A Hands On Guide to Using Our Favorite Microblogging Site
Why am I writing about Twitter? I’m writing about Twitter because it might just be the single most important platform for Content Creators. Twitter is itself a microblogging site, so it is perfect for writers who naturally are already blogging either for themselves or for their clients, or both.
On the flip side, Twitter is probably the single hardest social media platform to master. Many people who begin with it simply give up part way through. It must have the highest entry bar out of all the social media platforms. For this reason, getting a strong audience on Twitter will also probably impact your brand or writing platform exponentially.
Before you dive into the exciting world of Twitter, however, you’ll want to understand how the platform works, what makes it tick, and how you can use it to get your work noticed. This information will help you grow your own personal brand, can be used to grow the audience of the brands you work with, and beyond. So let’s get started!
How To Grow Your Following
Step 1. Follow!
Unless you already have something of a big, recognizable brand, you are going to need to follow people in order to get noticed. This can be the tricky part. You’re probably wondering: Who do I follow?
Eventually, you will probably want more people following you than you follow. After all, your end goal is to establish yourself as an authority in your field, whatever that field may be. But to begin with, you are probably going to have to follow more people than follow you.
Make a list of the top influencers in your field, or who are talking about the topics that you want to become an influencer in. Learn what others in your space are posting, sharing, and liking. What kind of hashtags do they use, what kind of content are they likely to engage with?
Once you’ve done this, you’ll notice that as you start following people, people will will also follow you back. This can be a great feeling! Already your brand is getting exposure. Awesome! So how do you keep these newly found followers engaged with what you are creating and sharing?
Step 2. Your First Tweet!
This is where Tweeting comes in handy. Yes. You’re going to do it. You’re going to send your first tweet. So what do you Tweet about?
For writers, I recommend sharing a blog post that you’ve written on Medium or on your own website. This is an easy place to start for writers to simply share an article that you wrote somewhere. Chances are that by now you probably already have or are developing the writing chops to create great, short written copy. Just apply those skills to picking out the best, most intriguing line from your blog or article, or write a helpful, engaging summary.
If the blog post or article you are sharing already has a featured image in it, that image will also show up on your Tweet. So really, most of the work is already done for you!
Other types of content that you can share are: inspirational quotes, pictures, videos, infographics and more.
It might be helpful to stack your content to be largely content from other sites on topics that matter to your audience. By including peripheral articles you are expanding your range without exhausting your own pool of content. It can be tempting to post only your own content. But people really want to hear not only from you but from other people and sources about relevant topics, trends, and helpful life hacks.
It’s a win-win scenario.
Step 3. Retweet and Like
Oddly enough, liking and retweeting the content of others is a great way to increase your engagement and impressions on Twitter. By liking content, people will get notifications that you liked their content. It will also show up on your feed as having liked it, so others will see that you have an appreciation and are paying attention to the stuff other people are posting and sharing, and not just your own content all the time.
Make sure that even the things that you like and share on Twitter are in line with your personal brand, however.
Another great way to share content from other people and create interactions this way is via retweets. When you retweet somebody, that retweet will show up on your feed, and the person you retweeted will also get a notification that they have been retweeted. You can also add your own text to a retweet to create context or tie yourself to the retweet in some way.
You shouldn’t, of course, present that the content you retweet as if it belongs to you. That is not the point and could really rub people the wrong way. Luckily, Twitter makes it pretty easy for people to see that your retweets belong to others. Just don’t go out of your way to make it look otherwise.
Step 4. Managing Your Followers vs Following Ratio
So forgive me for this little pet peeve. But I really feel like you should be following less people than follow you. Now, this can be really hard in the beginning when you will have to follow a lot more people than follow you in order to let people know that you are alive and well on Twitter.
In the beginning, it might be enough to follow a lot of people that are interested in the kind of work you do. For example, if you are a travel blogger, follow people who have #travel in their bios, or who have tweeted something about that hashtag or topic recently.
Another great way to know who to follow and find more people to get connected with is to follow people that follow the top influencers in your space. Just find an influencer that you admire and that you potentially want to emulate and follow their followers.
After a few days, you can easily unfollow anyone who did not follow you back, thus keeping your ratio in good standing. I would, however, advise against unfollowing too many people who followed you back. This can make them feel sort of used and hurts the connection that you then made with that person. So think a lot about this strategy before you try deploying it yourself!
Step 5. Create Your Own Hashtag!
Once you have your audience built up, people are liking and sharing your content, try creating your own hashtag! By creating your own hashtag, you can garner buzz around your brand. Offer a contest to people who tweet using your hashtag, and use it a bunch yourself. See where this strategy gets you!
Step 6. Look for New Press Opportunities
You may tweet and tweet your heart out and find that one well made retweet or mention does more work for your impressions than all the rest of your work combined. That’s fine, and that’s how this works. keep building your content across all your social media brands –you never know who will connect and be interested in your content. Sometimes it takes a while, but when the opportunity presents itself, be quick to embrace any opportunity that further establishes you as a thought leader in your space, and that will create more buzz, impressions and engagements with your brand.
Lastly, Monitor Your Analytics
In order to see how you are doing on your Twitter account, make sure you are regularly monitoring your Twitter analytics. I love the Twitter Analyics tool because it is super simple and straightforward. It’s located in the menu that pops up when you click on your profile picture or logo on your twitter Account and lists things like your top Tweet, top mention, and maps out your progress over a 28 day period. As you get more and more busy on Twitter, you should be able to see those numbers steadily rising!
I really hope this helps, and if it did, please follow me on Twitter @Jnderson007 – I’ve almost hit my goal of 1k followers!