While the quality of your followers is incredibly important, when it comes to Twitter, the more followers you have, the more successful you are on the platform. It means that you have clout and that your followers are interested in your content and viewpoints.
Because Twitter moves quickly, is simple to use with short pieces of content, it is not difficult to build a strong following on the platform if you follow a few best practices, which include.
- Find your niche/passion
- Tweet frequently
- Post at the right time of day
- Bring your posts to life with (correctly sized) visuals
- Utilize (the right) hashtags
- Engage with replies, retweets and tags
- Make sure your profile photo, header photo and bio are optimized (use high-resolution photos, use tags, industry keywords and location information)
- Identify followers within your network
- Post unique content consistently (this is so important and how you stand out)
According to data by CoSchedule, when it comes to how many times to tweet daily, the “sweet spot” is between three and seven tweets per day, although it depends on the size of your company, the time of year and other external factors.
What Should You Tweet?
Post content that is helpful to and resonates with your target audience. Consistently post unique content so that your posts show up in your followers’ feeds and when non-followers are searching for content by topic. That’s the true key to Twitter success and increasing engagement.
Besides original content (such as articles, blog posts, tips, Q&As, photos, etc.), don’t always post about yourself. Posting about others helps to build relationships and establish a rapport with others who will likely retweet you in kind.
You can retweet posts from your followers, find content to post by searching trending hashtags, tweet relevant industry articles, interesting statistics, breaking news – you get the gist.
When is the Best Time to Post on Twitter?
Corporate brands typically see the most engagement during weekdays in the early and late afternoons. Always take into consideration the local time zone of the audience you’re trying to reach. With social scheduling software, you can queue up content without having to tweet in real-time.
Create Accompanying Visuals
Tweets containing visuals receive more likes, shares and retweets than those without them. Also, visuals help individuals retain information more than text-based posts. Please make sure your images are correctly sized and include elements of your corporate branding (this is easy to do with an online graphic design tool such canva.com, which is what I use).
PS – infographics are shared three times more often than any other type of image on Twitter, so you may want to consider creating one to bring your content to life. Check out my article on the topic.
I have to mention video, as posts with video content are six times more likely to be shared than a text-based tweet. You could easily create a quick Q&A, how-to or listicle video or a teaser for an upcoming event.
Use Hashtags to Your Advantage
Hashtags are essential to use on Twitter. They make your posts searchable – think of them as a form of SEO for your Twitter account. According to data and best practices on how to use hashtags, tweets with at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement than those without them.
Adding a few hashtags to each tweet (I like to add them to the end of a post versus within the body copy) is a quick way to increase the likelihood of new followers finding you on Twitter. Posts with too many hashtags look spammy and are distracting/hard to read.
So how do you find the right hashtags? Good old fashioned research. Look at how many followers the hashtag has. Look to see what is trending. Look at what your competitors are using. (Also, keep in mind that just because a hashtag does well on LinkedIn doesn’t necessarily mean it will do well on Twitter.)
A Twitter Success Story
My friend Roland Scahill tweets about politics and has built a strong following with more than 160,000 followers to date. I asked him for his secrets to Twitter success and he told me it’s all about being focused and finding the right subject matter that you care enough about to which you want to dedicate a social media channel.
He said, “Find a niche that works for you. For me that was politics. There are so many different facets of Twitter that when you find the topic that interests you, you’ll do great on the platform.”
Remember you can’t be everything to everyone and every social media platform requires a commitment from you in time and content generation if you are going to be successful at it.
Growing your Twitter following is a strategic process and doesn’t happen overnight. By creating content that resonates with your followers, using visuals and hashtags, engaging with your followers and optimizing your profile, you’ll be on the path to success.
I’d love to hear about other things you’ve done to build your Twitter following!