Whether it’s your business, personal brand, art, a cause you believe in or general goofy shenanigans if you want to take them to an audience, you know social platforms are the best way to get your message across.

But social media – and especially Twitter – can get a bit confusing with so many platforms and tools being used. And that confusion is what I’m going to try and solve for you.

These 9 steps will help you get started with Twitter and build a foundation for your personal brand online.

  1. Know your niche
    This section will basically tell you how to prioritize on what matters to your audience and make effective use of key words.Let’s say there is this girl called Max and she has a Cup Cake business.Now Max and her partner Caroline want people to know about their cupcake business so they get more orders and customers. Initially, there are three questions they need to ask themselves:
    • What are the keywords they want to talk about?
    • What conversations are happening around those keywords?
    • Are there any keywords that are more/equally popular in those conversations?

    One kick ass tool to get to know popular hashtags, people and content all at once is Sonar Solo and this is a tool that’s completely free unless you have enterprise-level business needs, which start-ups don’t at the offset.

    Knowing your conversation points and the kind of content on social media around them will give you an idea of what works with your audience, it will help you repond better while entering into conversations with them. Knowing the top hashtags in your category will help relevant audience find your business/acocunts faster.

  2. Know your platforms
    Social Media Platforms
    So now you know the kind of content that’s working in your niche. You know the who’s who of the circle and you know what they’re talking about. You need to focus on two things:
    Content nature and Platform combinations: These two factors function in tandem since your content will define your platform. For example, Max and Caroline have a visually appealing product- Cupcakes! So they’ll do best with photographs, vines and videos. Hence the platform combination for them is Instagram, Vine and Twitter. Facebook can be used as an easier medium to interact with their customers, have an online store and a story page.
    Here, their main communication platforms become IG and Twitter while Facebook is the carrier or the support platform.
  3. Find your Tribe
    With the help of social listening and neat tools like Follower Wonk you can search for people talking about your keywords all around the web or in specific locations and talk to them, find out what they’re talking about and get involved. What I love about Follower Wonk is that you can search based on location, number of followers, bio and accounts for free!
  4. Don’t Lose Even When You Snooze
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    Different platforms have different peak times and correspondingly, while you should try and keep your replies and conversation participation as live as possible, your accounts should not be completely inactive even when you sleep. A brilliant way to schedule posts without paying for them is by using Klout!
    While Facebook lets you schedule page posts, Klout helps you schedule tweets, and even personal status updates all for free! It also keeps a track of your social influence and the best times for you to post. Neat eh?Pro Tip: Keep an 80/20 ratio between shared content and promotional posts. 8 out of ten posts of yours should be content related to your field that does not brag about you, and then you get to say nice things about yourself in 2 posts.
  5. Be Nice! Okay?
    be social
    Now, there’s a strong reason to keep the “social” in social media – it helps you grow! Here’s your list of Twitter to-dos:
    1. Retweet and follow people
    2. Say thank you to new followers
    3. Participate passionately in #FollowFriday and give out shoutouts
    4. Ask for opinions and advice.Basically be approachable, personable and responsive. It’s one of those small things that go a long way.
  6. Give your brand a “U-Turn”
    branding
    Find your unique voice and personality and make sure it effortlessly blends in your profiles. The first thing you do is write a flawless twitter bio. A good thing to do is to research how your competition has positioned itself as and where the gap is in the supply and demand chain. And then strategically fill that gap and sit pretty in your niche corner.
    For example, in a market full of goody-two-shoes-sweet cupcakes, Caroline and Max found two gaps- The absence of a bakery brand with an edgy personality and the opportunity to sell something that sounds outrageous and hence builds curiosity.So they did two things; they created their whole branding around Max and her outspoken personality and invented products like Bacon Cupcakes and Cake Fries (literally French fries and cake frosting), successfully capturing the niche of being that outrageous cupcake shop that sells Cake Fries.
  7. Ask a bro to help a bro
    be social
    Advertise your new accounts to your peers and contacts, ask them to join you and share information about you in their community. This photographer friend of mine gave away free phone wallpapers and cover pictures to his friends with his logo on it. All he asked in return was for them to dedicate a post to his page on their walls. And we happily obliged!
    Moral: Ask your bros to help you out!
  8. Lists are not boring. Period.
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    One of my favorite Twitter features is lists; you can divide your followers and industry influencers into separate lists to keep track of what they’re saying and never miss an engagement opportunity!Pro Tip: Groups are to Facebook what Lists are to Twitter. Scout and actively participate in topical groups on Facebook that have a concentration of your audience in one place. I hired my intern by posting on a group and she is brilliant no kidding!There you go! That should help you set up nice and tidy. Look out for the next in line, and while you’re at it, drop me a line in the comments section if you want to suggest a topic.