December 22, 2010

Twitter Me This, Twitter Me That: How To Use Twitter To Build Your Brand

On Sunday, December 12 I was delighted to conduct a tele-seminar titled Twitter Me This, Twitter Me That: How to Use Twitter To Build Your Brand. This was a part of the power up series for the Fastgirls, Be The Expert Challenge. Below is the transcript from that call. Audio will be posted soon. 

Welcome! Thank you so much for joining the call.
Tonight we’re here to discuss how we can effectively use twitter to build our personal and business brands.

Remember the Wonder Twins and how they’d say: WONDER TWIN POWERS- ACTIVATE!?
Well by the end of this call I hop to have helped you activate some of your TWITTER Powers.

So- I’m sure we are all pretty familiar with twitter by now but what IS twitter?

Well, twitter is a social networking service which lets users to micro-blog in increments of 140 characters allowing information to be viewed first by that user’s followers but also viewable by others in the twitter galaxy.

It was launched in July of 2006 and since then has grown to a whopping 190 MILLION users with tweets averaging 65 million per day. 100 MILLION people signed up for twitter in 2010 alone which proves that people everywhere are being bitten by the twitter bug.

What this means is that if you use Twitter in the right way you can achieve maximum exposure and build your network in ways that even facebook cannot help you achieve.

So let’s get into the hows…

First understand that Twitter gives you not just an online presence but a voice and you want that voice to be heard as loudly as possible by as many people as possible.

Let’s compare starting a twitter account with attending a networking event. You’re approaching the door and you can hear the buzzing of several conversations all taking place at once. Right now no one knows that you’re there – so you need to make your presence known.

First you approach the registration table and you sign in. Then you will hand them your business card and put on your name tag…These are all aspects of setting up your Twitter Profile.

What should your profile include?

Well -for starters you need a photo of yourself.
The photo for your twitter page should be a little more relaxed and laid back than a photo you would use for your linked in account or as part of your bio on a corporate website. If the twitter page is for your company, you can use your logo. Remember that when choosing a personal picture you don’t want to choose something that’s TOO relaxed to the point that it takes your image into a whole other direction.

For example, a colleague of mine who is a publicist and has her own business has a habit of using twitter photos which you would be considered border line soft porn and then she complains when she only seems to get the freaky deaky clients who want to hire her and expect special bonuses on top of not wanting to pay her.
AS you can see your picture says a lot about who you are.

After you’ve selected your photo you want to choose a username. This serves as your name tag… : Hello My Name is Ask me about… It can be your company name or a name that clearly helps others understand who you are be it your first and last name, your pen name, your industry name… Whatever it is that you want people to remember you by.

Next you want to include a very short bio of yourself. This can be a condensed version of your actual biography or just include something fun, creative, and to the point about who you are and what it is that you do. This bio is usually the deciding factor between someone choosing to follow you and not.
Lastly you want a nice background graphic for your profile page… Something simple and polished is better than over the top and gaudy. Twitter provides you with a few pre made backgrounds to choose from OR you can create your own. You may choose to use a larger version of your company’s logo but remember depending on the style of the logo a stretched version may look better than a tiled version. Sometimes a tiled version can be too busy.
You can also create a background which incorporates valuable information such as your email address, website, links to YOUR other social networking sites, and your phone number.

Oh- and a rule to remember when setting up your profile is that if you are using twitter for business DO NOT protect your tweets. That is a sure fire way to make people stay away from you.
In keeping with the networking event comparison think of it as someone walking around the room knowing that they have seriously offensive body odor and then wondering why no one wants to come close. (laugh)

Okay now you have walked into the event. Your business card periodically flashes on the big screen for others to view. You have on your name tag and you’re ready to make some connections. It’s time to work the room…

Lucky for you your business card is not the only one that is flashing across the big screen so you have an idea of which people are in attendance and who would be most beneficial to your network; whether they could possibly be future business partners, potential clients or customers… Use this information to your advantage.

So how do we work the Twitter room?

On your profile page you will find a link called Find People. Once you click this you’ll be asked, “Who are you looking for?” Use this to search for any and everyone within your industry that you have always admired or looked up to or can see yourself working with in the future. As you come across each person click to Follow them. Follow as many people as possible. The goal here is that you want to increase your own following. Usually about 2/3 of the people you follow will actually follow you back though that number will decrease if you choose to follow all celebrities (unless you are a celebrity yourself or they know you in some way).
I find that one of the best tools for finding people is Twellow. Twellow is the Twitter Yellow Pages. You can go there and carefully select people you wish to follow by industry or location. You can go through the list and follow people straight through the Twellow site.

Now that you are attracting followers and you’re following more people you want to do regular maintenance. Some experts believe in what is called the Rinse and Repeat cycle where every few days you delete those people who you are following but aren’t following you. I personally suggest that you only do this about once a month. Some people don’t check their twitter pages as often as others and so they may not realize that you are following them and other times people just are a little slower with getting around to following new people. Plus if you add and delete too many people within a short time frame, the system may flag you as a spammer.  So, once a month you should take inventory of your twitter following to see who you are following that isn’t following you back.

At this point it’s s up to you to decide which (if any) of these people you would like to stop following.
Also, people seem to be quicker to follow those twitter users who have a higher number under their “followers” category than they have under their “following” category.  I think they link it with being a celebrity and someone important.

A tool that you can use to take inventory of your followers is Friend Or Fellow ( You can visit the site and enter your username, and it breaks down your following, your fans, and your friends.

Your following being those who you follow but aren’t following you back, your fans being those who follow you but whom you aren’t following back, and your friends; those are the people who you’re following and who are following you back.

Okay so let’s go back to this networking event… You’re walking around and approaching people. You’re being approached by people. How do you keep things interesting? How do you grasp their attention and REALLY make them want to learn more about you and your business so that you can build a mutually beneficial relationship?  It’s all in your tweet…

Your tweets serve as your conversation starters and as a means to keep the convo flowing. Every time that you post a new tweet you are breathing life into your image.
So if this is your company’s page you want to be sure to ONLY tweet about those things which apply to your company- Events; News; Website or blog updates, even information within your industry that you’d like to share. The idea is to get the message across that you are firmly grounded in the _________ industry. If this account if for a personal brand then you want to allow others to get to see you as the professional that you are while still allowing them to get to know you personally, afterall you’ll always be able to direct them to your business page and you never know where your next connection will come from. So, mix your business updates with personal information such as- which event you will be attending tonight, or a picture that you stumbled upon while you were out.
If this is for your personal brand though you want to remember to keep a balance between your professional self and your personal self. Meaning, don’t tweet a play by play of your blind date… Unless you are a relationship coach or love guru but (at the same time) don’t be afraid to throw in some humor and really show your personality.
It’s also very important to keep conversations flowing if you are trying to connect with someone through twitter so if you see a tweet and it’s interesting; reply to it or retweet it.
Often times you can also gain followers this way. If you go to your twitter homepage you’ll see a search box on the right hand side of the page. Type in a word  topic, or phrase and twitter will show you all of the tweets and conversations pertaining to your search. Browse through and reply or RT those people who you believe would be most beneficial to your network growth.

You want to tweet as much as possible to hold the interest of your followers so that they will RT what you’ve posted which gives you more exposure and will in turn bring you some of their followers.

Research shows that:
Thursday and Friday are the busiest days of the week on Twitter with a drastic slow down in tweets on weekends, picking back up at the start of the work week on Monday.

The highest percentage of retweets occurs on Fridays at 4pm. (Monday afternoons also have high retweet rates.)

Use tools such as to pre schedule your tweets so that you can always have a twitter presence even when you’re not physically available.

When you’re tweeting it’s a great idea to provide links to online news, blogs, and video. These are the tweets which seem to be retweeted the most. This is a great way to draw traffic to your blog or website. You can post an entire link but in keeping within the 140 character limit you may want to use a site such as to shorten your website links before posting them.

The highest click through rate on tweeted links occurs between 2 and 3pm. (Followed by the 8-9pm time slot and the 5-6pm time slot.)

Keep in mind though that tweets that include links are far more likely to be retweeted than tweets without links BUT the more links you tweet, the less likely people are to click those links.

Some ways that you can get more RT’s as well as followers are by taking an interest in those who are following you. Whenever you get a new follower take the time to read through some of their tweets. If you like something then retweet it. Examine their profile and then send a direct message to thanking them for following you. In this message, mention something that pertains to what you read about them when you checked them out. This builds a quick connection and they will be more likely to support anything that you tweet. If you feel that this is someone who you would like to have in your network then reciprocate by following them back.

Set a goal for yourself. Say that you’re going to respond to x amount of tweets per day or and RT x amount tweets per day. Also take the time to visit the blogs and websites of those following you and post a link to anything that you find interesting.
Sometimes you DO lose followers. Do not be alarmed. A great way to keep track of those followers is  Qwitter. Qwitter emails you each time one of your followers leaves you and lets you know which of your tweets triggered it.

There are also certain sub tools within twitter than can be used to help you to build you brand.

These are hashtags, trending topics and twitter lists, twitter search.

Hashtags are simply topics that follow a pound sign to send out messages that pertain to a certain event or topic. This allows for ease in following a particular stream of information and in seeking out those people who are linked to these topics. For example if you were to go to twitter and perform a search for #fastgirls, every conversation and tweet which included this hashtag will come up and it gives you ease in finding either those people who are fastgirls or their supporters.

Check to see if the hashtag you want is already in use and if it IS available, make sure you are following @hashtags, and send a message including the hashtag you wish to use. Be careful when starting to use a hashtag. Research it first to see if and how it has been used in the past because you wouldn’t want to start using something that would associate you with any negativity.
One of the most popular hashtags is #FF which stands for Follow Friday. Every Friday twitter users promote those followers or people who they find most interesting which results in an increase in their following.  #FF has proven to be a great way to network and get yourself noticed. It shows an appreciation for your followers as well as opens lines of communication. You can register a hashtag at

Trending topics are those topics which are most talked about on twitter. It has been found that it takes about 2000 RT’s to make you a trending topic so you can either try to start a topic and ask other people to RT it or you can make yourself seen by riding the trending topic train. One way to do this is by going through the list of trending topics and relating it to your brand in a tweet. For example… #JustinBeiber is a topic that always seems to be trending. Someone who is a clothing designer may tweet something like: "My clothing line is so hot #JustinBeiber would pay me just to let him wear it. And then include a link to their website."
This is a great way to use trending topics to get yourself seen by an audience outside of those followers you currently have. 

Twitter Lists are a great way to help build your brand. You can start a list of your own, give it a name that reflects the group that you would like to be included in such as Power Women or Relationship Gurus and then add all of those people who you would like to build business relationships with. This is a great way to get you noticed and included amongst the greats. Also, follow lists that were created by other people. That way it shows them that you value their work and time and it leaves plenty of space for conversation between the two of you. When you attend an event, create a list for that event and as you meet people in person add them to your list on twitter- it will keep you in contact.
You can also create a list of satisfied customers or happy clients allowing potential clients to easily get information on your business.

Twitter Search can be extremely beneficial to use as a search engine. As a matter of fact, when I was seeking out contests for this challenge I searched on twitter and though I didn’t find a contest on there that would have applied to the challenge I DID find a contest in which 3 people would be selected to win free Raheem DeVaughn concert tickets and I entered a day before the concert and won. So it a wonderful tool because often times companies will post information on twitter that you may not find easily by using a search engine. It would also be in your best interest to do a search of your name to make sure there is nothing negative floating around about you. It is a great tool for damage control.

So now we have mixed and mingled, we’re making connections. We have received business cards and exchanged twitter names and now we’re about to leave the networking event feeling charged, and positive, and ready to take on the world.

So now what I would like for you all to do is un-mute yourselves. Go ahead… LOL And on the count of three I would like everyone to say “Twitter Powers: ACTIVATE!!!


You are now one step further to being a twitter branding expert.

0 remarks:

Post a Comment