If you are a creative, blogger and/or a small business owner (hell, even big business executive) you’ve probably come to the conclusion that Twitter is important. Those 140 characters can be vital conversation with your readers, clients or customers. But it’s more than just hashtags and witty banter or even well intended rants. When it comes to Twitter, it’s about your voice and the dialogue that you create with it. It’s not just about being there, it’s about being involved. We’ve seen how impactful Twitter can be during award show red carpets, national tragedies and when misused it can even get you fired from your high ranking job. So, how do you get your voice heard and increase your following without spamming people? It takes effort and strategy, but if you’re willing to try you’ll benefit from the results. Here are some effective ways to take your Twitter to the next level.
DON’T JUST TWEET, ENGAGE
This should go without saying, but let’s discuss anyway. You cannot increase your Twitter following without tweeting regularly. Sure, Instagram is your jam and you’ve connected your IG to your Twitter feed. It’s going to take a lot more than that. You should be on Twitter daily at for 60-90 minutes engaging with your following. People are chatting about trending topics, buzz worthy pop culture topics and what they like/don’t like. Respond to a follower about that new album that dropped from your favorite rapper. Or even constructively add your two cents about why you didn’t agree with a political article everyone seems to be referencing.
Laughing with everyone about a viral meme or Vine that just won’t seem to die.
[bctt tweet="But regardless of the mood that your 140 characters has, it should be honest & relevant."]
But regardless of the mood that your 140 characters has, it should be honest and appropriate. I’m not saying censor yourself, but I would also watch it with profanity and approach really intense topics carefully if you are using your Twitter both professionally and personally. While my Twitter is both personal and professional, I still voiced my opinions about race sensitive topics like #Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown & #BlackLivesMatter. But at no time did voicing my opinions include disrespecting anyone even if I disagreed with them. Avoid trolling - combative tweeting just for the sake of argument - but don’t be afraid to use your voice. While some might shy away from controversial issues, sometimes saying something valid (yet genuinely) can change the dialogue happening on your timeline, increase your readership and put you on the radar to big brands and social media power players.
From a numbers standpoint, Twitter engagement determines your digital reach, impressions and influence. Your Twitter reach is the sum of all the followers of all the unique people who follow you. Your Twitter [potential] impressions is the total number of times a tweet from your account or a tweet mentioning your account will appear in someone’s Twitter feed during a certain period (does not imply that a user viewed his or her Twitter feed during that time). With 7780 Twitter followers, in the last 30 days (Feb 25-Mar 18) my reach was 2.3 million+ while my impressions were 2.6 million+.
A great free tool to measure your Twitter reach, impressions and other metrics is Keyhole.
It’s also important to use Twitter as social media, literally. Be social and interact with new people that you don’t actually know but always wanted to interact with or meet. Loved a YouTuber’s latest content? Let them know. Enjoyed an editor’s article in your favorite magazine? Share that you did with them. Kindness gets you far. And for the goodness sake, don’t ask anyone to follow you. Engage with folks regularly when relevant and give them a reason to follow you, just because you ask doesn’t mean you’re entitled to a follow. Don’t just harass folks to check out your website, blog, business, etc. You need to be on Twitter for the people and in return, the people will be there for you.
Be good to those who follow you. If you’re complimented or people share your content, thank them. Those two words go a long way. If someone @’s you, be sure to respond (as long as it’s appropriate and relevant). But make it exciting and worthwhile following you. You never know who’s watching you and whether they’ll be your next reader or client. Nowadays, people are following you via social media before even finding out that you have a blog or business. Leave them wanting more.
GET THAT BIO + BRANDING TOGETHER
You get on Twitter to grow your social media following to hopefully grow your professional following. For instance, you have a brand new online store for moms between the ages of 24-35 who live in the metro Charlotte area. You too are a mom in your late 20’s who just moved to Charlotte and you know that moms will love this product. You follow just about anyone who meets those credentials, you’ve networked with folks at events and even convinced more than a few people to follow you on Twitter to learn more about your online store. Several social media addicted moms do, but they can’t follow you because you spelled your URL wrong. So you lose out on the sale because of lack of attention to detail. Or your social media handle has NOTHING to do with the name of your boutique and they’re not sure if it’s you because you haven’t uploaded a profile pic, instead it’s just - what I like to call - the dreaded egg. If you had just taken a solid 15-30 minutes to get your Twitter bio together, all of this could have been avoided.
Listen, YOUR TWITTER BIO IS IMPORTANT. I get it. We all want to be so witty and clever when it comes to that little spot allotted to tell the world who we are and what we do, but sometimes you have to keep it black and white and be clear about what you do. If you don’t want to limit yourself to a title (like most creatives don’t, myself included) then don’t. But still be CLEAR on what you do. In fact, take a look at my Twitter bio.
No where does it say that I’m a blogger. But if you follow me on Twitter or even visit my correctly spelled URL, you’ll see very clearly that I am. But without even clicking my URL, here’s what my Twitter bio tells you:
- that I create style, beauty + branding based content
- I’m located in Atlanta
- the phrase “Live What You Love” is important to me (hence, the hashtag)
- that I love shoes
- that I own a domain called mattieologie.com
- I’m a Black girl who loves her red lipstick (thanks to my avi)
Those are six very important things to me. Especially the shoes part. But you get what I’m about very quickly if not immediately by looking at my bio and profile picture.
USE HASHTAGS DURING PRIMETIME
This. Is. Extremely. Important. It is also singlehandedly one of the reasons why I have a solid following on Twitter. I use hashtags almost only during primetime when I’m watching television. A quick background: I don’t watch TV often with the exception of Sunday from 9-10p EST, Tuesday from 10-11p EST, Wednesday 9-10p & Thursday 9-10p EST. (See also: award shows; i.e.: The Grammys, Oscars, BET Awards, etc.) That’s what, 4 hours a week? But I can almost guarantee that those hours are when I gain the most followers. Whenever I watch TV, I use Twitter. It’s way more fun to share dialogue about a live event or when a show is currently on and you automatically expand your reach and impressions because you’re now looped in to whoever uses the hashtag. I’m a huge fan of #TheWalkingDead (#1 show on TV, period), #BeingMaryJane (#1 show on Tuesdays, on cable), #Empire (#1 new show on all networks) and #Scandal (need I say more?). While it’s only Tuesday, here are my top topics via Twitter.
Being Mary Jane was on last night, so currently it’s my number one topic, but usually Scandal or Empire end up being my number one topic for the week. This is important because it makes me more visible in a demographic I specifically cater to (AA Women, age 18-49) and expands my reach even more. Looking to expand your reach to a certain demo? Watch what they’re watching and tweet with them about it.
SHARE LINKS WAY MORE OFTEN
I’m guilty of not sharing my blog post links enough. I know what it’s like to be spammed and I HATE that feeling. No, really. But even if you’re sharing the SAME link to a post about 3 times a day on your Twitter timeline, only about a third of your following is actually seeing it. And I don’t know about you, but I’m into maximizing my following.
I’ll be honest here: I don’t have the time to remember to tweet links to my recent blog posts on a daily basis, so I automate them. But here’s my secret: I automate tweets without making them feel automated to my reader. Make sense? So to automate I use CoSchedule* - which if you don’t already have you should totally get into. With CoSchedule you can schedule tweets on the day a post goes live, but you can also schedule tweets that I have already been shared on specific dates. You can also share with a link post, text post or image post.
Even though it’s Twitter, I use an image with 90% of my Mattieologie link tweets. Images grab people’s attention and they’re more likely to click a link if they can see or preview what it’s about. Because I can schedule a week’s worth of tweets ahead of time, I switch of the verbiage on my links to grab different people’s attention. For instance, when it came to my ‘How To Write Amazing Emails’ post, I scheduled them on Twitter saying the following:
“How To Write Amazing Emails [link]”
“Writing amazing emails will get you far. [link]”
“Everyone loves a well written email. [link]”
Switching up the wording will appeal several different people while not numbing the folks who actually pay close attention to your tweets. No one like redundancy, not even when it comes to tweets. I’ve even noticed that people are more likely to retweet me after tweeting to the same link 3 or 4 times with different wording AND an image. It’s all about maximizing the presentation of the message/content you’re trying to get across.
As I just mentioned, people respond to visuals, myself included. There is so much content floating around on Twitter, that visuals versus text alone, makes for a more interesting Twitter experience. I share everything from gifs to Vines to images or even links to YouTube videos on my timeline to make the experience of following me much more full. Not only is a visual more likely to get my follower to click my link but it also pulls my follower in to be more engaged with me. And if you can see it, you’re more likely to believe it. And if you believe it, you’re more likely to trust it. And if you trust it, you’re more likely to buy/read/attend and SHARE it. And that’s ultimately the goal as a blogger, creative or business owner on Twitter.
This is part one of a new 4 post series on the blog that I’m calling Socialologie. I’ll be breaking down how to maximize your social media networks - Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook - and how to take it to the next level. It’s not just about being on these networks, it’s about being present. Being present and utilizing them correctly increase your digital equity. Next week, we'll be covering Instagram.
[bctt tweet="I just read part 1 of Socialologie: How To Maximize Your Social Media Following."]
Also, after being asked more than a few times and telling myself that yes, one day I’ll do it, I’m finally offering social media strategy and blog + content strategy consulting. Each consult is 90 minutes long and we break down your social media or blog to make sure you’re reaching your goals with 3 follow ups. Interested? Check out more details here.
*affiliate link. Should you decide to purchase a plan from CoSchedule, I will receive a commission.