Love it or hate it, social media is pretty amazing.
With a few taps of the keyboard and a couple clicks, you can send a message to hundreds or even thousands of interested readers.
What’s even cooler is that anyone can do it. You can start a brand from the ground up on social media today.
Of course, getting your posts or pins or tweets noticed is easier said than done.
In that veritable chorus of chirps, how do you stand out?
Here are ten things to do right now.
Do These 10 Things to Get Your Tweets Noticed Right Now
Just like any other worthy goal, building an engaged network on Twitter takes a little bit of inspiration and plenty of perspiration.
But an engaged network is your key to success. Without one, your tweets will be like the bird that sings in the woods with no one around. (If no one’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?)
Lacking an engaged network? Try doing these 10 things and see how it makes your brand thrive.
1. First, Build Your Content House
Before you even fire off the first tweet, you need to lay some groundwork.
To borrow a term from content marketing, you need to build your content house.
Your content house is your “content base” – it’s the set of topics that you’re an expert on, around which you’ll fashion your content for your Twitter.
It can be tempting to tweet anything and everything, but that’s not a good thing to do. For one, doing that will obscure what your brand is really about.
Having a content house built eliminates a lot of other problems right off the bat. It will:
- Keep your brand focused.
- Be a well of inspiration.
- Make it easier to connect with others in your industry.
- Creates a way for you to promote your products naturally.
2. Create an Activity Schedule
Keeping things consistent is an absolute must – or as Twitter puts it, “a regular cadence of content.”
First, research shows that the average lifespan of a tweet is between 15-20 minutes. Of all social media, it’s the shortest chance you’ve got to engage your audience.
Second, when you’re consistently active, you’re more likely to jump up to the top of the list. Likewise, your audience will know when to come looking for your tweets.
A lot of different opinions out there exist on how frequently you should tweet. In general, do what works for you – though I recommend tweeting and least once daily.
Whatever you do, keep it consistent. Consistency means success.
(PS. Did you know that you can now schedule tweets in advance? You have no excuse for inconsistency.)
3. Start Conversations
Hate to break it to you, but cute doesn’t really cut it anymore when it comes to posting things on social media.
So, ditch cute. Instead, go for conversational.
Social media – especially Twitter – is set up to facilitate conversations. It’s supposed to be a two-way street between members of the community.
Rather than simply sharing some static piece of information, try starting conversations around your topics. Some things you can try:
- Post interesting or unexpected facts, then invite feedback.
- Solicit people’s thoughts or comments.
- Connect with other thought leaders and comment on their posts.
- Tweet questions you receive about your business.
4. Curate Content From Other Thought Leaders
Don’t just share your own content; curate it from others in your field or industry.
This might seem counterintuitive, but there’s a very real advantage to doing so. It reflects well on you and underscores your willingness to engage with the community rather than promoting your own stuff.
It also helps turn your Twitter feed into something of a content hub over time, boosting the value of following it.
It also helps you connect with more people – even potential business partners. (Did you know that Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang and I met over five years ago via a Twitter conversation? She’s now my co-author!)
There’s no fixed rule about what ratio you should have with original and curated content. I try to stick to a 60/40 percent mix, retweeting whatever inspiration or wisdom comes my way:
The best advice I ever got?
People are just people.
Connect with the PERSON behind the company, title or narrative that you’ve created and intimidating you.
— Amanda Goetz (@AmandaMGoetz) March 2, 2021
5. Engage With Your Followers
While we’re on the topic of curating content from other leaders… make sure to engage with your followers, too.
Remember: You are tweeting to connect with your market, not just talk about all the awesome things you’re doing these days.
Research by McKinsey shows that your customers crave recognition. They want to be seen, heard, and understood. Companies that successfully meet these needs see revenues boosted by as much as 20%.
Twitter has lots of features meant to help brands and followers connect. Some of those things include:
- Using @mentions to reach out to followers or customers.
- Responding to your @connects.
- Retweeting others who @mention you.
- Asking your followers for retweets.
6. Get Your Bio on Point
You can tweet and retweet all you want, but if followers are directed to a blank profile?
Profiles are quick to fill out but arguably one of the most important elements of your social media presence. Make yours thoughtful. This means:
- Uploading a relevant profile image, whether that’s your business logo or your smiling face.
- Including a thoughtful header image for users visiting you on mobile.
- Customizing your background theme to signal that you know what’s up with this site.
- Adding relevant links to your other sites in your bio.
- Using relevant hashtags for your company, field, or industry.
7. Create Witty, Original Content
So, you’re striking a balance between retweeting others and posting your own original content. That’s great!
But just like your blog, webpages, and other collateral, your social media writing needs to be on point as well.
You’ve got 280 characters for your next mic drop, so put them to good use.
Of course, you don’t have to use all 280 characters. In fact, you probably shouldn’t unless the situation warrants it. Sprout Social indicates that the ideal tweet length is actually somewhere between 70-100 characters. That’s the equivalent of a 10-to-13-word sentence.
Twitter also has plenty of tips to help business writers craft better tweets. Among these are some bits of common wisdom like:
- Avoid all caps.
- Use percentages.
- Go easy on the hashtags.
- Use business cards instead of URLs.
8. Keep Product and Sales Stuff to a Minimum
Once you’ve built up an audience of interested, engaged followers, it’s time to start pushing all those amazing products and services you have! Right?
Very, very wrong.
The point of Twitter (and other social media) is not to sell. That’s your website’s job.
Instead, your primary focus should be on connecting with the humans on the other side of the screen.
Keep product and sales pushing to a minimum. When I say the minimum, I mean no more than about five percent of your total content.
In fact, if I were to audit my own Twitter feed right now, it’d look something like this:
9. Love the Lingo
Do you know what HT means? What’s the difference between @mention and @[username]?
You don’t need to be versed in the entire Twitter language, but you should have a solid grasp of a few of the most common ones.
Possessing that will allow you to understand interactions better when others use them, as well as signal to your audience that you know what you’re doing with that keyboard.
I’ve used a few of them already, so here’s a quick recap:
- Hat tip. It’s an acknowledgment of a compliment.
- Shorthand for retweet. You’ll see it sometimes like how we used to put RE: on emails.
- @mention. Occurs when a user mentions another. It takes the format: @[username].
- @connect. Refers to your connect tab.
- Direct message.
10. Be Yourself
Last but not least, remember to be yourself.
While it may be tempting to draw up a persona for your brand, remember that your audience is digitally savvy and adept at spotting fakes. They’ll sniff you out in an instant.
Plus, authenticity is the single best way to reveal the human behind the brand. That’s what your audience wants to see, and what will drive them to engage with you.
Bottom Line: Engage Like a Human
The key to success on Twitter is simple – but difficult.
Engage like a human. Build up a network of followers who are connected, present, and active because they follow you… not just one more account.
Your followers crave your authenticity. It’s your job to deliver it to them.
These 10 tips will help you build an online following and become a top tweeter. From knowing your content topics to being yourself, you now know that there aren’t any secrets. Or shortcuts.
Now get out there and start tweeting.
Screenshot taken by author, April 2021
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She’s earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.