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In a Flyover State: How Twitter Can Reveal Your Personal Brand

It dawned on me that one way to take a brand audit is to check your Twitter feed. So I pulled out some of my tweets from the past month and took a second to think about what they revealed about me. 5/02/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

On April 20, B&C hosted a star-studded, sold-out “Women of New York”
event in New York that featured bold-faced names including Rachael Ray,
Maria Bartiromo, Glenn Close, Erin Andrews, Gayle King, Peggy Green,
Pam Zucker and Arlene Manos. And let me tell you, being stuck in a Style-decorated room with Rachael Ray-blessed food and an
open bar while surrounded by 500 of the industry’s best
and brightest ladies is not a bad way to collect a paycheck.

Unfortunately for you if you missed it, the whole thing
was off the record. So I definitely can’t tell you, for instance,
which panelist totally lit up an audience member who tried
to pitch something in front of everyone. But I can tell you
that one common theme was talk about the idea of a personal
brand, which got me thinking about mine.

It dawned on me that one way to take a brand audit is to
check your Twitter feed. So I pulled out some of my tweets
from the past month and took a second to think about
what they revealed about me. The results: not impressive.


THE TWEET:
When Tiger wins The Masters, which
he will, please remember he didn’t come back f/ an injury
or accident, this is not a heartwarming story.


REVELATIONS:
I either can’t stand (alleged) cheaters
or guys who (allegedly) get more girls than I do. Or both. Oh
yeah—and I stink at sports predictions, as Eldrick didn’t so
much win The Masters. Or come especially close.


THE TWEET:
Gimme a break w these stories about
what if no NFL season. I’ll attend one Celine Dion concert
for every week the NFL cancels. No chance.

REVELATIONS: Even though I know my predictions
are terrible, I’m not smart enough to keep my big mouth
shut. But this one, I am sure about. No, really. Oh yeah, and
I hate Celine Dion.


THE TWEET: Latest sign we watch too much sports
in our house: my 2 yr old sat on a pony for the first time
and immediately yelled “cmon Zenyatta!”

REVELATIONS: While this is a true story and I’m not
sure how many people know Zenyatta is a racehorse, it shows
that (a) I’m not going to win Parent of the Year anytime soon
with the amount of sports I let the kids watch and (b) I’m not
above using my kids for a cheap, public laugh.


THE TWEET: How is #americanidol like the word
Pizza? We found out tonight if you take out P-i-a, you
are just left with a bunch of zzzzz’s.

REVELATIONS: I watch every episode of Idol and freely
admit it—I am a typical meathead male who loved Pia
Toscano because she looked like MMA hottie Gina Carano…
and I am not funny.

THE TWEET: Look fwd to talking sports TV biz at
MBA almamater UCLA Fri. Great lineup also includes
ABC’s Sweeney, Fox’s Hopkins.

REVELATIONS: Can you say “shameless selfpromotion
lamely disguised as trying to look like I am being a mensch
and promoting my business school?”


THE TWEET: If you like watching cars turn left for a
few hours like I do you absolutely must buy Rob Edelstein’s
new NASCAR book http://amzn.to/h6PCFz.

REVELATIONS: Apparently I not only shamelessly
promote myself, but am not above shilling for friends and
coworkers. Now go buy the damn book. And yes, I am a Jewish
guy from Minnesota who likes NASCAR. Yeah, I know,
me neither.


THE TWEETS: Great day at Dodgers Stadium. Pitchers
duel ending in bottom of ninth walk-off bomb. Wonder
if Cards fans next to me made it to their cars. AND:
Stay classy, Kobe. Hope all you sponsors who jumpedback,
um, in bed with him are feeling great about yourselves.
Great role model.


REVELATIONS:
I can’t stand any of the sports teams
in Los Angeles, the worst sports town I have ever lived in.
There, I said it.


THE TWEETS: Disappointed in a lot of journalists
lately—if someone is first, credit them. When you
don’t, you look petty for those of us who know. AND:
Thrilled the NYT launched its paywall and will gladly
pay. Journalism shouldn’t be free. It’s what’s led to so
much shitty journalism lately.

REVELATIONS: While I do have some self-hating journalist
in me due to the sad direction much of the industry has
taken, that trend neither excuses laziness nor the idea that
good journalism should be free.


THE TWEET:
AT&T is buying T-Mobile. Will that
help AT&T’s amazingly bad wireless service? I know I’m
dumping it for Verizon as soon as I can.


REVELATIONS:
Guess what? I still have AT&T on my
iPhone. Great duel for the lead here between my laziness and
my cheapness in what it will cost to switch.


THE TWEET: Love that CEOs and Presidents can call
me directly but some PR people ask their assistants to
dial me and say “I have xxx calling for you.”

REVELATIONS: Those people really need to get over
themselves. Or more likely, I need to get over myself.


IN SUMMARY:
Wow, that little introspection exercise
was kind of ugly. Kind of surprised they still let me run this
place. But kidding aside, it’s a sound idea for you to do your
own personal brand audit once in a while. Think about
your touch points with people above and below you on
the org chart, your clients and customers, and the public in
general. Are you putting your best face forward at all times?
Maybe it’s your Twitter feed, or more commonly the way
you interact with people in meetings, on the phone, via
email or whatever else, but those touch points are among
the elements that make up your personal brand. And don’t
think for a second that you don’t have one. We all do.

But here’s the good news: After reviewing my Twitter
feed, yours definitely can’t be as awful as mine.

E-mail comments to bgrossman@nbmedia.com
and follow him on Twitter: @BCBenGrossman

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