This post was last update in July 2020
I have been updating my content, SEO and trying to create a better cleaner system by not having a dozen posts over the years from the same topics. I’d planned to do the same with Twitter, but I do think it is interesting to look back at where I started and where I am now so I will keep these older posts, especially because a lot of the basics haven’t really changed.
Twitter Tips from 2011 is just as relevant almost 10 years later. Even more so, as twitter has become a space where most people are just yelling into the void.
Marketing on Twitter– wow. It’s so cute to look back. While a lot of the specific tools and groups I recommended I would no longer recommend, the marketing tips are still applicable.
But enough nostalgia. While a lot hasn’t changed, there is so much that has changed so it’s important to stay up to date!
What is Twitter
Let’s talk about the bird in the room.
Twitter. It is this scary, overwhelming, fast-moving place! It’s easy for those who are less tech-savvy *waves* to get overwhelmed and feel out of place. It functions very differently from Facebook, which is all about emotions and *being friends*, whereas Twitter is about gaining *followers.*
Many set up their account and yell into the void, never quite getting a handle on how to actually interact and connect with others. BUT if you take the time to learn twitter, it is the place to become a leader (with followers, aaaahhh, see what they did there?) And the way to do that is to:
Follow influencers in your genre. See what they are sharing and emulate that. What posts are getting the most engagement? Create your own posts along those veins, share their posts, and similar content. Influencers should be in your niche.
If you’re an author it’s important to follow the top authors in your genres. But you should also be following reviewers in your genre, readers in your genre, associations, distributors, bookstores. If you are looking for a traditional publisher or an agent, then you want to follow those influencers as well.
If you are in Software as a Service (SAAS), you should be following your competition, industry thought leaders, SAAS reviewers, associations, and if your SAAS targets a specific industry (like Henry Schein One targeting the dental industry) then you should be following dentistry thought leaders and associations as well.
Same for any industry. Look for the influencers and add them to your following.
Grow your Following
You don’t need to buy twitter followers (despite the thousands of accounts that will follow you and suggest otherwise) but you do need to manage your followers carefully. You don’t want to end up upside down on your follower count. I manage my follower list very carefully. How?
I have a couple of rules and a couple of tools that help.
- Only follow back people who are in your niche(s). or who you’re interested in actually engaging with and learning from. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. It doesn’t matter if you have 15,000 followers if your posts get less than 10 hearts or comments. The less people engage with your content, the fewer of your followers twitter will show your content to and it becomes a vicious never-ending cycle. This is especially important if you are on Twitter for the purpose of marketing and sales. Twitter ads are fantastic if you have a clear grasp of your targets. If you muddy your analytics with rando followers then you can’t trust your data.
- Follow an average of 20 new accounts a day (again focusing on your specific target group(s).) and clean your list of those who don’t follow back within a week. I use a handy free tool called Followers Analyzer on Android (It’s also available in the apple store) for this. It shows my twitter following and followers numbers. I can also deep dive into New followers, Unfollowers, and who is not following me back. Now be careful and don’t abuse this tool or you could get your account suspended. I’ve never pushed too hard but the most I’ve ever followed/ unfollowed in one day was 50 accounts and I typically don’t do more than 30 a day (follow 20, unfollow 10.)
- Twitter Lists- I know, I told you to follow influencers, but what if they don’t follow you back? That’s ok, add them to a list and then unfollow them. With them in your list, you can still keep tabs on what they’re doing, share their content as it’s relevant for your audience, and stay i the know on industry news. A lot of people follow me back when I add them to my public lists. I have tons of lists as I straddle several industries and niches and this allows me to keep my content sharing balanced.
- Prune no longer active users- The fact is that a lot of people come and go on Twitter. You unfollowing them helps to adjust your follower/ing figure and if you’re worried that they might come back in time, add them to a list. I would say that 2/3 of my lists are people who don’t post regularly. I use Circleboom to manage my inactive followers
Engage Your Followers
I spend at least 15-20 minutes a day, every day, interacting with people on Twitter. This is part of my Marketing in Minutes a day routine.
I make sure to comment on why I’m rt’ing content so people know I’m not just botting it. Participate in fun tags, Twitter chats, polls and create your own to build rapport.
Everyone loves to be noticed. Notice people and they will notice you. Too many people are on Twitter just to be noticed and then complain about feeling like they’re shouting into the void.
Don’t be those people.
Hashtags are probably some of the most confusing bits on Twitter. You should always include two, but no more than three. Make sure they are the right hashtags and that you are using them in the proper context. You don’t want to be that person who used #Blacklivesmatter and #allLivesMatter in the same post. Don’t forget to add # before each. Make sure you are using them on the correct day and in the correct manner.
Incorporating Trending hashtags is a great way to get more visibility and be seen as hip. Trendz is a great resource to check trending hashtags. You can even target based on country so if you’re looking to build your UK audience, talking about trending UK topics will help. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU RESEARCH BEFORE USING, see the #alllivesmatter example from before.
Some great hashtags across all industries are #MondayMotivation #FF #FollowFriday, SelfPromoSaturday SelfPromoSunday #ShamelesspromoSaturday
If you’re an author, these are some of the most enduring hashtags.
According to an analysis of 14 different social media studies done back in 2017, Co-Schedule recommends posting 15 times a day on Twitter. That tweet frequency may feel ridiculous, but keep in mind that when you RT someone, or respond to someone’s post that counts as a tweet too so those accounts posting 51 times a day isn’t as crazy an amount as it seems at first.
Twitter is a fast-paced animal. So what do you post to fill that time? Most market influencers recommend following the 80/20 rule. 80% should be interesting/ fun/ news posts and only 20% should be sales posts. I am sure if you take a moment to analyze your top influencers in your genre, you will see that they are doing very much the same. So share other author’s content, share interesting articles to readers, share fun memes relevant to your genre. That remaining 20% of your posts should be a mix of subtle “buy my books” such as a book reviewers post, a quote image from your book, or an author interview. That means you have to create these pieces of content, but the great part is that you can re-use this ever-green content. Not sure how to create book quotes? You can use a fremium tool like Canva or Bookbrush, or if you do not have an eye for images, you can hire someone on BooksgoSocial , or Fiverr
I do a weekly analysis of my tweets and engagement and schedule 3-4 posts a day based on evergreen content, new blog posts, an engaging question/ tag game/ or whatever strikes me that is geared solely to build rapport, and ad/ promo content. I look at my top performers from the week before to shape my content choices for this week.
Examples of Content:
You can also promote sales, sign-ups to your newsletter and following you on other social media that isn’t a competitor to Twitter (like Goodreads, Youtube, or Amazon, probably not a good idea to push Facebook or Instagram.)Now, we all know you can’t live on Twitter. Rather than trying to hop on every hour or so to post, use a nifty free tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, or if you are on a lot of social media sites and want to share different content to all of them, invest in something like PromoRepublic
Then 3 times a day, I go in for about 5 minutes and try to respond to 2 posts and rt 1 piece of curated content. I will also hop on when I think of a good poll or when something cool/ interesting, etc happens spontaneously. Boom, 15 posts a day easy.
Track Your Results
This is a key part of any marketing strategy. Essential. Yet, so few authors do it. With Twitter, they make it so easy that there’s really no excuse NOT to do it. How? Let me tell you. Go to your Twitter profile page. On the right, you will see a little graph that says “Your Tweet Activity.” This shows for the last 24 hours. But right below it, there is a link that says “View Your Top Tweets.” Click on that and it will show you data for the last month. Want to up your tracking game? Create a spreadsheet and track each month what tweets are getting the top views, likes, and retweets. Each month, add to the sheet and that will give you a longer-term view. This helps you adjust and adapt your twitter strategy for the short AND long-term. And it only takes 30 minutes a MONTH? You have no excuse not to do this. This will be the biggest tell on whether or not Twitter is working for you.
Follow these easy tips and you will find your influence on Twitter growing exponentially. Anything else on Twitter got you stumped? Let me know in the comments below. I’m happy to help.
What are your top twitter tips? Let us know in the comments!
Until next time,