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Twitter went IPO just a short two weeks ago with the stock opening at $26 and ending it’s opening day at $45.10. As I type this today, Twitter is holding steady at $41.31. Not too shabby. While all the buzz was about Twitter, I kept silent not writing about my favorite social media platform mostly because there are some days when I’m all Twittered out. Having been on the platform as @blogging4jobs since 2008 and written a book on Twitter for business, sometimes I feel I’ve said and tweeted it all.
Social media notably Twitter has an easy barrier for exit and entry. People join social media sites, particularly Twitter in under 5 minutes expecting instant fame or usability. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There is a level of comfort and adoption that must be obtained only through experience that no policy or how to manual, book or one on one coaching can provide.
Because of this easy barrier to entry, I find that there are many newbs when it comes to the Twitters as I call them who are looking for tips, tricks and insights into the tool particularly for those who are growing a business or building a professional personal brand. But shouldn’t we all be building a professional personal brand? Yes, yes you should.
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Don’t start your tweet with just an @Twittername
If you are in the game of building a brand or wanting to reach new audiences, put a character in front of that message. By starting your tweet directly with the “@” or at symbol and the Twitter name, not everyone will see your message. Other Twitter users have to be following you and the person you are at messaging for other Twitter users to see in their following message stream. That may be what you want, but if you are looking to promote an event or be seen in the right circles, adding a simple character in the front of your message like a”.” will make all the difference. I use this approach when I’m dealing with a customer service issue letting them know that I mean business and all of my followers will see my message in their streams. I recently tweeted @delta after traveling another airline, “.@delta traveling on another airline makes me really miss you.”
Don’t Just be a Logo
Twitter is about being personal. It’s about relationships and connections with other tweeps. While I understand that businesses need to have a presence on Twitter under their corporate account, I would much prefer to stare back at the avatar of an actual person versus just another logo. The solution: add a logo to your Twitter avatar like my friend, Marylene Delbourgh-Delphis, @mddelphis. She’s the CEO of Talent Circles, an HR Technology company, but she’s also a real person who shares great nuggets of wisdom, and a person I met on Twitter. If you are not handy with Photoshop, free services like Twibbon can help you quickly add a logo at no cost to your current Twitter avatar.
Make It Easy to RT
Make it easy to retweet or RT your posts by keeping your tweets under 120 characters. Since over 75% of Twitter’s users access the service using a mobile device, it’s important to make your tweets sharable, interesting and retweetable starting with your tweet being 120 characters or less to allow for a simple RT without an edits by the person who is doing the RTing.
Hashtag or Go Home
One of the best ways to increase your visibility is through Twitter hashtags interacting with people who are following the hashtag and may not be following you. Using hashtags increases your visibility, reach and engagement level. It also allows you to measure your reach and visibility with a solid number or metric that your boss or C Suite can understand. Earlier this month, we ran a themed week here on Blogging4Jobs called “Candidate Experience Week.” While we had 30 blog posts published during a span of 7 days on the topic and 6 response blogs written by other sites, the metric that really hit home for me was the 20 million timeline impressions on Twitter with our #thecandidate hashtag, and we didn’t spend a single dime in advertising. One important thing of note when it comes to hashtags, make sure the tags you are adding to your content relate to the information, tweets and resources you are sharing. Otherwise, cataloging your hashtags using what I call Twitter’s dewey decimal system doesn’t mean a thing.
Find a Your Voice
If you are building a business or professional brand using Twitter, it is really important to find out the voice you want to project using social media. Twitter in particular is in the moment, and I find that being yourself is the easiest way to ensure that what you are saying is really you. Some companies like Taco Bell, @tacobell do a really great job of being unique when it comes to the Twitters. Twitter is self select meaning that you don’t have to share every little detail of your life. You, as the individual or brand get to pick and choose the nuggets you share to the Twitter universe so keep that in mind. The tweets that really resonate with people are also not the ones that are business-related at all. My favorite and most popular tweet happened in 2010 about stirrup pants. In fact, I still get asked about that tweet just because it had nothing do with my blog or my business. It was completely off the cuff while I was shopping at the mall. That one tweet while random led to a business opportunity. I can specifically, correlate obtaining a new client as a result of that random outburst which in my opinion is a good thing.
Twitter is the second best thing I did for my business and my professional brand. It’s second only to starting this blog. So get out there. Get tweeting and start building a business using social media and showcasing what’s uniquely you and your company.