No matter what your industry, whether it’s outsourced order fulfilment or digital marketing, the rules of engagement when it comes to Twitter are fairly similar. Industry knowledge and a distinctive voice are both important but you’ll also need to understand how Twitter works. This is how we’ve built a following of more than 17k on Twitter.
Time your tweets well
Why go to the effort of tweeting if no one is going to see it? Research tells us that most people check their Twitter feeds three to five times a day so set that as your benchmark for volume of tweets. Think about the people you want to engage and the times you want to engage them – commuters at 7-9am, pre and post lunch scrollers 12-2pm, people on their way home 5 – 7pm and late night Twitter addicts 10 – 11pm. With every tweet make sure you’re offering something for each of these groups to digest and engage with.
Find an audience
Engagement is crucial on Twitter – to build your following and help your content go further – but you can’t do this without finding your audience. Search for new followers using relevant keywords and stick to those active in the last three days. Strategies vary but don’t follow more than 1,000 in your first week or Twitter will get suspicious. You’ll get a rate of around 30% follow back and you can start to build from there.
You need to push content out regularly to attract new followers and maintain the audience you’ve built. Scheduling platforms such as GatorSocial, Tweetdeck or Hootsuite enable you to do this well in advance and to ensure your tweets never dry up. In addition to posting you also need to focus on being an engaged user i.e. responding to, liking and retweeting the tweets of other users. Twitter is a very reciprocal platform and the more you do this, the more you’ll get it back in return.
You’ll need to create roughly 25 tweets a week to maintain a Twitter account. Break these down in terms of content so that you’re tweeting roughly 30% about your own business – no more or you’re just not creating a feed that will be interesting for your followers. The next 30% can be relevant blog content, whether that’s your own blog or others in the industry. For the final 40%, aim for thought leadership pieces. If you don’t have enough content to tweet of your own then it can be beneficial to tweet the competition – this actually wins the trust of your audience. Structure your tweets so that each one teases the blog or article it links to and try to include images wherever possible.
- Make sure your bio is relevant and up to date. Feel free to use keywords but don’t stuff it with keywords – it should read well too.
- Use hashtags properly – check the hashtag origin and meaning before using and don’t feel like you need to add them to every tweet.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things like adding video or live tweeting – live tweeting especially is a good way to start a conversation
- Explore Twitter features as they develop – for example, the new 280-character limit allows you to say so much more.
- Be as conversational as you would in real life – open conversations, jump in to them and be authentic in what you say.
Building your profile on Twitter isn’t rocket science. It’s just about being consistent, chatty and interesting – and sticking at it until you reach your goal.