Twitter is a vital component of an effective social media strategy. It’s user growth may have declined but it still boats hundreds of millions of active daily users.
There are four principal benefits to using Twitter which include (free) marketing, connecting with you customers, branding and keeping an eye on your competition.
Twitter sets itself apart from other social platforms with these unique points:
- Retweets allow effective redistribution of content
- Searches can be performed by titles, personas or hashtags
- Hashtags allow for the creation of groups and debates around certain subjects
Twitter, like all social platforms, undergoes various changes and tweaks but these tend to be far less invasive than the sweeping changes that we regularly see on networks such as Facebook. This is because Twitter does not work on an algorithm that determines whether your post will be shown to your followers or not.
Twitter also wins brownie points for encouraging users to reach out and connect with each other. This makes building relationships an enjoyable and appealing part of using Twitter.
Getting the most out of your Twitter account is something that you should take seriously, if you want to maximise your potential on the platform. The following four steps should start you off on the right track to success.
What content should you post
You will need to provide a consistent stream of content on your Twitter account daily. Ideally you should have as a bare minimum 5-6 tweets a day but aim for more if possible. To make this easier your should use a scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite (both of which I have used and recommend), and both offer free accounts, with limited functionality (see below).
Your content should include both your own content as well as curated content. Your own content can include blog posts, company or product updates, bulletins etc. Curated content should be centred around your niche or market, that you have researched such as blogs, online publications, industry news etc.
If you get this right, over time you will be seen as a good source of quality content by your followers.
Growing your Twitter account
Once your have identified your main sources of content you will need to ensure it gets tweeted out into the Twittersphere at the best times. As mentioned above, both Buffer and Hootsuite are great options for this. Both offer an Optimal Timing Tool that looks at past interactions on your profile, as well as similar profiles in your timezone. This then produces a graph and suggested schedule for the times with most engagement.
To consistently build your account you should also actively follow new people daily. Reciprocal following is quite common on Twitter but you will need to keep an eye on and be aware of your follower/following ratio. This becomes even more important as you approach Twitter limits.
New accounts can follow only 5,000 people maximum if you have less than 5,000 followers. If you follow more than 5,000 users, you will be limited to 10% more than the number of people that follow you. For example, if you follow 5,000, you can have a maximum followers count of 5,500. If you haven’t reached the limits but get a “cannot follow more users” message this may indicate that your follower/following ratio is more than 200%.
Maximise your account using cross-promotion
To further build your social media presence it is worthwhile using other social media profiles alongside Twitter to extend your reach.
Once you have expanded onto new channels you should tweet about it, so more users know where else to find you. Repeat the tweet often without overdoing it. Actively invite new followers to connect with you on your other channels too.
Another great way to promote your Twitter account is to have a Twitter widget on your website. This shows in real-time the latest tweets and users can also interact with the widget (favorite a tweet, click links etc.). Another method that I like to use is ‘click to tweet’ in blog posts. This takes a small pre-defined excerpt or quote and allows blog readers to post it out onto Twitter with a link back to the article and the author (you!). This works both ways – more exposure for your blog article and also more twitter activity.
Analysing your results
You will want detailed analysis of how well your Twitter account is performing and could do worse than using Twitter’s own analytics tool – https://analytics.twitter.com.
There are several metrics that give you insights into how well you are resonating with your audience including Tweets, Impressions, Engagements and Clicks.
The Account Home tab provides a monthly overview showing Top Tweets, Mentions, and Top Followers. This is a great visual snapshot showing traffic, trends and views.
Tweet Activity shows a detailed view of Tweets and organic impressions for a specific time period. Clicking on individual tweets provides even more detailed engagement information.
Audience Insights shows you details for all your Twitter followers and organic audience. This includes data such as gender, age range, income and interests. Using this allows you to define what type of content will resonate the most with your audience.
Events gives you the opportunity to stay on trend and stay aware of industry-related events that are taking place and features the largest events trending on Twitter. Using this effectively allows you to synchronise your marketing messages around current events.
The More tab is broken down into three subsections:
- Videos (beta) – regardless of promoted or standard video, allows you to analyse views, completion rates, total minutes viewed and retention percentages.
- App Manager – allows you to add different apps to your Twitter account to help you target users more effectively.
- Conversion Tracking – once you connect your Twitter to your website you can use thus to track audience behaviour.
These are some basic ways to create a winning Twitter account. Hopefully they’ll help you to increase your reach, engagement and followers and help your Twitter account be a huge success.