Twitter Bios and Twetiquette

Posted on 08 April 2011

In June 2009, I wrote a blog post, “Convince Me With Your Twitter Bio. Please!”

Since then, I’ve come across many more badly written, unconvincing twitter bios. Here are some examples (they’re real; I didn’t make them up!):

  • “I’m a marketing superstar/guru/expert”
  • “Internationally Recognized Social Networking Expert” (from someone I’ve never heard of)
  • “I have the largest head in my family”
  • “Hi, my name is…”, when the person’s name is clearly shown at the top of the page
  • “[I’m] a hell of a lot of fun” – it’s not for you to say that about yourself; only others can say that about you
  • “Not happy!”
  • “I love my wife and my family” – that was the sum total of someone’s bio, with no website address, no location, and no tweets
  • “I’m trying to make money online” or “I want to build my network” or “Internet Marketing helping other people make money so I make money”. And I should care because…?
  • “You have the seeds of greatness within you, not for the power you can exert over people, but for the love you can extend to them” or a similar corny inspirational quote – yes, but tell me about YOU!
  • “A Loving Husband, Father & Thinker Creates Multi-Million Dollar Online Marketing, Web Development & Video Production Firm”, with all initial capital letters – to me, that shrieks of the sleaziest kind of Internet marketing.
  • “Be the best that you can be…” or “Think about how your life will be when you use simple affirmations…” – rather than telling me what to do, please tell me something interesting about YOU.
  • “How many people do you know? I can pay you $0.50 for each one of them.” Instant block.
  • “Our list of services is diverse, we specialise in assisting our clients with their creative brief, taking this through to a custom build and installation.” Zzzzzzz.
  • “Holla all! Always will chat about whatever, lets hook up.” [Yes, with a missing apostrophe.]
  • “[Company name] would like to thank all of our supporters. You don’t understand how much we appreciate it!”
  • “If you get a chance, please visit my website.” (As the entirety of a bio!)
  • “We provide compelling online customer engagement solutions that leverage artificial intelligence to reduce support costs and increase online conversions.” Huh? Can you say that again in plain English, please?
  • “Follow me please”
  • “son, husband, best friend, dad, brother, professional” Professional WHAT?
  • “Social Media crazy! Love to help people understand social media marketing” – sorry, if you say that in your bio but you haven’t yet sent a single tweet, why should I believe you?
  • “Fan us on FaceBook”

frustration2

Annoying twitter habits

And here are some tips about what not to say or do on twitter (again, I’ve seen lots of examples of these behaviours):

  • Listing a website address that’s a snipped URL taking me to a page that’s not your own, about how to increase my number of twitter followers.
  • Following lots of people who don’t have a profile photo – that says to me that you’re not picky about who you follow, which suggests that you’re a spammer.
  • Saying in the location field: “Is that your business?” (Well actually yes, I think it is, if you want me to follow you!)
  • Tweeting like this: “OK, time to get some food, tweet with ys in a lil bit!” or this: “I will tweet YOUR message three times to my 10000 followers on twitter for $5” – instant block!
  • Tweeting nothing but inspirational quotes by other people – I want to hear about YOUR life, opinions and experiences.
  • Tweeting nothing but pushy sales pitches for your product or service.
  • Completely automating your twitter account so that you merely broadcast links to other people’s articles. Even if those articles are interesting and useful, there’s no engagement or conversation (for example with @ replies or RTs), and there’s no personality in your tweetstream. Where’s the social in that?
  • Posting lots of tweets with “cloaked” affiliate links to other people’s websites that sell Internet marketing teleseminars, courses and information products.
  • Posting tweets that are mostly @ replies to people I don’t follow, saying “Hey!” and “Thx” – there’s no value there for me.
  • Starting EVERY tweet with a self-serving hashtag that’s the initials of your company’s name.
  • Starting EVERY tweet with the announcement “Interesting:”. Surely if you tweet something, then by definition that means you think it’s interesting, right? So writing “Interesting:” is a waste of valuable characters.
  • Sending an automated, impersonal DM that pushes your website (especially if that’s your FIRST DM to me after I follow you) – not cool. If your website address is on your profile page, then I already know I have the option of going there if I want to. (See my blog post, “Death to Auto-DMs on Twitter”.)
  • In a corporate twitter account, not giving ANY indication, in your bio or your tweets (and even on your website), of who the PEOPLE are behind your twitter account and your company. I want to communicate with people, not faceless corporations.
  • Re-tweeting or recommending a blog/article/website by someone else, without crediting the author. To me, that gives the misleading impression that you’re saying it’s YOUR blog/article/website. Twetiquette: Please credit the author, preferably giving his/her twitter logon name. See my blog post about that, “Crediting the Writer – It’s Just Common Courtesy”.
  • Re-tweeting someone else’s RT of your own tweet (that just doesn’t seem cool).

Do you have any other examples of bad bios or annoying twitter habits to add to this list?


1 Response to Twitter Bios and Twetiquette

  • […] “Twitter Bios and Twetiquette” by Kay Ross (@kayross – yes, that’s me). It’s a follow-up to my June 2009 blog post, “Convince Me With Your Twitter Bio. Please!” […]

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