The saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” holds true in many situations, including your self-presentation in social media. Did you know that it takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to make an interpretation of your account? And most likely this impression is made based on your bio section. This section of your profile is the first thing your followers will read when they visit your page. It’s like meeting someone for the first time, so why take it for granted? You can improve and change your bio as many times as you wish and here are some tips and tricks that will show you how.
Why Do First Impressions Matter?
- It takes just 3 seconds for someone to determine whether they like you.
- In just 50 milliseconds, they can predict if you consider yourself an extrovert.
- People can make an aesthetic judgment in just 17 milliseconds.
- The first impressions of people in photographs influence the perception of those people even after interaction with them personally.
Fortunately, you have some control over the way others see you on social media. Here, we’ve rounded up the most effective ways to create a social media bio that will guarantee a perfect first impression.
1. Brevity Is The Key
Image source: https://twitter.com/katyperry
A common mistake is made by those who try to use all the characters available. It’s obvious that you cannot express your every achievement or personality trait in 160 characters, and you shouldn’t. Consider that people tend to scan through the first lines and pick out the relevant points from there. Your bio should be a short and meaningful snapshot of who you or your company is. Think of it as a headline that gets straight to the point.
2. Don’t Be Humble
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marklazen/
Tell people about your skills and achievements, especially if we are talking about how to build a perfect LinkedIn profile. Think carefully – what sets you apart from others? A good bio section includes particular unique skills, hobbies or interests that make you stand out. Remember that this is a place to be self-promotional and give a reason for people to follow you.
3. A Little Humor Goes a Long Way
Image source: https://www.facebook.com/TomHanks/
Bios tend to be very predictable. While it’s essential to show who you are and what you do, don’t forget also about your fun side. Social media is a rather lighthearted medium, don’t be scared to make a creative Facebook profile or funny Twitter bio. Quit the formalities and add a distinctive touch to it – hobbies, fun facts and anecdotes will make it more memorable. If you want to go the easy way or just get some inspiration, check out these tools that will generate your bio automatically:
- Bio Gen – bio generator for social networks
- Designer Bio Generator™
- The Twitter Bio Generator
- Silly Twitter Bios
4. Make It Visually Appealing
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/chocolatejohnny/
Some easy ways to increase the visual creativity of your bio include using emojis, symbols or changing the font. Apps such as Kika Emoji Keyboard and Textizer Font Keyboards might be helpful here. Keep up with the social media hacks that can make your bio look more attractive. For example, impress you Instagram followers and create an eye-catching Instagram bio by boosting its visual appeal. You can easily add line breaks to your Instagram bio by typing the text (line breaks included) in any text editor (e.g. Notes app) and then copy/paste that text into your Instagram bio. To make your Instagram bio centered, follow these easy steps:
- Copy the space between the arrows below
- Go to your Instagram page via desktop and select the ‘Edit Your Profile’ button.
- Write your bio and paste the spaces before each line of text you want to center.
5. Include a Call To Action
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/naturallyella/
The social media bio is not only a description about you, it’s also a way to invite people to find out more about you. If you want to get people off the app and to your website, blog or another landing page, add a call to action to your bio. Once people have gone through your information, further engage your audience and instead of adding your homepage URL provide a link to your latest content, newsletter sign-up page, free trial versions or special promotions. Use URL shorteners, such as Capsulink, Goo.gl, Bitly.com, and create custom short links to make your links easily shared through social media.
6. Embrace the Power of Keywords
Many of the search engines are using social media bios in their algorithms so including powerful keywords is a must. Think carefully about your values and the values of your audience as keywords help people to find you and your profile for the right reason. Tools like Followerwonk, Twiangulate and Tweeple Search allow searching Twitter users by the keywords they have provided in their bio sections.
For inspiration, check out the compelling Facebook bio section of Ellen DeGeneres:
Image source: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ellentv/
7. Avoid Overused Buzzwords
Image source: https://twitter.com/Tripfania
While keywords can help the right audience to find you, meaningless buzzwords tend to bore. LinkedIn has listed 10 overused buzzwords of 2017:
8. Consider the Platform
Be aware of who your audience is and remember that it might differ between social media platforms. On Twitter and Instagram try to be more authentic and personal while on LinkedIn write a longer and more in-depth description of your professional achievements. And know your limits:
- Instagram bio: 150-character maximum
- Twitter Bio: 160-character maximum
- LinkedIn Summary: 2 000-character maximum
- Facebook short description: 155-character maximum
Check out how social media expert Virginia Salas Kastilio has dealt with the specifics of each platform:
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/virginiasalaskastilio/
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/ginicanbreathe/
Image source: https://www.facebook.com/virginia.salaskastilio
Image source: https://twitter.com/Ginicanbreathe
9. Keep Your Bio Updated
Keeping your bio up to date is crucial! Check it regularly to be certain that it still reflects the right information. Don’t forget to keep followers updated with the launch of your new business or writing a new blog post. And be brave enough to experiment and change the style of your bio – that will keep you interesting.
10. Finally – Go Through the Checklist
A good bio is the one that creates a great first impression and makes people eager to follow you. Go through this short recap to make sure you’ve included the key details:
- Explain who you are and what you do
- Include your accomplishments
- Be exciting and show your personality
- Target your niche
- Stay connected – include a link to your website, blog or another social profile.
Alex Bickov is a product designer with over 15 years of ux design and digital marketing experience. He builds digital services and products for organizations ranging from agencies, startups and large companies. Currently he is working with a URL shortener, redirect, analytics and management tool Capsulink. His work has been featured in the iOS App Store as well as on Wall Street Journal, CNN, Business Insider, Forbes and Big Think.