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Goldilocks and the three Twitter bios

04/08/2009
A body-building bio

A body-building bio

I read 140-character Twitter bios like package ingredients, looking for:

  1. A short list that signals a healthy, nutritional product.
  2. The healthiest/main ingredients in top-to-bottom progression.

Is that the b-2-b consumer in me…the traditional direct mail copywriter…or, well, Goldilocks?

It’s the me that’s just like you, according hubspot.com who studied 1.6 million registered Twitter accounts.

You see that someone new is following you and happily take to the Twitter decision tree, considering:

  • Do I follow automatically; and/or
  • Do I click through automatically to see my follower’s home page; and/or
  • Do I click a through second or third time to the home page or additional links of a welcome new follower?

Well… no, maybe, and maybe. Mine is a nextgen tweeple behavior that’s getting a lot more buzz. It emphasize the quality vs. quantity of your following.

So cultivate your personal but public twitterville (followers, following and tweets) based on clearly defined shared interests reflected in bios, links and tweets. Like so many, I screen my new followers list and make classic opt-in decisions based on the avatar, the pop-up bio and any links on my new follower’s homepage.

Today, for example.  I prepared a Welcome Wednesday post that introduces my growing twitterville to new followers and following. Naturally, I went to my followers page, reviewed pop-up bios and prepared this post:

Engaging Twitter bios are Essential

You Twitter bio feeds many

If the bio’s too big, weak, or not even showing, how can you welcome new followers? What’s to follow — if you’re truly looking to build a dynamic, social community? Is there a bio that can inform and nourish all in one? Here’s what I find:

The whole enchilada Twitter bio.

The pop-up bio may contain so many items that it’s confusing.  It leaves you to wonder, “What tweets will come back?” As your own tweets post, where will they venture out in the twitterverse. My personal brand, for example, says: engage | enhance | empower. So if my posts show up next to tweets of  complaints and questionables, you can see how that’s not exactly the right fit.

If you’re using Twitter to create a social brand, that’s especially important. Every tweet and placement counts. Convergence — followers, following, tweets — equals community.

The not-a-mustard-seed-in-sight Twitter bio.

A follower arrives (insert happy emoticon) without so much as a bio (insert teary emoticon). There’s no pop up that introduces him/her/itself. Depending on the company name, that begs the great big “Huh?”

With no content to engage me, I go hungry for opt-ing in. I don’t click through to what could be a great connection.

(Okay, click once and test, but beware: you may find a homepage with posts that begin and end with “I.”)

The sweet natural honey Twitter bio.

Then there’s the just-right bio that entices with clear content, keywords, and personality! Clicking through to a tweeter’s home page opens the door to even yummier content, including other links that tell you more about the micro-blogger.

Here’s the Engagement Lesson: your Twitter bio serves as masthead, teaser, leave-behind, and hook. As the follow-everyone-who-follows-you frenzy dissipates, you’ve got to give people a reason to click through. Craft and pack this 160-character bio to:

  • Engage potential followers to click through,
  • Acknowledge your loyal tweeters, and
  • Serve as a mini brand ad.

Try testing different bios over a couple of weeks. Then measure and compare results to see which bio delivered the most new followers. You can even use tweepsearch, a new Twitter app providing keyword searches of Twitter bios.

Think of your Twitter bio like a teaser on a direct mail envelope. Just getting your envelope opened is the make-or-break of success. Likewise, your Twitter bio represents the critical opt-in to building and growing the most productive and effective social community for your company or personal brand. Here’s the just-right happy moral to the Twitter bio story:

Users with a bio have over 8 times more followers on average than users without a bio and users with a link have over 7.5 times as many as users without.

Can Having a Twitter Bio Get You 8 Times as Many Followers? www.hubspot.com

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