by Bradley Will on November 14, 2009
I find Twitter to be a HUGE leverage point for young entrepreneurs to build instant credibility. By using Twitter, I have found business partners, constantly get sent tons of free stuff (books, cd’s, food, etc.), made money, drove tons of traffic to my blog, been invited to private parties, met my idol, been on radio and TV shows and the list goes on and on. The only reason if you believe Twitter does not work, is if you don’t work. Plain and simple. You must have a reason to be on it in the first place or you will end up like a lost child in a theme park.
The big three sites I use include Twitter, Facebook and a Wordpess Blog. The first two serve as giant funnels that drive traffic to your home base (your blog). You purpose of being on these social networks should be to increase your value to the world and gain people’s trust in your brand. In doing this the right way, you will drive many visitors to your blog and there you can continue to serve them with value until the are so stuffed to the point they feel like they have and want to pay you for your product or service. On your blog you can have advertisements to your products or services or use a list building strategy.
But, back to Tweeting…we are using it for business, right? These days, business is personal. The more authentic you remain and stay true to yourself, the more success you will have in this space. Feel free to share interesting things about yourself and talk about the things that you love. You don’t have to wear a mask here. To help get your Twitter game off the ground, I compiled a list of common tweaks I often tell people to make to improve their online brand.
Don’t you hate having to send someone a message or email and having to address it “Hey @JonasFan1992.” Scott Ginsburg is on a mission to have everyone in the world wear a nametag. He even has his tattooed on his chest. Imagine how friendlier of a place this would be. You can use Twitter as a giant nametag to get your name out there and this actually allows people to be more friendly with you. When you don’t use your real name, it feels like you are trying to take on some mystery persona. People won’t feel the same connection with you.
Be Cautious With Automatic Tweets
You’re too lazy to find good content and share it, I get it. What did you do before Twitter? Most that use a twitterfeed just abuse it and if it hurts your brand, why would you want to do it anyways? Everyone is trying to take shortcuts to replace hard work. Automation is great, but it is still automatic. You are not going to build a connection with a robot. A Twitter feed should be used for two purposes. One is to automatically post your new blog posts to your account. Two would to be auto post someone’s blog posts in your inner circle that you would repost anyways. That could be a business partner or similar. If you think setting up a Twitter feed on Mashable is going to get you anywhere in building your brand, you are nuts. Stop being so lazy. You can alternatively hand select content for your twitter feed which can be an acceptable option. You can tell people are running automated accounts if you look at a profile and see a series of tweets from twitterfeed.
5 seconds. You have 5 seconds to make a good first impression. Is it going to be your favorite football team, a picture of your family, your dog, your company logo or Barack Obama? How about just a picture of you? And not one with you and some business leader that 99% people on Twitter don’t know. I know you are excited about meeting them, but that is a recipe for confusion. Crop a nice clean closeup head shot or torso shot so people can see the expressions on your face. They can reveal a lot about you. Another tip, if you ever plan on meeting people outside of your home…put a picture up that actually looks like you, not some photoshopped piece or something from the 90’s. The last thing you want is people to meet you in person and be shocked about how you really look. That could get quite uncomfortable.
Get Listed on Twitter Lists
In my honest opinion, Twitter lists are the new measure of influence and effectiveness on Twitter. Someone has to actually go to your profile and add you to a list of their choice. That means you are doing something good. Unless you are listed on someones “spammer” list. First, organize your tweeps into lists. Then you just want to be as fascinating as possible for people to list you. Tweet about links, resources, quotes, articles and retweeting other people. Spend the majority of your time interacting with other people. Complement and comment. It’s simple. Those 20,000 followers that all those spammers hoarded just completely went out the window. If you can see that they are not on anyones list, they have no popularity. Game over for now spammers. Look at the picture below. Who has more influence?
Write a Catchy Bio
Think about Twitter as a giant personal billboard when you can informally meet thousands of new contacts in a short period of time and decide if you want to do business with each other. It’s kind of like speed dating for business. You bio is a chance for you to use your creativity to sell people on you and position yourself however you want. You want to use powerful, magnetic, bold words here. Something like “Aspiring Entrepreneur” can be replaced with “Passionate” or “Zaney Entrepreneur.” You are exactly what you say you are. If you always believe you are an aspiring entrepreneur, when will you ever become one? Entrepreneurship is a state of mind. You don’t have to build a million dollar business for you to call yourself one. Also, don’t forget to capitalize all the main words in you bio. A little internet marketing trick to make them stand out more.
It’s In Your Backyard
I never even knew how to use that latitude longitude thing that automatically updates your Twitter location. Remember this appears as jargon to most people on Twitter. If you are from a small town, roll with the next biggest city nearby. Put your city and state. You want to make yourself discoverable, right? This will help you build connections in your local area. Many times I see young entrepreneurs start by trying to creating a worldwide influence. Just start in your backyard. These are going to be your biggest fans!
Don’t Link to Sales Pages
Instant credibility buster. There is no need to link to a sales page. No one is going to buy from it. Just save yourself the embarrassment. I say this because even if you make like one or two sales on your product or service, is that few bucks worth being know as the guy or girl always trying to sell you stuff? People buy from people they know, like and trust. You must create a safe zone around your social media funnel if you ever want to move serious volume of your product or service. And if all you have is a business opportunity website, still don’t link to it. Link to your Facebook account or to another social networking profile.
Remove the “www.”
Take out the “www.” on you website. You want people to remember it right? So why you trying to hide it? The “www.” removes four characters from the website name. You may be missing out on some free branding. This can be huge, especially for personal brands. The first thing many people look at to see if your are legit is your website. And you score big points with me if you have a personal blog. When people see your name and look down at your website and it is congruent, it gives your credibility that you are a serious entrepreneur and not some spammer that is linking to some sales page. Also, if you have multiple words in your website, capitalize the first letter of each. Sometimes the words can run together and this will help distinguish them.
If you are not taking advantage of photo sharing on Twitter, you can be missing out on some serious traffic. It just so happens to be that Twitpic is retweeted more than Mashable. With having this set up on your mobile phone, you have the ability to share your life with people everywhere you go. Imagine a photographer traveling without their camera. There will be things that come up in your life that you would love to share with people. Take and share pictures of people you meet, food you eat and places you go. You are more fascinating that you think. Why do you think reality TV is so popular? There are several photo sharing sites you can use for free, so pick one that works best for you.
Brand Your Background
This one couldn’t be more self explanatory. It is like having a good business card. People that get the free ones from Vistaprint, you really just can’t take seriously. If you were going to spend money anywhere online, I would suggest you spend it on a Twitter background and blog design. Look, it does not have to be anything spectacular. Just have something to call you own. It will make you stand out big time. You can even create one yourself with a cool font and a nice picture. That’s all you really need.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Protect Your T
It defeats the whole purpose of Twitter. It is for people who just want to be connected to a small group of friends. It is like going to a networking event and standing in the bathroom and locking the door. You want to be discoverable. You want to be found.
What “Twitter tweaks” do you know that can instantly improve your brand?
A Great post by Bradley Will about Overlooked Tweeks you can make to your twitter account and improve your brand