Techology 101: Establishing your reputation 140 characters at a time

by Oluwatobi Soyombo

Probably strange to many is the fact that twitter is an abstract of reality. You have to trust me on that.

Until the emergence of twitter, we never knew we could communicate in 140 characters or less. Tweets, as short as they flow, have in numerous times led to either the promotion of personalities/brands/governments or demotion/loss of credibility. From the Arab spring to Nigeria’s recent #OccupyNigeria rally, twitter has been a functional tool to many.

Probably strange to many is the fact that twitter is an abstract of reality. You have to trust me on that. Yes, you may not be able to eat on twitter, but we can get suggestions on the best place to eat in town on twitter – good for you if it’s your restaurant. I remember attending a meeting where we were searching for professionals to fill certain roles. It amazed me how the participants began to mention twitter handles instead of real names. “I can get ‘@handle’ for you, he’s a ___'” was all I kept hearing.

Irrespective of your profession or business type, you can establish a good reputation for yourself on twitter such that your handle comes to people’s mind they need certain product, help, advice, or service. This is how twitter can put money in your bank account. I’m a living proof.

  1. Carve a niche for yourself: The “twittosphere” (twitter community)is similar to real life. Understand that you cannot be everything to everyone. Deciding up front what you want to be known for on twitter is crucial to establishing credibility. What comes to mind, when people see your twitter handle?
  2. You are what you tweet: In line with carving a niche for yourself, you also need to send out loads of tweets in that direction. Drafting a bio describing what you do or who you are will not be sufficient here. We know you by your tweets. You can’t claim to be a tech professional and all you do is tweet political junk. If your tweets are dominated with political opinions, when we need a tech service, nobody will remember you.
  3. Participate in tweet meets: Another way of establishing your presence on twitter is search for tweet meets within your sphere of influence and participate. Also ensure that you lurk less. Join in the conversation and ensure that your contributions are not less than credible. Re-tweet when necessary. Tweet meets are opportunities to hold conversations with like minds within your field. Hey, you never can tell where this will lead you.
  4. Consistency: “Hey, but I’ve tweeted few hundreds of tweets already and nothing is happening yet.” Nay! It doesn’t come as cheap as you think. Just like every practice in life, consistency rules. You can’t just throw a few tweets out there and vanish into thin air. You have to stay long as it comes. Stay in the conversation. Throw out more fresh content – tweets; meet more people. You see, a tweet, unlike an email, is easily lost. So, keep your content fresh and reserve always.


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