Twitter is confusing for people who don’t use it…. I was confused even after I started using it, but the more I used it the easier it became to understand and Twitter today is one of my highest refers to my blog! I’m able to communicate with my audience with easy and convey a short, sharp message to my followers. I have compiled some handy tips to help you make the most out of twitter!
Create a good bio from the start:
Neil Patel covered the key ingredients of a Twitter bio. These are Neil’s top tips:
1. It’s accurate. One professional description.
2. It’s exciting. One word that is not boring.
3. It’s targeted. One niche descriptor.
4. It’s flattering. One accomplishment.
5. It’s humanizing. One hobby.
6. It’s intriguing. One interesting fact or feature about yourself.
7. It’s connected. Your company or another social profile.
Make sure you have a good display picture of yourself, so that people can put a face to the name and ensure your larger display picture can convey what you are all about (eg: Travel blogger = dream destination picture, food blogger = picture of some mouth watering food and so on).
Ensure that you have your URL updated in your bio so that if people want to “stalk” you a little further, they can.
Get involved and share the love:
Get involved with the travel community on Twitter, follow people in the industry and make sure to create and add them to “lists”. This makes it so much easier to go through certain niche list (eg: Family travel, luxury travel, solo travel) to retweet and favourite content posted.
Share the love with your fellow bloggers and share their content, this is the start of building a relationship and they might see your content and share it to, its all about being selfless and sharing what you think your audience will love.
If you have worked with a company or brand on an article, make sure to @ mention the company/brand to engage them in the post and twitter conversation.
Respond to everyone:
If someone retweets you, drop them a message or a tweet and thank them, this also goes for if someone writes you a message or mentions you in a tweet, make sure to respond! I know this can become more difficult if you have a larger audience but make time in your day (30mins a day) to go through your twitter and reply.
However with that said, a lot of people set up automated direct messages which can be annoying and time wasting to reply to, which leads me onto my next point…
Don’t set up automated direct messages:
These are annoying and not very personalised (even if you are using the persons name), it is not a good way to connect with your followers and surprisingly some people can take offence and unfollow you.
Plus is clogs up people’s inbox and they may not take your message as genuine.
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Use Hashtags and Images to get noticed:
Twitter is all about hashtags, I’m pretty sure (aka I’m guessing) that hashtags were used mainly on Twitter before any other social media platform, make sure to use 1-3 hastags per tweet. You can use Hashtagify to find the best Hashtags to use.
Try to use images where possible and set up Twitter Cards, visual components always get better engagement on twitter.
Scheduling…. Yes or no..?
If you ask 50 people, you are likely to get 50 different answers, personally I schedule all my tweets through Hootsuite and find that I get high engagement from this, this varies from faves, retweets, views and messages from followers as well as new followers. If I don’t schedule, then I usually forgot to even log on! I schedule 7-10 days ahead and usually have 30-35 tweets per day – some people would say this is high but it works pretty well for me.
Personally I’d recommend Hootsuite, I’ve used it for years. You can schedule posts for dos social media’s including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a few others. They offer a free membership and paid memberships. The free membership does a lot but I personally went for a the paid membership to set up “Bulk Scheduling”, I find it much easier than trying to schedule 350 tweets one at a time! Hootsuite offer a a 30 day trial for their Pro Membership, you can sign up here.
It’s also okay to tweet the same thing several times a day/week, play around with different days and different time zones, I find that while I’m asleep my twitter activity is high and without scheduling, I wouldn’t have known this.
CoSchedule provides some creative tips around sharing content on Social media. You can also use Tweriod to check when the best times to tweet for your audience is.
Play around with what works
Play around on your Twitter using just plain text and some hashtags or a tweet with some text, hashtags and an image or a tweet with Image, text, hashtag and a link. See what works best for your audience, what provides the best engagement and make sure you vary what you put on twitter – I am terrible at doing this as at times I have a bit of a set and forget mentality (schedule and then forget to change it up a bit).
Build your following:
Again depending on who you speak to, you are likely to get a different answer. I found that following lots of people until my max (which is about 1,000 when you set up an account) and then a week later unfollowing the people who didn’t follow back or “fake” profiles (don’t have a profile picture or have minimal content), or inactive accounts, this worked very well for me. I also adopted the rule to follow those who follow you.
A few great programs to use to unfollow people are Manageflitter or Crowdfire (you can also unfollow on Instagram). I prefer Managefitter as I can unfollow up to 800 people per day without having to pay a fee …bonus!
Be careful doing this as you can get a warning from Twitter as they don’t really like this type of “behavior” however I have found it is the best way to engage and grow your following. At the end of the day you are there to engage an audience and grow that audience, go out and find your audience, they aren’t going to magically find you.
If you do receive a notice or twitter blocks your account, follow instruction to get your account reactivated (usually resetting your password) and then increase your timeframes eg: follow 100 people a day and unfollow people once a fortnight until you build a big enough following that you can reduce these times. It can seem a little slow but done right you can build a very good following.
Does it look good from potential clients eyes to have 1,000 followers while you are following 1,000 people? Have a look at some of the “top dogs” on Twitter such as Scott Eddy or A Luxury Travel Blog, these guys have adopted this build pattern and have done very well.
Scott Eddy was kind enough to answer a few questions about Twitter here for me:
(1) What is your strategy to gain more followers on Twitter:
I do research on a daily basis on things that I will be talking about in the near future, such as destinations and travel activities (zip lining, hot air balloons, etc..) Then I start to engage with these people heavily, I find a lot of them become faithful followers shortly afterward.
(2) What is your strategy to interact with followers on Twitter:
I try to interact with everyone I have time to, I answer every question and try to RT at least a few people I don’t know every day.
(3) Do you believe in the “follow for follow” method is worth the time and effort?
Yes, I believe in it. Basically I look at social media as my childhood, when I was growing up and someone spoke to me, I spoke back (this applies to adults also lol). So I believe in giving back more than I take in, I absolutely hate the ‘celebrity mentality’ of having a million followers, but they only want to follow 150……it’s so ridiculous!!!
(4) Do you think that twitter may turn into facebook and make it difficult to reach your audience, if so would you care to share your “back up plan”?
No backup plan, it is what it is, we have no control over it, but I definitely do not put all my eggs in one basket, I also engage heavily on FB and IG.
Create a Strategy
Sit down and plan what you are doing in regards to social media and how much time per week you can dedicate to building your audience on Twitter. Work out what type of content you want to share and how often and set up a content schedule.
Ensure your notifications on twitter are set up correctly to ensure you are engaging with your audience as soon as possible, eg: someone posts a question to you… answer as quickly as possible, it will help engage with that follower and bring them in as a regular.
Create lists and check them regularly, keep the lists manageable by having no more than 15 people in each list, otherwise you might miss a “nugget” of knowledge from one of your followers/people you follow.
Let’s hear from a few other bloggers about their twitter strategy:
Jo from Wander with Jo
My twitter strategy is simple – engage and post consistently. I use TweetJukebox to ensure my posts are scheduled and tweets are going out few times a day. Try not to overdo, 3-4 times a day is sufficient. I always retweet posts I like from fellow bloggers and include pictures in my tweets. Engage with followers using @ mentions and stay on top with notifications.
Mar from Once in a lifetime Journey
My Twitter tip – Engage with brands before or during your stay. I have found that Twitter can be a great way to reach out to brands you want to work with or have experienced their services. Recently, I have seen great contacts and connections through this. I got in touch with a couple of hotels in Singapore for a feature and a collaboration through Twitter and that has led to business opportunities and great benefits for both of us.
Sarah from Chasing the Donkey
Our Chasing the Donkey Twitter strategy is in a few parts, we like to create lists and share at least one thing per day from the lists – often up to 5 tweets and use our feed to curate the best-of-the-best content about Croatia. We follow thousands of people and find that managing lists is the best way to find the right content to share.
Danielle from Like Riding a Bicycle
I use a few tools for Twitter. Firstly, I use Tweepi to find followers who are interested in my type of site, which I then follow, with the hopes that they’ll be interested in my stuff and follow me back. Periodically I use ManageFlitter to clear away people who aren’t following me back. Finally, I have Twitter set to send me an email only if I am mentioned or a Tweet has been replied to. That way I catch all of these, but don’t have to weed through all the reshares and likes.
Dave from Jones Around the World
My main growth strategy for Twitter is simply sharing heaps of quality content, and focusing on getting people to share my content as well. I’ve succeeded in this by joining various tribes on this website called Triberr, and it has made a huge impact. I regularly share other bloggers content, and in return they share mine. I have a Triberr reach of over 29 Million, so every time I post a new article, it gets seen by quite a lot of Twitter users. One other strategy I’ve used is posting high-quality images with simple captions that have the potential of getting re-tweeted quite a bit”