Originally published on SocialTimes on March 7, 2016 By Lauren Dugan
When an investor, business partner, potential employer or colleague searches for you on Twitter, what will they find? Is your profile professional and thoughtful? Interesting and opinionated? Or is it full of slightly inappropriate photos, random quotes and pictures of your lunches?
Whether you’re the co-founder of a startup looking for investment capital or a new grad looking for a job, now is a great time to invest in your personal Twitter brand.
Because Twitter is a public social network, anyone can find and connect with you (unless your account is private). This can either be a great opportunity for you to showcase your best self, or an embarrassing situation that ends up tarnishing your reputation.
Need some convincing that personal branding is for you? Here are some benefits of building a personal brand on Twitter:
- Build trust among your target audience or customers
- Attract talent and investors to your organization
- Generate greater awareness of your business (or yourself) as more people share your tweets
- Show what makes you stand out from the crowd
Each of these things can lead to more business opportunities, better relationships and other unexpected benefits.
If you’ve been happily tweeting for weeks, months or even years without giving your personal brand a second thought, have no fear – it’s never too late to add some polish to your profile.
By working on your Twitter brand today, you can reap dozens of benefits in the future. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort, either. For instance, simply choosing the right username can go a long way in representing “you” on Twitter. Here are some other easy steps you can take:
- Update your profile picture. Since you’re building a brand that’s all about you, use a headshot! And make sure it’s a recent, professional shot—not a cropped photo of your face at your sister’s wedding four years ago.
- Update your cover photo. This is your chance to be a little creative, and visually represent your industry, interests and personalty.
- Use keywords in your bio. Your Twitter bio can and should be a succinct description of who you are and what you tweet about. Make sure you also include keywords that will signal to anyone giving it a quick skim what you’re interested in or what your skills are.
- Retweet your own praises. It might sound boastful, but retweeting when others compliment you or share your content will show others that you have a good reputation.
- Join (or create) a Twitter chat. By participating in the sharing of thoughts and opinions in your industry, you’ll not only build a reputation for yourself as a leader, but you will be able to network with other pros, too.
- Tweet on topic and be helpful. To really build a personal brand, you’ve got to be consistent in what you tweet about. Stay mostly on topic, and always give your audience something of value.
Spending even a few minutes thinking about your Twitter brand can go a long way towards strengthening it. Evaluate your profile and your recent tweets from an outsider’s perspective to really see what others see when they view your tweets.
Author: Lauren Dugan
Lauren is a marketing strategist, helping businesses tell their story and build relationships with their customers. She is also the former founding editor of AllTwitter, and has been writing about social media since 2009.