If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen that yesterday I posted this:
So the social media news you're waking up to this morning is that Twitter is gonna stop including links & pics in the character limit! 😯🤔📱— Holly (@abranchofholly) May 17, 2016
If you've not heard the news, Twitter has announced that they'll be 'opening up' the character limit. They aren't planning to make huge changes straight away - for now, the plan is to not include links and pictures in the character count.
For many of us, we've seen this coming. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have all made algorithmic changes over the past few months, so it became time for Twitter to do the same.
So in light of this news, naturally a lot of people are going to be talking about this social platform. I know out of all the channels, Twitter is the one that confuses people the most. And as a huge Twitter fan, I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you.
Since I started implementing a strong Twitter strategy, my community has grown dramatically. Now, I get more followers, more mentions and my blog posts get shared more than ever before.
How did I get to this point? It's taken a lot of trial and error, determination and an open mind. Today, I thought I'd share with you some of the best ways that you can grow your Twitter community.
#1 | SHOUT ABOUT IT
When I first started developing an online presence, I used to treat everything separately. I viewed my blog as one thing and my Twitter profile as another. Now I realise that this was a mistake. Because to grow your presence online and get your name out there, you’ve got to make sure that everything is linked together.
The easiest way to do this is to actually let people know that you’re on Twitter. Simple things like including your social icons in your sidebar and linking to your Twitter platform through your other channels is a perfect place to start.
If you shout about the fact that you’re on Twitter, it will work. More people will start finding you and following you. Sure, some people might get fed up of you shouting about it so much, but you’ll find a whole new readership just by putting yourself out there and making your profile easier to be found.
#2 | BE ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY
In the past, I used to think Twitter followers would come easily. Now I realise just how difficult it really is. Twitter is meant for interaction, so if you want to see a big development on there, you’ve got to be active.
Share your links, share other peoples links, share inspiration, ask questions, start a conversation, take part in Twitter chats - go where your readers are hanging out and be yourself with them. This shows that you aren’t on Twitter just to promote yourself - it shows that you care about the community too, and that you want to be a part of it.
Usually, when someone shares one of my blog posts I simply tweet them back saying “thanks so much for sharing!” Now, I’ve changed it so I always ask them a question and it works. Every time I’ve done this it keeps the conversation going which means another loyal member added to my community.
Plus, being active in the community in these ways can help you come up with so many ideas and find other awesome blogs to read. Building relationships plays a huge part in creating a blog that has longevity.
#3 | SHARE UPDATES THAT YOUR READERS WANT TO SEE
Originally, my Twitter feed used to be filled with anything and everything. I shared updates on so many different topics, and always tried to keep up to date with what was popular too. Things have changed a lot since then, including my blog and my Twitter strategy.
Although I would argue that you do have your own voice and you can tweet about anything and still grow your community, I do believe sharing specific updates will help grow your audience. Since I’ve focused on making sure all my Twitter content is motivational, inspirational and educational (based around the topics I blog about) I’ve noticed a huge difference. This is especially true when you’re just starting out.
#4 | CREATE SOLID GOALS
I didn’t used to like setting myself goals and challenges when it came to my blog, but as of this year that changed. Now, I enjoy setting myself things to achieve and working hard to get there. For Twitter, I often set number related goals. By the end of 2015, my aim was to grow my Twitter community to 2000, which I achieved before the end of the year was out. Now, I’m aiming to grow by at least 100 every month.
But as my presence has grown on this platform, my goals have changed. I’m actually more focused on achievements that relate to interaction. These goals aren’t meant to compete with anyone, but rather to set myself milestones to work towards so I know I’m getting further down the path of where I want to be.
This is something that has helped me use Twitter consistently and effectively, which in turn, has really helped to grow my community on this channel.
#5 | DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE COMPARISON TRAP
Focus on you, keep your head down and concentrate on what you’re doing. Everyone starts at zero when it comes to building a Twitter community and we all do it differently. Comparing yourself to other people’s success will only interfere with your own path. “Comparison is the thief of joy” really fits well here. It’s a popular quote, but comparing yourself will just take away the joy you feel at what you’ve already built.
My Twitter platform is my own and I definitely don’t use it to compare myself to people.
#6 | POST CONSISTENTLY AND REMEMBER QUALITY
Your tweets are content. It’s as simple as that. You don’t want to rush when you’re scheduling. It’s important to really pay attention to what you’re posting.
My Twitter community is growing in terms of followers and engagement so I know that’s definitely a strong sign in terms of the content I’m sharing. You want to make sure you’ve got a good mixture of personal tweets, along with sharing your own content and other bloggers content too. Providing all of these different types that your readers will find beneficial is key to growing and maintaining relationships on this channel.
And while you’re thinking about what content to post - (I head to Bloglovin’ and Pinterest for all the links I share) - make sure you’re posting at optimal times too. Not just times when you think your audience is going to be online, like first thing in the morning or in the evening. Find out exactly when they’re online. Find out when they’re most active. I’ve posted a tutorial on how to do this in less than five minutes which you can see here.
#7 | CRITICISE YOUR PRESENCE
I try and maintain the presence of someone on Twitter that I would like to follow. I regularly look back through all the updates I’ve posted and check in with my analytics too and ask, “am I happy with this? Has this helped my personal brand grow this week?”
It’s really important to keep tuned in with what your audience is loving too. Buffer gives you great insights into the tweets your audience loves the most so you can develop an even better strategy to post even more content that they’re going to enjoy. Being self-critical is a strong skill that can lead you onto even bigger things.
AND FINALLY, A FEW QUICK TIPS…
- Use hashtags within your tweets, not just added onto the end like this one:
- Create Twitter lists
- Embed tweets into blog posts like I’ve done with this one! Just click on the three dots on your tweet and click ‘embed’.
- Host a giveaway
- Have fun!
A FINAL NOTE
There’s no magic formula to growing your Twitter community. But the two main things to remember are to engage and reciprocate. If you commit to being social and keep at it, your community will increase. Really, it’s as simple as that.
Let's chat in the comments - are there any other tips you'd like to add to this list? Which one of these will you be trying out first?