Twitter is definitely the fastest-moving social media platform in the mix.
Given that 59% of users regularly get their news from the platform, it’s an incredible place for brands to spend time.
Twitter isn’t just a place to share information about your business; it’s a place to connect with others, contribute to conversations and showcase your expertise online.
One of our favorite ways to show up with our brand is to utilize Twitter Chats; we believe they are one of the fundamental features/characteristics of Twitter that set the channel apart from the rest of the social media suite such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
Why Twitter Chats Rock:
We love Twitter Chats because they are such an amazing way to grow your network and meet new people, learn about your industry and contribute your insight.
Participating in these chats is such a valuable way to create community because they are truly all about generating meaningful discussion around a specific topic.
Regardless of industry, we can almost guarantee there is a Twitter Chat you could join... and if not, starting your own is a great way to establish your brand authority. You’ll meet amazing people in your field AND learn along the way.
Two of our favorite Twitter Chats we’ve been making a point to tune into as often as possible are:
- Christine Gritmon’s #ChatAboutBrand which takes place at 12 pm EST on Tuesdays
- Madalyn Sklar’s #TwitterSmarter chat, which takes place at 1 pm EST on Thursdays
The chats are pretty self-explanatory in their titles. Christine’s chat is about building a brand and Madalyn’s is about getting smarter on Twitter. Both women host their chats weekly and feature different expert guests during each chat.
How Does it Work?
Twitter Chats are typically scheduled for 1 hour in length. They are all centered around a specific topic, leveraging a key hashtag, which is used for both branding the chat AND tracking the conversation happening.
During the hour, the host kicks things off with a welcome and dives into questions. Sometimes there are 5 questions for the entire chat, sometimes 10. It depends on the host’s style and the particular flow of the show.
What makes a Twitter Chat successful? >> Sharing value and creating meaningful engagement with the community.
ANYONE on Twitter is welcome to participate in a Twitter Chat; just use the hashtag and start following along with the conversation and answering the questions, or replying to others' responses, and sharing your insight into the topic at hand.
We find that Twitter Chats are SUCH welcoming places; we have met so many amazing individuals by contributing to chats, so it’s something to check out.
Now that we understand the gold mine of chats, let’s dive into the 10 best practices for using Twitter like an expert.
Using Twitter like an Expert:
Here are our top 10 tips to start using Twitter like an expert.
Following these 10 best practices will help you feel more confident and enable you to use the platform to drive awareness for your brand and build relationships.
Polish your Profile:
Just like with every social media platform, the first step to rocking your Twitter account is to optimize your profile. This means having a great profile photo AND cover photo. For individuals, your profile picture should be your headshot or an image of you that speaks to your personality and character - something your audience will recognize as authentically you. For brands, your logo should be leveraged here.
The cover photo is prime real estate, use it in a creative way to showcase your brand identity and what you’re all about. Whether you make a beautiful design that speaks to your core message OR create a promotional graphic to show something exciting happening, you want to take advantage of the cover photo.
Pro tip: if you’re adding any kind of text to the cover photo, be smart about where the text is placed in the graphic so that your message doesn’t get cut off on the mobile or desktop layouts of the app.
For instance, Madalyn Sklar, a leading Twitter expert, has a fantastic profile. Her cover photo is informative, she uses a great headshot and her bio speaks to exactly who she is, the value she provides, and how you can tap into what she’s offering.
Not only does optimizing your profile mean adding the correct imagery, but it means completing the bio using hashtags, highlighting key events and websites. Ideally, your bio has a hashtag in it. Not to mention, you can jump into your settings to refine topics to include those relevant to you and your industry.
Another tip? >> Make sure that your analytics are enabled! (We'll dive more into analytics later.)
Because of the fast-moving nature of the platform, it’s important to Tweet often to be seen as a brand or individual - it's easy to get lost in the noise of the Twitter feed.
While there are so many guidelines you can follow regarding the best times and types of content to post, you truly won't know what to post until you get started. We recommend tweeting often; this will help you benchmark your data to see what your audience resonates with and responds to.
Goldie Chan, a well-respected industry expert, is someone who you can always count on to be tweeting daily with the goal of making others feel good.
Goldie’s tweets seem to always put a smile on our faces and inspire us to make the best of a situation. She infuses her personality into her content, shares tons of photos, and has a feed that keeps us coming back for more.
Engage MORE Often:
While tweeting is essential, you want to spend more time engaging with others. Engagement on the platform is critical to creating a sense of community and building relationships with people on Twitter.
This is why we stressed Twitter Chats earlier; chats are an amazing place to start engaging on the platform. The structure of the chat will help you stay focused on contributing in a meaningful way, and it’s something you can block off on your calendar to do every single week.
The consistency of showing up and engaging with others will be how you truly become known, liked, and trusted on the platform.
Christine Gritmon truly walks the walk when it comes to spending time engaging on Twitter. She is active on the platform daily and is constantly chiming in and responding to others’ tweets with a TON of value.
Christine’s belief: you should spend way more time engaging than posting, and her following is proof of that being an incredibly impactful strategy.
Stay Up-to-Date with New Features:
New functionality is being introduced seemingly daily within the platform.
“Twitter Spaces is high-quality audio functionality, and it’s a great way to have intimate conversations. You don’t even have to participate, you can just listen in on conversations happening and get value!” @madalynsklar (click to tweet)
Twitter tips are the newest ways for creators to monetize and as a creator, it's a no-brainer to set this up so that you give your audience the chance to pay you for your content!
Why ONLY post content for free when there's a chance that someone in your audience might want to send you some money to THANK you for your content!?
Brain Fanzo is an incredible example of a creator who always stays up-to-date with what’s happening in the industry.
Not only is he a leader in the space for leaning into NFTs and Crypto, but you’ll see he has his Twitter Tip Jar enabled, making it super easy for his fans to send him money for the content and value he's sharing.
Share a Variety of Valuable Content:
One of the best ways to stand out on Twitter expertly is to share a variety of valuable content on the platform.
Ideally, you’re using Twitter to share links to blog posts (both ones that you write AND others within the industry,) industry news and company updates. You want to make a point to share links, status updates/plain text, photos, AND videos. You can also create audio tweets.
Creating a variety of content will be a fantastic way to appeal to a large audience because everyone has their preferred style for content consumption. Diversifying your content mix will also keep your feed engaging, and you’ll get so much insight into your audience and what they care about most.
We love what our friends' Wholesome Media are doing on Twitter. They actively participate in Twitter Chats, have an awesome video tweet sharing who they are and what they do pinned to their profile, AND they share a variety of content. The Wholesome team shares articles about industry news, chime into meaningful discussions surrounding social media marketing AND humanizes their account by sharing personal snapshots as well, like this cute photo from their trip to Hawaii in February 2022.
Dive into Analytics:
Smart social media marketers understand the importance of using data to make decisions.
That’s why you want to spend time in Twitter Analytics. This free resource will give you so much insight into your audience and the types of content they're responding to. Analyzing trends you're seeing with your content can help you build a strategy to propel your brand forward >> refining your content mix, the tone of voice that best resonates with your audience, and when you should be tweeting.
Brie Anderson is a data rockstar that will inspire you to up your game regarding all things analytics. We love this tweet from Brie that uses a poll to get feedback from her audience. Not only is this a great way for her to engage her audience and show them that she cares, but it helps her learn meaningful information about how she can best serve them.
Analytics are only powerful when you translate the data into actionable next steps. Brie truly walks the walk when it comes to analyzing and executing.
Use Retweet with Comment:
One of the best ways to contribute to meaningful conversations is to utilize the "Retweet with Comment" functionality. Sure, a retweet is nice, but you can take your content to the next level by retweeting and then adding your specific spin to whatever it is you’re sharing.
We love using this feature when engaging in Twitter Chats because it’s a great way to provide more context.
By retweeting with a comment, we have the ability to show the question being asked, INSIDE of our answer tweet, which makes it all the more meaningful for our followers.
This tweet from author Michelle MiJung Kim is a perfect example of the value of doing the RT with comment. Without the quote tweet, we wouldn’t have the context for Miranda Hart’s eloquent tweet to understand Michelle’s reply. Through the RT with a comment, Michelle adds her unique perspective on the topic and why it’s meaningful to her.
Use Twitter Lists:
Every Twitter expert will tell you that Twitter Lists are one of their favorite features to stay organized on the platform.
“My Social Media Smarties list is cool people in social media It’s a great way for me to see what my peers are talking about and whether there’s a conversation happening that I want to jump into.” @madalynsklar (click to tweet)
Twitter Lists let you organize accounts by grouping them and naming them. Lists allow you to create smaller feeds within your feed, which help cut down on information overload.
Here are some amazing ideas for Twitter Lists that you can create today:
- Industry leaders: Make a list of all of the leaders in your industry. This will be a great way to find new information that you want to learn.
- Loyal customers: Up the ante on your engagement by making a list of all of your most engaged followers or customers. Open this list and take time to respond to their tweets and start conversations with them. (You’ll want to make this list private.)
- Competitors: Another private list you’ll love to tap into is one of your competitors. It makes doing competitive research a breeze!
These are just a few ideas to get you started because the possibilities are endless for how impactful lists can be in helping organize your feed and curate the experience on the platform.
Twitter lists allow you to curate your feed and keep people top of mind, AND see what lists YOU are on. This is something worth looking into, as Jessika was able to see that she’s on Twitter lists for “2021 Marketers to Follow,” “SMMW22 Speakers,” and “Social Media Pros” to name a few. These are lists worth checking out for Jessika to find other people to follow on the platform.
Tap into the Power of Search:
One of Twitter’s biggest assets is the power of its search functionality. Not only can you find amazing Twitter Chats to contribute to, but you can find people to follow and even potential customers.
For instance, try searching for the pain point that your product or service solves. You’ll stumble upon thousands of tweets in the area, which you can start to chime in on discussions, answer people’s questions and solve their problems, and bam, you’re generating a list of leads.
The reason why Twitter Search is so powerful is that for any term that you search, the platform pulls the most relevant/top tweets, the latest tweets, people/accounts associated with that search term, photos, and videos.
Using Twitter Search is a great way to research to see what people are saying about your brand and find new accounts to follow.
Create a Branded Hashtag:
One of the smartest brand tips that all of the experts follow is to create a branded hashtag. Even if you don’t plan to start a Twitter Chat, it’s important to have a hashtag for your brand.
This can be used to see the conversation happening about you online AND drive some user-generated content. It’s a great way to see all the tweets about your brand that don’t tag your Twitter handle. Not to mention, branded hashtags are amazing for tracking metrics around brand-centric campaigns.
Your hashtag is a great element to include in your bio as a way of driving engagement and showing that you’re a brand that is all about building relationships.
Winnie Sun is the queen of rocking a branded hashtag. She uses the hashtag #WinnieSun for her weekly Twitter Chat and has been used more than 1 billion times! She is an amazing example of someone who understands the power of consistency and creating community.
Putting It All Together:
Twitter can be an amazing tool to help you grow your personal brand and make valuable connections with people worldwide.
But, like any other social media platform, it takes time and effort to see results. By following these top 10 tips, you'll be well on your way to building relationships and driving awareness for your brand.
We’d love to hear from you!
What do you love most about Twitter? Who do you love to follow on the platform? What chats do you participate in?
Share with us below!