The Essentials of Building Your Brand on Twitter

The essentials of building your brand on Twitter - #TwitterSmarter chat with Tamara Tanney - October 24, 2019

Everyone on Twitter has trouble building their brand at some point of time. No matter how much we read online and how much we observe others, sometimes a little nudge in the right direction goes a long way in helping us find our ground. That’s why we decided to talk to Tamara Tanney, and ask her to share some essential information about building a brand on Twitter. She’s the founder of Marketing Millennial, and is the community manager for multiple brands. She also hosts the #mrktnchat every Tuesday at 1pm ET. With so much experience on Twitter and social media strategizing, Tamara was a great guest.

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Tamara Tanney
Topic: The Essentials of Building Your Brand on Twitter
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: If you’re a business, should you have a personal brand?

You sure should. As our guest pointed out, having a personal brand lets your audience get to know you. It builds your credibility, because in the long run people buy from people they trust. Your personal account is a place for you to be transparent and share about yourself and even some behind-the-scenes content. A personal brand humanizes you, and when it compliments your business brand, you can easily build lasting relationships.

Nika told us about an experiment she did with her personal and business accounts. For over a year, she tried posting similar content on both her accounts and she still received more engagement and business enquiries on her personal account.

This just proves Lei’s point that people will always base their decisions on the personalities of the individuals behind a brand.

Q2: Should you keep your personal and business brand separate?

Most of our members said they’d keep their accounts separate, but with some crossing over. Our guest pointed out that it’s important for your business and personal audiences to know about your accounts.

That way, like Mike said, you can drive business by leveraging your personal account.

For example, Dan told us how influential businesses owners like Gary Vee and Elon Musk use their personal brands to promote their business causes. And so, although it helps to keep your accounts separate, it’s not a good idea to isolate them from one another.

All that said, not everyone has two accounts either. This depends on your industry and the type of business you run. For instance, for Madalyn and Gene, their personal and business accounts are the same. Whether or not you choose to separate them depends on your privacy preferences and how you want to showcase yourself to the world.

Q3: Share some tips to balance personal and business brands on Twitter.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with two brands is that you should allocate time for both. Although you’ll be sharing some of the same content on both accounts, it’s important not to duplicate every single tweet. That’s why you should have separate strategies that complement each other without overlapping.

For example, as Elena said, your personal account needs to be more about you and your interests. It should serve as a way to tell people what matters to you, including your business goals, but also aside from them. This means you can (and should) talk about your hobbies, travel adventures, family matters, personal opinions about current events, and other things you’re comfortable sharing in public. Remember though, your business account isn’t a place for your kids’s photos.

Managing two separate accounts means you’re spending a lot of time figuring out what to do and how. It’s understandable, and often, it’s also overwhelming. That’s when you should remember to forgive yourself. Social media takes time to perfect and it’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you’re learning from them. Here’s an excellent reminder from Maria.

Q4: Can you build a personal brand organically?

Certainly, and that’s probably the best approach too. It does take time to build a brand organically, but it also means you’ve built a community that willingly joined you and wants to hear from you. You’ll build your brand on credibility and long-term relationships. That lasts longer than most non-organic methods.

Most of our #TwitterSmarter members have been around a long time. And that’s how they got to where they are. Growing a brand organically involves consistently showing up and being helpful to those you engage with. That’s where your reputation comes from.

Besides, when you’re buying followers, likes, and comments, even though your metrics go high for a while, people will know it’s fake and you won’t have any genuine interactions.

Bernie shared some great advice to organically build your brand: be authentic, helpful, and genuinely interested in others.

Q5: How does a community help in building your brand?

A community is your safe space. Not only does it encourage you to be yourself and supports you in your endeavors, but it’s also a great way to share your expertise and establish yourself in the industry.

Here’re some more benefits of community and how it can help you:
Allows you to rally around a particular topic of interest and share your expertise.

  • Helps understand what’s working and what’s not with your process.
  • Spreads the word about your business.
  • Give you ideas to help stay relevant in the business.
  • It’s an avenue to engage with your audience and market.
  • Helps identify new opportunities for your brand.

Communities are more than what we give them credit for. And Christin explained it well. When it comes to purchasing something, we’d always choose a friend’s recommendation over an advertisement. That’s the power of community and word of mouth.

Q6: When should you run paid promotions to grow your brand?

Use paid promotion as a way to kickstart your brand. Sometimes it can be hard to extent your reach when you’re just starting out. If you have the budget for it, start small and try using some paid tactics to give you a boost. Just be careful not to rely too much on your paid engagement.

Another great way to use paid tweet is to promote a campaign, a webinar, or an ebook. This way, you’ll reach an audience beyond your immediate following. It also gives you a way to target people with similar interests, spreading the word about your campaign and increasing your impressions.

Alberto gave us yet another idea: use a promoted tweet to identify new audience that might be interested in your upcoming product or services. It’s a good way to build a mailing list of potential customers.

Q7: What are some ways to build your personal brand on a small budget?

One of the easiest and straightforward ways to build your brand without a big budget is to focus on organic growth. As our guest said, participate in Twitter chats, respond to conversation threads, cross-promote your posts from other social platforms, share other people’s content, identify and use relevant hashtags.

Here’re a few more ideas from the rest of our community:

  • Collaborate with others in your industry, and cross-promote each others’ works.
  • Consider working with micro-influencers who can takeover your account for a day or two.
  • Share content strategically, and schedule evergreen posts at relevant times.
  • Join communities and share your opinions and knowledge with others.
  • Be consistent and respectful.
  • Meet up with your Twitter connections at conferences you attend, and then tag them on Twitter.
  • Host your own chats, conduct live streams, share free webinars and other educational material.
  • Use Twitter Lists to categorize your connections and keep up with them more efficiently.
  • Use custom GIFs, images, and videos to grab attention.

Q8: What are some mistakes people make when building a personal brand and/or a business brand?

The biggest mistake people make is underestimating the time and effort needed to build a solid brand on Twitter. That’s why, as Tamara said, most people give up too soon. Social media is not a short-term game. It takes a lot of persistence and active engagement to achieve success.

Here’re a plenty more mistakes that our community members shared:

  • Being salesy and self-promotional.
  • Sharing content for the sake of sharing. Not being useful or strategic about the content.
  • Inconsistent posting schedule, messaging, tone, and branding.
  • Focussing on vanity metrics over engagement rates.
  • Trying to be someone you’re not. Often copying competitors without a good reason.
  • Not targeting the right audience. Trying to cater to every one at the same time.
  • Buying followers and fake engagement, just to increase numbers.
  • Failing to listen to audience’s requirements and opinions.
  • Not using discretion when discussing controversial or irrelevant topics.

Well folks, that’s all I have for this post. Do check out this comprehensive Twitter Moment Joana put together featuring more of the tweets from our chat.

If you’ve got some spare time this Thursday, join us for our next #TwitterSmarter chat at 1pm ET.

About me, Narmadhaa:

I’m a writer of all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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