Using Twitter to Build Your Authority and Grow Your Personal Brand

Using Twitter to Build Authority and Grow Your Personal brand - #TwitterSmarter chat with Tony Christensen - November 21, 2019

When it comes to building authority on Twitter, we all struggle a bit. There are a lot of things you can do to create a positive halo around your brand. However, there’s also a lot of confusion about how to go about it. For example, every day we see and hear from various experts about what we should and should do. Our feeds become a cascading waterfall of ideas, opinions, and advice—so much so that it’s often so overwhelming that we decide to give up.

Don’t give up on your brand.

We invited Tony Christensen to teach us a few lessons about building a brand on Twitter and developing authority. Tony is an expert in Facebook Ads. He offers consultation and social media marketing services for small businesses. He’s also a keynote speaker and an overall trove of proven knowledge. Here’s a summary of our chat with Tony.

Guest: Tony Christensen
Topic: Using Twitter to Build Your Authority and Grow Your Personal Brand
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What does it mean to build authority on Twitter?

To build authority is to connect with people in your industry, learn from them, and share your own expertise for them to learn from. It’s establishing yourself as someone worth listening to. By building authority, you also build trust and respect.

When you’ve been consciously making efforts to build your authority and trust, you become the go-to person for people when they want something. You become their solution provider whenever they need clarity or help.

A great example of a person who’s built solid authority is Madalyn herself. Tony said she’s the first person he’d think of asking a Twitter question. She’s built that credibility by offering helpful content in her podcasts, #TwitterSmarter chats, courses, and stage speeches.

Tom pointed out the top 5 elements that authority is based on. Your level of authority relies on your character as a person, your competence, compassion, communication skills, and your commitment to people and your cause. When you have all these elements working for you, you’ll become a natural leader and people will start rallying around you and your solutions.

Q2: How can you showcase your authority?

Building authority takes time. You need to be around and available consistently so that people get used to seeing you and your content. Only then will they start expecting your opinions.

There’re many things you can do to be consistent. You can try different ways of sharing, and sharing various types of content. For example, our guest Tony gave the following suggestions:

  • Learn from your industry leaders.
  • Analyze what works and what doesn’t work for you.
  • Instead of only relying on others’ results, share your test findings as well.
  • Show off your case studies through blogs, podcasts, articles, and videos.

One way of adding value to others’ content is to quote them and include your own observations. That way, not only are you sharing important data with your audience, but you’re also telling them why you care and they should too.

As Christina added, it’s also important to celebrate the people in your community. They are, after all, you largest audience, and showcasing their work gives you more content ideas while also helping establish a rapport with them.

Q3: What is a personal brand?

You are your personal brand. It’s made up of how you represent yourself online, what information you share, and how helpful you are. To paraphrase Jeff Bezos, your personal brand is whatever people talk about you when you’re not around. It’s their impression of you.

Tony also added that a personal brand reflects your inner personality—it’s the things you love. And when you build your business around your brand, it can also evolve with the changing times.

Oh, and the most important thing is to always be nice. Not only is it good manners, but it also affects your personal brand and how people perceive you.

As Jignesh rightly pointed out, you can have a lot of control over how your personal brand comes through. And so it’s important to realize that you can shape people’s opinion of you. It’s a big responsibility, and you should take it seriously.

Q4: What’s the first step to building a personal brand on Twitter?

Unless you know who you are and what your goals are, you won’t be able to convey it to the world.

That’s why, as Jack pointed out, it’s important to define your goals.

Then comes the actual action item: building your personal brand. Once you establish your goals, go ahead and showcase them on your profile. Like our guest pointed out, optimize your bio to reflect your personality and intentions. Make sure your profile picture is relevant and resembles the current you. When you’re building a business around  your personal brand, you don’t want to represent your older, once-was self.

After you’ve got the basics right, you can then branch out. Follow industry leaders, engage with them, and learn how best to get the maximum out of your efforts on social media. This way, you’ll also make connections and can establish authority in an area of your expertise.

Q5: How can a personal brand increase your authority?

A personal brand indicates who you are and what you’re interested in. It helps people assess your vibe. When you make it easy for them to see that, it’ll become easier to grow your brand in that realm.

To project your interests, aside from sharing your own content, share other relevant people’s content too. Imagine a stranger looking at your profile. When it’s full of topics and discussions that you care most about, it speaks on your behalf.

All that said, though, remember that a personal brand shouldn’t be fixed. It’s important that you’re able to change according to demand and trends. As Janice said, beware of getting locked-in.

But here’s a wacky idea that might topple all you’ve learnt about personal branding. John reminded us all that even though it’s important to focus on nurturing your brand, it is, after all, about you. So it’s critical to be the authentic you.

Q6: What are some pitfalls to watch out for when building your brand on Twitter?

As crucial as it is to focus on improving your brand on Twitter, it’s also essential that you’re aware of common mistakes.

For example, we all share articles that we enjoy and think our audience will appreciate. However, according to Tony, sharing articles and retweeting posts without adding your own opinion doesn’t add much value. Sure, your audience will like the post you’ve shared, but unless you tell them why you liked it and why they should spend time reading it, it’s not much helpful.

Another common mistake a lot of Twitter users, especially novice ones, make is tagging a bunch of unrelated people on a tweet to try and garner more attention. In reality, it only shows immaturity and strips you and your content of reliability.

As Tim said, because Twitter is so diverse and contains and endless stream of differing thoughts, it’s too easy to stray away from who you are as a brand. It’s common to get dragged into the moment and forget what you stand for. Be aware of that.

Here’re a few other pitfalls our community members pointed out:

  • Not engaging with others. If you don’t respond to conversations, share your opinions, and tag the relevant people, you won’t get noticed on Twitter.
  • Being influenced by people you like and trying to impersonate them.
  • Sharing irrelevant content and hashtags.
  • Pretending to know a lot about a topic you don’t.
  • Focussing only on one platform and not branching out on other social media.
  • Not knowing your audience.
  • Forgetting to have fun.

Q7: Share some ideas on how to stand out on Twitter.

A lot of social media experts recommend making your own GIFs. Not only is it a great way to showcase your uniqueness but it’s also an unexpected surprise for your audience.

In the long run, as Tony said, your custom GIFs will become a medium for people to recognize you by.

Tony even has a guide on how you can go about creating custom GIFs. Check it out here.

As a social media consultant himself, Tony had a lot more advice to share. He often tweets about common issues his clients face. Not only does this educate his audience, but it also proves his experience in the matter. And if you’re new to Twitter, or are exploring a previously unknown industry, acknowledge it and start sharing things you learn on the way. It’ll help others like yourself.

One of the most important things you should do is be confident. Take a stand—don’t be afraid to make bold statements. It’s a powerful way to show people you know what you’re talking about.

Here are a few more ideas our community members shared:

  • Don’t stress yourself by overthinking.
  • Feel free to experiment, take chances, and understand what works for you.
  • Use GIFs and videos.
  • Show up consistently. A big part of Twitter is being available when people need you.
  • Share interesting content, and if you’re sharing others’ content, tell your audience why.
  • Ask questions and show people you’re open to conversations.
  • Transfer your branding into the graphics you share on Twitter.
  • Admit your mistakes. It happens. And when you acknowledge your mistakes it shows a human side of the brand.
  • Don’t schedule and forget. Twitter is about being in the moment and showcasing your personality through real-time conversations.
  • When sharing others’ content, tag that person in the tweet to credit them.
  • Enjoy yourself, and have fun engaging with people on Twitter.

And of course, while doing all that, don’t forget the big picture, your primary goal: provide value.

Q8: What are your top resources for learning about authority and branding on Twitter?

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that Madalyn is a Twitter rockstar. Tony agrees.

If you have any questions at all about using Twitter and getting the most out of it, just browse through Madalyn’s website. Check out her courses. Or tag her on Twitter. She’ll always respond with helpful information.

Tony also suggested looking up relevant keywords and following people who engage most on those keywords. Buzzsumo is a great tool for identifying topics and influencers for your industry.

However, as you observe and learn from others, don’t let all that change or alter your personality. It’s important to be your authentic self on Twitter.

Here are a few more resources for you to check out.

And of course, don’t forget the #TwitterSmarter hashtag!

Well, that’s all folks. If you’d like to read more great insights from our chat, take a look at this Twitter Moment our volunteer team member, Joana Rita Sousa, put together.

Feel for to join us on Thursdays at 1pm ET for our regular #TwitterSmarter chat. Just not this week though—Happy Thanksgiving, America!

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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