Creating An Inspiring Personal Brand on Twitter

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Some people can successfully manage and consistently maintain both a personal and business brand without burning out. For some others, one’s a challenge by itself. Whether you have one brand or two, your personality will spill into it. That’s why it’s worth thinking about how you’ll form your brand strategy. We invited Anthony Gaenzle, founder and CEO of Gaenzle Marketing agency, to talk about building a personal brand that inspires and lasts. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Anthony Gaenzle
Topic: Creating an inspiring personal brand on Twitter
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1. Why is Twitter a powerful channel to build a personal brand?

Twitter is powerful because it enables you to develop relationships, engage in genuine conversations, and leave a positive impact on other people.

As our guest pointed out, the more value you offer others, the more you’ll get in return too. Your following will grow, your reputation will spread, and you can establish yourself as a credible brand.

Christine pointed out that Twitter, by nature, is designed to promote active interaction rather than passively broadcasting content. This communal aspect of the platform makes it a good place to nurture a personal brand.

Q2: Should a small business owner have a personal or business brand?

There’s no right answer. Like Anthony said, if you’re a business owner contemplating this question, prioritize building your business brand.

Then, if you have the time and the capacity to manage and consistently run a personal handle, go ahead and establish a separate personal brand. It’s important to remember, though—to be successful as a personal brand, you have to be comfortable sharing your personality online.

Showcasing your true personality is crucial because it helps people resonate with you better, which can lead to better reach for your business.

Alyx made a strong case for maintaining two separate brands. In case you decide to sell your business down the track, it’ll help to have a brand that’s independent of your business’s brand. However, it’s also worth remembering that as a small business and a small business owner, both brands will overlap quite a bit.

Q3: Is it important for a personal brand to have a large follower count?

We’ve discussed this many times on our chat, and every time, we come to almost the same conclusion: large follower counts are helpful, but they don’t necessarily translate to engagement. There’s no point in having a million followers if only 2 percent of them engage with you. You’d rather just have a thousand followers with 80 percent of them actively engaging with you.

As Julie from Nimble added, the upside of having a large following is that you’ll get broad exposure for your brand. The caveat, though—you want those followers to be real human beings and not bots and spam accounts.

Q4: What are some ways to differentiate your personal brand from your business brand?

One of the most obvious and easiest ways to differentiate your personal and business brands from each other is to have an individual tone and voice for each. Use stories from your life experiences and case studies from your business to distinguish your brands.

To successfully differentiate your personal and business brands, you also need to set clear guidelines for each brand, as Madalyn explained. When you start building your brand, define the types of content you’ll create for each brand. Make it a part of your branding strategy and stick with it.

Q5: Share some tips for building relationships growing your network on Twitter?

Remember that relationships need to be mutually beneficial. You can’t expect one party to always give and the other to always receive. Initiate conversations and contribute to adding value to others. Be helpful without expecting anything.

A good way to add value and share your support is to share other people’s content that you think is useful. Show people who you really are as a person and have fun when you interact with them. Lasting relationships aren’t formed by well-prepared speeches, they’re formed by spontaneity and friendliness.

Another excellent way to build friendships is to find and join Twitter chats or Spaces conversations, as Madalyn reminded us. Being around and participating in meaningful discussions helps you connect with other people.

Jim shared a great tip about creating Twitter Lists of people you want to connect with and learn more from. Lists can help you follow conversations from all the people you want to hear most from in one collection.

Q6: What types of content work best for a personal brand?

What works for one person may not always work for another, so it’s important to experiment and change things up a bit. That said, as our guest mentioned, share a variety of content types to make it exciting for your audience. Polls, text-based tweets, and threads help initiate extensive conversations. Links, blog posts, and explanatory videos help share knowledge and educate your audience.

Julia from NOW Marketing Group added another valuable point—share content that showcases your humanity. Don’t be shy to be vulnerable or sensitive—that’s what makes you who you are as a person. Understand your brand’s core message and communicate that humanely.

Q7: How important is it for a personal brand to be verified on Twitter?

Everyone who gets the verified badge has a different experience with it. For example, our guest noticed that his follower count and engagement grew after he got verified. He even wrote a guide about it. Check it out:

However, the blue check doesn’t automatically mean you’re more important than other people. Our own Madalyn has applied for verification multiple times, and she’s still waiting on it. That doesn’t mean she’s any less credible than someone with the blue check. It just means that Twitter’s verification process is complex, involves a lot of variables, and doesn’t always follow a defined set of eligibility criteria. As Lori said, showing up consistently and being genuinely helpful is far more important.

Q8: Should a personal brand have a unique branded hashtag?

If you want.

Our guest has two branded hashtags—#AGMarketingChats for his Twitter chat and #BloggingForBusiness to promote his book. When you create a new branded hashtag, make sure that no one else is already using it extensively (or you risk diluting your audience) and see that it’s easy enough for people to recall and type out. Some branded hashtags can be unnecessarily lengthy, taking precious characters out of a tweet. You don’t want your hashtag to be one of those.

There’s no rule for or against having a branded hashtag. It works for some people, and it doesn’t work for some other people. But for almost everyone who starts a branded hashtag, it takes time to develop and popularize it. Madalyn started the #TwitterSmarter hashtag way back in 2015. It’s a great branded hashtag but it certainly didn’t catch on overnight.

Well, that’s all from me, folks. Thanks for reading through, and for more insights from our chat with Anthony, browse through this Twitter Moment that Joana put together for us.

If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us every Thursday at 1pm ET on #TwitterSmarter. Afterward, we also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff for the bills; haiku and short stories for the soul. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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