There are a lot of different ways to craft a bio in Twitter. A lot of schools like to use something like “the official Twitter account of ______ University” or “Tweets from the University of ______” This is a fairly standard practice. Institutions use their Twitter accounts for engagement, recruitment, news, alerts, and myriad 140 character posts.
Some bios simply read as being fairly repetitive with the account “@something” in the actual bio. This is most-likely a result of search engine optimization as a well-written bio is going to be indexed by Google and other search engines. Plus, there’s a certain element of authenticity when a bio mentions that the account is “official.” But surely, some do better than others.
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A bio on Twitter has so much potential to concisely share the spirit and zest of a place. Everyone gets the same 160 characters on Twitter to make their bio interesting to a potential follower. Thankfully, there are schools that have decided to forgo staid and/or bland bios. Presented in no particular order, here are 12 schools that have crafted interesting Twitter bios that automatically make them unique and instantly pique our curiosity:
Victoria University: “Our graduates are known for their practical experience and learning outside the classroom.” I appreciate the focus on differentiation. The subtext in this bio says that not only will you learn a lot and earn a degree, but you will also gain experiences that go beyond the classroom. Victoria University‘s bio on Twitter instantly shares the story of the university.
UNSW Australia: The University of New South Wales Twitter bio starts off with a rather banal intro. However, the addition of “straight from the Lion’s mouth” is a great way to go from boring to bold. The lion is UNSW’s mascot and it appears in the center of the university’s crest.
University Of West London
University of West London: A bit of bragging is never a bad thing in the ultra-rich higher education environment that is London. Plus, this bio lets you know exactly what happens if you earn your degree at UWL: “95% of our graduates find employment within 6 months.”Getting a degree is important. Getting a job after you graduate is critical.
UCLA: This bio jumps right into the narrative of what UCLA is all about. And, the big-picture approach for the second half takes the focus beyond Los Angeles or California to a global perspective. The final sentence tugs at the hearts of prospective students as it simply states: “Welcome to your future.
University of Kent
University of Kent: The first portion of this bio isn’t as intriguing as the second half. I’ve always said that it’s important to acknowledge that humans are responsible for Twitter accounts. “Looked after by Allie 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri.” gives you an immediate connection to the fact that there is someone who will be there, ready to answer, if you tweet at them. Plus, while I can’t say I’ve seen this particular practice in a lot of Twitter bios, the link to the “house rules” (the University of Kent Social Media Guidelines) definitely makes for an interesting addition.
Queen Margaret University
Queen Margaret University: 80% of this bio should probably be rewritten. Too harsh? Maybe…but this bio could be improved with a bit more narrative/story. However, I had to add this account to my list because of the last sentence. Perhaps it’s supposed to be serious or maybe it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but “All information posted will be genuine”immediately grabbed my attention and made me smile.
Oregon State University
Oregon State University: This bio is full of zest. We are the home of extraordinary people, world changers and difference makers.” Are you curious about OSU yet? This bio captures your attention within the first 79 characters. It’s excellent and makes you want to know more about the institution. But, let me just add that the emphasis on “Beaver Nation” probably doesn’t need to be present on the primary university account. Oregon State University‘s community is so much more than the not-so-subtle nod to its athletic program. Still, I suppose it’s better than being a duck.
Melbourne University: This bio begins with “Tweet large.” It’s a bold statement for a university Twitter bio. Starting off a bio with a call to action requires more context. Tell a bit of the story of Melbourne University and continue the initial call to action and this bio will be phenomenal.
Macquarie University: “50 years, still different.” The introductory sentence in Macquarie University‘s Twitter bio tells the story of the school in a simple and concise fashion. The rest of the bio adds a bit more context, but the intro instantly reveals that this is a rather unconventional “newish” school.
Keele University: This bio packs a lot into 159 characters. Keele University has a lot to brag about and their bio references student satisfaction, prominence in academics, and grandeur of campus size. And then they throw in a curveball: “Many, many squirrels.” This part of the bio adds the perfect amount of humor. Also, the inclusion of “Tweets by Alistair, Declan & Kimmy” humanizes the account and makes the university’s Twitter presence feel much more personal.
Goldsmiths, University of London: My guess is that the intro to this bio is a result of SEO tactics as it does not reflect the creativity that’s present in the final section. Goldsmiths is described in the bio as “a close-knit community, a rich academic heritage, a creative powerhouse, a thought-provoking place.” Full disclosure #2 – My wife went to Goldsmiths and speaks very highly of the place. Now, I’ve never been there, but this bio tells a story that is very compelling.
Brock University: Present in a lot of my social media lists/recommendations, Brock University continues to do great work in this space. Their Twitter bio begins with “Brock University: for both sides of the brain.” This is simply brilliant. In fact, the entire bio is a case study in doing things right. Brock University manages to include their university hashtag (giving people another avenue to find all things related to #BrockU) as well as their official Facebook page in their bio.
A well-written Twitter bio can enhance a university’s presence and tell a compelling story. The 12 bios that I selected in this post are a wonderful reflection of possibilities of what you can do with 160 characters (yes, bios are 160 characters, not like tweets that are 140 characters.)
If you’re looking at improving your institution’s bio, take a look at your favourite Twitter accounts. Are they saying something interesting? How can you distill the essence of your school into a quick soundbite? My recommendation is to engage in a process of refinement and evolution. Be creative and mix things up. When schools all start to sound the same in their Twitter bios, maybe it’s time for you to be different. Think of the writing process for a Twitter bio as an opportunity for a creative challenge. Good luck and keep tweeting!
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