The fundamental rules of content market apply to Tweets too. People are looking for content that will entertain them or add value to their lives. So, your Tweets should do this.
People do not want to be sold to. Tweets that are solely a sales message will lose you followers. Pure sales messages are best avoided.
Relevant keywords will get you found by the right audience.
You should already know the important keywords that people use to find your business on the search engines. Use some of these keywords in your Tweets.
People use Twitter to keep up with current events, so use any current event keywords that may be relevant.
E.g. if you sell running shoes, your Tweets could contain "London Marathon".
Focus on the quality of your Tweets, rather than quantity of Tweets, and you will get better results.
Make your Tweets engaging. This means they are entertaining or useful.
Your profile should give people the reasons to follow you. Give a brief statement of what you're all about, some of your key interests (and maybe hashtags you like using) and let them know your websites.
A profile photo of you will get you more followers. Alternatively, use a strong image such as your brand logo.
The current Twitter profile photo recommended size is 400 x 400 pixels.
Use a sharp, high quality image. Any image you use should also be effective at a small size, as that's how it will appear in user timelines.
You could use a graphics package to add text to the image, but make the very large so it remains readable when the profile image is displayed at a small size.
Twitter offers you some design customisation features. It's worth the effort to make your Twitter page look good.
If you go into Twitter Settings you'll see a Design option where you can choose themes or colours.
Keep things relatively simple but nicely colour co-ordinated but don't go over the top.
Your profile and branding should be inspirational.
People will only follow you if you are going to add value to their lives.
Inject some personality into your Twitter, and make yourself distinctive in some way.
Three important attributes for marketers are Relevance, Reach and Resonance.
Follow relevant companies, influencers and like-minded individuals, and make relevant Twitter Lists, so you tune your Twitter in to a specific market.
Retweet other influencers in your sector. The Retweets help them and will get you noticed.
People engage more strongly with images than they do with text.
For Twitter marketers, this means you should use an image with your Tweet as often as you can.
A huge amount more information can be conveyed much more quickly by images than by text.
Get yourself as good a camera as you can afford and start taking photos, it's fun after all! Your smartphone may be good enough, or to take photography more seriously, buy a proper camera. Canon and Nikon are good brands.
Photography is not hard, just start take a lot of photos and some of them will be good!
Stock photos are better than nothing, but many stock photos are a cliché and look rather tacky. It's much better to use your own photos if possible.
Build up a library of your own photos and you'll soon have lots to use with your Tweets. If your photos are good enough, you may also be able to sell them on stock photography sites for an additional source of income.
Use photos with people's faces in if possible, as these will get more attention. Cute animal pictures also work well.
Hashtags can help your Tweet be seen by the right audience.
Make a list of hashtags that you commonly see being used in your target market, and experiment with them. For example, some of the hashtags I have most success with are:
People are out there clicking on these hashtags because they want to learn how to build a business, be successful and make money, it's as simple as that. So, include relevant hashtags and you'll find your audience faster.
Don't overuse hashtags. Two hashtags will usually suffice. You need a good reason to use three or more hashtags as your Tweet then starts to look spammy and you risk putting people off.
Nowadays, TV programmes often display hashtags in order to promote Twitter participation in a new era of social TV. If you feel the hashtag is relevant to your business objectives, then get involved and Tweet using it. Your Tweets are then likely to benefit from higher exposure. Just make sure you have something of relevance to offer with your Tweet, and don't just jump on the hashtag for the sake of it.
Pay attention to the trending hashtags, and use them if relevant to your business.
Note you can configure which Trends you see, as shown below.
Once you've used a hashtag in your Tweet, you can click on it to find other people's Tweets that use this hashtag. When you find other Tweets relevant to your business, then favourite them. This will help get you noticed by potential new followers.
This might be stating the obvious, but you'll have more success on Twitter if you deliver something of value to people. To get people to notice your Tweet, think about what you might be able to give away for free. When you are mostly trying to market products to people with your Tweets, throw in a few other Tweets that purely add value, e.g. this Tweet on the LowPrices.co.uk shopping site is giving people advice on web marketing, and four people have favourited it so far:
Using a large and unusual number, in this case 49, conveys value and gets people's attention. This "numbered" technique is now a mainstay of internet marketing.
Note, I've used my own photo of a frog, which is a bit out of the ordinary and will help to get the Tweet attention.
People want to know about new things on Twitter, so that's where your focus should be. New products, new techniques, new stories etc. If you are talking about things early, you are more likely to be telling your followers about it for the first time; thus you are novel and interesting, and you will get more engagement.
Heat-maps have shown that links get many more clicks when they are closer to the beginning of the Tweet (Source). I haven't tried doing this myself yet, but I can believe it works. My general rule of web marketing is the more you can put a link right in front of people's noses, the more they click on it. Give prominence to your links, and you get more clicks, so try putting your links earlier in your Tweets, I'm going to.
A widely held opinion regarding web marketing is that it is best to market to niches, and it is definitely helpful to focus your Twitter activity on a particular niche. People are only going to follow you if they see that most of your Tweets are of interest to them, and they may unfollow you if too many of your Tweets are outside of their interests.
If you want to Tweet about many different niche topics, then consider opening further Twitter accounts and keeping each one focused on an individual topic. It's not against the Twitter Terms of Service to operate multiple accounts, providing you don't routinely post the same Tweets to all your accounts.
If you're going to have a Twitter account for your business, don't forget about it! The simple act of Tweeting more often should improve the results you get from Twitter, and a neglected Twitter account does not look good.
There is likely to be scope for you to Tweet much more often than you do at the moment. For example, if you currently Tweet once daily, step it up to five times daily.
When going through your e-mail inbox, see if you can make a few quick Tweets out of what you are reading. You probably get hundreds of business related e-mails a day; rather than just file all of them, if one sparks an idea, try and make a Tweet out of it.
Tweets have a fleeting existence. They won't be in your followers timelines for long, and a large proportion of your followers are likely to miss a particular Tweet of yours. I will therefore often re-use a particular Tweet if it's still useful for my followers.
Social media management software Hootsuite makes it easier to re-use Tweets, as you can save a copy of it for re-use.
If you want a visitor to take a particular action, it helps a lot to use a call to action. Calls to action that are know to work well on Twitter include:
- Please help
- Please retweet
- Please RT
- Please ...
- Visit ...
If you can't think of what to Tweet about, then try some of the below topics that are recognised to work well:
- Humour and Jokes. Everyone likes good humour, just keep it good-natured.
- Good photographs. As said earlier, getting your camera out can pay dividends for your Twitter account. There are many types of photos that will get you engagements, e.g. inspiring, artistic, humourous, beautiful scenery, unusual events, cute animals etc. Instagram is a big competitive threat to Twitter simply because it focuses on photos, which people find more rewarding to consume.
- Quotes from famous people.
- Motivational statements. People love these, I certainly do. They can give you a lift when you are flagging. Just look at the many Motivation themed Twitter accounts with big follower numbers. The Tweet will do even better if you combine it with a good photo.
- Random/unusual facts. When you hear an interesting fact, make a note of it and then Tweet it out later. people love them. If you can illustrate it with a photo then all the better.
- Science facts.
- Controversial Tweets. This is not my style, but controversial Tweets will get you noticed.
- Business tips. People are always keen to hear ways they can improve their business and make more money.
- Life hacks. People are always interested to hear little tips that make their lives easier in some way.
An obvious but effective tip. When you are on Twitter, look to see how many followers your competition has. If they are doing well, look at the type of Tweets they are making, and ask what you could do to replicate that in your own Tweets.
There are optimum times to post to Twitter in order to reach your target audience. Exact peak times will vary according to your particular audience, but it's worth doing some research to establish what the peak time for your audience is, and then Tweeting more during this time.
Generally speaking, a good time to post on Twitter is Mon-Thurs 1-3pm.
Promote other people's stuff where you can. Retweeting your followers will provide content for your Twitter account and get you noticed by those you Retweet. Help other people out and they're more likely to help you out. It's karma.
When a famous person has a product to push, identify it early, and start talking about it on Twitter with a high quality product image. If you are lucky, that said famous person might retweet you. Make sure you include @famousperson in your Tweet so they have a chance of seeing the Tweet. This has worked for me a few times, and like me you'll probably be surprised by the size of the boost in impressions it can give you.
I am aware that running a Twitter Competition is a popular technique to increase your follower numbers, but I've never tried it myself. Akin to bribery, this gives people a real incentive to follow you, and is therefore likely to work in terms of getting your follower numbers up. However, you are likely to attract the professional Twitter compers brigade, so how valuable your new followers will be long term is questionable.
Twitter Analytics for your account is available at:
The data provided here quickly tells you what is resonating with your audience. If you are marketing offers in your Tweets, then Twitter Analytics data will show you engagements and you can gain insight into which offers are of interest to people.
A cool feature of Twitter Analytics is that it tells you the major interests of your followers, just click on the Followers menu item. Below are the Followers interests for my @accx account. This gives you an idea of what hashtags might be appreciated by your audience.
Another cool feature is that you can Export your Twitter Data for analysis in Excel; just go to the Tweets menu and use the Export data button in the top right of the screen.
Social media software can make Tweeting easier. I use Hootsuite and this allows me to easily schedule Tweets and re-use Tweets.
There are many more Twitter Tools available, I am not familiar with all of them, but Lilach Bullock has a list of the Top 101 Twitter Tools of 2016.
Be careful with bursts of activity on Twitter, as multiple Tweets in a very short space of time can annoy some followers and result in unfollows.
For public Tweets, don't start them with @PersonName, as that will only be seen by @PersonName. Get round this by using a word in front, e.g. Hey @PersonName, or often you see punctuation, e.g. .@PersonName.
I hope these Twitter tips have been useful, and good luck with your Tweeting!
101 Top Twitter Tools of 2016 from Lilach Bullock
About the Author
Mr Accelerator is a British internet entrepreneur, whose interests include web marketing, affiliate marketing, domain names, startups and bitcoin. You can follow him on Twitter @accx.
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