We know that Twitter is an essential tool for our businesses, but have you considered how it can enhance your personal brand?

Personal branding is essential if you want to be known as an expert within your industry. If you are new to Twitter, here are a few things to keep in mind as you develop your Twitter presence.

  • Twitter is a real-time network that connects you to what other people find interesting. It is for both communication and discovery.
  • Think of tweets like headlines – they are short information bursts that work best when linked to more in depth articles.
  • An influential presence on Twitter takes time and consistency.

The following 5 steps will help you develop your personal brand through Twitter.

  1. Professionalize Your Profile

The Twitter community will take you seriously if your profile is professional and complete. There are 4 aspects to a complete Twitter profile:

  • Professional Profile Picture – A profile picture automatically improves the authenticity and reliability of your Twitter presence. I recommend using a professionally taken photo.
  • Simple, High-Quality Header – Make sure that your header is sized appropriately for Twitter and that the colors in it compliment your profile picture.
  • Engaging Bio – You have 140 characters to define yourself! Look at the bio’s of other business leaders to get ideas and decide on the aspects of your professional life that you want to highlight. Include a link to either your company’s website or your LinkedIn profile.
  • Location – Only 21.3% of Twitter users have submitted a location, so this is a great way to stand out from the majority. Adding your location also legitimizes your profile and opens the door for local networking opportunities.
  1. Follow Industry Influencers

Choosing whom to follow is a key element to developing your personal brand. Follow as many people within the business world and within your specific industry as possible.  To get started, check out this Huffington Post article on the Top 100 Business, Leadership, and Technology Twitter Accounts You Must Follow.

Try to just follow people who are related to your professional interests. This will keep your Twitter account focused and establish your reputation within your industry.

  1. Post and Utilize Auto-Posting

According to the Wall Street Journal, 44% of Twitter users have never sent a tweet! You can schedule tweets to post automatically through a free Hootsuite account. Sites such as Swayy are a great resource to find interesting and relevant content to share. Determining the optimum amount to tweet is not an exact science and you will need to find a posting strategy that works for you.

  1. Retweet, Favorite, and Hashtag
  • Retweet – Retweeting is a fantastic way to find engaging content and to engage in the Twitter community. Be careful not to retweet too much. Typically 1 to 3 retweets a day is acceptable for your personal Twitter account.
  • Favorite –You can’t favorite too much! Favoriting is a nonintrusive way to establish your name in the Twitter community. Industry influencers will start to notice that you care about what they say.
  • Hashtag – Only use hashtags when they are relevant to your posts. Keep an eye on the hashtags that are trending in your industry and incorporate them into your posts when appropriate.
  1. Track Mentions and Engage in Conversations

As you develop your personal brand on Twitter, people will start talking to you and about you. I recommend using Hootsuite to check your mentions several times a week. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversations. These conversations can lead to new information, connections, and business opportunities.

I hope these tips motivate you to develop your personal brand through Twitter. I am still working on it myself…I view it as a “work in progress”.   How have you used Twitter in the past? Has it been successful? Please share your best practices or ideas, remember, it takes a village! LOL.

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