How to Twitter Brand: It’s Different Than Creating a Business Brand

Posted By on January 15, 2013

We get a lot of questions about “how to Twitter brand” in our classes. I think that’s because creating a brand on Twitter is not an identical task to creating a brand for a company or product. Think “fraternal” and you will be a lot closer to getting the relationship.

A Twitter brand is personal

In all social media, you are the brand. I like how Leo Widrich (@LeoWid), online star and co-founder of Buzzfeed, the popular Twitter app, differentiates himself. On Twitter, Leo is a guy interested in “sharing my lessons learnt from life, marketing and my startup journey with Buffer.” Buffer’s marketing and promotion needs are second banana to Leo’s personal passion for passing along what he calls “lifehacker” lessons on things he’s learned along the way. This is why lots of people follow Leo who wouldn’t follow Buffer, no matter how great an app it is.

When you create your Twitter brand, follow the lead of Leo Widrich, co-founder of Buffer. Leo leads with his humanity first, his business second.

When you create your Twitter brand, follow the lead of Leo Widrich, co-founder of Buffer. Leo leads with his humanity first, his business second.

Don’t make the mistake many business people make of hiding their humanity behind their business objectives. You can be a vacuum or mop expert but you’ll be more successful if you tweet as Mr. or Mrs. Clean.

It's much harder to get people to follow a business than it is to follow a person. Mrs. Meyers Clean establishes the human behind the product.

It’s much harder to get people to follow a business than it is to follow a person. Mrs. Meyers Clean establishes the human behind the product.

A Twitter brand should be based on something you are care about

Passion: it’s what Emily feels @emily2pens and what I feel @twopens2 about writing for social media. It’s what we tweet about enthusiastically and regularly.

Cynthia Hartwig (moi!) lives and breathes writing fiction and teaching others to write social media. That's the focus of my Twitter brand.

Cynthia Hartwig (moi!) lives and breathes writing fiction and teaching others to write social media. That’s the focus of my Twitter brand.

People who care about something, whether it’s brain science or novel writing succeed on Twitter because this passion sustains the tweeter for the long haul. When you tweet about your interests, the work is fun and doesn’t feel burdensome.

A Twitter brand should be portable

You, your passion, and your expertise are an asset that can be detached from the company or business you represent. (Try that with a corporate brand!) Our friend Carla Saulter grew a following by blogging on public transportation. Then the Seattle Post-Intelligencer picked up her blog, and as a result, she got a job for a nonprofit public transportation organizaiton. But she’s Seattle Bus Chick no matter where she wants to take public transit. You can read more about Carla’s brand here. http://twopens.com/carla-saulter-brand-identity/

In order to get people out of their cars, Carla Saulter created the Seattle Bus Chick persona and uses it to blog and tweet about public transportation.

In order to get people out of their cars, Carla Saulter created the Seattle Bus Chick persona and uses it to blog and tweet about public transportation.

A Twitter brand must be single-minded

To be successful, every brand–whether on Twitter or any other medium–must focus on the single, most important thing you want to convey.

One. That’s all you get. People will barely remember one thing about you much less all the things you want to tell them. You will increase your chance of being remembered if you discipline yourself away from the dreaded Twitter list shown below. Be something. Be anything. Just don’t be all things.

If you try to be all things to all people, no one will remember you for anything. Pick one thing and stick with it for the duration. (Apologies, Ric.)

If you try to be all things to all people, no one will remember you for anything. Pick one thing and stick with it for the duration. (Apologies, Ric.)

PS More posts on branding for further edification.

Snide, Snarky, and a Handicapped Parker: Steve Jobs’s Dark Side Didn’t Harm His Brand Appeal
Your Bio’s Great but Your Author Photo…
Why Story Telling Works Better than Selling on Video
In Branding: Multiple Personality = Fractured Identity