Achieving Success on Twitter

Article 5 min
Twitter's mission is to serve the public conversation, so it is publicly available by default. This means you don't need a Twitter account to see tweets and they're readily available for the media to use. Follow these tips to ensure your tweets are leveraged across the entire internet ecosystem.

There is no magic bullet to getting more followers on Twitter. To ensure your content is seen, expand your audience by using consistent best practices and relevant timing.

It is vital that before a crisis strikes, you are a trusted member of the ecosystem, so when you need it most, Twitter is there to get your message out.

Use these best practices to gain a following and establish trust with your audience:

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BEST PRACTICES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS ON TWITTER

Profile

Having a complete profile is essential to establishing your presence. It is the first thing your followers, and potential followers, will see, so make sure it leaves a strong first impression. To set up your profile:

  • Link your official domain website to establish your account as a legitimate source. Do not use a shortened version of your domain name.
  • Write a short bio that includes key terms you want to be picked up by Twitter's search algorithm.
  • Avoid overusing acronyms in your bio and display name because strings of letters may not be included in searches.
  • Select relevant images for profile and header. Change your profile image a few times a year. Your profile image goes out with each of your tweets.

Once your profile is complete, keep it up-to-date. Your profile should be a dynamic space that shows you're tuned in. To connect to trending conversations, update your profile picture, header image, and bio to use relevant hashtags.

If your profile is complete and robust, you should be able to qualify for Twitter's blue badge of verification. Reach out to your POC at the enterprise level to get your Twitter verified.

Relevance

Showcasing authentic and relevant content helps establish trust with your audience. Gaining followers is not about tweeting a certain number of times a day to beat the algorithm. To encourage engagement, produce content that makes your account feel real, relatable and relevant to your audience and current conversations. To be relevant:

  • Tweet when you have something pertinent to say to show you are an engaged member of the community.
  • Showcase content when it connects to conversations that are happening more broadly.
  • Whenever possible, avoid using hyperlinks, which will take your audience away from your tweet. Prevent hindering your audience from engaging with your tweet.
  • Use mobile notifications to keep yourself as a content creator in the know.
  • Push mobile notifications to your audience to inform and instruct your audience to opt-in to stay informed on your tweets.

Conversation

Social media requires being social. To become influential on Twitter, you need to go beyond broadcasting information and use it to engage in conversations on your platform and others. To be conversational:

  • Craft your voice to tweet like humans talk.
  • Convey information with a little personality, without being snarky.
  • Evaluate how many times you are interacting with other users on Twitter. Analyze metrics on how often you are using the tools reply, retweet and like.
  • Use lists to find conversations to join. Create private or public lists to parse out accounts.
  • Invite followers to participate in conversations with you. Use conversational prompts or Twitter Q&As to start a dialogue proactively.
  • Look for relevant conversations to join in on. Journalists tweet regularly throughout the day to stay visible on the platform. Look for creative ways to join that dialog and further your message/mission.

Succinct

When scrolling through the timeline, bite-size messages are easier for the eye to digest. Concise and visually pleasing tweets engage your audience.

  • Use emojis as simple visual call-outs to promote your message and save characters.
  • Use space to break up the dense text. Hit the return key after each sentence to add space.
  • Keep tweets concise. Use under 100 characters when possible.
  • Keep your tweets simple, especially in times of crisis and emergencies.
  • When sharing video content, produce a short enough video that can be played on Twitter, if possible. This will keep your audience on your tweet and not take away your audience's opportunity to engage with you.

Hashtags

Hashtags index keywords and topics that are already happening. Use hashtags strategically to connect to conversations. Use a maximum of three hashtags in a post.

  • Start a hashtag to organize and consolidate information among a group of peers. For example, #KnowYourMil.
  • Join a well-established hashtag. For example, #GoArmy and #SemperFi.
  • Tap into trending conversations, especially during an emergency. For example, #NeverForget and #HurricaneDorian.
  • Use a hashtag in your profile name to make it searchable. For example, Red Cross #HurricaneDorian.

While hashtags can be useful for getting your content seen, they can also be used to leave your content. Isolate these opportunities for users to leave your tweet by limiting hashtags, mentions and links to no more than three per tweet.

Mobile View

When your users are already on a platform, avoid asking them to go somewhere else. Meet people where they are by optimizing your mobile view. To keep your audience on Twitter:

  • Rather than embed from YouTube or another platform, upload videos directly to Twitter.
  • Keep videos under the time limit to be viewed directly on Twitter. This will also help keep users' attention.
  • If your video is too long, you can use Twitter's media studio to upload longer video content. To use media studio, you must enroll at studio.twitter.com.
  • Make sure your images are sized properly to scale.

Frequency

Twitter is rapid-fire, so you could theoretically post every 15 minutes and still not saturate a timeline or upset the algorithm. Twitter is not a numbers game, but you do want to post a few times a day, if possible.

When tweeting, consider:

  • Tweeting whenever you have something to say.
  • Using dynamic content to ensure you're catching the eye of your audience with every tweet.
  • Establishing a battle rhythm to how much content you put on the platform. That rhythm can be adjusted if a crisis or emergency occurs.
  • Providing as many updates during a crisis as needed either as separate tweets or adding to existing tweet threads.

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