Growing an active Twitter following is one of the toughest struggles businesses have with social media. Getting a shout out from influencers can instantly boost your reach on Instagram. An effective Facebook Ads campaign can put your content right in front of your target audience. But with Twitter, things aren’t as clear cut.
Twitter is arguably one of the noisiest social media platforms there is, which makes it difficult to master. But it’s not impossible. With these eight Twitter hacks, you’ll be able to expand your reach, break through the noise and achieve results quicker.
1. Master Twitter Lists
Twitter lists are incredibly underutilized. By default, all of the latest Tweets from users you’re following are grouped into your main stream. This is fine when you just want to browse a variety of Tweets, but it’s not well organized. Twitter lists allow you to curate Tweets from a select group of users, which gives you a more streamlined experience.
There are plenty of ways to use lists to be more strategic with your Twitter marketing.
Influencer list: Create a list of the top influencers in your industry. Engage with these users on a daily basis to start building relationships. Retweet, like and reply to their Tweets, or even feel free to @mention them when you share a link that they might find useful. Over time, you’ll have a solid network of movers and shakers who can amplify your brand with a few Tweets.
Customer list: Twitter is the perfect platform to interact with your current and past customers. Not only does it help build a strong community for your brand, but it can also improve your number of return customers. Most businesses only communicate with customers on Twitter for customer support issues. By creating a Twitter list for people that have bought from you in the past, you can Retweet, like and reply to all of their Tweets, not just the ones that are about your business.
Leads/Prospect list: This list is particularly great for B2B companies. On average, you have to contact a prospect around seven times before you close a sale. If your company has been warming up a prospect through sales calls, emails or direct mail, you should place them on a Twitter list so you can communicate with them on social media as well. Don’t sell to your prospects on Twitter though. Use it as a way to share helpful content or to show your commitment by sharing their Tweets.
Top sharers list: Use Sprout Social’s social media analytics tools to perform things like Trends report to find out which users are sharing your Tweets the most. Then, add all of these people to a Twitter list. Whenever you have something important to share, let these users know first. You’ll be able to count on them to help you distribute your content. You might even consider offering them a discount or some type of special offer to thank them for being your top sharers.
You have the ability to make your Twitter lists public or private. Anybody can see your public lists, and users that get added to the lists will receive a notification. With a private list, only you can see who’s on it and the users you add won’t be notified. Keep any lists that are for internal use private such as your prospect, top sharers and customer lists. But a list of the top influencers in your industry could be public.
2. Tweet at The Right Time
We have some bad news for you. If you just send out your Tweets randomly, there’s a good chance only a small percentage of your followers will see them. Thousands of Tweets are sent out every second, which means your followers’ timelines move quickly. In order to increase the visibility of your Tweets, you need to send them out at the right time.
According to research from Bitly, the best time to Tweet is Monday-Friday between 1-3 p.m. The study also showed the worst time to Tweet is Friday after 3 p.m. These are general guidelines and may not be optimal for your audience.
However, one of the Twitter hacks to follow for more accuracy is to use Sprout’s ViralPost feature. ViralPost lets you automatically schedule Tweets to be sent out during the times that your followers are the most active, so there’s less guesswork involved.
3. Go Beyond Basic Search
You’ve probably used Twitter’s search bar to find specific accounts or Tweets containing a certain keyword. But there is so much more to it than this. You can use a combination of different Twitter search operators and Advanced Search feature to get more detailed results.
Here are some examples of search operators you can use within Twitter to narrow your results.
- this OR that – Tweets containing either “this” or “that”, or both
- social -media – Tweets containing the word “social” but not “media”
- from:SproutSocial – Tweets sent from the Twitter handle “@SproutSocial”
Many businesses are completely unaware that Twitter has an Advanced Search feature because it’s kind of hidden and it’s only available on Twitter.com. Twitter Advanced Search makes is easier to find exactly what you’re looking for without having to use search operators.
4. Hack Twitter Moments
In October of 2015, Twitter released a new feature called Moments. The point of Moments is to give users a snapshot of the latest stories from around the world and what’s popular on Twitter at the moment. The beauty of Moments is that it allows users to see your Tweets even if they aren’t following you.
Start by putting together a social media editorial calendar that includes important holidays and events. Before these days take place, create new content that you can Tweet out to promote it. For instance, you might make your own low budget Super Bowl commercial and share it using Twitter Video during Super Bowl week, since that is a major event captured in Moments. Visuals are the best type of content to create because they’re more eye-catching for users scrolling through the latest Moments.
Moments are split into different categories including sports, entertainment, news and fun. Most brands will have the best chance of showing up in the Fun section, since the others tend to be dominated by news outlets and major organizations.
5. Schedule Tweets for Multiple Days
Did you create an awesome piece of content that you want to get as many eyes on as possible? Don’t just Tweet it once and forget about it. You should try sharing the same content on multiple days, at different times, to get more impressions and engagement. If you’re worried about seeming too repetitive by sharing the same piece of content five days in one week, don’t be.
Even though you’re sharing the same piece of content multiple times, the likelihood of the same exact users seeing it each time is slim. You’re never going to send out a Tweet that all of your followers see. The goal is to be seen by as many as possible.
In order to set this up, you need to use a tool like Sprout that makes it easy to schedule Tweets, even the same Tweet, on multiple days.
6. Promote Your Top Tweets
When a Tweet gets a lot of engagement, that means your audience connects with it. Use that as an opportunity to double down and give Promoted Tweets a try. By promoting a Tweet that has already had some success organically, you’re lowering your risk of having your campaign be a flop. Promoted Tweets will give you the opportunity to share your top Tweets with users that aren’t following you, which can lead to new followers and more awareness for your brand.
Another option is to promote a Tweet about the same topic as one of your top Tweets. For instance, if one of your most engaged Tweets was about how to lose weight with a Paleo diet, then you could create a free eBook on how to go Paleo and run a promoted campaign. You’ll be able to build your email list, generate leads and expand your reach.
7. Gated Content
Of the Twitter Hacks listed, this one involves pushing your Web traffic to your Twitter account through gated content. Gated content is only accessible after the user completes some type of action. In this case, the action will be sharing a Tweet. An example of this concept in action is Lean Startup Machine’s Validation Board. In order to download this product, users have to share a pre-filled Tweet.
This technique is effective because people who visit your site might not be following you on Twitter. Getting visitors to follow your company’s Twitter account creates a relationship with them, and eventually brings people back to your site. Users are generally more engaged when they return to your site than they are on the first visit. Kissmetrics found new visitors spend an average of 2 minutes 31 seconds on a website compared to 5 minutes 31 seconds for returning visitors. On top of that, return visitors look at an average of 5.55 pages per visit, while new visitors look at 3.88 pages each visit.
Here are some options for content that you can gate:
- Part of a blog post such as a list of resources
- A free product
- A discount code
Experiment with gated content and see how your audience responds.
8. Get Suggested by Twitter
Have you ever wondered how Twitter decides who to display under the “who to follow” section?
It’s actually based off an algorithm that factors in different criterion and is personalized for each user. You can’t control a lot of these factors, but there are some steps you can take to improve your chances of being suggested.
- Upload your contacts: Twitter looks through the contacts you import to see if they have an account. In addition to suggesting these users to you, they may also suggest your account to your contacts as well.
- Use a single phone number and email address: When choosing your email address for Twitter, use one that you use when emailing customers and prospects. This email address is more likely to be in their contact list, so if they sync it to Twitter you may show up as a suggested account to follow. The same thing applies with your phone number.
- Tailor your Tweets to your industry: If your Tweets are not protected, Twitter can search them for keywords to determine what you Tweet about. Then, it may suggest your account to other people who Tweet about similar topics. Include keywords in your Tweets to make it easier for Twitter to categorize your account and recommend it to people in your industry.
- Get followed by influencers: Twitter also suggests people to follow based on who you’re already following. If your account is being followed by multiple influencers, their followers may see your account as a suggestion.
Getting results with Twitter isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s all about building connections and relationships, which takes time. When you put these eight Twitter hacks into action, it’ll be easier for you to grow your account, build your brand and expand your reach. Luckily, with the right Twitter management tools, you’ll have features to help you monitor, engage, analyze and report your data.
Do you have any Twitter hacks that you like to use? Let us know in the comments!
@KianaWebb Awesome, glad you found it helpful!
Helpful article, but "criterion" is singular. "based off an algorithm that factors in different criteria".
Good post and it brought up even more questions. I like questions
What makes someone an influencer?
How do we drill down and find out who are the influencers for our interests?
How do we grow our following? I don't just mean thousands of random accounts trying to sell me something. I'm talking about fans of what we do, people who actually share the conversations of our work, and the people who want to buy what we have to sell. Thanks for any follow up on this. You provided a good useful read.
@PaperCityExile thanks for reading. Good questions. For the influencer marketing questions, this is an awesome post plus infographic that shows you what makes a good influencer and how to find them. http://sproutsocial.com/insights/influencer-marketing/
As for growing your following, it boils down to taking the time to build genuine relationships and connections. Start conversations with people, make sure you promote your profiles in guest posts, & join communities. It' takes work and consistency, but the good thing is that once you get the ball rolling and build your name, more people will want to follow you. Here are some other tips. http://sproutsocial.com/insights/get-twitter-followers/