So much is written these days about branding and what to do and what not to do. There are far too many “experts“ and “gurus“ promoting their guaranteed formulas for success when it comes to how you should market yourself, your product or service.

For me, the one thing that stands out above all else is you simply have to be SINCERE.

Those that know me well, know I spend a lot of time on Twitter and that’s because I really enjoy it. I often sing it’s praises as it has given me an opportunity to connect with talented, genuine and helpful tweeps around the world.

Anyhow, I started tweeting in July 2008 and rather than opting for an avatar (icon/picture) of myself which is standard, I chose an unconventional “brand“ hoping to highlight at first glimpse my sense of humour, and setting the tone for tweets to come! Observe Exhibit A. I was happy with this avatar until recently, when I got bored and felt I needed a makeover of sorts. I also felt that tongue-in-cheek pic no longer represented me, as I’d grown so much over the past year.

Enter Exhibit B. I’ll admit, I was a bit apprehensive about changing my avatar, and concerned about possible fallout resulting in masses of unfollows. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried, as I had totally underestimated my audience! 😉

What had happened over time is a lot of my followers/friends on Twitter had started to get to know the real ME via my tweets, so when I changed over to Wonder Woman, the majority actually said this was more suitable. Go figure!

This leads me to my point – really put some thought into how you want to be perceived and about what sort of messages your “brand“ is sending out there as once it’s done, it can be difficult to change without compromising your credibility or alienating your “public”. I think the reason why my new avatar was embraced was because it was perceived in the manner in which it was chosen: as sincere.

When I chose Wonder Woman it was about empowerment, positivity and helpfulness with a dash of nostalgia. So many strong messages in 1 small avatar, but it can make a BIG difference, and this has been reflected in my followers increasing drastically much to my surprise. This honestly wasn’t my intention as I have a hard enough time enticing interaction from my existing followers, let alone new ones!!

Now I’m not by any means a self-proclaimed Twitter expert, but here are my Top Ten Twitter Tips which work for me, and can also apply to any online social media or networking scenario:

1. Be yourself. No one is more qualified to do that than YOU!

2. Twitter is not a spectator sport – you want more followers? Interact with the ones you got!

3. Tweet the way you speak. It comes across as more relaxed and authentic, and tweeps will relate to you more

4. Retweet it and they will come! But only if you really mean it

5. Be consistent with your online “persona“. Phoneys and wannabes need not apply

6. If you put a link in your tweet, please give at least a tiny clue to what it’s about

7. Don’t believe the hype about all those big guns with their trillion followers. Quality over quantity wins everytime!

8. If you’re a spammer, nobody cares —> REALLY! We don’t want or need your rubbish polluting our twitterverse

9. Just enjoy yourself and that will reflect in your follower numbers

10. Twitter is definitely not one size fits all – you either get it or you don’t

Tweet ya later!

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