Friday, October 22, 2010

How Important is Your Twitter Bio?

It's funny. I've been on Twitter for almost exactly three years to the day. During that time, my Twitter bio has evolved ever so slightly. I've always included my title and company name. In addition, I've made it clear that I'm married (happily) and have three beautiful children. Recently, I included the fact that I am the co-host of the Quick'n'Dirty podcast show. That's it. I think at certain points in time I included the fact that I'm a huge Redsox and Patriots fan. But while I waiver on whether or not to add that back, I like my bio clean and simple.

Why do I do this? For a few reasons. Over the course of my three years on Twitter, I've had a chance to go through at least 14,730 people's Twitter bios. Yes, I look at every single one before I follow back. I also check and see if they have a picture and will try and get a sense of what they tweet about. I like real people... not robots. In that process, I've found that some people say a whole lot of nothing in their bios. And that's okay. It just likely won't get me to follow back.

To that end, is it okay to mention the fact that you like a particular sport, type of food, wine, sports team or music? Of course. Personal is good. In my case, my family is my "personal" part. And while I'd like to connect with other people that like the Redsox, the Patriots, BBQ, Tool or the Black Keys, I already know who a lot of these folks are. Why? Because they respond to me when I talk about them on Twitter. And if we find mutual value in each other's tweets, we start to follow each other.

So while I'm up on my soapbox, here are a few other tips I'd recommend if you're interested in getting more out of Twitter.

Tip One
Here are twelve thirteen fourteen* people/organizations that I'd recommend following (high signal to noise ratio):
  • Ann Handley - Author and chief content officer at MarketingProfs.
  • David Armano - SVP at Edelman Digital [*shame on me for leaving him off the first go around]
  • Brian Solis - Two time author and principal of FutureWorks
  • Marshal Kirkpatrick - Co-Editor of
  • Robert Scoble Rackspace employee who provides tech news, videos and opinions
  • eMarketer - Digital intelligence for marketers and advertisers on social media, mobile, media, advertising, retail, consumer products, and more
  • Brian Morrissey - Digital Editor at Adweek
  • Simon Mainwaring - Ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger
  • Augie Ray - Sr. Analyst of Social Computing/Marketing @ Forrester, tracking Communities, Twitter, Influence, Facebook and WOM
  • Joseph Jaffe - Three time author and chief interruptor at Powered.
  • ANA Marketers - Official account for the ANA. Provides info on events, insights, advocacy, training workshops, and news.
  • Jeremiah Owyang - Partner, Altimeter Group
  • Brett Petersel - Business Development, Community and Events at Mashable
  • Ad Age - AdAge the magazine's Twitter presence. A great source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities.
Tip Two
Don't be afraid to mix fun with business. I try and add value to everyone that has decided to follow me. Sometimes this is through sharing useful news/links.  Sometimes through snark. Sometimes by expressing my feelings -- happy, sad, angry or Zen. While I'm not everyone's cup of tea, I think the people that have stuck with me over the years would agree that I'm more valuable than not. Those that disagree vote with their feet.

Tip Three
Don't be discouraged if someone doesn't follow you back. Some people don't like to follow anyone but people they know well. Some will follow after you've engaged them in dialogue a few times. But the way I go into it is that if I follow someone, I don't expect that they will follow me back. I follow them because I find what they say interesting enough not to care. With that said, I know part of the reason I've been lucky enough to have nearly 15,000 people follow me is because I mostly reciprocate when someone follows me.

Yes, there are hundreds of other good Twitter tips. But hopefully these will help. If you've got one you'd like to add, that's why God invented comments.

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