Why Twitter is the Perfect Personal Branding Tool


30x30x30 Blogathon Post #17:  June 17th – Jorgen Sundberg

Day 17 of the Personal Branding Blogathon brings you one my favorite ‘personal branders in exile‘ – Jorgen Sundberg – born in Sweden, imported to London! Jorgen is one of the first personal branding peeps who started following me when I began my personal branding movement in Japan last year. We both actively use Twitter as a key tool to build our online brand communities and connect with thought leaders. Jorgen is a social media guru across most platforms, but he clearly spells out why Twitter is the best tool for building our personal brands.

Enjoy Jorgen’s post and tweet about it!


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Why Twitter is the Perfect Personal Branding Tool

There are lots of definitions of your personal brand, sometimes I think there are as many as there are personal branding coaches. The definition I like to use is that your personal brand is who you are and what you do. Keeping it simple in other words.

I also think that your personal brand (your true brand), is who you are and what you do at work, on the weekends, at the team building off-site day, with your stamp collecting club and with your kids. Basically, you only have one brand and this is a combination of your professional and personal lives.

When I give talks on social media to different audiences, most people will agree that Facebook is where you hang out with friends and family, you share photos, videos and socialize. So this isn’t really the place for your full personal brand as it doesn’t include your professional self.

LinkedIn is considered the virtual trade show of social networks, a place for professionals to meet and do business. Does this mean your personal brand will be fully represented on LinkedIn? Not really, most users fail to project any sort of personality on LinkedIn and see it more as a place to keep a professional identity.

Enter Twitter – this is where I think your real personal brand shines through. Everything you do on Twitter is out in the open (unless you have specifically locked down your account).

“Twitter’s transparency lets people sum up your personal brand perfectly.” Tweet This!

Let me explain.

1. Your bio

This is really the brand that you want to project. It has to be succinct and explain what you do in a couple of lines. Most people will include both job titles as well as what team they support or how proud they are to be a father of two. Then there’s the photo of course, on Twitter you want something that represents your whole brand if that makes sense.

2. The people you follow / that follow you

This demonstrates who you have connected with and whom you get inspiration from. This will typically be a combination of friends, industry leaders, celebrities, news sources and others. Looking at this I’d be able to get a snapshot of your brand, as defined by the people around you.

3. Your content

When I was a child, I wanted to read minds. Now when I have a Twitter account, I can. The fact is that most people love to put content out on Twitter for several reasons, it could be to promote your blog, to show that you read the Harvard Business Review, to just tell people what you had for breakfast. You will be judged by your content on Twitter, ideally you want to put out useful information sprinkled with a smaller dose of personal PR.

4. How you interact

How you interact with other users will say loads about your brand. For instance, do you say ‘thank you’ when you get a blog post retweeted? Do you reciprocate a #followfriday recommendation? Do you answer questions from users with 3 followers? You can learn a lot about someone by looking at how they treat others.

5. How much time you spend on there

If you are in a full-time job, let’s say you are an accountant, you probably don’t want to be tweeting every 5 minutes. If you’re a social media [insert title here], you can get away with it. As Twitter is wide open, a potential client or employer can have a quick look at your feed and they might just think you’re wasting precious time tweeting.

This is why I believe Twitter is the perfect personal branding tool; it is where your social and professional worlds meet. You could argue that Google Plus is another place for this, just not as prolific yet.

What do you think? Does Twitter help your personal brand? Please let us know!


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About the author

Jorgen Sundberg Jorgen Sundberg is a social media consultant specialised in LinkedIn, online branding and recruitment. He runs Link Humans, a social media training and consulting business in London. A regular conference and business school speaker, Jorgen has been dubbed a 'social networking guru' by the Mail on Sunday. Jorgen is a prolific blogger and started The Undercover Recruiter blog in 2009. It is now the most popular career and recruitment blog in the UK with 75,000 readers per month.