Why Twitter is the best social media channel for audience growth

If you’re looking for audience growth on social media, Twitter is one of *the*, best social media channels for marketers.

Despite Twitter rebranding themselves as a news outlet, the platform is still a very powerful and popular social media channel.

Due to the power of Twitter’s in-platform search engine, the platform makes it very easy to connect with others across the same industry and/or interest categories.

Through using hashtags and keywords in your bio, you make it easier to become found through Twitter search.

In fact, Twitter’s search engine is so powerful that (unlike Instagram’s) you don’t even have to use hashtags to discover the people you are looking for. 

Twitter’s search function processes 2.1 billion search queries a day; so, it’s safe to say that people are constantly looking for others (hashtags, individuals, lists, etc) to connect to on the platform.

The recent decision by Twitter to rebrand themselves as a news outlet makes sense, as Twitter is often the first channel that news outlets go to publish breaking news; it’s also the first channel that individuals go to find breaking news.

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I recently watched Neal Schaffer‘s Social Media Marketing World session on Twitter.

During the session, he shared five best practices that, regardless of your industry, can be used to grow your audience and engagement on Twitter: 

  1. Think like a radio station: Your content shouldn’t be 100% promotional. Use Twitter to deliver value to your audience by curating and sharing high-quality content from influencers and other reputable sources in your industry. For every 10 tweets you send, Neal recommends that 9 be “other people’s value” and 1 be a promotional link sending people to your website. By spacing out your promotional content, you make it more likely that your Twitter followers will know, like and trust you. Before posting content, think about your audience and what they would like and share.
  2. Own your hashtag: You want to make a hashtag for your brand or business that can be used throughout your various promotions and campaigns. By using your content repeatedly, you’ll gain more awareness about it. Take a look at other hashtags being used by people in your industry to decide which hashtags you’ll use repeatedly as a part of your content marketing strategy. There are tons of tools out there such as Twitonomy, Edgar and/or eClincher that can help you publish content according to specific hashtags or categories.
  3. Databasing: By using Twitter lists, you can start to use Twitter as a database to store all of your contacts and segment your various audiences. Twitter lists allow you to segment your different customers, competitors or industry influencers into different groups. Twitter lets you make 1,000 lists with 5,000 people each. Some list ideas to consider: competitors, industry influencers, customers, sources of industry info and/or media outlets. Making your lists public is a great way to drive further engagement on Twitter; just be sure to name the lists wisely, as other people will be able to see them. A good idea when creating a list of influencers is to use “influencers” in the name; this makes people feel special when being added to the list.
  4. Become an influencer: The best way to grow your influence on Twitter is to engage regularly. By following, favorite, replying, direct messaging and retweeting, you will grow your influence and audience on the platform. Again, adding people to your Twitter lists will help you grow your status as an influencer, as high-quality public lists will start to be following by others. Another tip to grow your influence is to regularly share content from other influencers.
  5. Use the DM: There is a lot of power to using Twitter’s direct message function. However, you don’t want to do what I see a ton of other marketers doing: create generic automation. Don’t send everyone that follows you a generic, promotional DM. That’s likely going to turn them off. However, when you can make messages relevant and personalized, you have the ability to use direct messaging to create a real relationship with others on Twitter.

By following the best practices above, you’ll be on your way to increasing the size of your audience, and level of engagement, you see on Twitter on a daily basis. 

Are you an active user of Twitter? What do you think of the tips above? Have you tried any as a part of your audience growth strategy?

I’d love to know what you think, and any tips you have to share!

Leave them in the comments below.

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