A nice handful of people who are currently using Twitter today, actually have no idea how to use or why. That probably is one of the main reasons that only 5% of users create 75% of the content that is curated on the microblogging platform. Though I wouldn’t necessarily brand myself as an expert or guru on this social network, I do know that using Twitter is about 2 things and only 2 things: branding and engagement.
When you use Twitter, you give yourself a searchable online presence (unless your account is set to private). This makes it extremely important that when first starting out, you think carefully about your username, background, and bio. Like making a first impression, these are vital to letting your followers discover who you are and what you are about. Whether you’re a job seeker, student, working professional or wandering nomad, you have control over what perception you want others to have of you. Use those areas to your advantage! Every time you tweet, you’re making a mark on your personal brand.
Twitter is great because it lets people connect in a way that could never happen in real life organically. I’ve had some engagements with social media “rock stars” like Amber Naslund (@AmberCadabra) and her employer Radian6 (@Radian6). In traditional business, I would never be able to get an email through to the VP of Social Strategy unless I was in upper management, but in social media, I can have a conversation with Amber and it’s no big deal. For Radian6 and other companies who use Twitter, it really humanizes the brand and allows them to be reachable to the everyday person. Aside from the 140 character limit (or as I say the 120 character limit to allow for retweeting), those bit.ly links, hashtags (#), and mentions (@) in your tweets are just as important as the message you share.
To boil it down, if you’re going to start using Twitter, some things to remember: use a profile photo, put a bio in – and don’t be afraid to be personal, change the background to something other than the default, and when posting – use tweets to talk with others at the very least.