This is the fifth in a series of Personal Brand Audits to make sure you’re keeping your personal branding efforts fresh and effective. (See 1: LinkedIn Audit, 2: Facebook Audit, 3: Google Audit, and 4: Visibility Audit).
Twitter is a powerful tool to connect with people who can advance your career, to engage your target market, to establish credibility and to build your personal brand. Let’s see if you’re using it effectively.
Use your real first and last name so that your Twitter profile ranks highly in Google searches for your name. Variations like “BettySuePR” that relate to your field also work.
2. Is your headshot consistent with your brand?
If you want people to remember you, a picture is worth a thousand words. Snap a few pictures of you doing something related to your career goals and keep your headshot up to date.
Use the 160 characters of your bio to concisely describe the unique value you provide. Include an interesting fact that makes you stand out from the crowd. Your bio is one of the most important parts of your profile. It’s the first thing people read to find out who you are, what you’re all about, and what you’re up to today. Keep it concise, compelling, and current.
4. Have you used TwitterImage.com to customize your background image?
The background image on your profile is prime real estate. Make sure it provides more information about you and is relevant to your target audience.
5. Have you used a site like Twellow.com to follow thought leaders in your field in the past two weeks?
Twitter is an open conversation where you can put yourself on the radar of the thought leaders in your field. Use services like Twellow and Mr. Tweet to find out who to follow. Use a Twitter app like TweetDeck to organize them into groups. Then pay attention to what they’re saying to keep up with industry trends and start engaging in conversation with them.
6. Have you used Twitter search to follow people talking about your industry in the past two weeks?
Do a Twitter search for keywords relevant to your area of expertise to quickly build a network of users actively participating in your field. Interact with them, add value to their day and bring them into the fold of your professional network.
7. Have you posted relevant articles, information, quotes or links in the past two weeks?
Twitter is about adding value to everyone else in your network. Do not Tweet what you had for lunch. Do Tweet links that are useful, interesting, helpful, funny, enlightening or that help someone else’s day.
8. Have you answered relevant questions in the past two weeks?
Do a Twitter search to find people asking questions you can answer. If you’re a resume expert, type “resume tips?” to find people looking for help with their resume. Answering questions establishes yourself as an authority in your line of work.
Whenever you find someone’s Tweet valuable, retweet it and give them thanks by including their username. For example: “RT @bettysue What will you do today to change the world?” This helps strengthen relationships, builds your Twitter karma and exposes you to their audience when they reply.
10. Have you tapped your network in the past two weeks?
Let your network know what you are looking for. Searching for speaking gigs? Organizing a workshop? Building a mastermind group? Message people directly and Tweet what you’re looking for to build your brand.
In the end, you want to make sure you are engaging your network. Ask questions, reply to others using the @ function, ask for feedback, and make sure you are always part of the conversation. Meet people with common interests by participating in discussions related to your personal brand. Make yourself known as someone with thoughtful insights and a helpful attitude.
Twitter allows you to connect and interact with your target market (whether that’s clients, business partners, customers, potential employers, investors, etc.). So don’t haphazardly Tweet random and insignificant things (“My ham sandwich this morning was soggy”). Instead, tap the power of Twitter by using it specifically to advance your career, connect with the right people, establish trust and credibility, and strengthen your personal brand online.
Tally Up: What’s your Twitter score?
Tally up your answers to determine your Twitter score. If you scored 0-4, take a few minutes right now to improve your standing. If you scored 5-8, set some time aside this weekend to improve your score. If you scored 9-10 you’re on the ball – keep up the great work.
Here are the audit points, to recap:
- Is your Twitter handle consistent with your brand?
- Is your headshot consistent with your brand?
- Is your bio compelling and targeted?
- Have you used TwitterImage.com to customize your background image?
- Have you used a site like Twellow.com to follow thought leaders in your field in the past two weeks?
- Have you used Twitter search to follow people talking about your industry in the past two weeks?
- Have you posted relevant articles, information, quotes or links in the past two weeks?
- Have you answered relevant questions in the past two weeks?
- Have you retweeted (RT) other people’s Tweets in the past two weeks?
- Have you tapped your network in the past two weeks?
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.