Creating Thought Leadership with Twitter

Twitter is an inexpensive yet effective means to create, establish, and cultivate thought leadership. With millions of Twitter users, it is a fast and easy way to engage other users or prospective customers and impress upon your brand’s mark.

The key to effective use of Twitter in propelling thought leadership is keeping your followers engaged. Consistent interaction and active communication are essential in building and strengthening relationships with your prospective customers. Twitter, as with all other social media tools, contributes to the thriving “relationship economy,” whereby affinity towards a brand/product is directly proportional to the number of people within a person’s circle that patronize the said brand/product. Hence, when your followers start tweeting about you and retweeting or quoting your tweets, their followers also start to take interest in you.

Posting effective tweets, whether yours or retweets of others, is the primary way to keep your followers engaged. Creativity, uniqueness, and sincerity are essential requirements in composing tweets. Well thought-out tweets that are relevant to the interest of your followers are sure to stand out. It is also equally important to show interest in others by complimenting and commenting on people’s tweets and replying to their questions. Like any other social media platform, regular maintenance and keeping your profile fresh and relevant are essential. Web etiquette and best online practices must also be considered when posting. By following these basic principles, building a huge following will take care of itself. Here are a few concrete guidelines in posting effective tweets:

  • Retweet. Follow the thought leaders in your space and retweet their messages that resonate with you. This is a great way to both share good info and pay tribute to your peers.
  • Post links to surveys and get an idea of what your followers want to see/read in your tweets. Interaction is essential to good Twitter communication so it is important to invest time and effort in finding out what would appeal to your followers in relation to your brand.
  • Tweet pictures and images. Given the 140-character limit of Twitter, including appropriate and interesting images in your tweets helps to convey a more vivid, clear, or captivating message. Make sure to caption it with equally interesting tweets to invite followers to view the image. I like Twitpic.
  • Use numbers and statistics. Figures increase the credibility and relevance of your tweets. It shows that your tweets are well-researched and well thought-out.
  • Get off the fence. Be opinionated, never just neutral, otherwise your tweeting will become stagnated, bland, and, more importantly, might lead people to switch off/un-follow you.
  • Develop your own tweet style. Be yourself. If you find something that worked, you could mesh it with your style.

Below are specific categories of tweets that people generally like.

  • What’s hot. Make comments about what is happening in the news which could be related to your brand; it will engage a large number of followers.
  • Quotes. Post motivational quotes, quotes from the famous, even your own sayings (if they are inspirational).
  • Good humor/taste. Be funny if you can, find funny things to post, find things that entertain, but make sure what your tweet is in good taste. Try not to talk about selling or making money.
  • Helpful tips/advice. Answering questions, posting advice, encouragement, something that gives back to the community is always good for building reputation, and getting more interest from those following you.
  • Personal stuff. Tell your followers something personal but make sure it is something relevant to your brand. It should also get a connection happening between them and you.

In order to maximize and amplify your success in Twitter, make sure to send your Twitter traffic to your blog, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or other social media pages (rather than directing them to a sales page). Build the relationship first. Followers will automatically visit your business site. Use your Twitter link in your blog articles and press releases. Include links on your other social media sites too. As your following increases, be prepared to also accept more business in the door to ensure that your organization/business is capable of handling the increase in demand.

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