In the three consecutive social networking presentations I gave to business owners, the most often asked question was the best way to create a Twitter account.
This piece won’t teach you how to use Twitter for your business; resources like the Twitter 101 Guide exist. However, we thought it would be helpful to give some “traction tips” regarding the most important considerations we feel should be made while creating a Twitter account for a personal brand or a small business.
The seven most crucial actions to increase your Twitter following are as follows:
1. A HANDLE ON TWITTER. Twitter should be short, easy to remember, and descriptive of the user. Remember that people make connections with other individuals, so we prefer to see Twitter usernames that are people’s names. That’s not always easy to do, especially if the name you want is already in use, is too long, or you’d instead use the name of your business (which we’ll get to in a second). While it’s not advised always to use all caps, there are times when it might be helpful to do so. For instance, @guykawasaki is also accepted as, and indeed is, @GuyKawasaki.
Two accounts can be made: one under your name and another under your company’s name if you have more than one brand to promote. That way, you can make use of both of them. Your story should be entertaining and informative for your audience since it draws on your expertise and helps them connect with you. You can tailor your assistance to your business or company account to directly relate to the company and its benefits to others. Neither is required, so evaluate your needs to determine which is more suitable. You can have an account with your business name as the handle and your picture and character as the user name. Or alternatively. Examine the benefits and drawbacks and decide based on what you learn about yourself.
Thirdly, PHOTO CRITICAL. Your profile picture (also known as an “avatar”) should be a snapshot of you representing your brand. Please don’t upload a picture of your puppy or kid or one of you when you were a kid (unless you are a youngster, in which case you should probably only use Twitter under the supervision of an adult). And you shouldn’t publish just any old photo of yourself. Whether you use Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, your profile picture represents you and your brand. Give it your all. Hire a professional photographer, update your clothes, and talk with an image consultant if necessary. Your Twitter profile picture will be seen hundreds, if not thousands, by people following you. Consider tweets as mini-TV commercials showcasing your brand, repeated in front of your target audience. If you’re using this for business, your profile picture should be your logo (or another easily recognizable symbol). Remember that the maximum file size for a photo on Twitter (and LinkedIn) is 700kb. Do something daring and influential in a restricted location.
4. COMPLETE THE BIO. In a rush, many people produce a bio that is neither interesting nor informative. Irrelevant. Meaningless. Although brief, your Twitter profile conveys a great deal about you. What you wear is a reflection of who you are. You might think of it as your public persona aside from your avatar. Don’t miss this. A short version of your resume. Quick. However, much can be conveyed in such few words as in a tweet. In other words, your bio. I love the quote, which could have been written by Mark Twain or T.S. Eliot: “If I had more time, I’d write a shorter letter.” What I mean is, don’t rush. Use pithy language. Modify; examine. Revise once more. Discover not only your true identity but also the people you exist to help. Who do you add value to? Make sure to include them. Owners of a company? Moms? Kids? Runners? People need to be able to recognize themselves in your “story” or bio. It would help if you established some connection with them. We don’t expect you to fill up the entire character count, but we also don’t want you to try to make a sale here. Just keep it basic and don’t overcomplicate things; the next stage is to persuade them to follow you, or if they already are, to start talking to you.
5 – SETTING. This brings up some of our pet peeves. If you want people to locate and follow you, you need to use the location box and use it appropriately. A lazy person or someone who doesn’t want others to know their whereabouts would leave this field blank. Something is better than nothing in this area. Please tell us where you’re from, at the very least. However, some people utilize UberTwitter and then put their UberTwitter code in the field, which is useless if I’m trying to link based on their location. Unfortunately, Twitter search engines like Twitterholic and Twellow won’t discover their Twitter handle. So, I won’t be successful if I want to find someone who lives in my immediate vicinity. If you want more people to see you, including the right location is crucial, especially if you run a local business, are in sales, or are a freelancer. For optimal traction, choose the largest nearby city. To give you an idea, I use Richmond, VA, even though I live in Chesterfield, VA. Most folks won’t bother searching every neighborhood in the suburbs. Additionally, the City, ST format is recommended.
SIXTH, COMPLETE THE URL. The URL field is often left blank, but you shouldn’t. You can find a URL to substitute if you don’t already have a website. If you’re actively seeking employment or developing your brand, the link to your LinkedIn page or multimedia VisualCV profile will be helpful. You can also utilize a PeoplePond page linked to your social media presence. A basic Google profile will do as well. Even your channel on YouTube, if you regularly work with video. Advice for getting more attention: make sure this link goes to a dynamic, exciting website or blog where people want to learn more about what you do and who you are, and, most crucially, how you can assist them.
7. INTRODUCTION TO TWITTER. Ideally, you would create a background unique to you or your company. No artistic talent? Not a problem. Before you even begin, you may make your Twitter account look more aligned with your business by customizing the background and color scheme. You can also use one of the many available free Twitter background services. Don’t just let your Twitter photo and bio reflect you and your business; consider it. Sometimes you only get one shot to create a first impression, and you’d better make it count. Find a designer willing to make a Twitter backdrop page for you; a $100-$200 budget should be more than enough. Call us if you have trouble locating an individual; we will gladly make one.
That wraps up what we consider to be the seven most crucial initial stages for establishing a prominent and fruitful Twitter presence that will get the most significant brand awareness. It’s okay if you still need assistance. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Traction Group, a social marketing agency catering to the needs of entrepreneurs. Remember that WHAT YOU TWEET is just as, if not more, crucial. In a subsequent piece, we’ll also discuss gaining traction in this area.
Sally Witzky is the owner, chief strategist, and “auctioneer” of Traction Group LLC, a social media marketing organization in Richmond, Virginia. She trains entrepreneurs and public figures interested in building their personal or professional brands through social media. Among the Fortune 1000 organizations she has worked with over the past fifteen years are Citizens Bank/RBS, Champion Mortgage, Saab, FMC, and Mercedes-Benz. She tweets as @SallyWitzky and @TractionGroup, and she writes for and.
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