Ten Ways to Kill Your Twitter Brand

Twitter is a powerful social networking tool that helps you brand yourself and grow your own community of followers. Just as with any professional or social network, everything you do on Twitter can have a positive or negative impact on you, your personal brand and your reputation.

Whether you’ve been tweeting for a while or are just getting started, protect your Twitter brand by avoiding these 10 fatal Twitter personal branding mistakes:

1) Mixing Business and Pleasure

If you are on Twitter with the objective of building your personal brand for career advancement, focus more on tweets you would feel comfortable sharing with an employer.  This doesn’t mean you can’t tweet anything personal.  I simply suggest you create a separate profile for your social life so not to confuse and/or turn off either group of followers.

2) Spamming

One of the top reasons people lose followers on Twitter is that they over-promote themselves, their businesses, their blogs and/or their offerings.  Always maintain the 80/20 balance in your contributions: 80% of your tweets should be free and value-added and the remaining 20% can be more self-serving in nature.

3) Not Helping Your Network

Helping others, whether it be promoting their efforts, re-tweeting their content, sharing a valuable resource with them or answering a question they have posted, can earn you a loyal following and help build your network.  As a Twitter rule of thumb, always make sure to give more than you receive.

4) Not Tweeting Enough

It is estimated that over a quarter of all Twitter accounts are inactive.  If you are inactive or infrequent in your Twitter contributions and activity, it is going to be very apparent to any potential followers and/or network contacts. Be sure to invest some time and energy into your account and tweet on a regular basis so to engage and build a network of followers.

5) Forgetting a Personal Avatar

In today’s digital world, it is even more important to get the people out from behind the profiles.  Skip the business logo and make sure that you include your own personal photo as your avatar so potential followers can see who they are interacting with.

6) Wasting Your Real Estate

Your Twitter profile offers you a lot of real estate that you can leverage to promote yourself, your profiles, your blog and more.  First, make sure to include a personal bio or summary and site or profile link in your profile sidebar.  Also, don’t forget to create a personalized background.  This can include a personal photo, your business logo, as well as business, personal and/or contact information and links.

7) Following Everyone Under the Twitter Sun

While building your network does involve you following other Twitter users, it comes across desperate and less professional when you have thousands of followees, but much fewer followers.  Be patient in your network building and avoid letting the number of your followees overtake the number of your followers.

8 ) Plagiarizing

Don’t take credit for a tweet or idea that isn’t your own.  While it technically isn’t a crime, it isn’t right or professional, won’t build a good relationship with the originator and may hurt your brand if your current and potential followers were to find out.  Whenever you are sharing something with your followers that you are sourcing from someone else, be sure to add an “RT” at the beginning to show that you are re-tweeting it and/or include @JohnSmith at the end to give credit to the originator.

9) Only Re-Tweeting

Re-tweeting others’ tweets and links can help you build stronger relationships with your followers and with others within the Twitter universe; however, make sure that you contribute your own POV and your thoughts, opinions and resources and are not guilty of solely re-tweeting everyone else’s.  You won’t build your brand as a thought leader if you don’t have any thoughts of your own.

10) Not Creating a Dialogue

Obviously, to be active on Twitter, you have to start tweeting.  However, to be truly effective on Twitter, you must go beyond your own tweets and engage others in two-way conversation.  This can be down by asking questions of your followers and answering those they post, initiating or participating in Twitter chats and responding promptly to any direct messages or @ messages sent to you.

Chris Perry, MBA is a Gen Y brand and marketing generator, a career search and personal branding expert and the founder of Career Rocketeer, Launchpad, Blogaristo and more.

Twitter Chats: A Method to the Madness

I’ve recently gotten into the practice of managing, organizing and consulting for Twitter chats including #LBSchat, #TChat and others. Bear with me in this very straightforward methodology for creating a chat on Twitter.

A Definition: What’s a Twitter chat?

A Twitter chat is a scheduled group orchestrated around a hashtag. Chats usually last about an hour and can capture any size audience. Typically, Twitter users are drawn to chats because chats offer a forum to air out ideas and opinions about a specific topic.


A Twitter chat should exist to accomplish a set of goals. The goals can be specific and measurable or qualitative in nature. Some examples of Twitter chat goals are as follows:

  • To grow thought leadership for the chat founders
  • To create an open forum for discussion around a previously under-explored topic
  • To fuel content for a blog, book, ebook or wiki

TalentCulture - Twitter Chat - How-to Image - "The View" Roundtable as a Twitter ChatDetermining a Need

There are already a ton of Twitter chats today. So determining whether or not enough demand exists is crucial to the success of a chat. Chat founders need to aim to create an experience participants can’t get elsewhere. Before jumping in head first, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are the existing conversations about my topic burgeoning, but disjointed? In other words, is there a need for organization around the conversations about this topic?
  • Are there enough sub topics to fuel this chat for more than a few sessions?
  • What influencers would be interested in this chat? Can I convince them to participate?
  • How many people would be ideal for a conversation about my topic?



Establishing an official Twitter persona for your chat has several benefits:

  • The profile bio can be used to give a description of the chat.
  • The profile URL can link to a chat blog, group, category RSS feed, etc.
  • The account can be used to ask questions during the chat.
  • The account can build thought leadership in a niche vertical.

Some chats do not have an official Twitter persona behind them. They are run by the individuals who founded them. This format can work too, especially if the individual organizing the chat wants individual credibility.


One of the most difficult issues to work out during a chat is how closely you want to control it. The number of questions in your chat can steer a conversation into very niche discussions or an open-mic style chat puts the chat direction entirely in the hands of the participants.

For many chats, 5-10 questions work well. Some chats will change format from time to time by hosting an occasional open forum or bringing in a special guest to do a Q&A.


Most Twitter chats are weekly. Others are monthly. Still others are scheduled sporadically. Finding the right frequency for your audience will be largely based on how engaged they are and by how consistently compelling the content is.

It may take a few months to figure out an appropriate frequency. You will get a sense of how often a chat needs to take place based on the volume of participation.


It’s helpful to think of your Twitter chat like a community. Figure out where and how your chat community will reach its members. Some examples of touchpoint models are:

  • Email newsletters
  • Twitter reminders (public @replies or Direct Messages)
  • LinkedIn group messages
  • Facebook Group notifications

Growing an Audience

Momentum is crucial to a successful chat. In an ideal world, your chat would gather more participants each week. Unfortunately, your Twitter chat is just a Twitter chat. It will not be a high priority item for your community members. So some of your chats will be smaller than others. However, there are best practices for growing a community between chats:

  • Encourage community members to spread the word about the chat.
  • Create recap blog posts for anyone who cannot participate in the live chat.
  • Thank and highlight chat participants regularly.
  • Establish a for your chat hashtag and tweet it during each update.
  • Keep engagement on the hashtag going even when the chat is not live.

Capitalizing on a Chat

Sponsored Twitter chats are becoming increasingly common. Some options you have for monetizing a chat are:

  • Charging per tweet
  • Charging per chat
  • Selling a sponsorship package for a set number of chats
  • Charging per click on a sponsored link


Some chats you may want to look at:

Some technology you may want to test into: