In last week’s blog post we stressed the importance for small businesses to stand out online and offered seven ways to immediately improve your social media marketing. This week we’ll hone in on one of those strategies – perfecting your social media bio.
As Hootsuite puts it, “Your social media bio is like a business card: a quick, pithy way to show your new audience what you’re all about.” But in addition to telling people what you’re all about, that single paragraph below your profile picture is a great way to show off some of your brand’s personality. Effective copy can also grow your social media following and (hopefully) convert viewers into new customers.
So instead of treating you social media bio as an afterthought, invest some time and effort (and perhaps even some money) and use it as an opportunity to put your best foot forward. Here are five tips to get you started.
Set the tone. One of the most difficult – and most important – elements of your social media bio is tone. In a few short paragraphs, you must align with your company’s branding and relate to your target audience, all while getting to the point of who you are and what you do in an engaging way. And while you certainly don’t want to come across as amateur, you don’t want to be boring either. So don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t be afraid to write in a conversational or witty tone. Striking a balance between professional and approachable is the key to attracting – and intriguing – an audience.
Shorter is better. Regardless of the social media channel, your bio should be clear and concise. Even on Twitter, where you only have a 160 characters to tell people what you’re all about, don’t feel forced to use them all. You likely have an “About” page on your website to go into more detail, so use your bio strictly to introduce yourself and attract potential customers. To get the most mileage out of your limited word count, avoid buzzwords and clichés; instead use strong action verbs and fresh language. It’s easy to tell people you’re creative; showing them will go a lot further.
Get to the point. Much like a news story, social media bios should cover all of the relevant details in as few words as possible. It may take a bit of editing and creativity, but find a way to tell your audience who you are, where you’re located, what you do, why you do what you do and (to a lesser extent) how you do it. Just because bios are brief doesn’t mean they should be vague. Don’t be general when you can be specific, and always include your value proposition. After all, if you have nothing to offer why would someone waste their time?
Key in on keywords. The language you use in your social media bio is not only important to your audience, but to Internet search engines as well. A good description of who you are, where you’re located and what you do will allow more people to come across your bio online. Without being repetitive, aim to show off your expertise to your specific audience and (again) always be as specific as possible.
Stand out. In addition to telling people what you’re all about, you want to show them you’re different from your competitors. What is one thing that people would be interested to know about your business? What is one of your company’s major milestones or accomplishments? In a way, social media bios are like magazine ads or newspaper headlines; they give viewers a split second to decide whether to stop and investigate or to move on. Make the choice easy for them by grabbing their attention and showing of your uniqueness. And, of course, feel free to update your bio from time to time. While you shouldn’t revise it on a weekly basis, checking it every quarter is a good rule of thumb.