Imagine that you’re within 140 characters of connecting with a customer, prospect, or influencer. How can you afford not to reach out?
We’re talking Twitter, of course: the 300-million strong whirlpool of information that has emerged as a personal branding, relationship-building nirvana.
Twitter pros have found ways to use the platform to score business and media deals — they’ve even built relationships through developing successful Twitter personal brands. Yet, too many people have joined the community simply because they know they should be there, not because they’re strategic or focused.
When it comes to those that have managed to scale their following and build a reputable brand on Twitter, there’s a lot we can learn.To do this, I decided to go straight to the source, interviewing some well-known names with as many as hundreds of thousands of followers.
Thanks to their insights and generosity, I put together a eight-step road map for developing your personal brand on Twitter.
Step #1: Follow the leaders.
The beauty of Twitter is that you don’t have to go far to discover a successful marketing playbook. The platform gives you free reign to observe how the pros do it.
Over time, in addition to observing Twitter luminaries at work, start to engage them. Influencers, like anyone, appreciate praise. But don’t expect an immediate home run. If the influencer eventually follows you — or even better mentions you — you’ve scored a coup.
If you do directly reach out, see what you can offer in return – a mention in a blog post or article for instance.
If you’re wondering what impact influencers can have, consider this: Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer.
1. Create Twitter lists of your mentors whom you can then easily monitor. Think of it as having a front row seat to your favorite performers.
2. Visualize your Twitter ecosystem using a tool.
Step #2: Define your brand.
Clarify the type of company you want to be on Twitter. Think of this as an opportunity to showcase your capabilities, passions, and interests.
Step #3: Sharpen your profile.
Don’t leave your Twitter profile to chance or whim. It’s your face to the world on Twitter. While most people will find you through your content, they’ll then check out your Twitter profile.
Ensure that it defines your brand. Dump the default Twitter egg and use an image that highlights your brand.
Step #4: Create and curate great content. Repeat.
Tweet negative things and you’ll be seen as a naysayer. Tweet helpful, insightful content and you’ll grow your reputation. If there’s a common thread among those with impressive Twitter brands, it’s that they all post a steady stream of valuable content.
While it’s tempting to rely solely on curated content, if you’re serious about building your personal brand, try to post some original content. “The fuel of social media is content,”
Step #5: Engage.
Twitter is a two-way street: If you reach out, people are likely to engage with you.
Don’t expect, however, that you can outsource your engagement and be effective. All of the experts I spoke to, despite having massive number of followers, handle responses themselves.
Step #6: Test and analyze.
Twitter gives you practically instant feedback. Almost as soon as you post something, you can see how it performs.
Step #7: Outsource strategically, if at all.
You don’t need to outsource any of your Twitter efforts in the beginning. But once you start to scale your followers, consider outsourcing some of the administrative work.
Step #8: Commit.
Now that you know what to do, you need to devote time each day to just doing it.
These Twitter brand experts have cracked the code. And so can you if you follow these eight steps. Remember the adage: Success is no accident. You have to work at it.