You have very little land to work with. Making an impact is first priority.
It’s your Twitter bio. This is an exercise in brevity. The digital equivalent of an elevator pitch.
You don’t want to sound too boring, right? You want people to be interested in you.
But you don’t want to come off as a clown. Or worse, a “guru.”
Here is our take on what makes a good Twitter bio for someone in advertising. These are tips based upon who we tend to follow.
And take it with a grain of salt — our Twitter bio needs some work, too.
#1: Words To Use
DO: Use words that describe what you do for a living, in case you want to go this route. When you say “writer,” we have a good idea what you do. “Scribe” gets us in to that gray area of corny but if you happen to be wearing a monocle in your avatar, then that’s dead on.
I do like the word “enthusiast.” It’s a classy word and it applies anywhere. Fixie Enthusiast? Love it. Philadelphia Sports Enthusiast? Where do I follow?
DON’T: Call yourself a “guru.” Unless, of course, you are an actually a guru in the classic sense of the word. I’m not fond of the word “maven” either. Yeah, I know it means “expert.” But unless you are truly an expert, it makes sense to avoid it. In a recent scan, I noticed a run on mavens. To me, maven is not so Raven.
We will follow gurus and mavens. But we dig a little deeper to make sure they’re interesting.
#2: Humanize Yourself
DO: Not act like a robot. Unless, of course, you are a robot. Or a bot. And that’s no fun for anyone.
Tell people a little something about you. See #1 on the enthusiast thing. People like enthusiasm, dammit. I also love seeing people share their volunteer work. It takes just a few words: (insert organization) Supporter — and voila, you’ve just tipped yourself over to the other side.
DON’T: Look, sound, act or otherwise be a robot.
#3: Be Honest
DO: Share success.
It’s nice to know if you’re good at something. Since you have a finite amount of space, get the high note. Just one high note will do. Won a Cannes Lion? That should be in there. Excelled in sales? Go for it. Just been promoted to CD? Bing!
DON’T: USE ALL CAPS TO ILLUSTRATE YOUR SUCCESS. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE YELLING. don’t use all lower-case. you’re not e.e. cummings. the only exception is if you have been published on mcsweeney’s.
#4: A Little Hash On The Side
DO: Use one. Two at the very most. Especially if there is something interesting to follow like #usguys.
Since this is advertising, I think it’s ok to use #advertising because there is always something interesting going on there.
DON’T: Indulge in too much hash, both literally and Twitterally. It gets confusing and makes me move on. The former you shouldn’t do anyway, even if you are vacationing in Aspen.
#5: Go Full-On Comedy
DO: Use this route if 1) it’s your nature, 2) you’re in the creative realm. I never get tired of upmarket, quality comedy. Ever.
DON’T: Go this route if you have trouble stringing together even the most rudimentary of jokes.
#6: Promoting With Taste
DO: Slide some stuff in there. Usually at the end is best. It’s OK to sell, my friends. Trust me.
DON’T: Go bananas. Yes, we would like to know when your next album drops, but we also want to know some other stuff, too.
DON’T: Just leave it blank. I’m talking to you, Kanye. Yeah, we know who you are, but could you please add a little something? Please?
#8: Consider Your Angst/Profanity
DO: Show your ire with a little bit of wit. Don’t just be totally pissed off without a reason. Look, I get it. You’re not a happy camper. Not everyone is. But if you’re totally angry, methinks people may consider you a bit toxic. If a job is your goal, you may wish to pivot.
I’m not saying be Mr./Miss Unicorns and Butterflies, but think about taking it down a notch.
DON’T: Just curse for the sake of cursing. Look, I can type f**k, just like everyone else. But that doesn’t mean I have to use it.
#9: Tell ‘Em Where You’re From
DO: Add a little something about where you’re from. I’m not good with this but let’s face it, “American” doesn’t really have as much appeal as someone who is, say, Welsh.
For the record, if you are Welsh, you’re going to get an automatic follow. I love Wales and I dig Welsh people. I’m part Welsh and someday, I hope to live in Aberystwyth.
DON’T: Use derogatory terms to decribe yourself, even if it is acceptable in your peer group.
To wit, I’m half Italian. There are plenty of choice words that I have been called — but that’s just unsavory. And wrong.
#10: Consider The Avatar/Photo
DO: Look good. This is not to say that you need to run to the nearest Olan Mills and get a shot with you slinging a sport coat over your shoulder. But your avatar/photo is actually quite important. If you are using a crop of you and the gang at Señor Frog’s, with a tequila shot to the left (and half-cropped), you may want to just find something else.
Interesting shots like a close-up of your eye are perfectly OK. They’re kind of arty and that never hurt, in my opinion.
DON’T: Use that shot from Señor Frog’s.
Or anything that ends up pixelated. That just looks strange.
Also, the Mad Men avatar thing? It’s kind of over. Sorry.
I think there’s a separate post on photos in there somewhere. Stay tuned.
The Final Word (For Now)
As mentioned before, take this with a grain of salt.
And we’d love for you to add your Do’s and Don’ts as well. Because it’s fun to hear what you think.
Also, if you see some good Twitter bios, add ‘em down below.