How To Build Your Professional Twitter Brand

10 Twitter Tips From Social Media Week

Not all tweets are created equal, according to research from Carnegie Mellon University, MIT and Georgia Tech. This is why some of us feel like we’re talking to ourselves on Twitter.

To expand your Twitter audience, think about how you present yourself and the content you share. According to the Twitter research, the most positively received tweets are asking your followers questions, sharing useful information, and letting people know you’ve just created new content. These attributes go to the heart of enriching your followers’ lives.

By contrast, the least liked tweets are those that let the world know what you’re doing and broad greetings with no added information. Remember, your followers need context around your tweets. (Here’s more analysis of this research to help make every tweet count. )

Here are ten tips showing you how to use this research to help you build your professional social media brand on Twitter.

  1. Dress your Twitter profile for success. Your Twitter profile isn’t about you, it’s about your audience and what they’re looking for. How can you attract them and keep them interested.
  2. Make your Twitter profile into your social media business card. Include information to ensure you’re findable on various social media platforms. Depending on your goals for Twitter, the information may vary. At a minimum, connect to your other social media profiles. Depending on the nature of your business, you may include an email address and/or phone number.
  3. Be your own Twitter cheerleader. Let people know where to find you on Twitter by including your Twitter handle on your other communications and profiles. Think email signature files. Link to your other social media profiles, encourage others to follow you at conferences, and include your Twitter handle on business cards and presentations.
  4. Offer meaty Twitter content. As a form of communications, your tweets represent you and your brand. While Twitter protocol encompasses a broad range of abbreviations, and followers understand you may be on a smartphone, where possible review your tweets for quality, grammar and typos. Rememberyour tweets may last longer than your other work.
  5. Extend your digital handshake. Encourage Twitter engagement. Ask people at your event to tweet and encourage them to get involved in the conversation. At the Social Media Week Editors event at the Columbia School of Journalism, Sree Sreenivasan invited the panel and attendees to take their computers, iPads and smartphones out. He encouraged attendees to engage on Twitter.
  6. Give a digital shout out to colleagues and others. Think of it as a pat on the back for sharing or creating great content. The goal is to bring others into the conversation by being inclusive. Further, it makes the recipient feel good because you’ve recognized them. It shows them you’re approachable on social media platforms.
  7. Enrich retweets with context. Don’t just blithely retweet other peoples’ content. Add perspective and context to the tweet to make it yours. Understand people may only pay attention to last bit of a thread, especially if there are a lot of names and/or hashtags.
  8. Use hashtags to expand your Twitter audience. Of course, the hashtags should be aligned with the topic of the tweets. @RealAdrianC has built a community around specific hashtags that has contributed to his reputation in those areas.
  9. Handcraft each tweet to expand content reach. I agree with Anthony Derosa who doesn’t automate tweets from one social media site to another. Your content should be contextually relevant to the social media platform and your audience’s interests.  While this suggestion sounds time consuming, it results in more effective tweets.
  10. Remember what you say can hurt you (and others). To this end, take time to think before you hit send on your tweet, especially if you’ve got a nagging feeling about what you’re communicating. You don’t want to be a source of gossip and negativity. If you need to, take a time out from Twitter and other social media because social media has a social responsibility.

While Twitter is a 140 character, real-time communication platform, as with any other communication platform, the quality of your tweet’s content and the context in which it’s presented influence its impact. To maximize your Twitter interactions, take a moment to craft each tweet and ensure it’s as effective as it can be.

Do you have any suggestions to add that help you boost the professionalism of your tweets that other readers would find useful? If so, please include them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Hat tip to Sree Sreenivasan for organizing the Social Media Week event at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Here are some related articles you may find of interest.

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