Article updated on 6-17-20 (originally posted on 8-27-16)
Twitter offers lots of value for brands as well as for Individuals looking to create a niche for themselves as thought leaders. The popular social media channel has held its place over the years as one of the most popular platforms for sourcing of news and expertise, building your brand, and sending traffic to your website or blog.
Twitter isn’t for everyone, but if you use it properly, you can really gain some serious ROI. These tips can help you grow your audience, gain valuable insights and advice, boost your website, and grow your business.
Let’s jump in!
Grow your following
To really take advantage of Twitter, it’s important to have a large following. If you only have a handful of other users following you, your posts will rarely be seen. It’s also important that, as you grow your following you focus on other users with similar interests. This will help with engagement, as the content you post will resonate more with your followers.
To grow your audience quickly, one simple tip is to find likeminded users with large followings and dig through their followers. Follow a bunch of the most relevant of their followers, and a number of them will follow you back. If you keep this up (without overdoing it) you can gain 500+ followers every month and grow your blog quickly.
Lists are one of the best and often most overlooked features on Twitter. Twitter lists help you track the activity of influencers and allow you to engage with their posts more effectively. They also allow you to track specific subject matter and those talking about it.
Segment your lists in specific categories so you can easily filter the topics you’re looking for. For example, if you are in the marketing field, you might filter lists of users into lists like:
- Thought leaders
- Content marketers
- Social media marketers
- Technology experts
The lists goes on, but you get the idea. Whatever interests you might have, you can create a list to cut through the noise and focus your efforts.
By compiling lists of likeminded people or brands, you can keep up with the latest trends, interact with posts, source content for curation purposes and a lot more. It’s also a great way to group together those who engage with your content. If there’s a particular person, for example, who always retweets your posts, add them to a list so you can target content to them.
Use @ in mentions
This tip goes hand in hand with lists and expands beyond them to basically any post in which you mention another user. The goal in mentioning another user is to give them credit or draw their attention to something with the hope that they’ll retweet or otherwise engage with your post. By using the @ symbol before the user’s Twitter handle, they’ll be notified of the mention.
If you don’t use the @ symbol in your mention, that user will likely never know you mentioned them. If they aren’t aware of the mention, how can they be expected to engage with your post?
— Anthony Gaenzle (@AnthonyGaenzle) March 9, 2020
Trending and original hashtags
Another way to draw attention to your posts is to incorporate hashtags. You should always try to incorporate a relevant hashtag or two in your posts. Don’t go overboard, however. Too many hashtags makes a post look spammy.
Best practice is to incorporate trending hashtags or to create and brand your own.
By focusing on trending hashtags, you can position yourself within those conversations and your posts will appear in search when users search for content containing them. Trending hashtags can be found by simply glancing at the left sidebar on the home or notification pages or doing a search and looking at the top trending posts and hashtags.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 17, 2019
Creating your own branded hashtag can be really valuable as well. Let’s say you’re hosting an event. Creating a hashtag to represent that event can help users more easily locate content about the event.
Just to give you an example, an event I really love is Content Marketing World. They use the hashtag #CMWorld in all posts about the event. Each time someone retweets a post containing that hashtag, it helps the word spread. So incorporate your own unique hashtags for things like events and major campaigns to help your brand grow.
— Content Marketing Institute (@CMIContent) June 16, 2020
Another thing that can help your brand (company or individual) grow is being consistent with your posts. There’s really no set rule for how many posts you should create per day, but simply posting 1-2 Tweets each week isn’t going to get you far.
If you are posting on behalf of your brand, keep the posts lower (3-5), but if you are posting on your personal account, post regularly. Every 45 minutes to an hour is a good practice to follow for posting, and then make sure you’re engaging as well. Like, retweet, or comment on other users’ Tweets consistently throughout the day.
Don’t be spammy
If you are posting the wrong types of things, your account can come across spammy. Twitter is a space for thought leadership and sharing relevant advice. Posting too frequently about your services or deals on your products can turn your followers away.
While promotional posts are important post types for brands trying to sell physical products or push their services, if you really want people to keep engaging with your account, you need to post other types of posts as well. The sweet spot for promotional posts is about 20% or less. The other 80% of your posts should be things like:
- Links to useful articles
- Ideas for how to use your product
Again, you get the point. Post useful types of content that add value for your followers. This will keep them coming back for more, and keep them from blocking your Tweets. Then you can sprinkle in your promotional posts, and you’ll be well-positioned to drive new and recurring business via Twitter.
Treat others kindly
There’s a lot of bullying on social media channels these days, and Twitter is not immune. If you are going to set up on Twitter to promote your brand, make sure you’re being nice to others. I recently noticed someone call another user out because they made a minor etiquette breach. The user being called out was new to the platform, and the person calling them out rudely replied to their Tweet calling them out for a specific, seriously minor, action that wouldn’t even be noticed by most people.
This can lead to embarrassment or other issues for no reason. If you have to call someone out, use the Direct Message feature. You aren’t better than anyone else simply because you’ve been on the platform longer.
While the issue mentioned above wasn’t a serious one, there are also some seriously awful bullies on Twitter. Don’t get involved in fights. Doing so can seriously tarnish your brand. Instead, report the bullies via Twitter’s report feature in hopes that their activities cease or their account is banned. Be kind to one another. It’s a harsh world, and there’s no reason to make it worse.
Speaking of being kind to one another, it’s a great practice to work with others to grow your profile and your brand using Twitter. Let’s say you are a travel blogger. Build relationships with other bloggers in your niche where you share their content and they reciprocate by sharing yours.
Doing this allows you to increase the reach of your content and position yourself to gain new exposure for your brand and traffic to your website. Be sure to stayed engaged and share others’ content as well. Using this tactic is not a one-way street.
If you form true collaborative relationships, you can really boost your efforts. And, you’re helping lift others up in the process.
Wrapping it up
Hopefully you’ve gained some valuable insights that you can take back and apply to your Twitter efforts. Twitter is such a valuable platform. I see a ton of traffic to my blog through Twitter. I’ve also received offers for guest posting opportunities, requests to appear on podcasts or speak at events, and even business opportunities. So, plan out your Twitter strategy and stick with it. You will be thankful that you did.
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