A lot of the things we are writing about here come from our experience on chatting with our users and developing Buffer. Yet, not everyone is running a startup or small business on Twitter.

The biggest difference I found is that it is mostly our goals that can vary tremendously. As an individual you might want to do one of the following:

  • Build a great online reputation and identity
  • Learn about the latest news from the topics that interest you
  • Connect with new friends and like minds
  • Share the content you found valuable
  • Build a following to start your business or project

Of course, there is always a great overlap here between your personal and your business account. Two accounts that are great to look at are the @KISSmetrics account in comparison with the account from Hiten Shah as @hnshah, KISSmetrics CEO.

KISSmetrics business account:

Hiten Shah’s personal account:

Both are exceptionally well maintained accounts and a great example of how to use Twitter very successfully for both business and personally.


Looking at Hiten’s account, and also focusing more on how others use Twitter for more personal use I found 5 very interesting patterns that might help you build that personal following better:


1.) Find your voice by picking 3 words that describe you the best

This is a very helpful guideline I received from @MQTodd in the past. Trying to take 3 words that describe you the best helps a great deal to stay focused on a limited number of topics. In my case that might be Startups, Social Media and Productivity.

Especially when starting out on Twitter, it is a great way to define what you might be Tweeting about the most. It will allow you to build a following around these topics and find to make everything you share a lot more relevant for your network.


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2.) Get into a regular Tweeting routine

Hiten is sharing on a very regular basis. It is nearly such that his followers are expecting those insightful Tweets from his startup experience. Achieving such a standard can only come with regular Tweeting.

A lot of people mention here that this must take too much time away if you want to get other things done. In reality, I found that you can build this into your daily routine, by spending only about 10 minutes on this every day.


3.) Personalize Tweets more

Making Tweets truly reflect your own voice doesn’t only come by picking topics I believe. It is far more vividly expressed through your headlines. Someone who is nailing this technique is Joel. I believe his Tweets are one of the most varied kind in my stream.

What I love is how he picks quotes from posts and turns them into Tweets. You can also try to add personal thoughts to the headline alongside. Another way is to show a distinct sign of appreciation for the author. Here is an example:



4.) Be transparent and show liveliness

Although it is easy to broadcast more with a business account, I found that with your personal account you can show a lot more liveliness telling your followers what you are up to. Of course, telling other about every meal you are having might push it a little.

A good example I found is my friend Calvin Lee @mayhemstudios. Alongside a ton of informative Tweets he drops in a few funny instagram pics, Foursquare check-ins or a simple message where he is hanging out with and with whom. I think this is a great way to show others your open mindedness.


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5.) Attend offline and online meetups

Participating in various offline and online events that are related your Twitter presence can also be very powerful to grow your personal network. Searching on Meetup for various events happening in your area based on your interests is a great way to connect to more Twitter friends in real life.

Of course, one of my absolute favorite online events are Twitter chats. The amount of value you will receive from #ToolsChat or one of the amazing chats has been way more than I expected. Not only can you connect to a lot of great people, but you can also learn a lot in a short space of time about topics from your niche.

These were the most important observations I have made. Building your Twitter presence, not only for your business, but also for yourself can pay off tremendously. Whichever project or idea you come up with in the future, you will always already have an audience to speak to.


How are you growing and working on your personal Twitter presence? Could some of the above tips be useful for you too?


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Written by Leo Widrich

Co-founder and COO at Buffer. I enjoy working on company culture, customer development and marketing. For more personal posts, check out leostartsup.

  • Really good read. I don’t quite agree with point 2 for personal tweets as regular tweeting assumes you have time to put aside everyday. I think personal tweeting should be done when you have the time, when you would normally be idle, in a queue, in a bus etc. 

    Point 3 however, I really REALLY agree with. Yes, we only have 140 characters but I think there should always be room to convey a personal view if applicable. I covered my views on this in an article earlier this year http://fransgaard.com/etiquette-for-retweeting/

    • @JoniDMiller

      I agree that devoting time everyday can be a challenge. Have you looked into Buffer? You can load several tweets at once, specify when you want them to go out (or you can default to the times they pick) and viola! You’re tweeting without actively being at the computer. This is handy if you know when most of your followers are listening, but you can’t always tweet at that time.

      Hope this is helpful!

  • Awesome post!

    Very informative as I am comparatively new to twitter and just about learning my way about managing things. For a newbie, it sure is great information.

    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  • thanks

  • Thank you !

  • Hello Leo,
    Thanks for cool tips. But I need your help. At this time I created only one twitter account @KashyapTalkz:twitter I am using this account as my personal account and also using it for my blog so do I need to create one other account for the blog? And please tell me it is a good idea to use one twitter account for personal life and for blog posts? I am confused… So please help me.
    Thank you.