Once you've drawn people in with a good header image and/or profile photo, the next thing people will usually see on any of your social media profiles is your bio.
Though YouTube allows up to 5,000 characters (!) in channel descriptions, most platforms only allow short bios of about 160 characters or less. I understand! You contain multitudes that cannot possibly be captured in less than 200 characters. But you must try your best.
Perhaps the short character limit is the reason a lot of people seem to opt for what I call "The List" in their bios. "Mother, teacher, yogi, lover of life!" It's an effective way to deliver information about you or your business, but it's so common. People have started subverting this trend in some cool and funny ways though, almost like concept of The List is its own meme.
Good List bios do exist! But they can come across as unimaginative. Aim for something a little different. Even bios consisting entirely of emojis, although still kind of common, can add some fun personality if they are easily understood.
BE YOU (DUH)
Write your bio in the same tone you would anything else. Don’t force jokes or try to be clever just for the sake of it. But if that’s how you normally speak and write, go for it!
You might also feel awkward writing about yourself or your business in a context where you’re expected to be a little braggy. Is this too much? Is this not enough? Run your description by a friend to see how it comes across. Ask them if it seems authentic.
While your bio should be tailored to the audience on a given platform, there should be some consistency across your profiles. It will help people remember you if they see you on, say, Twitter and then again on Instagram. Think of it almost like a slogan. Use the same memorable phrase/couple of words across all your bios, so you'll hopefully stick in people's minds. For example, I use the phrase "cultivate a voice" in most of my professional bios.
As is the case with everything, always spellcheck and proofread your work. Run your bio past a second set of eyes, or through Grammarly (<- affiliate link) which checks for common English grammar errors. Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than misspellings, misplaced punctuation, and typos.
Some individuals and companies use their bios to announce news and events. It is one of the first things people see, after all. This can be useful, especially if you already have a lot of brand recognition, but be wary of stuffing your bio with too many links, @s, or hashtags. It makes things visually unpleasant and hard to read.
Others use their bios to provide resources they want their followers to easily find, like Patreon links and YouTube channels. Luckily, most platforms include a separate field to enter your website, but if you have other links you want to give your followers, it can be smart to include them in your bio, especially if you reference these resources often in your posts.
Stay tuned for a future post about the visual side of social media profiles, picking profile and header images.
Aspiring Dog Parent