Twitter Chats & Your Personal Brand

hashtag bird brandcamp u

We all know by now that Twitter is more than just a fun place to talk to people and learn what’s new, it’s also a huge personal brand generator.

Whether it’s Alyssa Milano, a perennial B-list actress with in excess of one million followers and a klout score higher than Barack Obama, or Justin, the 29-year old who’s twitter account @sh*tmydadsays has now been made into a book and a TV series, stories abound of people who have become famous (or more famous) because of their twitter presence.

While you may never have a million followers, it is possible to become known on Twitter, to become an ‘expert’ in your field or even a ‘thought leader.’  I have found a simple tool that is an easy way to gain influence, grow your following and expand your personal brand: the twitter chat.

If you’re not a devotee of chats, as many are, you may have noticed from time to time that your stream fills up with hashtags such as #genychat, #mbachat or #jobhuntchat, and either wondered what everyone is talking about, or gotten annoyed that these tweets keep filling up your stream with something you’re not involved in.

Next time that happens, instead of tuning out, tune in.  Search for the hashtag so you can see the tweets in real-time, use a tool like tweetchat.com.  That way you will get a feel for what the whole conversation looks like rather than just a few snippets here and there.  If it’s a topic you know something about, feel free to join in ~ twitter chats are open to all and generally very welcoming to newcomers.  

Here’s a few tips for chats and why you might want to join:

1)   Meet interesting new tweeps.  Chats usually attract people from outside your sphere, so it is almost assured you will be exposed to some tweeps you have not previously been aware of.  If they seem interesting, follow them.

2)   Put your two cents in.  Like I said, if you know something about the topic, it’s perfectly fine to add your thoughts.  You do not have to be an expert on the subject.  Everyone has a different level of expertise, so you don’t know who your tweet will help or appeal to.

3)   Retweet people.  This will give them a chance to interact with you later.  It also helps your audience if you are tweeting good information at them.

4)   Add a comment to a tweet.  Have conversations within the chat…this is the time to engage…everyone is expecting that, they all came here for the same reason.

5)   Since most chats move quickly, the more you tweet within a chat, the more likely you will be noticed and pick up new followers.   Generally these are people with at least some similar interests and can become valuable new sources of information and engagement.  Follow them back.

6)   By engaging in chats, you are using Twitter for what it was designed for ~ conversation.

7)   There is usually a digest published after the chat with select tweets, along with a transcript of the entire chat.  More tweeps who did not get to participate in the chat, but who are interested in the topic will seek that out, and will find you there.

8)   Tweet a link to the digest or transcript to your followers and ask them to join the next chat.  And make sure to thank the moderators of the chat at the conclusion.

9)   Growing a presence among twitter chatters will increase your opportunities to know and be known by influencers within a given field.

10)  Twitter chats are fun!

Joining in a twitter chat is a first step level of engagement.  Eventually, you may want to co-moderate a chat of your own.  To get started, check out this complete up-to-date list of twitter chats.  You are sure to find one that fits your interests and goals: http://bit.ly/bOTzCe.

My next post will outline how to create and host a twitter chat.

36- Tips for Personal Branding with Twitter

Twitter-icon

Twitter is a great tool and provides many ways to impact, manage and build equity for your personal brand.  In this blog post we will look at 36-tips for personal branding on Twitter.

1. Make your Blog Social – Integrate a Twitter widget into your blog to give it wings. (Example: @careerrocketeer)

2. Custom Background Image – Integrate a visual image in the background that reinforces your personal brand and connects with your blog. (Example: @ChrisBrogan)

3. Polish your Avatar – Integrate a professional looking avatar that is consist across all your social networks that visually looks like you so that people can associate with you.

4. Strategic Social URLs – Choose your Twitter handle wisely. Choose a name that you are strategically planning to build brand equity with.

5. Be a Trust Builder – Twitter is more than a channel where you build a large number of followers. You are really building trust with the people who follow you.

6. Character 2.0 – Your tweets are a character stream that people can validate.

7. Think before you Tweet – All tweets are now archived forever by Library of Congress (LOC), all tweets from March 2006 going forward. http://bit.ly/dq5Wws

8. Profile Bio – Your Twitter profile should identify who and what you are (Example: @KellyLux)

9. Re-Tweetable Bio – Create a bio that is re-tweetable with 120 characters.

10. Create Touch Points – Each tweet is a potential touch point with a potential employer, business partner, customer or strategic partner so handle them with care.

11. Integrate into your web 1.0 Content – Integrate into your business cards other marketing literature.

12. Own Mindshare – Own Digital Real Estate: tweets, @replies and mentions allow you to position yourself in the mind of your target audience.

13. ROI (Return on Identity) - Over time you are creating return on identity so make sure you are re-enforcing the identity you desire.

14. Become a Sound Bite King – Tweeting forces you to think in little commercials (or sound bites)

15. Own a hashtag - A hashtag is a community of people. Owning the hashtag is a commitment to purposeful content on a selected topic. (For example:  #journchat is the hashtag for the Twitter Chat founded by  @PRSarahEvans which is an ongoing conversation between journalists, bloggers and PR folks.)

16. Be Focused – The focus or goals of Twitter account must be determined. Are you a personal or branded account (For example: @HajjFlemings vs. @BrandCampU .)

17. Biz Development/Lead Generator – Think about how you can create monteizable biz opportunities.

18. Searchable/Query – Query content and keywords that are relevant to your niche it will foster greater interaction with people in the space you are focused on.

19. Broadcast your Blog Post – Great way to syndicate your blog post to your community (Example: @problogger)

20. Blog Post Titles – It forces you to think about tweetable blog post titles. Integrating Twitter handles and titles that people will want to share. (Example: @thisissethsblog)

21. Master 120 – If your tweets are longer than 120 characters you are grounded your tweets and eliminating the more value aspect of tweeting the re-tweet.

22. Twitter List Barometer – Use it as a barometer of how your network views you. If you want your network to view you as a PR Specialist but you are only on underwater basket weaving list then you need to re-evaluate the content you tweet.

23. Attend Tweet-up – As you began to attend tweet-up it is your badge and your ID that is used to communicate. Connect with likeminded people.

24. Track Content – Use Bit.ly or Hootsuite to track to identify quality metric data.

25. Set-up Groups/List to Focus on Content from specific users.

26. Meet People in New Markets – When I travel I use Twitter as a tool to meet users/influencers in new markets using tools like WeFollow.com

27. Pay attention – Listening is critical respond to your @replies and mentions build reputation as being attentive and responsive.

28. Become a Case Study – Melinda Emerson (@smallbizlady) – She developed a strategy 20-months prior to being on Twitter. The end result is that she has used Twitter to develop a platform for people to connect with her on her book ‘Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months’. She realized that 60% of people who buy books buy it from someone they have had contact with.

29. Become Geo Loc Enabled – Geo location apps like Foursquare and Gowalla are great at events like SXSW it helps you to connect with people that you want to network with.

30. Crowdsourcing – Your network is a diverse, geographically disperse community and is a prime target to crowdsource ideas to get quality recommendations and leads.

31. Mobilize – The use of smartphone third party apps allow you to be responsive and connect in real-time on opportunities you don’t the time to get in front of a desktop computer for.

32. Online/Offline – Focus on turning your online Twitter friends into offline interaction.

33. Don’t Argue – Don’t try to prove to someone you are smarter than them by arguing back and forth in a stream of tweets to prove your mental superiority. This will not add value to your brand.  (This was birthed out of a tweet exchange between @claudinerenee and myself about Butler University.  She responded to one of my tweets in which she had more information than me so we continued our conversation offline.  I wanted to understand her position without filling my Twitter stream with our discussion.  I walked away more informed.)

34. Online Reputation Management – Use Google alerts, Keyword searches and third party apps to manage and monitor your Twitter reputation.

35. Account Managers – Be careful who manages your account. Giving a third party access to your account could cause your account to be suspended, lose your account name or to destroy our reputation by tweeting something that is beyond repair.

36. Tom Peters & Seth Godin Rule – It is not about the numbers. As of 06/30/10 together Seth and Tom have 17,303 followers (Seth Godin-5 & Tom Peters-17,298) but they have more influence, a higher quality of life and they make more than most people with over 100,000 followers.

5 Ways to Showcase Your Expertise Online

Here are 5 specific web locations that allow you to directly answer questions – showcasing your expertise in the process.

Read more

4-Ways Foursquare Impacts your Personal Brand

Is Foursquare a silly game? Is Foursquare just another cool iPhone app?  Or is it just another social network?  From a personal branding perspective I would like to add a different angle.

Foursquare has the potential to be a great personal branding lifestyle social network (with the integration of Twitter at this point). Personal branding is a lifestyle not just a career choice.  It is something that is lived 24/7 not just from 9-to-5.  Foursquare naturally integrates your DNA, your brand associations, and your habits into its social networking game with each check-in.

4-Ways Your Personal Brand is Impacted

1.    Lifestyle: Your habits and choices are stamped with each check-in.  For example I workout at Lifetime Fitness and after becoming the Mayor it encouraged me to continue working out more frequently.  Whether I get unseated as Mayor is not the issue, it communicates commitment and that being physically fit is critical to my personal brand.  Can I tweet that I am going to the gym?  Absolutely. A stronger message is sent however when you physically check-in at the gym?
2.    Brand Associations: It connects you with establishments or brands you want to be associated with, whether it is a food establishment that provides healthy food or a eco friendly store that you purchased furniture from.
3.    Money Trail: To truly identify what is important to a person follow how they spend their money, there isn’t a clearer indicator of values.
4.    Local Market Branding: Adding tips can be a great personal branding tool  it connects you with desired establishments/brands in local markets.  It can also create opportunities especially as you frequent specific locations more often.  In local markets it can add name recognition and adds a virtual presence even when you are not physically at the location.

Optional #5: Work Time Stamp: Work habits are reinforced since check-ins can only be done with mobile devices when you are in the physical area.

Two Basic Tips for Using Foursquare

•    Tips: Create unique tips that people will find value when they visit or are near the establishment.
•    Shouts: Brand your choices, each check-in provides you an opportunity to reinforce why you have selected the establishment or brand you are visiting.

There is a noise factor that has to be managed with Foursquare I will admit.  Broadcasting every move you make might not be the digital footprint that you are trying to create.  Below is an example @Nolascratch tweets about going to the bathroom. I am not taking a shoot at this person but I just wanted to show an example.  This tweet is about going to the bathroom which we all at some point have to go.  You must determine for yourself what reinforces your personal brand message with this tool like you do with the other social networks.

4sq_bathroom

Foursquare is a social network that will continue to evolve much like Twitter and Facebook as time progresses. see a great opportunity to reinforce your personal branding lifestyle through Foursquare.

Other Articles on Foursquare
5 Ways Foursquare is Changing the World
Foursquare vs. Gowalla: Location-Based Throwdown

It’s All in What You Tweet

Lego Ollie the Twitterrific bird, originally uploaded by Fredoichi.

There are many things you can do on Twitter to build your personal brand; however, when it really comes down to it, it’s all in what you tweet. Your content and activity represents you and what you have to offer others, whether they be potential followers or even prospective partners or employers.

Here are some great tips on how to enhance your personal brand with each and every tweet:

Be selective. Decide what type of content you want to promote and stick to it. Don’t tweet or retweet anything and everything. – Jennifer Turner, @Talagy

Be consistent. Use a similar format, or 2-3 formats, depending on the content, for each tweet. Become a brand people will recognize. For example, start each tweet with one word in CAPS, or always end with #jobsearch, or use personalized web address shortening services. – Jessica Silverstein, @AttysCounsel

Act selflessly. Give away useful, industry-specific tips 85 percent of the time; limit promotional tweets to 15 percent of your content. Invest your energy in connecting with your followers. – Laura Christianson, @BloggingBistro

Showcase your expertise. The best way to showcase your personal brand on Twitter is to publish “thought leadership tweets”. “Thought leadership tweets”, are personal quote tweets that demonstrate your knowledge or opinions on topics, key trends and events related to your industry or profession. – Marci Reynolds, @marcireynolds12

Be responsive. Use the @ symbol followed by the person’s Twitter name to directly address questions and /or comments to people and also respond to questions. Conversing with people via the public Twitter stream will raise your visibility and thus increase your online presence. – T.C. Coleman, @UpwardAction

Give credit where its due. Reply and RT to those in the industry or who provide relevant and insightful knowledge, what goes around will come around. Its too transparent to be fake on Twitter. – Charlie Riley, @charlieriley

Tweet with the reader in mind. Another tip I use is to seek out Twitter users who tweet with search terms similar to my blog’s audience. That way, I’m addressing folks who are most likely to find my tweets of interest. – James Dillehay, @craftmarketer

Automate value. We don’t all have time to be on Twitter 24/7. Save yourself a little sanity and use tools like SocialOomph to schedule your tweets in advance so you can share valuable and relevant content even when you aren’t on Twitter. In addition, you can use tools like Twitterfeed to automatically post new articles and updates from your blog, as well as from blogs and sites of other trusted thought leaders in your industry. – Chris Perry, @CareerRocketeer.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this wealth of personal branding insight!

Chris Perry, MBA is a Gen Y brand and marketing “generator,” a career search and personal branding expert and the founder of Career Rocketeer and Launchpad.

Good Morning Twitterverse

Good Morning Twitter and to all my friends in the Twitterverse. I just wanted to add a personal touch and reach out to all you stellar personal brands. If you plan on having a great day sent a tweet and include @HajjFlemings and #Twitterverse and the city you are repping. I will see you in the Twitter stream.

Personal Branding Interview: Hill Harper and Hajj E. Flemings – The Conversation

Hill Harper who most notably portrays Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on CSI: New York, he recently released his third book, “The Conversation” which is number two on the New York Best Seller list.  In his latest book he discusses the topic of conversations between men and women which has created a lot of buzz online.

Successful Brands Provide an Experience

One of the key characteristics of successful brands is that they provide customers with an experience.  I recently interviewed Hill Harper after a book signing in Royal Oak, MI.  Hill is a very grounded person with a magnetic personality, who makes every person in the room feel like they are the only one there.

After the book signing I saw how each person walked away with a personal experience after interacting with Mr. Harper, his command of the room is second to none.  I walked away thinking about the experience I provide those I interact with and what do they walk away with.  It was a moment of sobering reflection as I began to evaluate myself.

Hill Harper on Twitter

 

Hill is very active on Twitter, to follow him on the set of CSI: New York or to find out when he is coming to your town for a book signing or to extend the ‘”The Conversation” about his book follow him on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/HillHarper.

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