At my job, I am constantly surrounded by people who are building a brand. They are building brands for their new companies or, more often, themselves. They, as individuals, are the brand.
The key to building a brand is to pick a word that describes your brand and stick to it. You define the word. The word defines you. And when an individual is the brand, everything that individual does helps form the definition of that brand.
One particular woman I met has strongly used social media to build her brand. She started posting in 2008 and already has a following of more than 3 million. Out of this popularity, her brand now represents a global consignment store and has led to a book deal and clothing line.
Her strongest and most engaged social media followers are on Twitter. I decided to take a closer look at her strategy to build conclusions on how to effectively use Twitter to build a personal brand. This is what I found:
When building a brand, you need to know what your followers want to see, hear, read about, etc. Twitter allows for an immediate response. You ask. Followers answer. The person I studied often asks questions as simple as, “I’m at the local farmer’s market. What should I grab to make my family for dinner?” She realistically has a dinner menu planned, but asking her followers increases their engagement and helps make them feel heard. Followers are more likely to stay loyal to a brand when they feel they are influencing it.
When your followers ask you something, answer it. It’s very simple. The person I studied has very little time to answer every question asked of her more than 1.5 million followers, but she makes an effort to answer 10 questions per day. She is very honest about this. Her followers know she is answering as many questions as she can and respect her time as a busy working mother. Her account is not a broadcast network. You can open it up at any moment and see she is responding to her fans. If I were to ask her a question, and she never answers it, I would know as a loyal followers that she is reading and listening based on her engagement with other followers. This builds consumer loyalty in the brand.
The person I studied has built such a strong brand loyalty that her followers feel like a part of her life. They want to know what she’s doing and watch her brand grow. For this particular person, her brand heavily includes her two daughters. Her followers eat it up when she posts pictures of her girls simply living life, from a family dinner turned fun food fight to a relaxing day on the beach. Twitter allows Tweeters to control how much their followers know about their personal lives, which is especially important to public figures who are their own brands. It’s the best of the both worlds. The followers feel like a part of the person’s life, which helps build brand engagement and definition, and the brand can control the information shared.
Building a brand is both organic and strategic, specifically through social media. Studying what other people who have built successful brands, like the person I studied for this blog post, do on a daily basis can help you build your own brand. Pay attention. Apply their techniques to yours. Adjust for your branding goals. You will be on your way to building a successful brand using Twitter in no time!
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