8 Ways to use Twitter to Build Your Personal Brand

by Zia A., posted 11 months 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. Nothing says maternal love like a Google alert for your offspring!

Alright so let’s say you Google your name. What do you see? Chances are if you’re like 99% of the general population, the top results are (1) your social media accounts, (2) your website, or (3) any “Google-deemed-to-be-important” website that you’re somehow associated with (hello New York Times!).

This, my friends, is your personal online brand. Even if you don’t think you’ve got one, trust me, you do. It’s 2017, everyone’s got a personal brand, including this cutie, charming all the babes on the beach. And when someone searches you (which they will no doubt do – employers, Tinder dates, your friends from high school who want to know what you’ve been up to all these years), you want to be in control of how you present yourself online. Today we’re going to look at how you can use Twitter to do that.

Twitter personal brand

Why is Twitter so important for your personal brand?

So why are we talking about Twitter today, and not about LinkedIn or Facebook or Instagram? Those platforms are great, but if you only use one platform to market yourself, it should be Twitter. Here’s why.

Twitter is, by definition, a micro-blogging platform, meaning that it allows you to make short, frequent posts to your Twitter feed (your “microblog”). And unlike other social platforms like LinkedIn, these short frequent posts make it easier to find your voice.

More than that, Twitter is a tool for conversation. Not only can you share your personal story and thoughts, but you can interact with other users, landing on the radar of people that matter most for your personal goals (think influencers, industry leaders, decision makers, experts, bloggers, peers, etc.).

So how can you build your brand on Twitter?

It’s easier than you think. Let’s take it step-by-step.

Step 1: List your field(s) of expertise

Your areas of expertise basically define what interests you and what you can do. So the first step is to give some thought to what you’d like 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 introduce yourself. And of course, here’s where you want to highlight your areas of expertise from Step 1, in the form of keywords that will make your profile more discoverable and will tell people what you’re all about.

Given that you have only 160 characters to shine, they key to a great Twitter bio is short & sweet. Make sure all the important information is there and written in an engaging way. This is basically your elevator pitch for the brand of YOU so make it peppy. Including location and a link to your website is also a good idea.

Here is a great example of an effective Twitter bio – it gives you an immediate understanding of what Hillary is all about, but the tone of the copy has a little humor, designed to help her stand out.


Step 3: Use an actual picture of yourself

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

In general, nice clear images that show some attention to detail, like lighting (natural is best) and wardrobe (appropriate for your industry), not only makes your profile look good but will also inspire confidence.

Step 4: Be smart about who you follow

Do you have a strategy for who to follow? You should. Who you follow on Twitter can be as important as who’s following you. Create a plan and you’ll reduce noise, build better relationships, hone your image, and create a more streamlined path to curating Twitter content.

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

  1. Suggestions from the “Who to follow” tab. Twitter’s already done the work for you and curated a list of people you might be interested in. Check them out first.
  2. Leaders in your industry that can help build your network and provide insights and breaking news in your field.
  3. Anyone who follows you. This one is a bit contentious, but if you’re just starting out on Twitter, following people who have started to follow you can help retain and build your initial audience.

Twitter personal brand

Step 5: Use the right hashtags

Alright, we know the hashtag has become the butt of a lot of jokes in mainstream media, but, when used wisely, hashtags can be a major traffic boost. Even though only 10% of tweets include a hashtag, 21% of retweets contain hashtags. Twitter science suggests:

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

Twitter personal brand

But don’t go hashtag bonkers. Hashtags are a balancing act. Too many hashtags = lower engagement. One or two, you’re looking good. After the third hashtag, engagement has been found to drop by 17%.

But how do you find relevant hashtags? Here is a couple of tools to help you out.

This tool is great for visualizing correlations between hashtags and finding relevant hashtags around a specific topic or theme. You start with a general hashtag for your post and then see which other hashtags are commonly used along with it. The size of each circle represents how popular that hashtag is, and the length of the connecting line shows you how relevant.

Twitter personal brand


RiteTag’s browser extension can be useful for estimating the potential visibility of your tweet. RiteTag uses color-coding to categorize hashtags and let you know whether a hashtag is not right, too much, or in the sweet spot to amplify your message. Just think of it like the Goldilocks of hashtag tools.

Twitter personal brand

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 nobody wants to follow and idle account.

Dan Zarrella has found that accounts that tweet more often see a positive correlation in follower growth.

Step 7: Talk up a storm

Twitter chats can be an effective way to market your personal brand by establishing your authority and connecting with influential members of your community. Participating means adding value to the community with useful information and valuable advice. This can help you grow your audience and, ultimately, build lasting relationships that are more likely to generate leads.

To find interesting and relevant Twitter chats check out Twchat’s calendar for an overview of 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 can join.

Step 8: Listen, monitor, and engage

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

Twitter personal brand

What gets measured, gets done so part of your awareness will mean monitoring your progress. How? Here’s where to focus:

  1. Listen to Twitter conversations where you have something valuable to contribute. Keep an eye on your Twitter mentions and hashtags so that you can react and reply quickly whenever opportunities arise. Tweetdeck’s dashboard does this perfectly and (bonus!) for free. Twitter Tracker, a Twitter Counter tool, is also great for monitoring and tracking important hashtags and keywords that are significant to your brand; along with the volume of tweets, you get access to a list of Twitter users and influencers that have tweeted about your search query the most. Social media gold!
  2. Keep an eye on new followers (and, as frustrating as it can be, on who’s unfollowed you as well) to spot any influential users that have come or gone. This way, you can immediately start engaging with superstars that just joined your community or try and win back those who flew the coop.
    Bonus: Tracking new follows and unfollows can also be a good barometer for your Twitter state. If for example, you find you’re losing more followers than you’re gaining, it’s time to change things up.
    Twitter personal brand
  3. Pay attention to your biggest fans, the users that engage with you the most. Add them to a Twitter list and interact with them frequently either through retweets or just a simple chat. Not only is it nice to show appreciation, but you’ll also strengthen both your relationships and your personal brand along the way. 

Ready to unleash your own personal brand to the Twittersphere? Gain access to the right tools and valuable insights into your Twitter performance, plus monitor competition and track conversations that matter to you. All with the help of Twitter Counter. Sign up today.