  • http://twitter.com/voortekst/status/266096753370091520 Nicol | Voor Tekst

    '5 ways to shirten your Twitter bio' http://t.co/PFWw23Iv

  • http://twitter.com/javiertuiran/status/268159389792342016 Javier Tuiran

    5 Ways to Shorten Your Twitter Bio http://t.co/6njGWDYc RT @MarianSchembari:

  • http://twitter.com/weblorikeam/status/277447421158645761 Lori Keam

    RT @MarianSchembari: 5 Ways to Shorten Your Twitter Bio (ditch the #s) http://t.co/1oIbcRv7

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