By Delania Barbee • April 29, 2018
Some may question the usefulness of Twitter compared to other social media platforms that are available, but, as of the date of publication, Twitter remains one of the best ways to connect with others. It is no question why many businesses, elected officials, celebrities, and others continue to use it.
Below are ways to use Twitter to grow your professional brand:
1. Create or participate in Twitter chats.
Twitter chats are opportunities to engage with a community online over a certain topic. Typically, a topic of discussion is announced in advance along with the date and time that the Twitter chat will be held. In some instances, the host of the Twitter chat will have specific guests to address questions, but participants are also invited to respond using a common hashtag.
Creating your own Twitter chats will build credibility as a leader. In fact, it can be considered another way of curating content. As the community leader, people will look to you to facilitate the conversations on the topics of your choosing.
While creating a Twitter chat is a great way to present as a leader in your space, participating in relevant Twitter chats are valuable too and less time-consuming. You will likely build your audience the more that you respond to questions, and other participants become familiar with you. A search online will help you to find the time, date, and hashtag for particular chats, which usually last no longer than one hour.
2. Share content and discuss.
Generally, one of the least effective way to utilize Twitter is to simply share links to posts, regardless of whether it is your original content or the content of others. Instead, you will want to use that content to spark discussion. At a minimum, when sharing links, add your thoughts. A great way to do this is by creating a thread. A thread is a link of Tweets that you can create by responding to your prior tweets. A thread helps you to expand on your thoughts rather than being limited to the 280 characters permitted in a single tweet. When someone responds to your tweet, be sure to respond back to engage.
3. Use hashtags.
You probably know that hashtags help others find your tweets and help you to find tweets from others. However, you should be strategic with your use of hashtags. Search for popular hashtags related to the subject-matter for which you want to become known. Be sure that you double-check what kind of content is being shared using that hashtag to be sure that it aligns with your brand. Determine when you might want to create a unique hashtag. For example, if you are joining an existing conversation, it is generally appropriate to use an existing hashtag. If you want to create a conversation, create your own just as you would if you were leading a Twitter chat and use that hashtag on marketing materials.
4. Pin a tweet to your profile and keep it up-to-date.
Twitter allows you to pick a tweet and pin it as the first tweet that others will see on your Twitter profile when they visit. This is an opportunity to make others aware of your next speaking event, latest blog post, or whatever else might be time-sensitive. Be sure to keep it up-to-date, so that you do not send viewers to an inactive link or an event that has passed, which could have a negative impact on the perception of your brand.
5. Show your personality and interests.
It is not required that you use Twitter, or any social media platform for that matter, for business. In fact, using social media to give a seemingly behind-the-scenes view will make you seem more relatable. People like to work with people that they like. Tweet about your reaction to a movie (without spoilers!). Tweet about trying a new recipe. You can tweet about many hobbies and interests while maintaining professionalism.
Do you use Twitter? What are some of your favorite strategies? Comment below!