Developing a social media presence can be challenging. Some Twitter users will get frustrated because they have very few, if any, followers, even though they provide really great content.
Others may get frustrated because they have a small but dedicated base of followers who engage with their content, but they have been unable to scale it.
If you find yourself in either of these situations, keep reading.
We’ll start by taking a closer look at the Twitter algorithm and discuss ways to use it to your advantage.
Understanding the Twitter Algorithm for Growth
First, let’s take a closer look at Twitter’s algorithm—how Twitter decides which posts are the most important and displayed higher on each feed.
The Big Three Factors:
Relevance – Twitter analyzes the text (keywords) of your tweet and considers how well the tweet deals with those topics. Some people try to load their tweets with the most popular hashtags in an effort to get noticed, but this often has the opposite effect. Tweets that seem off-topic or fraudulent in any way are quickly filtered out.
Engagement – Twitter prioritizes tweets and users that have more followers, likes, replies, retweets, and views. It may seem like a Catch-22—you have to have likes to get likes—but it’s the way of the Twitterverse. Often the likes will start coming in slowly, as a viral post gets a higher and higher position. Then, the likes grow exponentially.
Recency – Twitter puts the most recent tweets at the top. If there are two posts about the ongoing NFL match from users with similar accounts, the lastest post will be posted at the top. This is why it’s important to post your tweets during Twitter’s highest activity times.
As you can see, Twitter values unique, thought-provoking, and meaningful content the most. Quality over quantity.
A tweet is more likely to be promoted and put at the top of users’ fees when it commands attention. Sometimes an image or video might be the key to catching someone’s attention. Other times, a provocative, engaging, funny, or surprising text will be enough.
Profile Optimization for Maximum Impact
If you don’t have very many followers, it may be hard to get any of your Tweets read in the first place.
Or, you may have a very successful tweet that does not convert into long-term followers (and sales).
This is likely due to some more background work necessary to ensure that Twitter users can both access and trust your brand.
Double-check the following:
Profile Picture – Choose a clear, easily recognizable photo of yourself. This is important because users are well-aware that the internet can be a dangerous place. Having a photo gives users the feeling that you are professional, trustworthy, and, most importantly, a real person.
Header – Choose an image that captures your brand (or personality) in a nutshell. Try to use colors that are easy to view and connect with other marketing materials.
Bio – Less is more, here. Try to be as concise as possible, but clearly state who you are, what it is that you do, and for what company. Try to include the most relevant keywords that describe your sector—this will help your profile show up in search results.
Pin a Tweet – Twitter allows you to select one of your past tweets to remain permanently at the top. This is a good opportunity to place a well-performing tweet with more information about you and your company.
Add a Link – It should be effortless for a user to go from your Twitter page directly to your personal or business website. There are character limits in both bios and pinned tweets, so it may be necessary to use a URL Shortener like TinyURL.
Mention people and hashtags – Often, people will find their way to your profile by discovering your profile on an influencer’s page they already follow. Retweeting, replying, using relevant hashtags, and mentioning people (by username) are all great ways to build interest in your profile and increase followers.
Crafting Shareable Content
What makes great content?
Although some tweets that seem to have little thought or planning will ultimately go viral, the majority follow a formula. Here’s what many have in common:
They are tailored to a specific audience. The Twitterverse is large enough that a tweet on almost any topic can go viral. Rather than trying to write something that anyone and everyone will appreciate, stick to your niche. Use the language and tone you’d use if you were talking to a client in a brick-and-mortar shop or agency.
They are interactive. Often, a quick and easy poll is irresistible. Ask a question that really excites people. You may discover that they don’t just engage with the tweet, but also reply at length.
They are fun. Even when the subject is deathly serious, you’ll find that the most successful tweets are exciting, clever, funny, and surprising. People tend to share tweets that make them feel something.
They require responses. Tweets that ask a specific question, particularly one asking for an opinion on something complex and multifaceted, perform very well. They can result in long conversations which will boost the overall visibility of the tweet.
They add value. Tweets that contain specific tools, advice, articles, and other links are much more likely to be shared and bookmarked than tweets with general information. If you establish yourself as someone who frequently delivers on this front, users will be eager to follow you and each of your posts.
Utilizing Twitter Threads for Storytelling
Regular Twitter users can tweet up to 280 characters at a time, while subscribers can tweet up to 4000 characters. Although more text may sound appealing—more room to add value—it can be a turn-off for Twitter users.
Most users have come to value the brevity that the character limit provides. Who wants to read a wall of text while browsing content on a cell phone or perhaps on a quick break from work?
Still, telling a full story is valuable for building interest in you and your brand.
Often, Twitter users find the middle ground by creating a thread. By breaking what would be a much longer, detailed paragraph into individual, linked tweets, you can keep the user interested and engaged.
Whenever your content is a tutorial, it makes sense to use a Twitter thread. This will allow users to view all the steps in chronological order.
Twitter threads also work well for storytelling content. You can serve your story in easily digestible chunks and encourage users to keep scrolling (which increases your engagement rate, too!)
Plan out your tweets in advance so you can number each tweet 1/10, 2/10, 3/10, etc. This adds a professional visual consistency.
If the thread is about a live event, often users will number them 1/?, 2/?, 3/? . . . until they have a better sense of where the thread is going. Then in the final tweet, they’ll add something like 10/10 or END.
AI tools, like those offered by Postwise, can even help take the pain out of planning and scheduling threads.
Monitoring Competitors and Industry Trends
So far, we’ve focused on the strategies that you are taking with your profile and your content, but it’s important to also take a close look at your competitors and overall trends in your industry.
Make sure to follow all your competitors and the hashtags related to your industry. When a specific hashtag or name trends, it’s important to engage.
This is as simple as retweeting with a short comment, replying to the tweet, or noting the trending hashtag to develop your own tweet.
Pay particularly close attention to your competitor’s most successful (and unsuccessful) tweets. Learning from their mistakes is free! And profitable.
Try to recognize a gap in the Twitterverse. Consider what your competitors and the industry is tweeting about and if you have any unique ways you can add value.
Networking and Engagement with Your Audience
Some professional Twitter users understand much of the advice we’ve discussed so far, and then they simply schedule their Tweets in advance.
They know they need to post a few times a week, at least, for their posts to be recent enough to be viewed. They also know that their post needs to add value and be relevant to their audience.
So they may set up an AI or use the advanced Twitter features to schedule their tweets months in advance. This may work initially, but Twitter users will quickly get tired of influencers who do not engage with them.
Try to check your feed multiple times a day so that you can respond to mentions, retweets, and replies as soon as possible. Try also to join conversations on various diverse subjects—you never know where you may pick up a stray follower.
Or, use some of the advanced features offered by some AI companies. Postwise can automate the process of auto-plugging your product or site, auto-retweet at more favorable times, and even help with idea generation.
Consistency and Scheduling
But don’t get me wrong. Although your schedule should not be your entire Twitter strategy, you should still create a regular posting schedule. And you should stick to it.
You can use automated scheduling tools like Postwise to help you stay on track and develop ideas. Be sure to vary the types of content you are tweeting as well.
In other words, try to spread out the tweets with images and videos, links, articles, polls, etc.
Set a time when most Twitter users are active, adjusting for your own industry. If most of your audience Tweets during the regular office day, try to schedule your posts for that time.
Integrating Individual Tactics into a Cohesive Twitter Growth Strategy
This article has mentioned several individual tactics that may be difficult to manage all at once.
Here are some overall strategies for integrating them:
Use a calendar. You can plan your tweets weeks, even months in advance. Consider dates that are important for your audience—national holidays, conferences and conventions, elections, etc.
Experiment and adjust. Twitter provides metrics on every single tweet. Use these analytics to gauge how well your social media marketing strategy works.
Clean up. Users will often retweet other’s responses to their tweets and even their own old tweets to refresh their placement on users' feeds. This is a smart strategy, but remember to clear out all the clutter from your profile so that it remains easy to navigate.
Use AI. Companies like Postwise have helped to take the guesswork out of scheduling, tweet writing, idea generation, engagement, and more. Test out Postwise with a free 7-day trial.
In this article, we’ve discussed how the Twitter algorithm works and how you can use it to your advantage to improve the visibility of you or your brand’s visibility on social media.
So, hold off on clicking that post button a moment and ask yourself if you’ve missed any key steps to making the post a success. Or, even better, take the guesswork completely out of the equation by signing up for Postwise today and receiving free 120 AI credtis.