Within days of introducing Twitter lists into public beta, an estimated 6.5 million lists have already been created. This begs the question, which Dan Schawbel asked on Nov. 1, does it matter how many times you’re listed?
As of this writing, I am on 96 lists. Impressive, right? Perhaps, if they were all in line with my personal brand.
The sign of a strong personal brand is when others perceive you how you want to be perceived. I have a dual personal brand (which is absolutely my own fault): entry-level careers expert and public relations pro. So, I’m included on many lists in both categories. But global business? Where did that one come from?
I mentioned I have two personal brands. This is a “do as I say, not as I do” moment. After all, there are people who have no idea I am in public relations, and a (smaller) number who don’t realize I’m an entry-level careers writer. While I’m slowly transitioning my brand from public relations pro to entry-level careers expert, I’ve found it extremely hard to let go of my old life. Thus, the two brands.
What’s interesting is, even though I’ve been freely giving my advice for almost a decade, I didn’t really attempt to brand myself until I became Examiner.com’s national entry-level careers columnist in September 2008. Now, more than a year later, I’m still deep in battle with how others perceive me. But I doubt I would have made it as far as I have without the help of social media platforms like Twitter.
Although the various ways people will use Twitter lists has yet to unfold, I would like to argue they can be used to solidify your personal brand. Think about it: Instead of finding people one-by-one, we’re going to begin mass following people based on topics/lists that interest us. If you can get yourself on the right lists, the effort will go a long way toward building your follower base and your brand.
List first and they’ll list you back
When you regularly read and comment on someone’s blog, they are more likely to reciprocate. I predict the same will go for Twitter lists. Do your due diligence in creating lists coinciding with other people’s personal brands, and they will likely take notice and do the same for you.
Are you searching for a job? Create a list of human resources professionals, recruiters and hiring managers in your industry. Looking for mentors? Create a list of thought-leaders. The types of lists you can create are nearly endless.
Be mindful of traditional Twitter etiquette
Particularly if you’re just starting out on Twitter, don’t forget the rules: listen, be relevant, mind your brand, engage, and give more than get. Let people know you’ve added them to a list and why.
How are you going to use lists to enhance your brand?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, an exclusive online community connecting the best internship and entry-level job candidates with the best employers. She is also the national entry-level careers columnist for Examiner.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com.