How to get more followers by crafting the perfect Twitter bio and profile
Are you getting the most out of your Twitter profile?
Do you have your bio keyword optimized?
Let’s take a look…
I’m going to give you the exact steps you need to create the perfect Twitter bio.
I’ve used this process myself, for about two dozen clients in the past, for Rebrandly’s own social sites, and now I’m happy to hand it over to you.
This works both for a business account or a personal account, but I will be talking from the perspective that you will be using this for a business account.
Why Would You Want Your Bio “Optimized?”
There are two types of people in the world: People that use Twitter for business, and people that aren’t using Twitter.
For better or worse, your life on social media is probably more about your business life than your personal life.
And that’s fine because your personal digital channels are the best places to grow your personal brand.
As Guy Kawasaki would say, “Social media isn’t for posting drunk pics.”
Three reasons to optimize your Twitter bio:
- Optimizing your bio should make it easier for others to find you based on hashtags and keywords.
- When people are deciding whether to follow you or not, the number two thing they are looking at is your bio description. It’s like your entire life in a Tweet… It has to speak to both your prospective audience and Twitter search at the same time.
- Creating a perfect Twitter bio will get you more of the followers you want. You know the ones that lead to website traffic, sign-ups, and doing business together.
Now there are a couple of reasons you may not want to follow my strategy…
The first is if you really don’t want more followers. Kind of obvious, but needs to be said.
The second is if you already have a very large, strong, and loyal following. If you’ve got an audience already, then you don’t really have to optimize your bio for growth.
If that’s not you, then keep reading…
Start By Understanding Your Ideal Customer Persona
Before you try and write a fresh bio…
Or choose a hip background image…
You need to understand who you actually want to follow you.
Me personally, I want to connect with founders and entrepreneurs, because I’m on a personal mission to teach them about growth marketing.
Rebrandly as a business has a different target audience. And you, I’m sure, have your own.
There are countless articles on how to find your ideal customer persona but, for now, let’s give you five questions to focus on:
- What’s your ideal customer’s biggest problem – even if this isn’t related to your business?
- What content sources does your ideal customer like to consume? TechCrunch? Hubspot? Yahoo News (eww!)?
- Who does your ideal customer follow on Twitter? Which businesses, thought leaders, and celebrities? Think about who they are already following and study their Twitter bio’s for inspiration.
- Why is your ideal customer on Twitter? Business? Personal? Who are they trying to connect with?
- Objectively, why should your ideal customer follow you? What’s the benefit they get?
If you can answer those five questions, then you’re ready to proceed. If not, consider getting a deeper understanding of your customers, possibly through customer surveys, studying your Twitter analytics data or in Google Analytics.
Taking a Deep Look at Your Bio
Building your bio can be broken down into two steps:
- Finding relevant keywords to include and…
- Creating your story.
But before we get into that, let’s play a little game. I want you to fill in the blanks:
I help [target market] get [benefit] by applying [key differentiator].
For me personally, it would go:
I help founders suck less by sharing my own personal experiences.
Make sure to tell people what you actually do and then we can work on upgrading it to include the right keywords that will fit your audience.
If it’s a personal account, tell them what makes you unique. If you’re a business, avoid talking about features and say the one thing that differentiates you. Not like this:
Sorry Mondo Player, but what the heck do you actually do? You help me watch videos, so like YouTube and Facebook? What sources are you talking about? I’m sure I’d get it if I had visited your website, but I haven’t.
Finding Relevant Keywords
Head over to Hashtagify and type in some sort of broad one-word term that categorizes your audience. Take the below example where, I’ve chosen 4th of July:
You can see the links to related terms that are often Tweeted with #4thofJuly. Let’s see if using #murica will get us any traffic by moving over to Ritetag:
This hashtag will get us some mild exposure, probably from our more “redneck”ed brethren. If that’s what we are looking for, great.
However, this one:
Could get us massive exposure, but from a much broader audience.
Which one is better? It depends on your business or personal brand, but probably #America.
Sidenote Click to Tweet Rant:
Now, where was I…
Oh yeah, so we’ve got one keyword now. To get all of them, take your answers from the five questions above, drill down to those 1-2 word answers, and plug them into Hashtagify to repeat this process until you’ve uncovered the 5 -7 most relevant keywords for you.
Make sure you don’t get too generic like in this example here:
This sentence literally contradicts itself.
They are trying to speak to everyone. It probably works okay for getting followers, but I doubt they are converting.
They would probably be better off saying, “We help #CMO’s with #ProductLaunch’s by providing #Marketing #Consulting.” (No clue what they actually do though…)
Find the one thing you are best at. The one thing that relates back to how you actually get customers – or how to get attention from those that influence your customers.
Make Your Bio a Story
There’s no limit to how many hashtags or keywords you use, but you need to make your bio into a sensible and convincing story, which tends to limit usage to 5-7.
Please! Don’t just keyword stuff all your favorite hashtags into your bio like this lovely woman did:
And don’t be like Cendrine and use bars to separate out your keywords. I mean, you can, but there’s got to be a better way:
And really, both of these profile bio’s are good. I just think they leave out their unique personality and don’t directly address what a follower is going to get from them.
So follow the format of calling out your target audience, telling them what you do, and closing with why you’re awesome. It’s a pretty solid recipe for convincing people to follow you.
Link to your business Twitter profile from your personal account, and ask the rest of your team to do the same.
Reader Question: Should you put a website link in the bio itself?
Answer: No. You should only have one CTA – getting people to do one thing is already hard enough. And it should be in your website link.
How to Properly “Install” Your Website Link
Obviously, I am going to recommend using a branded and tracked link in your website link. But aside from my quite obvious bias, it really is mandatory.
Why? So that you can track on-site traffic from your Twitter bio. So that you can sneak additional information into your website link, including a CTA, like “Get-more-traffic-now” or for us, “Brand-My-Links:”
Here are the exact UTM parameters so you can just copy and paste it to the end of any URL:
Odds are your bio won’t drive much traffic, but the traffic that does come from it will be a good indicator of a well-structured bio:
Twitter also reports on how many people click your bio URL in its Analytics platform.
This is a great place to study the results of your Twitter marketing efforts, but it only collects data on Twitter and doesn’t tie that data back to visits or conversions on your website.
Don’t get too excited with over 200,000 impressions, that’s a vanity metric. Instead, use click and conversion data within Google Analytics to study traffic patterns from Twitter and how they interact and convert on your site.
Your Profile Image Is The Most Important Part
You probably think it’s easy to choose a profile image…
You’ve got one picked out already don’t you?
Wedding dress? Hanging with friends? Or a wide shot of your company logo? No. No. No.
There are a lot of ways to go wrong with your profile photo. Like including illegible text:
Or using a photo that is too far away from your face:
And please, never use a stock photo. You have a camera on your phone. The world is your oyster. Figure it out.
If you’re using a personal account:
Use a headshot, not too close, slightly asymmetrical:
The key is to stand at an angle like you’re about to fall over (that is a joke…).
The real key is that you want people to be able to recognize you in public and connect online with IRL (In Real Life, for the less nerdy).
You also need to test it to make sure this image works on circular profiles as well:
I originally had a problem with the top right of my head being cut off on those and had to readjust the image across many sites. As you can see, I fixed it. Try to avoid that by uploading your image to Twitter and checking on mobile, or in your “messages” box.
A personal branding best practice would be to use the same profile picture across all channels.
If you’re using a business profile:
You don’t have to use your logo, although it is probably the fastest way for others to identify your brand.
At my previous gig, SplashOPM, we were mostly a two person consulting business and we wanted to show that we are absolutely not boring (also I used to play high stakes poker for 10 years, so it seemed fitting):
Consider showing the team, or some social proof – like you on stage with your banner behind you.
But make sure the bio image is clearly understandable from mobile. As the image gets smaller, it gets harder to see what’s going on in the picture. You don’t want to confuse people.
What Should You Use for a Background Image?
Ever connect with a bunch of buzzwords and some generic graphics?
Think about how to provide value, stand out, and be original.
The 3 best things to use as a background image:
- Social Proof. People like knowing you’ve got experience in the real world.
- Your Team. Show the people behind the brand.
- You’re human. Show something fun and memorable that aligns with your brand. I know that’s vague, but taking the time to try and impress your audience will pay off.
The 3 things not to use as a background image:
- Too much text. Remember, most views will be on mobile and this will be cut off or illegible.
- Random city or ocean view. This is a missed opportunity. Cool for you, but no one gets it.
- Stock photos or nothing. I have to say it again. No stock photos! And nothing screams “I’m new to Twitter” more than a blank background… Nothing except for the egghead but of course.
User Question: Should I use a lead magnet offer in my background image or bio?
Answer: Probably not. This one’s a bit tricky, as it’s not the right stage of the funnel for even a free offer… But if you have a super value driven offer that resonates well with your target audience, put it up there.
I used to have a pre-sign up link to my upcoming book, but decided to change it due to lack of signups. That’s an offer fail on my part. Only put a proven successful free offer up there.
User Question: Should I have my logo on my background image.
Answer: Yes. You can overlay your logo and tagline, but put them near the middle (to avoid getting cut off) and make sure you look at it on mobile, tablet, and desktop before calling it a day.
Bonus: Your Pinned Post
People looking at your feed are most likely not familiar with you at all, this is your chance to give them your “what I do” in 30 seconds or less (Twitter recently upgraded to a 1:30 minute Twitter video),
I prefer a video over a link post, or maybe a fun gif.
You have a choice with this: Do you want retweets and likes, or do you want clicks and “awareness.” Or maybe you can find the mix between the two.
This is also a much better spot for your best performing lead magnet or your latest piece of blog content.
Small changes make a big difference. If you’re launching a new business or trying to grow a stronger personal brand you need every extra mmphf you can get. Take the extra time to find your keywords, write the shortest story of your life ever, and genuinely impress people with who you are.
Getting more followers on Twitter doesn’t end with your Twitter bio, next up we will talk about strategies for expansive Twitter growth.
Don’t be a slacker. Don’t be a scrub. And for goodness sake, don’t be an egghead.
What do you think? Do you have any tips for creating the perfect Twitter bio? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
- How to quickly find and grow your Twitter following
- Content curation on Twitter
- How to build brand trust on social media
- 5 steps to build your personal brand successfully
This Article is About:
- Crafting the perfect Twitter bio
- How to grow your Twitter following
- Building a brand with Twitter
- How to create the perfect Twitter bio
Originally Posted: July 7th, 2016.
Post Updated: April 12th, 2018.