The Author's Social Media Bio Formula

An important detail that’s often overlooked or slapped together at the last minute is the bio or about section on social media outlets. It’s one of those details that we put off because we simply don’t know what to say. 

Your bio is one of the most important aspects of your social media platform. It’s your five-second opportunity to hook new readers and tell them why they should follow you.

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And here’s the kicker - your social media isn’t for you, it’s for your readers. When someone visits your profile, you need to let them know what you have to offer, what you will share with them, and then lead them to their next step.

You have just a few hundred characters to grab your reader’s attention, so it’s important to use this section wisely. 

Each outlet has a different number of characters available for the bio section, but the overall approach is still the same. Here’s what you have to work with:  

Facebook: The about section is a brief summery featured on your page - it’s limited to 255 characters. Facebook does offer longer bio section, but they have to go to the about page to actually see it. 

Instagram: No more than 150 characters + 1 URL

Twitter: No more than 140 characters 

Pinterest: No more than 200 characters 

What I would advise you to do is write a solid bio using 140 characters that you can use on all of your outlets. For each social outlet that allows more characters, you can add hashtags, emojis, or additional information. 

That way you can keep your messaging, brand, and approach consistent while still adding a tiny bit of uniqueness to each outlet. 

You might be thinking that this is just too hard or confusing, but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! 

I have a handy formula to help you create a winning bio for your social media outlets.  

There are three factors to this formula that should be in your bio no matter what platform you are focusing on:

FOCUS + YOU + GIFT = GREAT BIO

Focus

What’s in it for your readers? What can they expect?

You want to focus on this part right away because, again, this is about your readers, not you. You need to give them a reason first for why they should pay attention and follow your page. Tell them what’s in it for them. 

More often than not, I see bios that start off like this: 

Author of “Here’s My Book,” mom, wife, coffee addict, and blogger. Check out my new book at www.heresmyname.com. 

Here’s the problem - this author is only talking about themselves and doesn’t show what their reader will gain from following them. Your bio needs to spark that interest in your readers to make them want to follow. 

You

Share a little bit about yourself.

This section gives a taste of other types of posts and content that you will share that might be outside of the content of your books. For example, you might mention “Family, mindfulness, and inspiration” because those are three things you’re passionate about and connection points that you’d like to make with our readers.

Gift

A free sample of what you have to offer.

Letting these new readers know that you have a free excerpt, a checklist, a free short story, etc., to give them as a free gift (in exchange for their email address) is a huge win. It not only helps you grow your newsletter list but it also gives them something tangible to walk away with to sample your writing style and valuable content. 

 

Now, don’t feel like you have to get this perfect right off the bat before posting it on your profile. It might take some tweaking and adjusting, and that’s OK! Keep working at it and adjust it as needed.

Here are some examples to give you inspiration: 

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Having a strong bio in place will help you establish an instant connection with readers, but it also helps you grow your audience. When people know what you have to offer and what they will gain from following your account, you will see big changes.