For today’s Ask Buffer, we’re covering a great question we received from one of our followers about growing on Twitter. At Buffer, we’ve found our largest audience on Twitter and love that the platform makes interacting with all of our followers so easy. And that’s the very reason why Twitter is an ideal site for marketing – it's the perfect place for brands and content creators to engage and converse with their consumers.
Twitter has close to 450 million monthly active users, making it a great platform for anyone who wants to spread the word about their small business or passions. If you’re hoping to do exactly that but aren’t sure how to run a successful Twitter account, this blog is for you. We’ll cover the main thing you’ll want to do to gain more followers on the platform and provide some tips on the best kind of tweets to share.
Consistency is key to growing your Twitter
The more you tweet, the more likely you’ll thrive on Twitter. In fact, RivalIQ looked at various industries on Twitter and found that the median rate of posting was five times a week. But sports brands, who posted an average of 41 tweets a week, received the highest engagement of any other industry. While you don’t need to be posting that frequently, this data suggests that Twitter accounts that are posting consistently throughout the week are likely to receive higher engagement rates.
To grow your Twitter account, we recommend keeping a consistent schedule for your tweets and posting content regularly because it establishes expertise and credibility, works with the algorithm, and helps you build your brand voice. Here’s more on each of these:
Position yourself as an expert
The simplest way to grow your account is to gain more followers, and the only way to do that is to contribute to Twitter’s ecosystem. Twitter is unlike other social media platforms because, at its very core, the site is made up of exchanges of information in real-time. The more you post about your business or field of expertise, the more likely it is that users will find your Twitter account and follow you.
Over the years, our Twitter account has been a hub of information for our followers. It’s where we communicate about Buffer’s culture, provide our latest product updates, share resources from our blog, and connect with other small businesses. We’ve amassed nearly one million followers by consistently tweeting about social media marketing, small businesses, and remote work since 2010.
By posting more consistently on your Twitter account, you too can position yourself as an expert and grow your following.
Establish credibility through consistency
Think about the favorite accounts you follow on Twitter or any other social media platform. You probably look forward to their content on a daily or weekly basis. Similarly, you'll find that Twitter users will only take notice of your account if you’re routinely offering them worthwhile content. As you continue sharing content online, you’ll begin to gain traction and establish trust with your followers.
We also recommend finding your best time to post on Twitter so you can effectively reach more of your audience when you do post.
Work with the algorithm
It’s no secret that pretty much all social media algorithms take into account consistency when calculating which content to promote, meaning the more you share, the more likely your account will be shown in your followers’ feeds.
A Twitter blog post stated that the platform is more likely to show certain tweets to a user if said user has interacted with the author’s tweets in the past. So, your goal should be to consistently publish content that is engaging to your followers. As they begin to like, comment, and retweet your posts, the more likely it is that your tweets will be prioritized on their Twitter timeline.
Build out your brand voice
As you continue tweeting on your account, you’ll begin to establish your brand’s voice and style. This is the distinct way you communicate with your followers, and by creating this specific voice, your audience can forge a stronger connection to your business.
Once you tweet with your brand voice in mind, your Twitter followers should be able to recognize your tweets and may even look out for them as they scroll through Twitter. This will help give you a greater presence on the platform because your tweets will stand out amongst the crowd.
Best practices for creating content for Twitter
Once you’ve committed to keeping a consistent Twitter schedule, you’ll need to figure out what exactly to tweet about. We’ll go over some suggestions and strategies that will help you create engaging content on Twitter.
Share useful and relevant content
When it comes to posting on your Twitter account, you want to make sure whatever you’re saying will provide value and insight to your audience. There are many ways you can do so, and we’ll go over some examples from other small businesses and content creators.
Lean into your expertise and strengths
At the end of the day, people will follow your Twitter account if they feel like you are tweeting about topics that are relevant, entertaining, timely, and useful.
Content writer and strategist Kaleigh Moore regularly posts about marketing on her Twitter. Below, she shares a helpful tip about maintaining a website's about page.
Here, Asian Law Caucus – a nonprofit organization focused on social justice amongst minority communities – regularly shares updates on political and social news items in the Bay Area. Note that this is a great example of the org repurposing a blog post from their website into a tweet.
Leverage Twitter threads
If you’re on Twitter, you’re most likely consuming dozens of Twitter threads throughout the day. Threads are very popular on the website and should be used whenever a single tweet isn’t enough to express your thoughts. Essentially, a thread is a series of connected tweets that tell a story, explain an opinion, or express factual information. And it’s one of the main ways Twitter users connect and share information on the website.
Jack Appleby grew his impressive career as a social strategist through his Twitter account. He became known for crafting detailed threads where he analyzed a host of marketing-related topics, like this Twitter thread about how Microsoft handled a leak about Xbox.
Similarly, Professor Olomi has grown his Twitter following by writing dozens and dozens of informative and entertaining Twitter threads about ancient Islamic astrology.
Want more tips for writing a great Twitter thread? You’re in luck – we wrote a blog post on just that.
Use popular hashtags
Twitter is constantly a buzz with trending conversations. Using popular hashtags (but limiting it to one to two hashtags per tweet) is an easy way to be a part of a larger discussion on the platform, and it lets other Twitter users find your account easily. If you’re ever in need of some inspiration on what to tweet about, checking out the explore page to see what topics are trending is a good place to start.
It may not always be appropriate to engage in just any trending topic, but try and see if you can tie it back to your brand. Like here, when Jamba Juice posted about the popular show Euphoria, which was dubbed the most tweeted-about show in the decade.
Engage with others
Twitter is the perfect platform for networking with like-minded businesses, customers, and other users. Building community on Twitter can help you amplify your own tweets, while also forging stronger connections with others.
Show support to your partners and peers
The Lower Eastside Girls Club’s Twitter account is the perfect example of what it looks like to network effectively on the site. The nonprofit is constantly engaging with partner organizations on their timeline. Like this tweet where they tagged a local bookstore, Bronx Bound Books, and shared a picture from a recent event.
Retweet like-minded organizations
Retweeting content from like-minded organizations allows you to diversify your Twitter timeline and include perspectives from others. It’s also a good way to build community. When you amplify others' tweets, there’s a stronger chance that the favor will be reciprocated.
Here, The Lower Eastside Girls Club retweets content from their partner organization, NYC Ferry, and highlights their food pantry program.
While retweeting is a great strategy, use it in moderation. People won’t be excited to follow your account if your Twitter feed is completely filled with content from others and doesn’t include original tweets.
When thinking about the content you create on your Twitter, incorporating ways you can include your peers in the conversation will not only help fill up your content calendar, but it’s a great way to network on the site.
Initiate conversation with your followers
An easy and effective way to create more content on Twitter is to engage with your followers. By interacting with the Twitter users you already have, you’re building a stronger relationship with them which can in turn build more brand awareness and loyalty.
Our social media manager Mitra is always engaging with our Twitter community by asking questions and getting their feedback.
We’ve also created a dedicated hashtag for our Twitter users to ask us social media-related questions on the site.
By directly conversing with your followers, you’re showing them you value their input and want to build community with them on Twitter.
When you ask these questions, you may not always get responses from your followers, and that’s OK. The main thing is that you’re trying and opening a dialogue with your community. Keep tweaking your tweets to see what resonates most with your audience. Using Twitter Polls can be an easier way to receive input from your followers as well.
And when you do hear back from your followers, try your best to respond to every comment. This will help make your followers feel like their voices are being heard. Here are some best practices for replying to social media comments.
Create content specifically for Twitter
To really grow on Twitter, you need to be strategic and create content that will perform well on the platform. While it’s totally fine to repurpose posts from your other channels and cross-post them onto Twitter, ideally you’re also crafting some content exclusively for Twitter. Doing so will allow you to cater to your Twitter audience.
Years ago, we started #BufferChat on Twitter and recently brought it back in honor of Buffer’s 12th birthday. Our product marketing manager Phill spent some time chatting with our Twitter community about our latest feature – ideas.
We’ve found that we’ve gotten a ton of engagement by using the hashtag and it’s allowed us to build community on the site. Scheduling specific times to chat with your followers about certain topics can be a great way to grow your account.
While it’s great to tweet about your small business, we recommend taking advantage of all of Twitter’s various features and using them to create new content for your followers.
Here, Twitter user @LoveofDivine shares her knowledge about astrology on Twitter Spaces with her followers. Spaces allow for a live discussion, making it a bit more interactive. It’s a great strategy for changing up your content and connecting with your community in a new way.
Include visuals in your tweets
You’ve probably noticed that most of the tweets we shared throughout this blog post included images. According to Twitter, 97 percent of people focus on visuals on the platform. While Twitter may not seem as visual of a platform compared to Pinterest and Instagram, tweets with media attached to them – including pictures, gifs, or videos – receive 3x more engagement.
Here are some best practices when including pictures or illustrations.
- make sure your photos are properly cropped for the site
- include image and video descriptions, also known as alt text, for any media you tweet about
- stray away from stock imagery
We hope this Ask Buffer has provided some useful information for growing your Twitter account. Remember, with Buffer, you can schedule Twitter threads and tweets! Get started today for free.
If you have a social media question for us let us know on Twitter by using the hashtag #AskBuffer!
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