6 Steps to Help Your Brand Become a Twitter Thought Leader

February 10, 2016


When confronted with the topic of Twitter, most people throw up their arms and say they just don’t get it. Marketing departments at businesses are not all that different in this regard. Both parties struggle when it comes to how to use Twitter to position a personal or professional brand’s thought leadership.

Often I see one or all of the following Twitter no-nos:

  • Automatically posting from Facebook
  • Posting the same type of thing from Facebook without changing it for the Twitter audience
  • Or from Instagram with a LINK to the image, not the image itself
  • Ignoring customers looking for answers
  • Creating a message without hashtags

…to name a few.

Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive and really comes from a lack of understanding. With a more strategic approach to and understanding of Twitter, it wouldn’t be hard to take your brand from Twitter novice to Thought Leader.

Here are six steps to help you and your brand:

1. Follow the 80/20 Rule

Ah, the Pareto Principle, I’m sure you’ve heard it before. In this case, we’re going to apply it to your Twitter content posting. Eighty percent of what you post should curate content from others while 20 percent is reserved for your own content. Don’t be a Twitter feed hog — people will appreciate the well roundedness of your account.

2. Offer a Unique Perspective

There’s a lot of content already out there — what can you do or say that’s just a little bit different? Thought leaders don’t just share popular news and thoughts — they create or challenge them. Just be wary of being too controversial. No one likes a brand that stirs the pot for no good reason.

3. Be Proactive in Outreach

Don’t just wait for other brands and individuals to come to you. Be proactive in your outreach to them. Determine what hashtags and language your customers and industry partners are using and monitor them for conversations to hop in on. This is one of the best ways to make quality connections on LinkedIn, and even find new customers!

4. Share Insights in Industry Twitter Chats

Find Twitter chats that revolve around your industry and become a regular participant, dropping deep insights in 140 characters or less. This will help to build up a relevant following and get some exposure. The key is to be consistent. Speaking of which…

5. Be Consistent

Whatever your strategy is, be sure to be consistent in it. Don’t give followers a reason to think there’s something wrong. Post regularly and create branding/social media graphics in a similar style across all posts. Don’t have a dedicated graphic design department? Check out my recent post on using tools like Canva to make beautifully branded graphics for social media.

6. Always Be Thanking

If someone shares your content, respond with an excited “Thank you!” It takes one second, but makes all the difference. Being vocally thankful helps build up your brand advocates who can take your content to the next level. You could also throw in a question relating to the content to engage them further.

Feel free to check out my Twitter account, @MaddyOsman, to see how I’m creating my own brand and thought leadership-related content. What other steps has your brand taken to establish thought leadership in your industry? Let me know in the comments below.

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.