How to build a brand on Twitter: that’s the issue preoccupying so many in the professional services industry. Here’s the thing: prospects and existing customers are monitoring your online presence daily.
Fail to establish an identity on a major social channel and two things will happen:
- Your customers will wonder why you’re not there – then move on to a brand that is
- You’ll miss out on a free opportunity to impress a prospect or win new business
- Ultimately people buy from people. And that’s why it’s important to make the right first (and sometimes second) impression.
Building a brand on Twitter is one such way you can achieve this. With that in mind here are five tips that work and which you can put into practice immediately.
#1 Know What You Are Trying To Achieve
If you want to know how to build a brand on Twitter it all starts with clearly defining your goals. What is your ‘why’ and how will it help you create a schedule of content your audience will engage with? What’s your definition of a successful Twitter brand – followers, numbers of retweets, engagement, number of mentions?
Maybe you’re more interested in the number of leads generated or any PR opportunities created. Perhaps all of the above encompasses your definition of success. Either way, make sure you establish your KPIs at the start and measure them obsessively each month.
#2 Define how you’ll convey your message
Getting inside your customers’ heads is everything. Only that way will you be able to understand their challenges and speak to them in the right language.
If you work in Family Law your target customer could be a businessman in his 40s going through a stressful divorce – in which case his questions are likely to be as follows…
- Who will get custody of my children?
- What will happen to my home?
- How much will my wife get?
What’s this got to do with building a brand on Twitter? How about writing a whitepaper entitled ‘The Businessman’s guide to divorce: how to minimise your losses’ which you then share on Twitter and other social platforms.
Publish this whitepaper and you’ll immediately make your brand relevant. Your target audience will grasp what you do and how it applies to them. From this will evolve curiosity in the form of more enquiries.
#3 Explain what your brand stands for
What does your brand stand for? If you’re simply retweeting other people’s content or internally-generated news articles about new hires or investment within your firm people will switch off.
If you want to know how to build a brand on Twitter it’s about adding value in the form of unique insights – typically by answering a relevant question better than your competitors.
Differentiation within the professional services community is a scarce commodity, so this is truly your chance to shine, rather than get lost in a sea of also-rans with no strong opinions.
It’s like Malcolm X once said: “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”
Twitter’s not just for listening. It’s about expressing strong opinions too.
#4 How to build a brand on Twitter by being consistent
Consistency can be split into two areas: your Twitter schedule and your approach. I currently look after a number of our client’s Twitter accounts, and what I’ve found in every area of both marketing (and life in general), is that consistency creates momentum.
You’ll automatically start to see traction on your account, both in terms of the number of followers, and engagement (provided you’re creating and distributing good content that resonates with the people that you’re trying to attract: see Point 2), increase if you Tweet daily.
According to this study, you have the best chances of being retweeted if you tweet at 5 pm, and you’ll get the highest click-through rates at noon and 6 pm. Start by putting just 5 minutes per day aside for Twitter activity – ideally at the same time every day (Monday to Friday, weekends if possible).
You could tie it into one of the times shown to be most effective from the study, but to start off, any time throughout the day is fine. Automating tweets is fine, but to really build your personal brand, you’ll need a regular presence on there.
#5 Looking For Inspiration? Here Are Two Great Examples
Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, it’s often easier, cheaper and more effective to model existing success. Indeed, the toughest part of building your personal brand is often knowing where to start, so let me share two examples of people who are already doing a great job.
- Anthony Waller, corporate partner and head of technology at Olswang has found the perfect intersection between technology and law. And it won’t take long for you to see he’s an absolute authority in this area.
- Another example is Elliot Moss, Director of Business Development at Mishcon de Reya, and presenter of the Jazz Shapers show on Jazz FM. Just to give you an idea of how effective Elliot has been at building his personal brand online, in 2012 the FT included him on their list of the Most Innovative people in the Legal sector, and he’s not even a lawyer!
I hope this has helped you understand how to build a brand on Twitter, or if you’re already on there, I hope that these tips will make you more effective. I look forward to hearing your comments.