- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On April 17, 2015
- Personal brand management, Social media
These days, it’s hard to find a marketing blog post that doesn’t talk about brands. In the age of inbound marketing, public perception of an organization is often just as important as the products it sells.
There’s also a lot of talk about personal brands. Carving out your online identity and making it as strong as it can be is essential if you want future employers to find you and leave with a favorable impression. Having a killer resume used to be enough, but now you also need to optimize your LinkedIn profile and leverage your other social accounts if you want to maximize your chances of getting that next job.
All of that takes a lot of time, so unless you’ve learned how to live without sleep, there are probably aspects of your personal brand that could stand to be improved. One such aspect for many marketers is their Twitter account.
Twitter is deceptively simple. but it’s an important part of any digital-savvy marketer’s online presence. If your account has your full name attached, it probably shows up in the first few results when someone Googles you, and getting retweeted by the right person could get you exposure you won’t find anywhere else.
You can learn everything about how the social network works and find some amazing accounts to follow in an hour, but churning out compelling tweets of your own on a regular basis is hard work, and once you’ve gained some followers, you’ve got to keep them around. Even veteran tweeters need to adjust their plan sometimes.
If you’re having trouble with some of your followers clicking the dreaded “unfollow” button, there are a number of reasons that could be to blame. Neil Patel has a useful list over on his KISSmetrics blog. Here are a few more to add to his list.
Your Twitter account is an RSS feed
A lot of people set up their Twitter accounts, configure them to post links automatically from WordPress, HubSpot, or another blogging platform, and forget about them. That may work for a marketing guru with an established brand like Seth Godin, whose personal Twitter account is merely a placeholder linking to another Twitter account that merely tweets out blog posts, but it can be a death knell for most marketers’ brands. Unless you’re churning out spectacular, unique content, there’s no reason for anyone to follow you. They’re likely to unfollow and either turn to other methods like RSS or email or, more likely, just stop reading.
You rely on other forms of automation
Blog posts aren’t the only things that get automated on Twitter. Many users set up automatic @replies or direct messages that get sent to people who follow or mention them, but it couldn’t be more obvious that they’re sent by a script. These may have worked in the early days of Twitter, but now they’re like robocalls or recorded messages—your followers want to talk to a real human, not a robot. Even if they don’t unfollow right away, they’re more likely to click the dreaded red button later when you’ve made a bad first impression.
You’re overly promotional
You know those people in bars or at parties who spend all night talking about themselves? No one wants to talk to those people. That’s what your Twitter account sounds like if you’re only promoting your own content all the time. Twitter is made for sharing—so share! When you like something you read, share it with your followers. The more you read, the better the variety of content on your account will be, and the more of your own content you’ll be able to share while maintaining a reasonable ratio.
Oh, and reading also makes you a better writer, so reading more will help you write more compelling content and do more to promote it at the same time.
You’re misusing hashtags
If you’ve read anything about Twitter, you’ve probably seen debates over the proper use of hashtags. They may seem complex, but they’re really quite simple: Hashtags insert your tweets into larger conversations. Many users overuse hashtags, trying to make their words visible to the highest number of people possible, but the truth is that not everything you say has to be hashtagged, especially once you’ve built up a following. Too many hashtags can make you look desperate for attention, and overrunning conversations can make users tune you out. Save the hashtags for your best content and rely on your followers to share the rest.