One of the most important steps in establishing your personal brand is to craft a social media presence that demonstrates your personality, creativity, professionalism, and accomplishments. In the age of Social Media your presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may be more important that your résumé or business card.

If you haven’t looked at your Twitter bio in a while take a peek. What would family, friends, peers, colleagues, or recruiters think after they read it? Will its contents help you grow your network or engage your followers?

Mashable has demonstrated that “your bio is one of the major factors that people take into consideration when deciding whether or not to follow you on Twitter.”

Limitations Create Opportunity

Lets start with the limitations. Twitter limits your bio to only 160 characters, leading the New York Times to call it a “postmodern artform.”

While that may be an aggressive statement, crafting the perfect Twitter bio does require some skill. Embrace the limitation as it helps create focus. What are the most essential points to share? You want to establish a framework that tells people who you are and why they should follow you.

Keywords

Once you’ve drafted your Twitter bio, lets look at it more closely. If someone were to do a relevant keyword search on Twitter would they find you? Consider search performance and optimize your Twitter bio to include keywords that relate to your interests, hobbies, or profession.

#Hashtags

The Twittersphere invented #hashtags as a way to organize topics of conversation. Consider using them in your Twitter bio for broad topics that you may have interest in, or that describe a skill you have. Do not add a hashtag in front of every keyword.

Accounts

You can also include accounts in your Twitter profile. You may consider cross-promoting another Twitter account you manage. Or perhaps you want to include the @username for the school you attend (@MarquetteU) or your place of employment (@7SummitsAgency).

Website Links

You may have already noticed that Twitter allows you to add a link to your Twitter profile. But you can also add additional links to your Twitter bio. I’d recommend you limit additional links, and if you do please consider using a URL shortener like bit.ly to save yourself a few characters though.

Do use the link in your Twitter profile to send people to your personal website, portfolio, resume, or LinkedIn presence.

Be Yourself

While you may be trying very hard to craft a succinct and professional Twitter bio, don’t forget to be yourself. Find your own voice and tone – its OK to add your personality to your Twitter bio.

Maybe its a bit of humor. Maybe its written in iambic pentameter. Whatever you decide on, make it work for you as it will help you stand out from the crowd and establish your writing style across social media channels.

Spelling and Grammar

This is often overlooked – don’t forget to review your Twitter bio for spelling and grammar!

Inspiration

Finally, with more than 271 million active Twitter users inspiration is easily found through Twitter search or your current network. Look to the profiles of professionals, experts, or celebrities that you are fond of. Do a search for people in your profession. How do they describe themselves?

And remember, your Twitter bio is not static. Revisit the process quarterly and audit your social media channels to update your presence and profiles.