Though every social media platform offers a unique opportunity for brands and individuals to interact with specific audiences, Twitter is a front-runner when it comes to engaging with a targeted audience in real-time, establishing your credibility as an industry influencer, and participating in social listening.
Because most of UpContent’s users live on Twitter, we knew that we needed to have an active presence on the platform. In the last few months, we decided to invest in building an intentional Twitter strategy to grow our audience–and consequently our user base–and to identify and build relationships with potential integration partners. Two and a half months later, our UpContent Twitter followers have increased by over 2400%! And though not everything can be attributed to our Twitter activity, we’ve also seen a 160% increase in UpContent users.
While these numbers are very exciting and we have celebrated many mini milestones, for us, it’s not just about the number of followers. Through our Twitter efforts, we have also built relationships with a few potential integration partners, onboarded new paid customers, gained really useful feedback on product features, and gathered some fantastic testimonials that will serve us far into the future.
Clearly, Twitter is one of the most useful tools in our arsenal. In this post, we’d like to break down our strategy in hopes that it can help you:
Having a strong Twitter following establishes social clout and gives you a larger audience to influence and connect with. While having a vast number of followers can certainly boost the ego, it means nothing if your audience does not engage with you. Engagement is your most important metric.
There are several tools and services that can help grow your Twitter audience quickly without much effort. These services, while effective, are expensive and may not translate to converted users because your new followers have not been nurtured.
Instead, there are alternative ways to hack your way to more targeted followers. Though it takes more time than it would using a paid service, it is well worth the investment. After all, it’s better to have fewer, but more engaged followers than many irrelevant followers.
“Having 20,000 followers who don’t respond to anything you share is equivalent to shouting from the top of the Empire State Building and claiming all of New York City as your audience.”
- Rich Brooks, Social Media Examiner
As a matter of fact, Twitter already has the tool to help you identify and interact with the right people: Advanced Search. Getting familiar with the many options available within Twitter’s Advanced Search and being specific with your search queries will yield the best results.
Access Twitter’s Advanced Search directly by visiting https://twitter.com/search-advanced. Once there, you’ll notice there are over a dozen ways to search Twitter’s millions of tweets and profiles. You can refine your search in numerous ways, as Twitter outlines here:
You know that moment when you look up something on Wikipedia and you click on a link to another result and then another and then another and suddenly it’s an hour later and you’re learning about something that couldn’t be farther from your original search? That, my friends, is a rabbit hole. Believe it or not, we suggest you apply that same principle to Twitter’s Advanced Search (within reason). Here’s how:
Spending dedicated time to seek out only the most relevant individuals in your niche will ensure that your interactions are limited to just the people who matter. Here’s a suggestion: give yourself a strict time limit and don’t go over. It’s too easy to get lost in the rabbit hole!
There are a few other free tools that can help assist you in managing your Twitter followers effectively:
You already know that your Twitter feed should be carefully curated with the best, most relevant content (with assistance from UpContent, of course). But have you considered how your curation can be used as an opportunity to anticipate or foster potential conversations? Instead of treating your content sharing as an automated “set it and forget it” process, think of it as the chance to make organic conversations happen.
Here are a few ways to create conversation through curation:
Say you’ve noticed a potential customer has posted a great blog post they’ve recently written or they’ve announced something exciting. Take this as a prime opportunity to acknowledge them in a tweet. Don’t just add it to the bottom of your Buffer queue, though; make sure to move it further up to post sooner rather than later so that it remains timely and relevant. To keep that momentum going, repeat this process again a week or two later. What makes this process even more effective is that sometimes the individual will reciprocate, creating a harmonious partnership.
When sharing links, consider how you can generate engagement with your supporting commentary. Ask a question or create a poll–and don’t forget to tag the author!
People crave transparency and they love to know what brands are up to. This can open the door to getting prospects excited about what you are working on and to giving you an opportunity to ask for feedback in real-time.
No longer is curation a “cop out” when you see it as the medium through which great conversations happen. Not sure where to find the right articles from the right influencers? Create a free topic in UpContent today!
Using curation to spark conversations is relatively easy, but how do you insert yourself into conversations on Twitter without coming off as “that guy?” You know the one–”that guy” everyone is pretty sure wasn’t actually invited to the party and didn’t even bring anything to share, but happens to jump from group to group, interrupting conversations with his own commentary and eating too many chips and salsa. No, we don’t want to be that guy and neither should you.
Twitter can be a very saturated platform–so much so that it can be difficult to find the right conversations by the right individuals. Here are a few places you can look:
Now that you’ve discovered some interesting conversations, it’s time to use your voice and dive right in. Avoid making a fool of yourself by engaging using one of these tactics:
To keep conversations flowing, follow-up with another tactic on this list.
As mentioned above, Twitter chats are extremely valuable for connecting with individuals. If you aren’t familiar with what a Twitter chat is, it is when a group of Twitter users meet at a predetermined time to discuss a certain topic using a designated hashtag for each tweet contributed. The host will ask a question, usually prefered with a Q1, Q2, etc. and participants will tweet their answers with an A1, A2, etc.
Basically, a Twitter chat is like walking into a big theme party and breaking into small groups of people to mingle and chat. It’s a more social and relaxed networking event that needs very little or no preparation in order to be successful.
Not only are Twitter chats fun, but they’re also really effective. Here’s why:
Have we convinced you to give Twitter chats a try yet? If you’re ready to give it a go, the good news is that there are Twitter chats for nearly every industry. You can find Twitter chats by completing a simple Google search, visiting sites like Chat Salad and Tweet Reports, or by paying close attention to your newsfeed. After all, you should go where your following hangs out to continue to nurture those relationships.
If you plan on participating in a Twitter chat, you will want to check out a few resources to save your sanity. Twitter chats move FAST, especially when there are a lot of participants. We recommend using a platform like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, or Tweetchat where you can input the hashtag and watch the feed live. We also like to keep another tab open with the host’s Twitter profile open because sometimes the questions can get lost in the live feed. That way we’re always replying to questions in a timely fashion, while maintaining our side conversations in Tweetdeck.
We shared some advantageous tips and tricks on navigating through a Twitter chat, but our biggest tip to share is to focus on making connections with 1-3 people throughout the chat; otherwise, you’ll spread yourself too thin.
While you may be using Twitter for your brand, remember that it’s a conversation, not a business pitch. You should always be true to your personality while being cognizant of how you are coming across online. Be you, but don’t get crazy.
Here are a few ways to convey your personality and stand out:
A6 Be the kind of person you want to follow. It's just that simple. Model the right behavior. #SproutChat— Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman) October 14, 2015
Think about the kind of person or brand you want to be. Be that person on Twitter and the right community will form.
Even if you cannot implement all of the strategies listed above at one time, being intentional with your activity on Twitter will be well worth the effort. Pick one or two areas to focus on each month and let us know your results! Send us a tweet or shoot us an email!