8 Types of Twitter Bios that Piss Me Off

Your Twitter bio is the first thing people see when they’re notified by e-mail that they have a new follower. What you say about yourself in that first 160 characters makes or breaks people’s decission to follow you or not.

Twittiots

So I made a list of the things people put in their Twitter bios that are turn offs. If you’re guilty of any of these things, look at your bio again and try to think of a more creative, interesting write up. Because all of these are done by a LOT of people, and they don’t entice anyone.

1) Your family.
“I’m a loving Father,” “happily married, parent” “I have 3 wonderful kids”

It is neither mathematically nor philisophically possible for me to care any less that you spawned. Unless your Twitter account is going to be all about your kids, it has no place here.

And if your Twitter account IS all about your kids, I really have no place for you either.

2) Your resume.
“Social Media Manager & Marketing Virtual Assistant providing services for High Level Business Owners.” (yawn)

You may care, but no one else does that you’re an SEO, or a PHP designer, CEO of your company or a collecter of rare, classic German pornography. Well, scratch that last one – that is actually a little interesting.

3) Sales pitches.
“For over 14 years the experienced and friendly team at [company] has been offering impartial and well-informed advice to thousands of holidaymakers”

Telling people off the bat that they should buy what you sell lets them know that all of your tweets will be equally antagonistic and silly. Profiles with these bios are usually just publishing information from a feed, without any real “author” writing anything. Companies that want to use social but not actually talk to anyone are big on this too.

4) Trying to appeal to everyone
“I am interested in everything,” “always discovering, always creating something,” “Never shy away from an opportunity!”

Cut the chatter, Red 2. You’re wasting your bio trying to be all things to all people. If you’re boring here, your tweets are probably boring too.

5) Including a URL
“Co-founder of http://www.crap site.com – the company behind http://www.another crap site.com, author (http://www.yet another crap site.com), blogger & passionate about project management”

You get ONE URL on your page! It’s even clickable! If you put a bunch more in your bio, no one can click on them, and no one would bother if they could. We aren’t here to help you get more traffic.

6) Hubris
“Social Media Expert, Professional Blogger,” “social media enthusiast,” “I’m The King of straightforward information about franchising”

Who are you trying to impress?

This used to be a bigger problem, until there was a backlash of people saying, “people who say they’re social media experts only show they don’t know what they’re talking about.” Since then, these people have taken to calling themselves, “social media junkies” or “really interested in social media.” But it’s all the same thing: “This thing you’re doing on Twitter? Well, I’m doing it too! But I do it better! Please give me a job!”

7) Nothing at all.
“”

This is just lazy. Sit down for a few minutes and think something up! Even if it’s nothing more than a, “I’ll have something to say later.” As long as you actually DO put something more creative in there later.

8 ) Your book
“Family 1st! but after that, Businessman, @winelibrary, @Vaynermedia, Author of Crush IT and a dude that Loves the hustle, people and the @nyjets”

There’s actually a lot of things in this bio that piss me off. Other Twitter profiles you should go to, family, hubris, meaningless chatter about “hustle” – but also an ad for a book. There are about another 1,000 of these author-types every day. If you were a writer of any note, we’d already know about it. You wouldn’t have to inform us in your bio, Gary.

9) “I follow back”

(I know I said, “8 types of Twitter bios that piss me off,” but I remembered this and kind of got on a roll.)

This is self-explanatory. People tell you they’ll follow you back if you follow them. Again, it’s desperate, and only appeals to those who are on Twitter just to build up more followers. That fact alone tells you they don’t post anything more than posts to their articles, sales, and a truck load of positive, airy, meaningless quotes.

But so you don’t think I’m just grouchy, here’s…

10 of the best Twitter bios EVER

@antifuchs I hack on things for people.
@jephjacques Surprisingly conservative for someone who has sex with dolphins.
@wytukaze I RAGE UNCONTROLLABLY
@tinydoctor I’m a Pentecostal Atheist putting on a tent show revival, speaking in tongues and witnessing to the Word of not god but the Mammon of my counterfeits of meaning
@tommyismyname I blog. I beatbox. I get the asses in the seats.
@virgiltexas i prefer my earlier work
@ISaidDont Seriously, don’t. And don’t touch my stuff either.
@grempz always fall asleep with your makeup on face down in the pillow so when you wake up you have something beautiful to kiss
@GorillaSushi Internet jealousy is measured in precise units, called butthertz.
@Giania I am full of vitriol & nonsense and will probably give you shit if I think you’re trying to sell me something. 😀

Extra special thanks to @Giania, as most of these come from her list Rad Dudes.

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12 comments

  1. I’m not nearly interesting enough to tweet….I do however appreciate some ground rules on the off chance I suddenly become special….good read.

  2. I have never used Twitter. I only know about it from what I see via your posts and what the media reports as actual news. Thank you for reaffirming my stance that Twitter is about as necessary as a book that runs on batteries. You complete me.

  3. I dunno, the resume, book, and hubris things can cut both ways. On the one hand I don’t appreciate it when people waste my time and theirs with florid descriptions about how awesome at X thing they are, on the other, I don’t mind knowing up front that someone I may have never heard of might actually be worth talking to about a particular issue.

    Take for example: @paul_irish –

    html5 and css3 aficionado, Google Chrome dev relations, jQuery team member, interaction designer and front-end developer, music snob on @Aurgasm

    He’s one of the dudes working on the HTML5Boilerplate. When I was going through there, I had found an issue, screencapped it, put it on soup, and posted it to twitter with some kind of “orly?” kind of smartass remark in tow. Paul actually responded to it A) a lot faster than I would have expected B) like a human C) with a legit “my bad”. It was only at that point that I bothered to check out his profile, and immediately thought “wow I can’t believe I called out somebody who eats the equivalent of my entire coding knowledge as a half-bite of breakfast… and he wasn’t a dick!” It was actually sort of humbling and helpful to know, in the at-a-glance fashion the bio provides, that I was dealing with somebody who knows a thing or two about the things he deals in… before I made another smug remark. (FYI since then he’s helped me out with a couple html5/css questions and is generally a smart, rad dude, thus his placement!) I won’t however spare him for the other account mention, it’s still a faux pas.

    Plus if somebody lists stuff they do, or things they like, it may be a helpful guide to the kind of things they’ll be talking about… and whether or not I should care! I actually don’t want to discourage the kid-havers from gushing in their bio about being kid-havers, because it increases the likelihood that I’ll be able to identify how little I have in common with them up front and avoid a follow, UGH, and unfollow cycle.

    1. I can see your point, that what someone does would be handy for when you need their expertise. But usually, that bio only comes up at the first point of contact. It’s what they think of themselves. I just have a hard time with the concept people have that they are their jobs. I’m just more interested in what makes the person I’m following more interesting.

      But I wouldn’t expect many people to change their profiles because of this post anyway. In fact, like you, I kind of look for some of this stuff as a key that I won’t want anything to do with that person.

      It’s funny, really – this all started out as a micro-rant, but it got a LOT more attention than I would have expected! So I’m sure this came off as a lot more “forceful” than I had intended. If it does stop thousands from claiming themselves as “social media experts,” though, I’m okay with that.

  4. hilarious article, but you do realize you basically hate 99.9% of twitter bios? i think your post covered all of the ones i have ever seen. ;] damn, mine is #7!

    1. I know – days later I read my posts and think, “Sweet Jesus but that was snarky!” And as Giania pointed out, the ones that say what people do can be useful if you’re looking for someone specific. But as a grouch, I have to stand by what I say. Even if it’s nonsensical.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. I disagree with 1, 2, 4, 6, and 9.
    A bio will motivate mt to follow if 1) You share an interest with me, be it my business, family or music genre and I’ll only that if you tell me – or 2) the bio is so funny or genius that I’ll follow you because I think you’re cool.
    Two reasons I won’t follow: You ask for it or you’re boring.
    In your case it was 2, and then 1 as well.

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