Twitter Tips: Grow Your Following and Improve ROI

Twitter marketing

Article updated on 6-17-20 (originally posted on 8-27-16)

Twitter offers lots of value for brands as well as for Individuals looking to create a niche for themselves as thought leaders. The popular social media channel has held its place over the years as one of the most popular platforms for sourcing of news and expertise, building your brand, and sending traffic to your website or blog.

Twitter isn’t for everyone, but if you use it properly, you can really gain some serious ROI. These tips can help you grow your audience, gain valuable insights and advice, boost your website, and grow your business.

Let’s jump in!

Grow your following

To really take advantage of Twitter, it’s important to have a large following. If you only have a handful of other users following you, your posts will rarely be seen. It’s also important that, as you grow your following you focus on other users with similar interests. This will help with engagement, as the content you post will resonate more with your followers.

To grow your audience quickly, one simple tip is to find likeminded users with large followings and dig through their followers. Follow a bunch of the most relevant of their followers, and a number of them will follow you back. If you keep this up (without overdoing it) you can gain 500+ followers every month and grow your blog quickly.

Create lists

Lists are one of the best and often most overlooked features on Twitter. Twitter lists help you track the activity of influencers and allow you to engage with their posts more effectively. They also allow you to track specific subject matter and those talking about it.

Segment your lists in specific categories so you can easily filter the topics you’re looking for. For example, if you are in the marketing field, you might filter lists of users into lists like:

  • Thought leaders
  • Collaborators
  • Content marketers
  • Social media marketers
  • Technology experts

The lists goes on, but you get the idea. Whatever interests you might have, you can create a list to cut through the noise and focus your efforts.

By compiling lists of likeminded people or brands, you can keep up with the latest trends, interact with posts, source content for curation purposes and a lot more. It’s also a great way to group together those who engage with your content. If there’s a particular person, for example, who always retweets your posts, add them to a list so you can target content to them.

Use @ in mentions

This tip goes hand in hand with lists and expands beyond them to basically any post in which you mention another user. The goal in mentioning another user is to give them credit or draw their attention to something with the hope that they’ll retweet or otherwise engage with your post. By using the @ symbol before the user’s Twitter handle, they’ll be notified of the mention.

If you don’t use the @ symbol in your mention, that user will likely never know you mentioned them. If they aren’t aware of the mention, how can they be expected to engage with your post?

Trending and original hashtags

Another way to draw attention to your posts is to incorporate hashtags. You should always try to incorporate a relevant hashtag or two in your posts. Don’t go overboard, however. Too many hashtags makes a post look spammy.

Best practice is to incorporate trending hashtags or to create and brand your own.

By focusing on trending hashtags, you can position yourself within those conversations and your posts will appear in search when users search for content containing them. Trending hashtags can be found by simply glancing at the left sidebar on the home or notification pages or doing a search and looking at the top trending posts and hashtags.

Creating your own branded hashtag can be really valuable as well. Let’s say you’re hosting an event. Creating a hashtag to represent that event can help users more easily locate content about the event.

Just to give you an example, an event I really love is Content Marketing World. They use the hashtag #CMWorld in all posts about the event. Each time someone retweets a post containing that hashtag, it helps the word spread. So incorporate your own unique hashtags for things like events and major campaigns to help your brand grow.

Be consistent

Another thing that can help your brand (company or individual) grow is being consistent with your posts. There’s really no set rule for how many posts you should create per day, but simply posting 1-2 Tweets each week isn’t going to get you far.

If you are posting on behalf of your brand, keep the posts lower (3-5), but if you are posting on your personal account, post regularly. Every 45 minutes to an hour is a good practice to follow for posting, and then make sure you’re engaging as well. Like, retweet, or comment on other users’ Tweets consistently throughout the day.

Don’t be spammy

If you are posting the wrong types of things, your account can come across spammy. Twitter is a space for thought leadership and sharing relevant advice. Posting too frequently about your services or deals on your products can turn your followers away.

While promotional posts are important post types for brands trying to sell physical products or push their services, if you really want people to keep engaging with your account, you need to post other types of posts as well. The sweet spot for promotional posts is about 20% or less. The other 80% of your posts should be things like:

  • Links to useful articles
  • Quotes
  • Ideas for how to use your product
  • Contests
  • Polls
  • Infographics

Again, you get the point. Post useful types of content that add value for your followers. This will keep them coming back for more, and keep them from blocking your Tweets. Then you can sprinkle in your promotional posts, and you’ll be well-positioned to drive new and recurring business via Twitter.

Treat others kindly

There’s a lot of bullying on social media channels these days, and Twitter is not immune. If you are going to set up on Twitter to promote your brand, make sure you’re being nice to others. I recently noticed someone call another user out because they made a minor etiquette breach. The user being called out was new to the platform, and the person calling them out rudely replied to their Tweet calling them out for a specific, seriously minor, action that wouldn’t even be noticed by most people.

This can lead to embarrassment or other issues for no reason. If you have to call someone out, use the Direct Message feature. You aren’t better than anyone else simply because you’ve been on the platform longer.

While the issue mentioned above wasn’t a serious one, there are also some seriously awful bullies on Twitter. Don’t get involved in fights. Doing so can seriously tarnish your brand. Instead, report the bullies via Twitter’s report feature in hopes that their activities cease or their account is banned. Be kind to one another. It’s a harsh world, and there’s no reason to make it worse.

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Collaborate

Speaking of being kind to one another, it’s a great practice to work with others to grow your profile and your brand using Twitter. Let’s say you are a travel blogger. Build relationships with other bloggers in your niche where you share their content and they reciprocate by sharing yours.

Doing this allows you to increase the reach of your content and position yourself to gain new exposure for your brand and traffic to your website. Be sure to stayed engaged and share others’ content as well. Using this tactic is not a one-way street.

If you form true collaborative relationships, you can really boost your efforts. And, you’re helping lift others up in the process.

Wrapping it up

Hopefully you’ve gained some valuable insights that you can take back and apply to your Twitter efforts. Twitter is such a valuable platform. I see a ton of traffic to my blog through Twitter. I’ve also received offers for guest posting opportunities, requests to appear on podcasts or speak at events, and even business opportunities. So, plan out your Twitter strategy and stick with it. You will be thankful that you did.

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19 thoughts on “Twitter Tips: Grow Your Following and Improve ROI

  1. These tips are all spot on. I love using Twitter and have been working hard to grow my account! I’ll definitely be putting some of these tips to practice. I’ve never really created lists before, so that’s something I want to try next.

    Thanks for sharing!

    GABBY

    1. Hope these tips help. Twitter is such a great platform. You definitely have to be dedicated to gain serious value, but once you begin posting on a regular basis and engaging with others, you’ll start to see value pretty quickly. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Very helpful tips, as I’m definitely still figuring out Twitter myself. There’s a lot here for me to work on with being consistent and holding people’s attention without overdoing it. And in particular I love your focus on being a “good citizen” of the platform – working with others rather than against them, not flooding people with promotional stuff. Great post, thank you!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Sam! Happy to help. Hopefully these tips add a boost to your Twitter efforts. It’s definitely a time-intensive channel, but if the focus is there and the dedication as well, you can really drive serious brand awareness and increase traffic to your site (qualified traffic).

  3. Some great tips here for trying to get engagement on Twitter. I particularly like the trending hashtags. I’m going to try that one. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks for the comment. Trending hashtags certainly are a great way to engage and get your content noticed. Hope it’s useful. Stop back if you have a chance and let me know how it worked!

  4. Thanks for the tips! I’m a pretty recent Twitter adopter and still learning the ropes. I have recently discovered lists and you’re right, they’re so helpful!

    Clarissa

    1. Welcome to Twitter (and to my site)! It’s a great platform to increase engagement and really connect with others to benefit mutually through sharing posts, helping each other grow site traffic, gaining awareness for your thought leadership or your brand…and the list goes on. Best of luck, and glad you liked the advice!

  5. Wow. These are really helpful tips to grow on twitter. Honestly, i’ve been on twiter for some tim but, i never realised that you can gain all these oppurtunites on sole twitter. Seems like i gotta kickoff stuff from now with help of these handy tips.

  6. An excellent article.Nice to meet you. My first account which have super 1 followers have been hacked along with site. Now I given suddenly wrong followers . It is becoming very hard to manage my business with them. So what can I do now? .

    1. I’m really sorry you’re dealing with that. If you don’t have a lot of equity (aka followers and engagement) then I suggest shutting down the account and starting new. When you do setup new accounts, make sure you select a strong password. Don’t save it in obvious places. Write it down and put it in a place no one but you can access. If you need to gain access to your accounts, you can contact Twitter. They will ask you for a variety of things to prove it’s you and you are the account owner, then once you have the account, you can choose to either clean it up or eliminate it and start fresh. Either way, make sure you have a super strong password!

      1. I didn’t know that we can find new account . I am in too much confusing state as my first site and twitter , reddit, tumbler account has been hacked . So now I am very scared to do any online work but have interest in writing so writing posts. Getting to lose my faith automatically. Never saving my password anywhere.

  7. Great post! Thanks for taking the time to update it for 2020, there are some excellent tips in here! I hadn’t even considered branding my own hashtag, but that is something I should definitely look to do over the next few months. I have been really excited by how easy it is to grow on Twitter and am excited to use your tips to push me past 500 new followers a month!

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