That blurb in the “about” section of your social media profile is small but mighty. Never assume people skip over them, because in my experience they’re widely read.
In fact, I’ve had plenty of people tell me that they followed me based solely on my bio. You can learn a lot about someone from that little intro, and it can make the difference between getting a job and being passed over.
I’ve often compared social media with happy hour. You wouldn’t walk up to people and just start talking mid-sentence without any context, right? That’s what happens when your social media accounts have no bio – it’s a blank space where people wonder who the heck you are, what you do and how you got there.
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to crafting the perfect bio:
▪ Focus on your expertise
Your bio space is precious, so this is no place to be general. What are you good at? What would you want an employer to know about you in a glance? That’s what you want in your bio.
Remember: This is your first impression
You have a small space to make a big splash, so don’t be focused on filling every inch of available space. Make sure you say what you want to and need to say in the most coherent way possible. Make the person want to click to learn more about you.
▪ Keywords first
Think search engine optimization when you’re thinking of bios, and think of what’s likely to pop up in search. Put the most important words at the beginning to ensure the search engines pick up what matters. So never go this route in a bio: “Hi, my name is Scott Kleinberg and I am ...” you probably don’t want to put my name in your bio anyway, but the point remains: save the casual conversation for happy hour.
▪ Just say no to buzzwords
Nothing wastes more space in a bio – and everywhere else – than buzzwords. But even if you’re really a customer-centric thought leader who’s willing to take a deep dive in the name of transparency, that isn’t the way to sell your bio.
Bios will vary in size depending on platform
There’s no consistency between platforms, so you’ll have to check when you start typing how much room you have. Twitter must have been feeling generous on bio-creation day, allowing 160 characters instead of the typical 140. LinkedIn allows much more room.
▪ Update it often
Nothing makes you look more dated and out of the loop than a bio referring to things that were popular years ago. Take a good look at your bio every few months. A good rule of thumb: You should check your privacy settings once a quarter. When you do that, glance at your bio and make sure it doesn’t need to be refreshed/updated.
Here’s an example:
This is my Twitter bio: Social media editor, Chicago Tribune. Nationally syndicated #SoSocial columnist. Journalist. WGN Radio contributor. Apple expert. Photographer, 80s fanatic.
Keywords and most important information first, then the rest. Share your bio with hashtag #SoSocial. I’ll happily give you an honest opinion as to how it looks.