Freak or unique: a lesson in Twitter bios

I wrote a guest post for Search Engine People this week, inspired by my friends Robin Dickinson and Olivier Blanchard on writing a great Twitter bio.

This is how I start:

Olivier Blanchard‘s latest Twitter bio says “Pray that I never become your competitor’s secret weapon.” When I read that, I tell you what I do do – I click on his link and find out more.

Why?

How many times have you seen a Twitter bio that says “Husband. Father. Thinker. Runner. Twitterer. Love design and the web.” or words to that effect?

As I get more followers, deciding who to follow back is an important decision for me. I don’t want to have a full tweet stream and I also don’t use applications like TweetDeck or Seesmic to keep lists, so having a good list of people that I follow is important. And my criteria for who I follow is quite simple: will you add value to me?

I don’t know if many of us have ever thought deeply about why we follow certain people and don’t follow others, but my criteria goes something like this:

  • Are you unique from everyone else out there just talking?
  • Are you well versed in your area and therefore able to bring me new insights?
  • Are you similar to me or I do relate to you?
  • Is your location, company or job of immediate interest to me?
  • Do you talk back to people?

I then go on to explain the importance of having a unique Twitter bio. You can read the whole article here.

Archived Comments

  • http://twitter.com/barriesmithii Barrie Smith

    “As I get more followers, deciding who to follow back is an important decision for me”
    Can’t believe you followed me back after reading my bio then! ;)

  • / Scott Gould

    I must’ve followed you a while ago ;-)

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