This is adapted from the eBook, From Tweet to Hired: How to Leverage Twitter to Advance Your Career, which includes contributions from Dan Schawbel and Gary Vaynerchuk.
You have a Twitter profile that strengthens your personal brand. And your bio and background image exude your core values and align with your career goals. You’re growing your Twitter network – but how do you turn followers into evangelists for your personal brand?
One of the documents we pass around the office is our Twitter Engagement Checklist. It’s a set of actions that ensures our management team and interns are effectively engaging with relevant people on Twitter, growing their personal networks and building brand awareness. You may benefit from the streamlined process we’ve come to rely on. I’d like to share it with you.
Why a checklist?
Twitter is a global networking party, and you should approach it like one – with a goal and a strategy. Your overarching strategy should be to give before you even think about receiving. People are not interested in what you ate for lunch. They are interested in tweets that yield a positive impact on their day. Here’s how we do it at @brandyourself.
Twice a day
Tweet a blog post relevant to your field. Our followers want to know about the latest trends, controversies and ideas in our space. We keep them in the loop so they know what’s going on. If you aren’t following blogs in your field, find them by searching for industry keywords on top tier blog directories like Technorati and Alltop. Tweet posts that catch your eye to establish yourself as a source of knowledge for your followers.
Tweet a news article about your field. We do a Google News and New York Times search for keywords in our industry. Scan headlines of online industry publications and tweet out news relevant to your followers to become a trusted source of news and updates.
Tweet a tip based on your experience in your field. We tweet personal branding, online reputation management, career development and job search tips based on real experiences we’ve had hiring, finding jobs and building our own brands. What can you tweet about based on personal experience? For example, if you’re in graphic design, tweet a daily Photoshop tip. You’ll soon build your credibility in your field.
Tweet an inspirational quote. We love bite-sized sayings that impact how we think about life and work. Head over to a directory of quotes like BrainyQuote and tweet a quote that might resonate with your followers to become a source of happiness.
Tweet something personal. We try to keep things as human (read: non-spammy) as possible. Tweet stuff related to your life: let people know that you’re planning on going to a big concert next week. Since strictly following a checklist may decrease your tweeting creativity (I recommend a mix of checklist plus your own strategy), I require a certain number of “personal” tweets from my team. Do this on a regular basis to connect on a deeper level with your followers.
Answer a question related to your field. Use Twitter search or a Twitter management app like TweetDeck or Hootsuite to search for people asking questions about your area of expertise. Type a keyword followed by a question mark to filter results, such as “graphic design?” or “civil engineer?” Answers questions and lead people back to your blog (you have one, right?) if your posts have more detailed answers. This is a great way to attract more followers, and establish yourself as an authority in your line of work.
Reach out to an industry expert. We make a point to RT or @reply a new industry expert every week. Reach out to the big names who are the keynote speakers, noted authorities and thought leaders in your field. That’s the beauty of Twitter – you can reach out to anyone. It’s all fair game!
Make Things Easy With a Tweet Scheduler
To streamline the process of tweeting to build your personal brand, I recommend using a tweet scheduler. Input a number of tweets at the beginning of the week (why not queue up a few blog posts and quotes?), then set them to post periodically throughout the week. This set and-forget approach allows you to chunk out a small amount of time once a week instead of taking multiple microbreaks every day. (For some, microbreaks work better, but I find they interrupt my flow).
Which Checklist Items Will You Use?
One of the best ways to establish yourself as a valuable member of your community is to share new information on a regular basis. This checklist provides structure to your Twitter efforts, but shouldn’t simply replace your regular tweeting habits. Take what works for you.
If you are consistently pushing out fresh, targeted content, people will begin to look to you as a source for industry trends. Since the information is valuable, you will earn a ton of retweets, and in turn, valuable followers. When these followers consider you credible and involved, they’re likely to evangelize your personal brand on their own. That’s the mark of a strong brand: when you naturally create brand ambassadors that work for you.
What is your strategy to grow your personal brand on Twitter? Do you have your own personal “checklist?”
Pete Kistler is a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, a top 5 finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2009, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely read career development blogger, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards. Pete manages strategic vision for Brand‐Yourself.com, the first online reputation management platform for job applicants, named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative College Startups in the U.S.