Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
If nothing else, Twitter
has taught us the lessons of brevity and clarity, with their 140 character restriction on all our outgoing tweets. For your Twitter bio you are given the added bonus of 20 extra characters, leaving you with 160 characters to tell the world who you are. Many of your followers may never visit your Web site or walk through the doors of your building, so your Twitter bio is your chance to tell them who you are. Here are a few tips for creating a meaningful Twitter bio for your law enforcement agency.
Say who you are.
If a single person in your agency is tweeting, for example, your public information officer, don't be afraid to give a face and a name to that person. People in the twitterverse enjoy engaging with other human beings, which is why they are there. So don't be afraid to humanize your account.
Use big words.
I don't mean supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. What I do mean is to bust out the heavy hitters. Go ahead and tell the public this is the "Official" account for your agency. Give us your mission or your values. Tell us what you're committed to and what you stand for. If your agency has a tag line or unique branding statement, here is a great place to include it. It is important for your community to know who you are as an agency.
Explain what you'll be talking about.
If you plan to use your Twitter account to tweet only traffic information, say so. If your account will feature news and other community updates, then include that in your bio. People want to know what to expect so they can choose whether or not they want to follow you and receive your tweets.
Use your other resources.
There are two additional fields: Web and Location. Use these fields for the actual URL of your agency Web site (not a shortened version such as bit.ly) and for the location of your agency. Don't waste precious characters in your bio duplicating this information.
To see what other law enforcement agencies are doing with their Twitter bios visit the IACP Center for Social Media directory
and search by Twitter. What is it you like to see in a Twitter bio?