If you're using Twitter to promote your business, your products or yourself, followers are the key to your success. But not just any followers - you want the right kind of followers. People who will enjoy what you have to say and will therefore pay attention. But how do you attract those people?

Twitter doesn't exactly make it easy. You don't get much real estate to talk about yourself - just a tiny little bio and space for one outbound link. But those two things, combined with the photo you select, are key to whether people decide to follow you.

To show you what I mean, here's a shot of my Tweetdeck window today.


The far right-hand column is new followers. I usually don't have time to click through to each person's page, so I generally just scan the bio to determine whether I want to follow or not.

In this case, I definitely wanted to follow Elyse S. Her bio is interesting and smart - she conveys her work ethic by saying she'll wade through snow to get there rather than by saying something dull like 'I have a great work ethic' - but what's even better is that I will also remember it. Should I know of a sales job in Atlanta, I'll think of her. And if she follows lots of recruiters and other people in career-related fields, others will react the same way when her bio pops onto their radar screen.

So what kind of Bios work to attract followers?

Mostly I'd say bios with personality. If you seem like a human, I will pay attention to you and maybe follow your tweets. Here are a couple I liked, one because it's just human and one because it's funny.


But you don't have to be funny. Especially if you're using Twitter to promote yourself or your business, you should say what you do - but without being boring about it. Mention that you're a recruiter or a career coach and I will be likely to take an interest because of my own profession. Do it with a touch of personality and I'll definitely follow your tweets.

What Turns People Off?

Here are a couple of bios that didn't encourage me to follow. These may be fabulous people - and for all I know, I am missing out. But I can't tell that when I have no information to go on, like here:


Or when the whole bio is a sales pitch like this one:


Now it's perfectly possible that some of the people who don't include a bio don't want to be followed. Lots of people use Twitter for casual socializing and keeping up with friends, and that's absolutely fine.

But if you want to be found and followed, think about how you present yourself in that all-important little bio. Here are my tips:

  • Tell people what you do
  • Show a little personality
  • Reveal something personal (but not TOO personal!)
  • Don't include religion or political affiliations

What about you? Anything you love or hate about other people's bios?