How Twitter can help you build your personal brand

by Ana, posted 2 years ago
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Have you ever googled yourself? Of course you have. And if you haven’t, I’m sure your mom has done it for you. I know mine has.

So if you google your name, you’ll notice something interesting. You’ll see that the first results that will pop-up are your social media channels or your website or any website with authority that you are associated with.

This my friends is your personal brand online. Or at least what someone that doesn’t know you will perceive as your personal brand. Since everything and everyone is searchable and discoverable, naturally, you want to be in control of how you present yourself online.

Your social presence is an important part of it. A platform that puts everything together when it comes to branding yourself online is Twitter. Let me explain why that is.

Why Twitter is so important for personal branding

You might wonder why this is about Twitter and not about LinkedIn or Instagram for example. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you should completely discard these platforms but if you’ll use one platform to market yourself, make it Twitter.

By nature Twitter has the power to help you harness all the benefits of personal branding: the association with a field of expertise, the connections and partnerships you could benefit from, the recognition and credibility and of course, the clients and business opportunities.

[Tweet “Twitter has the power to help you harness all the benefits of personal branding.”]

The reason why that is, is quite simple. Twitter is by definition a micro-blogging platform. This means, that unlike other media such as LinkedIn, on Twitter it is easier to project your personality, while keeping it professional.

More than that, Twitter is an open, conversational platform. Not only it allows you to share your personal brand’s story but also it enables you to interact with others and get on the radar of people that matter to you the most such as influencers, industry leaders, decision makers, experts,bloggers, peers.

So how can you build your personal brand on Twitter? It might be easier than you think. Let’s take it step-by-step.

Step 1: List your fields of expertise

Your areas of expertise basically define who you are and what you do. In other words, before putting your Twitter strategy in action, think what you want to be known for. As Jayson Demers suggests

It’s best to develop yourself in a very specific niche. With a niche focus, you’ll have more opportunities to prove you know what you’re talking about, and while your potential audience might be slightly smaller, it will also be that much more relevant.

Step 2: Put extra effort in crafting your Twitter bio

Your Twitter bio is one the first things your potential followers see, which makes it a unique opportunity for you to present yourself, grow your Twitter audience and build a stronger online presence. And of course it is the place to highlight your areas of expertise in the form of keywords that will make your profile more discoverable and will convey in a clear and concise way what you’re about.

Given that you have only 160 characters to shine, make sure all the important information is included and crafted in an engaging way. Think about it like this: Your Twitter bio is basically your personal brand’s elevator pitch. So to make it complete, make sure location and a link to your website are also there.

[Tweet “Your Twitter bio is your personal brand’s elevator pitch.”]

Here’s some of the Twitter bios I find great for personal branding

Twitter Bios Examples

Step 3: Use an actual picture of yourself

What do they above profiles have in common except for great Twitter bios? Actual pictures of the people. I know, shocker! But as trivial as it may sound, if you’re getting serious about personal branding, a quality headshot can go a long way.

In general, quality imagery with attention to detail, not only makes your profile look nice but it also inspires trust and help you convey your story and your personal brand’s value proposition in a more complete way.

Step 4: Be smart about who you follow

Do you really have a strategy about who you follow? Having a plan on who to follow on Twitter, allows you to listen to your Twitter community without much noise, build relationships, create a firehose for curating Twitter content and of course grow your audience.

Neil Patel suggests 3 main groups of users you should follow on Twitter:

  1. Suggestions from the “Who to follow” tab, Twitter’s curated a list of people you might be interested in.
  2. Leaders in your industry that can help you network with other people but also get access to first-hand insights into the latest developments your field.
  3. Following back anyone who followed you especially if you’re just starting with Twitter can help you retain some of your recently acquired followers.

WHO TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER (1)

 

Step 5: Use the right hashtags to amplify your message

Twitter hashtags can potentially be a major driver of traffic if they are used wisely. Even though only 10% of tweets include a hashtag, 21% of retweets contain hashtags. As Twitter science suggests:

[Tweet “Tweets with one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted than tweets without.”]

But don’t get carried away! The more the hashtags the less the engagement of your tweets. In fact, tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% more engagement than tweets with more. After the third hashtag, tweets engagement has been found to drop by 17%.

So now that there’s no question about the effect of hashtags on amplification, the question is, how do you know which are the right hashtags for you to use? Here’s a couple of tools to help you out.

Hashtagify.me

This tool is great for visualising correlations among hashtags and discovering relevant hashtags around a specific topic. You can start with a general hashtag for your industry and see which other hashtags are used along with it. Keep in mind that the size of each circle represents the popularity of the hashtags and the length of the lines connecting your search query to the related hashtags reflects how relevant these hashtags are.

hashtags data by hashtagify.me

RiteTag

RiteTag’s browser extension  is a quite a useful tool for estimating the potential visibility of your tweet. RiteTag uses color coding to categorize the hashtags and notify you whether the hashtag you just typed is not used, overused or just right for amplifying your message and increasing its chances of being discovered.

Step 6: Commit

Your brand won’t magically grow on Twitter unless you commit. Committing is not only about dedicating time but also effort to share your expertise and add value to your community.

That means you need to actively post and engage on Twitter in order to gain influence as well as followers because simply put, nobody wants to follow and idle account. Dan Zarrella has found that accounts that tweeting more has a positive correlation to follower growth.

So how do you follow through your commitment to market yourself on Twitter? Two words: Content plan.

Your Twitter content plan should cover three main aspects: what you will post, when you’ll post in and which forms of content you’ll choose to convey your message.

What to post

Knowing what to post basically comes down to knowing who your target audience is.  What is it they would find helpful and what would they be more inclined to share? Once you answer these questions, curating content will become much easier.

Keep in mind that the content you are sharing on Twitter, not only has to be highly relevant but also add value to your audience. Valuable content is content that is useful, informational, educational and of course entertaining. And of course the greater the value propositions, the more likely your content is to get shared.

But since time is money, check out three tools that can help you find amazing content to tweet in no time.

Scoopit

Using keywords and interests Scoop.it can turn into a powerful, tailor made content curation tool with the option to directly publish content on social media in one click.

Feedly

Feedly is basically a news aggregator that can pull any RSS feed. You can completely personalize your experience and add all your favorite news sources and blogs into a stream so that every day you can immediately find great articles in your niche to share. Feedly also shows the number of shares for each piece which is a great way to quickly grasp the social media buzz around a topic.

Flipboard

Flipboard is a magazine-like mobile app for smart content curation on the fly that can save you a ton of time, as you can discover amazing content to share during your morning commute.

When to post

When to post your content is not only about timing, but also about frequency.

In a recent study, Buffer found that the highest amount of engagement per tweet occurs between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., peaking between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m.

In an older research, Dan Zarrella had found that the best time to tweet if your aim for retweets is in the afternoon with a peak at 5 pm and a frequency mix of 1 to 4 tweets per day.

Bit.ly’s findings on the other hand suggest that posting in the afternoon earlier in the week is your best chance at achieving a high click count (1-3pm Monday through Thursday).

At the end of the day, when and how often you should tweet may vary from account to account as it depends on several different factors such as audience size, time zone, type of content etc. What it is important is to use the right tools and run your own experiments on a frequent basis.

What I try to keep an eye on for my account is the best time to tweet based on the engagement my tweets have received in the last week or last few months and use this as a reference for experimentation.

Best time to tweet

 Learn more about how the Best Time to Tweet report works here

How to post

The how the way you actually structure and convey your content. Is it a quote, a video, a link post or an image? It is important to keep the balance between different types of posts until you know what stands out for your audience. When writing your social media copy, keep in mind that length matters. Social media scientist, Dan Zarrella suggests  that tweets that are 100 to 115 characters long are more likely to be retweeted.

Twitter suggests images or video as the best option to accompany your tweets and boost your reach, whereas tweets with quotes tend to outperform questions when it comes to amplification.

Step 7: Be a chatty fella

Twitter chats can prove to be an effective tactic to market your personal brand by establishing your Twitter authority, connecting with influential members of your community and prospects.

Participating in a Twitter chat means adding value to your community with useful information and valuable advice. This can help you increase your Twitter audience and ultimately build long lasting relationships that are more likely to generate leads, as your account becomes more visible.

To discover interesting Twitter chats in your field, check out Twchat’s calendar for an overview of relevant Twitter chats in your timezone, Tweetreports’ Twitter chats schedule with a rich directory and information on moderators and topics, or Gnosis for a wiki-like list of Twitter chats you could join.

Step 8: Listen monitor and engage

Building your personal brand on Twitter requires good listening skills or what Ross Geller would call “Unagi” – a state of total awareness.

giphy

Being Unagi, or just a good Twitter listener, allows you to build a stronger community for your personal brand by engaging and building relationships with the people that matter to you, participating in Twitter conversations that are relevant and of course monitoring your progress.

Where to focus first

1. On listening to Twitter conversations you could contribute to. Keeping an eye on your Twitter mentions or specific hashtags will allow you to react fast in replying to users that mention you or in jumping into conversations you could add value to. Tweetdeck’s dashboard does the job perfectly and for free.

Twitter tracker, a Twitter Counter tool, is great for Twitter monitoring and track important hashtags and keywords you use often or have a significance to you.  Along with the volume of tweets, you get access to list of the Twitter users that have tweeted about your search query the most, as well as a list of Twitter influencers that have tweeted about it.

2. On your new followers and unfollowers to spot any influential users that started or stop following you. This way, you can immediately start engaging with super stars that just joined your community or try and win back those who left the nest.

Bonus: I find tracking new followers and unfollowers extremely helpful for checking whether I have a negative follower growth. If you realize that you’re losing more followers than what you’re actually gaining, it’s time to change things around and tweak your content strategy.

New_followers_-_Unfollowers

3. On your biggest fans. Your biggest fans are the users that engage with you the most. Keep track of the users that mention you and retweet you and add them to a Twitter list so that you can interact with them frequently. By retweeting them or simply chatting with them, not only you show appreciation but you also set the foundations for a strong personal brand on Twitter.

Gain access to the right toolset for building a strong personal brand on Twitter.

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Comments

  • barry David

    Twitter sucks! They punish you for following too many people. I am blocked from following more people, only because I am following more people than follows me.

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