8 best practices to grow your Twitter community | A Guide
In the first part of our “Tactics to Grow Your Twitter Following” guide, we shared five essential tips to help you grow your Twitter community. Consistent tweeting, regular engagement, and optimised Twitter profiles play a central role in gaining a footing. To further solidify your position in the Twitterverse, the second part of this guide will provide effective best practices you should follow based on suggestions from 100+ experts.
1. Create tweets that add value
While tweeting regularly and consistently is important, it won’t make a big difference unless your tweets add value to your audience.
“People use Twitter to participate in discussions and consume content that interests them,” says Timothy Woods, Director of Carnivore Style. “Share stuff that is both relevant and valuable,” he advises.
“You can link to your latest promotion or your best work. Whatever it is, it should be high-quality enough that people are willing to follow you to stay informed and get more,” explains Simon Brisk, CEO of Click Intelligence.
According to Michael Hammelburger, CEO of Sales Therapy, “Twitter accounts that focus on a certain subject, problem, or audience will be automatically valued. It makes no difference what your Twitter account's theme is. Every organisation and interest has a sizable account. You have a decent chance of seeing huge growth if you prioritise providing value above all else.”
“Many people are tempted to post every idea they have on social media. Non-brand users may get away with saying they can't pick between coke and lemonade, but brands can't,” explains Rameez Usmani, a digital marketing expert for The Green Pinky. “Brands may give value through entertaining, informing, motivating, or convincing consumers. Providing value in whatever form is critical to content marketing success. Users will return, remain engaged, and most importantly, engage with and click on your tweets.”
“You can't effectively engage with your audience or stand out from the pack unless you post valuable content. So every time you tweet, try to add value,” advises John Marsano, Founder & CEO of Inheritance Advanced. “This involves tweeting highly relevant and informative content…You're in an excellent position to gain more likes, comments, retweets, and follows if you write good tweets.”
According to Melanie Allen, a content developer for Partners in Fire, “Twitter is a platform made for small snippets of content, but that content still needs to be engaging. You can't just post links to your website and expect people to follow, or to even click the link.”
“You need to provide valuable content on Twitter itself,” she adds. “When you do this, not only will your following grow naturally and organically, but your followers will trust you when you post a link to your content off of Twitter, and they are more likely to click any links you post.”
Daniel Gray, SEO and SMM Expert at Market Media Connect, advises sharing your knowledge to create tweets that provide value to your target audience. “Sharing your knowledge and helping the community is the way to go in Twitter success. Most of the successful accounts on Twitter regularly share their knowledge and are active in community as well. So helping and sharing is the way to go,” he explains.
Akram Assaf, Co-Founder & CTO of Bayt, also suggests providing useful tips from thought leaders in the industry. “As we have access to some of the largest companies in the region, we collaborate with them to share useful job tips, interview tips, skills needed, how to land a job, or other value advice that many job seekers/employers can find useful,” he explains.
“This promotes engagement as responses come in and a thread starts. It is also valuable advice that gets many shares and high engagement.”
According to Scott Spivack, Marketing Director of United Medical Credit, “This works because it helps us connect with users who are actually interested in our company. Plus, by educating them with useful information, we evolve as a company that genuinely cares. As a result, we’re able to drive more followers to your Twitter handle.”
Tristan Harris, Demand Generation Marketing Manager for Thrive Agency, adds that your tweets “should be compelling enough that they can bring out different emotions from people – make them laugh, annoyed, angry, whatever it is, as long as it's something that could drive them insane that they would want to either retweet it or reply to your tweet.”
“People will not spend time discussing your content if they do not like it,” explains Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager for Buyer’s Guide. “To get the most clicks, retweets, and likes on Twitter, you must share content that is relevant to your audience.”
“Analyzing your analytics is the best way to discover what your followers enjoy consuming,” he advises. “…Twitter analytics lists your top-performing tweets, giving you an idea of what works best for your specific audience. Take note of the themes and ideas that yielded the best results and share more content along those lines.”
Media psychologist and bestselling author, Elizabeth Lombardo agrees that using Twitter Analytics is a great way to determine what content most appeals to your audience. “Utilise hot topics by visiting the Explore page and using relevant keywords and hashtags for your industry and audience,” she also advises.
“Know what your audience wants, and provide it for them if you want them to follow you,” advises Stacey Kane, Business Development Lead for EasyMerchant. “I use Twitter to post links that will benefit our audience…I make sure each tweet has value and accurately represents the work we do while expanding our content presence. I also post relevant blogs from our company website, adding a personal touch to each article,” she shares her own strategy for EasyMerchant.
Ben Reynolds, CEO and Founder of Sure Dividend, explains the long-term benefits of this strategy, saying, “Even when they aren’t interested in buying your products or services now, it can help maintain their interest, and you can increase the chances of turning them into customers.”
“Delivering content that educates and contains actionable advice for your target audience can help them save more for retirement and invest more wisely,” he explains. “Plus, it's another way to portray your expertise to new and loyal customers.”
2. Curate and retweet
While it’s important to create valuable content to attract more followers, your tweets don’t have to be 100% original. That means you can curate content from other companies, publications, and influential personalities and share them with your followers. Similarly, you can even retweet directly from other Twitter accounts as long as the tweet is relevant and valuable to your audience.
“Content curation is a smart technique to maintain a steady stream of content,” according to Bram Jansen, Chief Editor for vpnAlert. “You'll have a better chance of getting the original creator or author of the content you selected to like, retweet, or comment on your tweet if you tag them.”
“All of this enhances the possibility that your tweet may appear on the timeline of someone who does not follow you but does follow the original creator,” he explains.
According to Shiv Gupta, CEO of Incrementors, “Sharing other people's content is one of the finest ways to demonstrate that you're not all about yourself and that you respect other people's work enough to post it on your own Twitter feed.” He adds, “Curating content is a well-known strategy for a reason: it works. More than half of marketers that curate content say it has improved their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, online traffic, and buyer engagement.”
“This curated content is a wealth of engagement opportunities,” explains William Cohen, Founder of My GRE Exam Prep. “Directly support the author of the article or the publishing blog by mentioning their Twitter account in the tweet. Some of them will eagerly retweet your tweet, giving you extra reach and interaction,” he suggests.
Like Michel Fortin, director of search at Seoplus+, you can use a platform like Feedly to discover relevant content that might be worth sharing. Michael says that she’s subscribed to over 2,000 blogs and newsletters on Feedly. “I prioritise them according to topics and keywords found in the feeds. I go through them regularly and, when I stumble across something I like and want to share, I share it either directly from Feedly, using a Chrome extension, or by tagging the piece in a way that queues it automatically for insertion...”
Beyond content curation, “simple” retweets are also a great way to share valuable content with your audience. According to Adam Fard, Founder & Head of Design for Adam Fard' UX Agency, retweeting other people’s content is a simple method to engage your audience. It’s another way to engage with other people’s material and build solid relationships with them.
Seoplus+ regularly retweets content from other accounts.
“If you come across excellent material on Twitter, post it there and, if feasible, tag the brand or person who produced it; they'll appreciate it, and some of your users will as well,” suggests Mike Chappell, Founder of FormsPal LLC. “Sharing links that you think are helpful but not your own can inspire others to pay greater attention to what you're saying. Even better, it may help you develop connections with your users and other industry experts whose material you're sharing, with the possibility that they'll share your stuff in return.”
“As an additional benefit, this may…boost interaction and drive more traffic and new people to your site,” he adds.
Hamna Amjad, Community Manager of Efani says, “Support other people in your industry by sharing their work and tagging them in it. This will put you on their radar and they’ll gladly return the favour in most cases, which will give you exposure to their followers.”
Curtis Lawson, Managing Editor for Project Gunner, explains, “This is something you should do early and frequently. I'm highlighting retweeting as an example of interaction because it demonstrates that you not only like their material enough to verify it, but you also value it enough to spread it.”
“Psychologically, reciprocity is a crucial factor in why others choose to follow and interact with you. Because it will spread your information to that user's audience, retweeting may be one of the most effective forms of interaction you can receive on a post,” he adds. “By retweeting and sharing your users' material first, you'll have a far greater chance of getting them to retweet and share your own.”
“One of the best ways to consistently gain attention and garner more followers is by helping people out and sharing their stuff,” agrees Eden Cheng, Co-Founder of PeopleFinderFree. This can often be an effective strategy because it does well to help you cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. The more you retweet, like, and comment on other people's posts, the more you help them gain visibility and the more likely they are to follow you back and also help you out.
3. Make it actionable
Sometimes, you might get people engaging with your tweets and retweeting them out of their own free will. Other times, a gentle nudge may be necessary to get more retweets and attract more followers. This is why you should make your tweets actionable and directly ask your followers to retweet.
“The more people who retweet your posts, the more others will see them. So to do this, try asking your followers to retweet your tweets, in order to focus on publishing relevant and interesting tweets,” says Dean Scaduto, Chief Editor of Kitchen Infinity. “Simply asking for a retweet can increase your retweets by up to four times. Many of your followers will gladly help; just don't ask every time you send out a new tweet,” he advises.
Jerry Han, CMO of Prize Rebel, agrees that giving your audience something to act upon is a great way to capitalise effectively. “How can you drive users to take an action, such as leaving a like, writing a comment, or simply sharing a tweet out? Give them a reason to do so.”
“One tactic we like to employ at PrizeRebel is offering limited-time promo codes for people to scoop up and use,” he shares what’s worked for the company. “No matter what your business sells, giving your customer something to take away is nothing short of a Twitter growth hack. Here's why: after seeing tweets like these, users are more likely to follow your account so they can find and use even more discount codes and offers in the future.”
He further explains, “The net positive is that they're more likely to see your other tweets and encounter your business more regularly. The more exposure they receive, the more trust they'll develop in what you do. Eventually, leads will be motivated to sign up to your service, and existing customers will be ready to further their commitment.”
4. Keep an eye on the competition
Your competitors could also hold the key to successful Twitter growth. So make sure you keep an eye on them to see what’s working for them and how you can replicate their strategies.
Amber Morland, CEO & Founder of WinCope suggests that you “examine how many followers they have and who they are, as well as how often and what they tweet.” She recommends getting answers to questions like – How does their profile appear? What kind of content do they post that receives the most attention, and how do they reply to their competitors or customers?
“To get on their radar, follow them and retweet their material. This stage is also important for people who want to learn how to get more Twitter followers,” suggests Ravi Patel, Founder & CEO of Job Alert.
“Following our competitors and keeping track of their target audience has helped us increase our followers,” adds Sandeepan Jindal, Founder of BidFortune.
5. Make the most of visual content
Visual content rules on most social media platforms, and Twitter is no different. Images and videos have the advantage of being able to stand out among a wall of text. So it’s no surprise that the experts we talked to also recommended leveraging visuals in your Twitter strategy.
“Twitter is a lot of small scripts, so adding media into your post will likely draw more eyes to it,” explains Karl Hughes, Founder of Draft.dev. The Draft.dev team follows this advice and regularly shares original graphics with quotes from their writers.
“Don’t just share links, text, or quotes in your tweets. Share high-quality images or short videos to grab your audience’s attention. People are more like to engage with your posts if they are visually attractive,” explains Hamna Amjad of Efani. “In fact, tweets with visual content get 150% more retweets than tweets without visual media.”
Hamna suggests using Canva to create graphically enhanced headers and images for your tweets.
“You can easily create a text-focused tweet, but uploading images [is] the best way to grab audience attention on Twitter. The audience is more likely to follow you if they find high-quality, engaging, and entertaining content on your page,” agrees Tim Clarke, Director of Sales for SEOblog. “In addition, attaching a variety of visuals and videos will make your content more appealing and memorable.”
“My best advice for growing your Twitter following is to share more visual content,” says Isabella Gordan, Co-Founder and Editor of Sleepys Express. “Tweets with visual content earn a higher number of likes, shares, and retweets than those without.”
“As such, marketers should make an effort to accompany their tweets with an image. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with tweets that are entirely text-based, graphics are better positioned to halt serial scrollers and entice them to read your content,” she explains.
“You can add infographics or make video content. In this generation, memes and GIFs relevant to your post are also appealing to viewers. Whether you're seeking to educate or entertain your audience, adding visual content to your feed can help attract new followers,” suggests Isabella.
“Using engaging media such as pictures, videos, and GIFs works wonders in increasing engagement,” agrees Scott Spivack of United Medical Credit. “This increases organic engagement and helps us get more eyes for our posts. With decreasing attention span, visual content works best in getting noticed. That’s because it’s more engaging and easier to understand, something that streamlines the experience for users.”
6. Keep it brief
Twitter’s strict (and often limiting) restrictions on tweet character counts are well known. But some experts believe that you don’t even have to make use of all 280 characters because brevity is a boon on the platform.
“Considering the type of content that goes around Twitter, short content is the best suitable format for this app. Brief tweets have often, to put it in the Twitter language, ‘banged’ among the audience,” says Christian Velitchkov, Co-Founder of Twiz LLC.
Short messages accompany many of the retweets on the Audiense Twitter account.
“Because Twitter limits our tweets to 280 characters, we're all compelled to keep them short…This is difficult enough, but restricting our postings even more may boost engagement,” explains Jennifer Foster, Managing Editor of Authority Astrology. “According to various sites and statistics, the sweet spot for the number of characters for shareable tweets, including hashtags and user tags, is between 80 and 110 characters, particularly if you want to boost retweets.”
“When your tweets are between 80 and 110 characters long, they're more likely to provide value in whatever form you're looking for (entertainment, information, or sharing an opinion) while still being short enough for people to retweet them,” Jennifer adds.
7. Share your Twitter profile everywhere
Another best practice is to make sure that people who know you from other places can easily follow you on Twitter. That means cross-promoting your Twitter account through other social media channels, sharing it on your website, and more.
“Don’t forget to utilise followers you may have on another platform by sharing your Twitter handle cross-platform. Place your Twitter handle into as many places as you can,” suggests Karl Hughes of Draft.dev.
“My best tip for growing your Twitter following is to advertise your @name wherever possible,” agrees Jennifer Harder, Founder & CEO of Jennifer Harder Mortgage. “Never be scared to promote your brand in front of as many people as possible,” she suggests. “Include a follow button on your website, link to your Twitter profile in your email signature and newsletters, and advertise it on offline collateral such as business cards or menus.”
8. Use hashtags strategically
Hashtags are to Twitter what keywords are to Google; they help improve your tweet visibility. And when people come across your content when searching certain hashtags, they could end up following your account. So it’s important that you know how to make the most of them in your Twitter marketing strategy.
“While you follow the rules of tweeting frequently and retweeting content, make sure you also utilise the hashtags which is pretty much in the same way that we do for Instagram. A strong hashtag game can help you promote your content efficiently,” advises Content Dog Founder, Hilda Wong.
Notice the strategic use of hashtags in our tweet below.
“Looking for popular hashtags that meet your editorial goal and including them in your tweets is the best approach to use hashtags,” explains Steve Pogson, Founder & Ecommerce Strategy Lead of First Pier. “When you use hashtags to engage your followers, your tweets will be seen by audiences who are interested in the hashtag, increasing your reach.”
“Use the trending and relevant hashtags tweets to get your content in front of new, interested people,” suggests Hamna Amjad of Efani. “Use a tool such as Hashtagify to find and optimise hashtags.”
“Think a lot about hashtags,” agrees Kristen Dole, Director of Growth at NowADays. “You can identify which ones are the most popular in order to draw more people to your account, and you could also start new and innovative hashtag trends,” she suggests. “Put a lot of thought into this and make sure that your hashtag ideas would be both catchy and relatable.”
Kristen shares her agency’s own experience of utilising hashtags. “We actually helped TikTok when we worked with them by making #TikTacos trend on Twitter. This hashtag ended up with over 500,000 views,” she says.
Rima Shah, Head of Digital Marketing at Technostacks Infotech, also suggests that you “use relevant hashtags as people using that hashtag will mostly read your tweet, [increasing your] chances of visibility.” She advises, “But remember to not overstuff the tweet with a hashtag but use 3 to 4 max in a tweet for an impactful experience.”
Start building your Twitter community
From creating highly valuable tweets to retweeting relevant content and using hashtags strategically – there’s a lot that you can do to grow your community on Twitter. Of course, you also have to see what the competition is doing so you can replicate their strategies and make them work for you.
To further boost your efforts, make the most of the Audiense Connect Twitter marketing platform. This will help you understand your audience better with robust community analysis and advanced social listening features. Sign up for Audiense Connect today and grow your Twitter marketing efforts.