There are so many places to keep up within the digital world of social media. Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat—these are just a few of the platforms that you can use to establish your personal brand. Building a personal brand can help young entrepreneurs and professionals make a mark in the world.
But it can be difficult to know which platforms are worth spending time on. Here, we will discuss how to use your Twitter account to build up your personal brand.
Why Build a Personal Brand?
Today, things exist online like never before. While 20 years ago, we would never have dreamed of building online personal profiles, trends have changed.
Professionals now need a virtual presence. When an employer or school types in your name on Google, what pops up? This is part of your online personal branding. Without some serious effort and organization, your personal brand is going to look like a mishmash of random news stories or posts.
Your personal brand will typically span across the web, including all social media profiles. While some choose to lock down their profiles with tight privacy settings or stay off of social media altogether, others choose to create the kind of personal brand that may give them the edge.
When you have a strong online presence, your personal brand can help a hiring manager understand more about you before you even meet. When done right, a personal brand can offer a striking and impressive picture of your skillsets and personality.
Why is Twitter Good for Personal Branding?
Building up your Twitter profile is just one more way to increase your social reach. Twitter offers a continual flow of comments from accounts that span individuals, professionals, organizations, and brands.
Twitter bios are usually simple and just need a small headshot, a 160-character blurb, and a wider cover photo. It often takes less effort to create content for Twitter and could even stem from content you are creating for other platforms. You will be limited to 280 characters (double the initial character limit of 140). You can use images and hashtags to help increase engagement.
You can usually think up comments pretty quickly to create a steady stream of content. You can also post quotes, interesting links, or retweet other Tweets.
Twitter can offer concise insight into your immediate activities. While an employer could go back extremely far in your Tweets, they are more likely to use it to see what you’ve been up to recently. If you are getting interaction from other industry peers or starting to get a following as an expert, your Twitter profile can have an even bigger impact.
How to Build Your Personal Brand with Twitter
If you are ready to start building your online personal brand, Twitter can be a great place to start. Here are several tips for building your personal brand with Twitter.
As with most social platforms, you need to practice consistent Tweeting for the best results. Most professionals recommend you Tweet up to 20 or even 30 times a day. You can schedule Tweets, so they aren’t all coming at the same time. For some things, like live-Tweeting an event, you may have Tweets naturally fall close together.
Join Community Talks
Most industries have live Twitter discussions (or Twitter chats) and Q&A sessions covering various topics at set times. Try to join in on conversations that are within your industry or niche. The more you participate, the more others will see you as a consistent part of that industry. You will get more visibility when you get a mention or retweeted during a live discussion.
Don’t Tweet Carelessly
While Twitter is well-known for its off-the-cuff and casual commentaries, you will still have to carefully proof your Tweets with a critical eye. There are plenty of scandals and messy situations that happened from people being too careless with their Tweets. Only Tweet out things that you would want a future employer to read.
Never Be the Troll
Every time you respond to someone, your followers will be able to see that Tweet as a standalone. Never, ever be a bully online. Be professional in all settings—partly because it’s the right thing to do and partly because an employer or someone might see nasty comments that are also completely out of context. Even when others are rude or obnoxious, always present yourself as the leader you want to be.
Make sure you are following interesting people with relevant things to say. Retweet the ideas, quotes, and links that fit your personal brand. Not everything in your Twitter feed needs to come directly from you. You can even retweet comments.
You need to pick good hashtags because, unlike Instagram’s average of 10 hashtags per post, Twitter only averages two. Buffer even says that after those two hashtags, engagement will drop by 17% on average.
But hashtags are also one way to have your regular posts seen by people other than your followers.
Before using hashtags, it’s a good idea to do some quick research and make sure that your content actually fits the context—there have also been some awkward #Twitterfails when someone jumped into a conversation without understanding what they were in for. Or you may find it’s a dead hashtag that isn’t worth using because no one will be looking there.
Tweet about Real Life
The difference between a Troll or bot account and a real account is that you actually have a life. If you want to look like a professional and not a fake account, you should talk about your life a little bit. This might include professional events or funny things from daily life. Talking about your kid or someone in the checkout line, for example, can be funny and give you a little bit of a personality. Just always keep your Tweets appropriate and keep privacy best practices in mind.
Learn the Platform
Twitter can be a strange place if you aren’t used to it. On one hand, you can feel as if you are yelling into the void because no one is responding to anything you post. On the other hand, you can accidentally stumble into a semi-private conversation and make it a little weird.
Get to know the platform, so you have a good understanding of etiquette and common Twitter practices before you commit to a lot of activity. Spend time exploring hashtags and checking out what some of your industry thought leaders, peers, and mentors are doing.
Need Help? 3 Tools for Twitter
Adding one more thing to your plate can be overwhelming. Here are three great tools you may want to try out in order to streamline your professional branding.
If you manage more than one Twitter account or just want to schedule posts to simplify your social activity, then TweetDeck might be a helpful tool for you. You can schedule Tweets, monitor your account, and set up notification alerts to stay in the loop. This is a free app that is created by Twitter for users like you. It can even be used as a web app, desktop app, and more.
With both free and paid options, Hashtagify is an advanced tool that will help you find relevant hashtags. If you are looking for more advanced options, Hashtagify gets pricy fast ($30+/month for a personal account). You can also try RiteTag, TweetReach, and Tagboard to find out which free (or paid) option works best for you.
If you are trying to see what works and what doesn’t, Twitonomy will offer some helpful insight. The analytics part of the tool will show graphs that break down your activity and engagement levels. You will even have access to analytics about your followers with this free Twitter tool.
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