One of the biggest complaints I get about Twitter is the 140-character limitation. Many entrepreneurs feel they don’t have enough space to really share what they want to say. However, others have welcomed the on-board requirement of editing their missives down to the essential thoughts.
This type of self-editing does not come naturally to most, so below are tactics you can use to make leveraging Twitter easier while still getting your point across and underscoring your brand.
1. Be a Human Google. Make no mistake, you can build thought leadership with content that’s not created by you – provided you give appropriate attribution, of course. If your followers can count on you to post the most relevant, informative bits of content that keeps them informed about their industry or a specific topic of interest, they will look to you, as opposed to the original content authors, to do the curating for them.
2. Be a multimedia Tweeter. Just because Twitter limits you to 140 characters doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to just text when Tweeting. Now that Twitter shows images inline in your Twitterstream, sharing images (and Vine videos) allows your followers to visually – and therefore more strongly – connect with your messages.
3. Expect a positive outcome. It’s kind of hard to be effective on Twitter if you’re nervous or feeling negative about every tweet that you send. If you’ve taken the time to share relevant, helpful content, then be confident in that. Remember, the energy that you put out is the energy you get in return – be optimistic.
4. Timing is everything. Use a tool like Tweriod to discover the best times for you to tweet. You’re more likely to get retweets, favorites and replies when your audience is actively paying attention. After all, you can’t be a thought leader if no one sees your tweets.
5. Measure twice, cut once. Sign in to MyTopTweet to see which of your tweets has been retweeted the most. Use that intel to create tweets with similar themes and topics. When your followers tell you what they want, believe them and serve your content up on a digital platter.
6. Know when to keep quiet. Not everything is for everyone. If you don’t know what turns people off, you can’t adjust your approach. Now, I’m NOT suggesting that you censor yourself in anyway. What’s the saying? It’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it? Don’t make an ongoing habit of it, but periodically check Unfollowers.me to see which of your tweets made people bail the most.
7. Make your message part of your messaging. True thought leaders become well-followed and retweeted by expressing an opinion – even if it’s an unpopular one. Remember, it’s not just about being known. What’s more important is what you’re known for. You can’t readily be known for anything if you’re hiding your true thoughts, feelings and opinions. While there’s no need to “pick a fight”, people really do admire leaders who respectfully express their opinions, even if they differ from their own.
So, stop worrying about being liked and being an “A-lister” and focus more on showing people what a positive, smart person you truly are because that’s what thought leadership truly is.
Lena West is the founder of InfluenceExpansion.com, the home of the Influence Expansion Academy, the ONLY online social media marketing and business growth Academy created specifically for women entrepreneurs. Learn from her thought leadership by following her on Twitter: @LenaWest