5 Twitter Tips That Will Enhance Your Personal Brand
If you’re one of the world's 284 million active Twitter users each month, you might be using the social-media platform to keep up with the news from media outlets, views of bloggers and conversations of remarkable people talking about whatever market your business is in.
While some professionals are willing to simply play lurker and follow other Twitter users to glean information and understand what’s trending, others have found Twitter an excellent vehicle for building a personal brand and creating more opportunities to stand out, be discovered and engaged with.
Here are some surefire tips to use to craft a better experience for your followers and others visiting your Twitter page or even using search tools to sift through tweets to find more people like you:
1. Upload a professional-looking photo.
With images dominating social media and leading to massive amounts of visual engagement, it’s time to upgrade the photo you uploaded when you first joined Twitter. Holiday snaps, pictures with pets or cropped shots of you in a bar with someone’s arm on your shoulder are out.
Procuring a professional portrait from a good photographer who creates a likeness that reflects your personal brand doesn’t have to cost the Earth and it will help you shine. Even having a friend take a picture with a decent camera is better than using something distracting or blurry that doesn’t do justice to the professional you.
2. Build out a keyword-rich bio.
Whatever your niche, people might be searching by keyword for someone like you on various tools for different reasons.
They might be industry peers looking for like minds to follow using Manage Flitter. Or PR professionals could be hunting for experts for a campaign or journalists could be seeking sources for a story using Followerwonk. Similarly, a marketing team could be scouring a given target market for influencers using a tool like Traackr.
If you’re an expert in your field, try to be as discoverable as possible by imagining the keywords that people might use to search for you. On Twitter, you can use only 160 characters for your bio, so make it count by leveraging all of them to the limit.
3. Add a website link to a profile.
You might not have a personal website or blog, but at least try to fill the Twitter bio field with something that people can click on to learn more about what you do and where you work, including anything discussed in your bio.
The hyperlink you provide could go to your personal LinkedIn profile or a company's "about" page. Don’t leave that field blank. Think about how anyone perusing your Twitter page will be able to reference more than just a few scant words for basing their decision to follow or engage with you.
4. Indicate location.
What's helpful for anyone checking your Twitter profile is to know where you're based. You might be a business owner who travels a lot but adding a city will help your personal brand become more discoverable. Many of the online tools cited above let searchers narrow their query to a specific locale.
It might seem cool to say you’re “here, there and everywhere,” but it would do you a disservice over the long run since your Twitter profile might then fall outside the parameters of a targeted search.
5. Engineer auto-posting wisely.
A new trend of publishing automatically curated content has become a minefield for many professionals searching for relevant news and insight to share. Sites like Swayy.co and Scoop.it let Twitter users discover and post relevant content based on specific criteria.
What some people who use these tools don’t realize is that if they don’t meter their publishing missives, some followers might consider such an outpouring to be spamming. It's apparent to anyone viewing their profiles that they're pushing out tweets too often -- sometimes every few minutes.
This is not just an annoying experience for their followers. This tweet abundance also reflects badly on their personal brands as they come across as inauthentic with little thought for their followers' feeds.
While Twitter can be an incredible tool for content discovery and communication, it also can serve, in tandem with LinkedIn and Facebook, as a way to fashion a solid portrait of your personal brand. Although your tweets can be only 140 characters, your Twitter profile and style of disseminating content says a whole lot more about you. Be sure it reflects a positive image that gives rise to added opportunities for your discovery of your brand.
Mel Carson is founder of Delightful Communications, a Seattle-based social-media-strategy, digital-PR and personal-branding consulting firm. He is co-author of Pioneers of Digital and speaks about digital marketing and communications at conferences globally. He spent seven years at Microsoft as its digital-marketing evangelist.