By now, you’re all aware that social media is a powerhouse. It has the potential to position you as an industry leader or kick you out into the cold, lock the door and draw the curtains. There is so much to be found on all the different platforms that it has become “entertainment” to swipe through feeds of all our favorite brands and engage with our friends about the latest trends.
But before people “follow” you, they usually read your bio – not your last 50 posts – that 160 character long description of YOU. They’re going to base any future decision and communication on that 1 or 2 sentences. (Well that just escalated quickly, huh?)
So, after a night of “social entertainment swiping” I’ve come up with 8 things that your social media bio could be saying about you, without you knowing:
01 • #I #Need #Attention – Hashtag Hoarder
I think it’s awesome that you love #freelancing #design #photography #media and #dogs. Hey, me too. But seeing all the ##### up there makes me feel like you’re just out to gain followers and not really trying to engage. I think it’s great when companies (freelancers included) have a branded hashtag – Lancome’s: #BareSelfie is a great example. But I don’t need to be bombarded with #### in front of #every #single #word because you’re trying to #succeed at #socialmedia and need #recognition.
What it says: I’m desperate for followers and am doing everything in my power to grab your attention.
02 • #TeamFollowBack
We all want people to follow us. We all want them to like our stuff. That’s unanimous, right? But announcing that you “Follow Back” just makes you look super needy. What do your social feeds look like with those 40k people? There’s no way you can keep up, and I don’t really want to just be another number for you.
What it says: I care about being popular over everything else – quantity is most important.
03 • Ninja/Guru/Expert/Czar/God
We get it. You’re good. But how about some humility!! Please! (And doesn’t declaring you’re a ninja take away from the whole “stealth” factor?) If you’re really THAT good, your clients will praise you. They will toot your horn so loud that you don’t have to. So instead of announcing it, prove it. Let me see you put those “ninja” skills into action. Dazzle me with your abilities, oh-so-humble one. Then let me make the declarations for you, and you can just sit back and bast in the glow of my acclamations.
What it says: I know everything there is to know about ___. There is absolutely no room for improvement or growth so don’t even try.
04 • Any Cutesie Emoticons: Unless You’re 12 Years Old.
Yes, we know that <3 looks like a heart and 🙂 means you’re happy. But if you’re trying to be taken seriously… don’t put them in your bio. That is NOT the message that you want to be giving to your potential clients. If you’re a professional, act like one.
What it says: I just can’t quite grow up.
05 • Spelling, Grammar & Punctuation Mistakes
PROOF READ!!! I harp on this all the time, Just Do It Already! Use “before” not “B4”. It’s a written language, not Bingo! And enough with the “U.R.A.Q.T.” abbreviations. a) we’re not in middle school, and b) I get that it’s neat those five letters sound like a sentence, but it’s basically the equivalent of typing “80085” on your calculator to spell out “BOOBS”… It’s not as cool as you think… then or now…
What it says: I’m ignorant and in too big of a hurry to care about annoying little things like accuracy.
06 • Lies, Illusions & Half-Truths
It amazes me that I even have to include this. It’s 160 characters people…. Just be honest for 2 whole sentences. Don’t try to “catch me”, or “pitch me”, or “sale me” – just honestly tell me who you are and what you do. That should be enough. Keep it simple.
What it says: I can’t be trusted. Ever.
07 • Ambiguous Phrases, Cliches & Quotes
“We work to live, not live to work”… Ok… Isn’t that the goal for everybody? And how does that help me in deciding if I should follow you or not? Could you be a little more vague and make me roll my eyes just a little bit harder? I want to hear about who you are and why/how we could connect. Benjamin Franklin’s a great guy, but nothing he’s said will be giving me those answers.
What it says: I don’t actually know who I am or what I want.
08 • CAPS LOCKS
It’s really not as necessary as people seem to think. If I’m interested enough to go to your bio page, I’m already planning on reading the whole thing. There’s no need to draw my attention to something. I swear I’ll make it there. Just give me a second.