HR Pros: Build Your Personal Brand with Twitter

Twitter is the third most popular social media site in the world and can play an important role in building your personal brand. By establishing a Twitter presence, you create a network that helps you connect with relevant people, get eyes on content you’ve created, and have more influence in your field. Here are some tips for getting started on Twitter and using the platform productively.

  1. Decide What You Want Your Twitter to Be About

Authenticity is important when building your Twitter presence, but you should try to home in on how you want to present your personal brand before you launch into using it. For example, if you’re the CEO of a solar company, you might want your Twitter to focus on issues relating to your industry, such as sustainability, innovation, and energy. This doesn’t mean you can never tweet about anything else, but determining what you’re going to bring to the table content-wise can help you attract the right kind of users and avoid getting lost in an otherwise saturated sphere. Sometimes niche is better when it comes to building an online following.

  1. Don’t Be a Robot

Companies and business professionals often make the mistake of being too clinical on Twitter—in short, too boring. As a result, their followers mainly consist of bots and automatic follows from other unengaged users. Connecting with people requires more than just tweeting out article links once a day, and your content should portray personality if you want people to care about you as a brand. Use humor in your personal brand whenever you can and mix up your tweets’ formats regularly with things like images or videos. Don’t be afraid to inject more of you into your tweets—it’s your personal brand you’re trying to build, after all.

  1. Post Consistently

If you’re worried about coming up with content frequently, consider scheduling tweets in advance to ensure you stay on top of it. Services like Hootsuite and Buffer let you do that, making it easier to manage various social media accounts. However, it’s not absolutely necessary to schedule your tweets—Apple CEO Tim Cook rarely tweets and has an excellent Twitter presence, but his title does give him a bit of an advantage!

If you decide to schedule tweets, make sure it doesn’t affect your ability to be personable. Don’t schedule various tweets for the week and forget about Twitter—keep it in your mind so when something that might interest people pops into your head, you can tweet it out in the moment. You may also want to weigh in on more current trends, including daily trending hashtags, as this will boost your engagement and relevance, especially while your audience is still small.

  1. Time Your Tweets Right

Certain time periods generate more engagement than others on your tweets. To be more successful on Twitter, learn what these times are and make the most of them. For example, early morning hours tend to generate the most clicks, but evenings are better for getting favorites and retweets, according to a 4.8 million-tweet research study conducted by Buffer. Of course, tweeting isn’t an exact science, so don’t be afraid to experiment and see what time periods your audience reacts the most in.

  1. Learn from the Success of Other Twitter Users

Identify successful people and brands in your field to learn more about building your online presence and figure out what works. You don’t have to copy what others do, but mimicking their style a little, or even getting some inspiration from them, can help you better establish your brand in a way that’s constructive. You’ll notice that there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for building an effective Twitter presence, but most successful users and brands choose vulnerability and authenticity over pushing their authority.

Twitter regularly updates its “Success Stories” page—keep up with it to see what’s working well for people and brands, and pick up some timely tips. In the meantime, here are a couple of examples of great Twitter presences.

Successful Twitter Influencers

Tesla CEO’s bio simply says, “Tesla, SpaceX, Tunnels & OpenAI,” and he almost exclusively sticks to those topics in his tweets, while also offering semi-relevant hot takes such as “Rollercoasters are awesome.” Musk’s personable approach to his customers and Twitter followers adds to the appeal of his personal brand. He has 7.6 million followers, despite following only 40 people—so don’t expect a follow back from him anytime soon, unless you’ve joined NASA.

UK-based smoothie company Innocent is an excellent example of a good Twitter presence because it doesn’t try to push its products much. Instead, it opts to tweet about charity efforts it’s involved in, chatting with its customers, and weighing in on what might happen at the Oscars this year. The company recently used its following to help a woman find a certain type of wool to finish knitting a blanket. No word yet on whether she found it with the help of Innocent’s 268,000 followers, but fingers crossed!

Developing Your Brand While Maintaining Security

Even though generating a Twitter presence for your personal brand might seem daunting at first, using these five steps can help you get started and hopefully find success just around the corner. Also, remember to use caution as you create your personal brand on the internet—stay safe and keep your personal information private. Following a few simple safety steps helps you stave off threats and keep your Twitter use beneficial to your personal brand. And don’t forget to monitor who is following you and liking your posts, as hackers are always trying to target users and spam is prolific on sites like Twitter.

Photo Credit: Tom Raftery Flickr via Compfight cc