Saturday, November 12, 2016

How to Increase Your Twitter Follower Count

Ah, Twitter: Everyone’s favorite character-count taskmaster. If you’ve been using this most confining of social networks for any length of time, you’ve likely mastered some tricks to fit powerful messages into 140 characters or less.

With all that mental energy going into trimming your Tweets to acceptable size, you may be neglecting another part of your Twitter presence that requires some linguistic gymnastics: your Twitter bio. If you haven’t spent much time thinking up Twitter bio ideas, consider that your bio is indexed by search engines, making it a highly visible first point of contact for potential new followers both within and outside of the social network.
The good news is that you get more than 140 characters to craft your Twitter bio. The bad new is that you only get 160. With that in mind, let’s look at some key Twitter bio ideas to maximize the impact of that short burst of information all about you.
Bonus: Download the free strategy guide that reveals how Hootsuite grew our Twitter following to over 7 million users and learn how you can put the tactics to work for your business.

What’s included in your Twitter profile

Fortunately, your Twitter profile includes a few additional bits of information that don’t count towards the 160 characters of your bio.


This is pretty straightforward—your name or the name of your business. Make it easy for potential followers to find you by using the name you’re most commonly known by and keep it consistent across your social channels.
Character count: 20


Also known as your Twitter handle, this is your identity on Twitter. For a business account, you’ll likely want to stick with your business name, but you can get a little more creative with a personal account. This is your primary identity on Twitter, so choose carefully!
Character count: 15


If you’re based in a single physical location, this is where you can show your neighborhood pride and give potential followers some context for your Tweets. Keep in mind, though, that you’re not limited to a real-life location in this field. You could use a location like “Worldwide,” or even include your phone number in the location field, like JetBlue does in the example below.
Character count: 30
Twitter Bio Ideas to Increase Your Follower Count | Hootsuite Blog
Image via JetBlue Airways on Twitter.


Where do you want to send Twitter followers to learn more? This can be your homepage, but you might want to consider a landing page specifically for Twitter followers or a link to a specific campaign. Try using a URL shortener with a tracking code to get real-time statistics on visitors from Twitter.
Character count: 100

How to write a good Twitter bio: ideas and inspiration

Now that you’ve got the other elements of your Twitter profile sorted out, let’s dig into those 160 precious characters of the bio itself.

Showcase who you are and what you do

Sure, you’ve probably seen plenty of cute and clever celebrity bios.
Twitter Bio Ideas to Increase Your Follower Count | Hootsuite Blog
Image via Jimmy Kimmel on Twitter.
But the truth is, you’re not Jimmy Kimmel. While the language in your Twitter bio can certainly be playful if that fits with your brand personality, it’s important that a potential follower who reads your Twitter bio comes away with a clear understanding of what your brand is all about.
Even if you’ve never heard of Blinkist, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the company does after reading their Twitter bio.
Twitter Bio Ideas to Increase Your Follower Count | Hootsuite Blog
Image via Blinkist on Twitter.
Like Blinkist, you should include a short description of your business—a micro-version of your elevator pitch. With the remainder of your 160-character allotment, you can include your brand slogan, and even add a branded hashtag that encourages followers to share brand experiences and allows you to collect user-generated content that further highlights what your brand is all about.

Convey personality

Social media should be just that: social. A dry, boring Twitter bio is not going to create the kinds of social relationships that allow a brand to thrive in the social sphere. You can get especially creative here if you have a well-known slogan that sums up your brand, like Frank’s RedHot.
Twitter Bio Ideas to Increase Your Follower Count | Hootsuite Blog
Image via Frank’s RedHot on Twitter.
The slogan encapsulates the brand image and will instantly bring to mind ads that potential followers have seen on other media channels, creating immediate interest and recognition.

Target your ideal audience with keywords

You already know that your Twitter bio shows up in search engine results, which is reason enough to think about the best keywords to include. Keep in mind that your bio is also searchable within the platform itself, so the keywords in your bio will help determine when you show up in Twitter searches.
Twitter Bio Ideas to Increase Your Follower Count | Hootsuite Blog
Image via Hootsuite on Twitter.
You can use tools like SEMRush and Google’s keyword tool to determine what keywords might be a good fit for your business on Twitter.

Include a call to action

Your Twitter bio is more than pure information—it’s a marketing communications tool. And like any good marketing piece, it should include a call to action (CTA). When brainstorming Twitter bio ideas, think about what you want visitors to your Twitter profile to do: Visit your website? Create user-generated content showcasing their brand experiences? Simply follow your account? Let them know by including a clear, short CTA in your Twitter bio.
Visit Britain closes with a simple CTA that includes a motivation for visitors to follow through: “Share your Great British stories and pics using #LoveGreatBritain and we’ll RT!”
Twitter Bio Ideas to Increase Your Follower Count | Hootsuite Blog
Image via VisitBritain on Twitter.

Get creative

Twitter doesn’t allow for any formatting like line breaks, bolded text, or centering in your bio, but there are a few tricks to giving those 160 characters a little more punch.

Add an extra link

You saw above that your Twitter profile has a specific spot for your website that doesn’t count against the 160 characters of your Twitter bio. But what if one link isn’t enough? Say, for example, you want to link to both your main website and the landing page for a specific campaign or offer. Fortunately, you can include a second link within the body of your Twitter bio—and the bonus is that is that it makes your bio visually pop since the link appears in a different color.
Virgin America, for example, includes links to their blog and customer support pages within their Twitter bio.
Twitter Bio Ideas to Increase Your Follower Count | Hootsuite Blog
Image via Virgin America on Twitter.
To create a functional link outside of Twitter, make sure you include the http://.

Include other Twitter accounts or hashtags

You can also link to another Twitter account or a Twitter hashtag. Twitter handles and hashtags included in your bio are automatically clickable and appear in the link color. This is handy if, say, you have multiple Twitter accounts for brand messaging, customer service, and so on.
Twitter Bio Ideas to Increase Your Follower Count | Hootsuite Blog
Image via Old Navy on Twitter.

Include an emoji (if appropriate)

Since the full range of emoji only recently became available for Twitter bios, the playful symbols have not (yet) taken over Twitter like they have some other social networks. Still, a strategic emoji may be an appropriate way to save characters in your bio or simply make it look more visually appealing. Use this strategy selectively, though, as emoji are not appropriate for all brands’ Twitter bios.
With all of these Twitter bio ideas in mind, you’re set to make the most of each of the 160 characters your Twitter bio has to offer. Then, you’re ready to take on the Twittersphere and start engaging new followers. For more strategies to improve your Twitter marketing, check out our full Twitter marketing guide.

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