How to Twitterize Your Brand the Right Way

How to Twitterize Your Brand the Right Way

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Whether you seek to bolster your company’s reputation or simply socialize with like-minded people, Twitter is a great venue for it. These two goals are typically handled somewhat differently, but will often have some overlap.

Particularly now that Bing and Google have acknowledged that they’re now paying attention to social signals from Twitter and Facebook indicating the influence level of a user, social media is important to our sites’ traffic.

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You are in charge of your brand!

Whether you seek to bolster your company’s reputation or simply socialize with like-minded people, Twitter is a great venue for it. These two goals are typically handled somewhat differently, but will often have some overlap.

Particularly now that Bing and Google have acknowledged that they’re now paying attention to social signals from Twitter and Facebook indicating the influence level of a user, social media is important to our sites’ traffic.

However, it’s not just a matter of tweeting that you’re at Starbucks or stuck in traffic on the freeway.

There’s a very old programmers’ saying: GIGO… which means garbage in, garbage out. If you want to gain any real benefit from your Twitter activities, you’ll need to build a rock-solid reputation and nurture it.

The Basics

Assuming that you’ve already locked in the ideal username, completed your profile and established a few relationships, there are some basic guidelines you should follow, in order to continue building your Twitter persona.

Don’t follow everybody that tweets something funny or interesting once, or only now and then… follow those that do so often. And if they don’t have something in common with you on a professional level, do it with your personal account, not your business account.

We all have friends, neighbors and acquaintances with other professions and backgrounds. But a Chicago dentist isn’t likely to work with a carpenter in California or a beautician in Budapest. If you want to connect with them, super! But do it with your personal account and keep the business account for business relationships.

Behavior

Twitter is networking, plain and simple. And the rules of networking aren’t really any different from the “real” world, in terms of participation.

  • Everything shouldn’t be “me…me…me…” – it’s not all about you. Get over yourself;
  • Do favors for others, BEFORE you need a favor from them, even if you may never need it;
  • Interact with others, don’t just use them.

For instance, here are some posts on retweeting:

Authority

Become recognized as a resource or an expert in your niche. Staying abreast of the most recent developments in your niche and being the first to share them with your followers can rapidly establish you as an authority on a subject.

Opinions can be enough upon which to build a reputation, provided they’re based upon sound theory. Back them up with verifiable and authoritative data, and the effect is much greater, however. If you’re going to state just opinion, take care not to make any misstatements though, as just one can undo months of effort and cast doubts on your reliability as a source.

Mix it up

Don’t be constantly promoting just your own information. Mix it up a bit and be generous in promoting others, too. They’ll appreciate it, and will probably return the favor. Remember that productive relationships are two-way.

Feel free to join in some light banter now and then, as well. Let your personality show and you may find that you’ll collect more followers, willing to engage.

Here’s a great post on that:

Track it

You can track the clicks and retweets on your tweets, using HooteSuite or another similar platform. This can help you determine what sort of tweets aren’t getting the attention you want, and which supporters are supporting your activities.

This can be extremely helpful, if carefully analyzed, as it will show which activities garnered the most support… very important in establishing an effective pattern.

Engagement has two sides, and you need to monitor not only your active engagement with others, but also that of others with you. Generally, if you notice that one is falling off, you’ll see that the other is, as well. The faster you fix that, the better off you’ll be.

Don’t change

In other words, don’t become distant or snobbish, thinking that it will help you establish the reputation you seek. It won’t! All it’ll do is keep new friends at arm’s length, and chase old friends off. Pick your style, stick with what works, and be sure that any changes are positive.

If you stick with the above, and let your personality shine through, there’s every reason to believe that you’ll not only establish a viable social persona, but one that grows in popularity with time.

If one day you find that you’ve become the authority you wanted to be, don’t forget that your followers helped you get there. They may have the same goal, and now you have it in your power to help them.

Doc Sheldon

Doc Sheldon is a retired business management consultant, turned perpetual student of SEO. He has been studying SEO for a little under five years, and writing professionally for over thirty. You can see more of his writing on SEO on his website, Doc Sheldon’s SXO Clinic, and his blog, Ramblings of a Madman.

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17 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Dr Barry Marks

    Great point about relevancy . It’s very difficult to keep my local chiropractic Twitter local. I’m bombarded by followers from all over and who have no real interest in health care or related topics.

    Also the tip on RT is a gem. I’m afraid I do little RT-ing

    Best regards,

    Dr Barry Marks

    • Doc Sheldon

      Hey, another Doc!
      Thanks for your comment, Barry. If I can suggest… you might try doing a Twitter search, say with the keywords chiropractic, chiropractor… I’m sure you’ll find others in your field. No matter if they’re in Pennsylvania or Florida – they’ll be relevant people to follow, and great to interact with. As you do so, you’ll probably pick up some of their followers as well, that’ll probably be more focused on your interests. You can do the same sort of search looking for Orange County businesses, SoCal chiropractors, etc., and start building a more targeted following.
      And I definitely recommend you start making a conscious effort to RT the tweets of others…. not just followers, either… any tweets of interest to you and others. If you’re not using two separate accounts for personal and business, then blending the two is very reasonable, and can really pay off.
      Good luck to you, and Happy New Year!

  2. Hey Sheldon,

    thanks for this post. I think the thing I need to do now is split off into a different twitter account for some of those who are my personal friends. More and more are starting to ask me for my Twitter info and I’ve found some of their personal tweets to be a bit jarring when I’m in “business” mode, lol.

    I’m sure they don’t understand many of my tweets and retweets, either. Not to mention that I can’t expect them to retweet anything I post so I might as well not have them on there.

    I haven’t actually thought out my “ratio” of tweets to retweets. When I find something relevant and interesting that my followers can get some value out of I go ahead and retweet it. It might happens in a cluster and then I might not find anything else, so I do disappear for the rest of the day.

    I might work on scheduling those and spreading out the posting. Thanks again and all the best

    • Hi, John-

      You bring up a very valid point. When we have a broad selection of followers, covering both business and personal interests, any Tweet we leave is likely to be poorly understood by one group or another. Optimizing our target audience is key to success, whether in blogging, SEO or microblogging. To me, segmentation just makes more sense, and makes it easier to find interesting topics for all the followers of an account.
      Obviously, you’re never going to satisfy EVERYONE with every tweet, but at least that gets us closer to it. :)
      Thanks for the comment, and Merry Christmas!

    • Hello, Mavis-

      I think it’s made a lot easier if we apply a variation of “The Golden Rule”. I try to put myself in the place of the other Tweeple, and think “how would I respond/feel when viewing my Tweets.”

      Thanks for dropping in to comment. I hope your Christmas is a great one!

  3. Hey Sheldon,

    Knowing how to manage your Twitter account can definitely make an impact on that site’s quality as a traffic source. A few months ago when I had absolutely no clue on the workings of the micro-blogging platform, I was struggling to get a single visit to my blog via the links I was tweeting. Although one of the setbacks was in the small amount of followers I had, the other thing was too much self promotion. Even though tweeting your own stuff regularly might seem like the best way to squeeze the most out of Twitter, this isn’t exactly true. Being generous and retweeting other’s tweets is in my opinion the key component. It is good to add a few non-link tweets from time to time as well. Interaction is yet another important factor, being disregarded by many. Building relationships with your followers is a must.

    Great work mate! Happy holidays! :)

    • Hi, Daniel- You hit it on the head! Unselfish interaction is the way to go. Others’ comments about you or your site will always carry more sway than blowing your own horn.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  4. Doc,

    Great Twitter advice… my favorite is “Don’t Change”. Being yourself is a big part of social media and Twitter is no different. Building a Twitter community can be fun a lot of fun.

    • Hi, Sheila- thanks for ringing in!
      A lot of people forget that Twitter is a microblogging platform, which implies that many of the same rules we follow on our blogs apply equally on Twitter. I think “being yourself” is a biggie!
      And you’re absolutely right… it can be a lot of fun building both your reputation and a community on Twitter.

  5. Darren Spruyt

    I guess Sheldon did a guest blog entry on this one and I must say these are great tips.

    I’ve already been picking up these methods lately and started to unfollow a ton of people. It used to be a competition about who has the most people following you… and then you suffer the effects of it! Everyone’s just flooding your twitter with messages on some affiliate product or something about them. I rarely see stuff that seems to be of great value, so VALUE content definitely catches my eye.

    I’m also starting to get rid of people who are not within my niche and concentrating on following people who are in my niche. It definitely makes a lot of difference to whom you’re following. I get very surprised myself when people outside my niche follow me, I believe it’s a bot or something though. ;)

    Loved this post Sheldon.. and thanks Ana for inviting Sheldon to do a guest entry. :)

    Regards,
    Darren Spruyt

  6. don’t forget that your followers helped you get there

    That’s what makes the difference between short and long term success.

    Ivan

  7. Doc:

    Great information. I can’t agree more with your statement about separating the personal account from the business account. In the bricks and mortar world, we have a business persona and a personal one, so it should carry right on over to our virtual world.

    Lisa

    • Doc Sheldon

      Hello, Lisa-
      I think that using one account for both can work for some businesses, but not for the majority. Typically, I think it’s better to separate the two accounts, even if the connection is obvious. It allows you to establish more “personal” connections with your personal account, and some of that benefit will carry over to the business account. Yet some users just aren’t comfortable with the notion of a business account having a “personality”. It can be a tough call for some of us, I think.
      Thanks a lot for your comment, Lisa!

  8. Doc Sheldon

    Hi, Robin-
    I think consistency is important, whether you post 100 times per day or only 5. If you skip two or three days, it can be felt and seen in your tracking. More important, though, is the quality of your tweets, in my opinion. I spend a lot of time on Twitter, and I find myself consciously ignoring the tweets of some folks that tend to pop in with 6 or 7 news tweets, clustered together, and then disappear until the next day. I find no value-added in that. Pointing out something important, like breaking news is one thing, but trying to be a news-aggregator is something else.
    Thanks for your comment, Robin.

  9. Robin Marks

    I think that the best way to build a twitter brand is to be very consistent in you tweeting. I personally tweet everyday over 100 tweets a day.

    Congruency is important too. You can tweet about internet marketing one day and the next day post about hip hop culture. lol

    I totally agree with you about not only tweeting your own content but other peoples content that you like as long as its relevant to your brand.

    Alot of people on twitter need to ready this post.

    Thanks For Posting Ana

    Robin Marks