Earlier this evening, I noticed several people asking MySpace Vice President of Marketing Sean Percival to rate their profile on Twitter. At first, I snorted rather snidely at some of his answers. He handed out very low “grades” to people whom I thought had pretty nifty taglines in their “about” section. Giving Mr. Percival the benefit of the doubt, I went back and really paid attention. He’s actually right, y’all. Most of us suck at filling those sections of our profiles in. We need to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
You have only 160 characters to sum up yourself, your work and your life on Twitter. How in the hell can anyone be expected to explain to the world who they are and what they do with that limitation? I know that many of you simply link off to your website, blog or another about-type page. I don’t much care for that though. I don’t want to have to click through to figure you out. I want you to do the work for me!
Seriously, though, most people will use that short bio as a means of judging whether you are worthy enough to follow. They won’t take the time to click a link and get more information. Your profile or tagline needs to place you into a nice, tidy box – even if you don’t fit into one. Be creative and funny – but make sure you give a good sense of what you are, do and stand for.
Above all – you have to sell yourself. If you want to build a community which feeds off of your love for cooking, you might want to mention food in your bio. If you prefer more of a geeky crowd, it’s safe to say you shouldn’t mention bunnies and flowers in your message. The point is that you’re going to have to figure out how best to describe you in a way that will make other want to connect with you.
Don’t just tell me you’re a social media junkie. Tell me WHY you are – and how you use that to make a difference in this world. I’d rather not see your profile claim that you are a lover instead of a fighter. Instead, try telling me what you’re passionate about, such as saving the whales or rainforests. Be more specific. Using broad, general terms is going to turn people off. There are millions of generic people out there. We want someone exciting to follow, right?
Take a look at your own social media profiles. Be hard on yourself. Figure out how you can sell yourself to us better than you already are. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and make sure to listen with an open mind when you receive it. After all, those already in your community know you best!