We Are Each A Brand – Twitter Best Practices For Anyone!

twitterbrandI was flipping through ESPN the magazine last night when I was reminded of a disturbing trend. Aaron Curry of the Seattle Seahawks has a Twitter handle of @SeaHawk59. What is worse is Stephen Curry, a soon to be drafted NBA player, has a handle of @classof2027.  My question to both would be, how are people supposed to find you if they actually wanted to follow you? How is Google supposed to attach your Twitter feed to your search rankings? As it stands now, when you Google “Stephen Curry” his Twitter address does not appear within the first 50 search results. I gave up after 5 clicks on the next tab. Not good, and certainly not good for his Twitter presence. A SEO nightmare by his own creation!

This got me thinking about how companies can  utilize Twitter more efficiently. Really the same way athletes should, but don’t!  An athlete’s name is not their brand due to free agency. Sales is nothing more than real world free agency. With that in mind-I have compiled a list of Twitter best practices with an eye on maximizing your companies brand on Twitter, and ultimately driving brand awareness and affinity:

  1. Twitter users are 37% more likely to be followed when they spell out their full name instead of attaching their brand to their username. With that data in hand, I suggest that your company have one corporate username and all other employees make their user name an extension of the company’s brand. This will allow your company to be able to speak to all business avenues -instead of being pigeon-holed based on his/her username.
  2. Every piece of content created in blogs, Youtube, Flickr, deep discussions, new events- need to be shared on Twitter. We suggest connecting Friendfeed to the corporate Twitter account.
  3. I suggest your company share tidbits of knowledge daily. At least 10 twitter posts per day using keywords from a yet to be established keyword list. 60% should be of the thought leadership variety, while 40% of the posts should talk about the Twitter personality’s life. The corporate account should be purely talking about company  happenings and posting links for “link juice”, while responding to mentions. Always post an opinion on industry specific news.
  4. I suggest creating a template thank you note for every new follower. This template will link to the company’s website and be accompanied by a  thank you with a clear call to action.
  5. I suggest your company closely monitors the Twitter members that are talking about the organization on http://www.search.twitter.com. Track the results by simply copying the RSS feed of the results and placing it in an RSS reader.
  6. Your organization should comment on other posts of interest as much as time allows. This opens up free flowing conversations. The organization can track these conversations by keyword and put the RSS feeds into a Netvibes to follow effectively.


  1. One Corporate Account (example @authoritydomain)- At least 10 Tweets a day (60% business/40% casual & fun- be a human) Attach a trending term: Example #authoritydomains. If you are a Mets fan: #Mets
  2. Numerous Individual Twitter accounts–For example put http://www.authoritydomains.com in the BIO, spell out full name (example: @derekshowerman). Shot for 10 Tweets a day, 60% business/40% casual & fun- be a human!
  3. Follow other Twitter folks who mention your business on http://search.twitter.com
  4. Thank every follower and have a clear call to action.


Please be sure to engage social media with an eye on fulfilling real business objectives and a roadmap to see real ROI. Please let me know if you have any questions.

7 responses to “We Are Each A Brand – Twitter Best Practices For Anyone!

  • April

    Pretty cool post. I just came by your site and wanted to say
    that I’ve really liked reading your posts. In any case
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  • Lee

    Great thoughts. We’ve been working on developing our “corporate philosophy” for how and why to use Twitter. I’ve been making the same point to others that you need a plan, and it must be an extension of your brand. Great job and great post.

  • @pbrannigan

    Derek, While I completely agree with you in theory. This follows the same trend of the original email addresses and people wanting to be in disguise. Remember the email addresses of
    pinkbunnyslippers@aol.com? However, the twitter handle in a RT or mention is included in the 140 characters. Do you limit the RT or diminish your message by having the full name if it is long?

    Mine would go from 10 to 17 characters. I would happily move to my full name if there was some sort of grace character to the four characters at least needed to do “RT @”

    Perhaps the solution is to grab the full name and sit on it until this is solved and to be able to direct people to the more common handle?

    Your point is well taken. I have struggled to find people to follow with Twitter’s search engine. Great post as it especially relates to brand and the mix of business vs. personal. One sports figure that does an amazing job at this is a personal hero, @lancearmstrong. He follows your rules!

  • Derek Showerman


    I dont worry about the RT value of a full name. Attaching your brand to your company outweighs it. 140 is enough space to get any point across. RT’s can be trimmed…I do it all the time. 🙂 Thx for commenting.

  • @pbrannigan

    side comment .. I tried to go lock down my complete name and Twitter limits you to 16 character names.

  • Michael Flint

    I’d like to add the importance of search with social media. We get a lot of traffic to our web site through twitter. You should know what your targeted search keyphrases are, and try to include them in your tweets when you can. Not only will that help you be found by the right audience on Twitter, but Google will see your tweets as well.

  • Footprints (05.07.09) | Chris Deary

    […] We Are Each A Brand – Twitter Best Practices For Anyone! […]

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