From humble beginnings, Twitter has grown to become an indispensable source for online news alerts as well as a vital marketing tool. The microblogging site now boasts more than 255 million monthly active users, and 53% of Twitter users recommend products in their tweets at some time.
As its popularity and user base grows, techniques for getting the most out of Twitter, third-party tools that add special-purpose value, and the platform itself continue to evolve.
Given the increasing level of social media noise, which advanced practices are most helpful for Twitter marketers today? How can brands and individuals make their tweets stand out? What are the most effective techniques and tools for increasing engagement and growing one’s Twitter following? How can marketers best utilize Twitter’s expanded features and the latest tools?
Find the answers to those questions and others here in more than three dozen expert Twitter marketing guides from top social media pros.
Expert Twitter Marketing Tips and Tactics
Social PR Tweets: 8 Ways to Use Visuals in Twitter Chats and More by Social PR Chat
The simply awesome Lisa Buyer demonstrates eight ways to boost the visibility of your tweets, from pinning “your Tweet to the top of your profile before your event or to highlight your news for the week” and changing your logo or profile image to highlight a holiday or cause to using “Canva to create a variety of visuals to promote your most recent blog post and rotate them out using a platform like Buffer. Same story, different visual.”
25 Effective Ways to Use Twitter Search for Marketing, Sales and Support by the Zapier Blog
Danny Schreiber provides instruction on “some of the best ways you can put Twitter search to use for your business, along with some tools that’ll help you learn more from Tweets, identify trends, (and) see how your Tweets are impacting your business,” among them: using Twitter advanced search to monitor brand mentions; monitoring sentiment about a competitor (“only search for those Tweets with one condition: individuals unhappy with the company”); and building a Twitter list of potential customers.
A to Z of Bite-Size Twitter Tips For Business Startups by Social Success
***** 5 STARS
Ruby Rusine serves up a creative and useful list of Twitter tips, literally from A to Z, beginning with tips for automating posts, being consistent, and clear expectation-setting and progressing through the letter Z: “Zero in on strategies that will help you attain your marketing goal/s. It is one thing to engage; but it is another to get people do what you want them to do.”
6 Ways to Get Your Tweets Noticed by Social Media Examiner
Asking “Do people pay attention to your tweets?,” frequent best-of honoree Aaron Lee offers six techniques to increase the impact of your tweets, from setting “yourself apart by adding your own opinion, question or other commentary to” your retweets in order to give your followers context, to simply talking to people (“While everyone else is busy shouting his or her own message, you’ll be the one listening so you can make a better connection”).
Jacob Pastrovich reveals the three major ways he uses Twitter to engage with audiences, along with tips and ideas for each, for example: “I schedule posts to go out over the next week or so, usually around five tweets for each piece of original content. You can…do this using tools like HootSuite, Buffer, TweetDeck, or something else…The reason I schedule tweets with the same link is to make sure each post reaches multiple time zones and as much of our audience as possible, because some people might check their feed at 8am, others at 6pm, and we just want to make sure that each post has the chance to get in front of all of our followers’ eyeballs. Just make sure your tweets don’t all have the same copy. Make it fun, and switch it up as much as possible.”
Kevan Lee briefly lists a half-dozen tips helpful to Twitter users of any experience level, then goes deeper into a larger set of recommendations for advanced Twitter users, starting with understanding how Twitter fits into your priorities and customizing the email notifications you get from Twitter and progressing through cleaning up the list of those you follow, using tools like ManageFlitter.
Advanced Twitter Marketing Techniques by Flying Man Productions
Here are sixteen tips for Twitter marketing success, such as following competitors, using the list function to “target different groups with a specific message or angle,” and finding the best times to tweet based on when your followers are online: “Use tools (like Tweriod) to determine the best times of day to tweet.”
Infographic: Dr. Seuss’ Guide to Twitter for Busy Executives by The Sword and the Script
Frank Strong presents a whimsical yet useful infographic guide to Twitter in Dr. Seuss style rhyme and illustrations, produced by HootSuite. Among the five tips for growing one’s Twitter following and influence: “First, let Tweets breathe. Give your message some time. Clogging up feeds has no reason or rhyme. If you send Tweets too much, you’ll risk looking like spam. But not the good kind you fry, with green eggs and ham.”
Lauren Kaye shares a handful of helpful Twitter engagement tips in this short but smart post, among them engaging like eBay (“As the company with the highest engagement score, eBay’s Twitter feed should be the glowing example for social strategies. And a first glance at the brand’s content reveals the key to eBay’s success is giving followers what they’d expect”) and catching eyes with visuals like Nokia (“posts containing pictures and links receive 150 percent more engagement than average posts”).
Focus on Twitter: What Comes After Setup? by Digital Marketing Musings
The delightful Sue Brady takes a deep “dive into using Twitter and increasing your presence there.” Though aimed primarily at those relatively new to Twitter, it’s worth perusing even for experience Twitterers. She walks through choosing your subject matter, using hashtags, finding industry experts, and growing a following (for example, by attending relevant tweet chats).
How to Increase Twitter Engagement by 324% by DR4WARD
Dr. William J. Ward showcases an infographic illustrating some basic facts about Twitter (e.g., a third of all Twitter users follow at least one brand, and 67% of them are more likely to buy from brands they follow), when to tweet, what to tweet (“engagement is 200% for tweets with image links”), and “unsaid Tweeting rules.”
How to Build a Twitter Following
Roy Povarchik shares “advanced tips and tricks to more followers and increased engagement on Twitter,” such as using tools like Tweepi to “get tons of followers but also make sure you have a qualified and engaged following,” following back only accounts that interest you, and—to keep your timeline clean—setting up the “five lists every marketer should create.”
Get More Followers On Twitter With These 12 Tips by Social Media Rush
Reginald Chan shares a dozen practical and actionable tips for growing your Twitter following, from using a smiling face in your profile (“A smiling face picture can increase followers rate by over 10%”) and creating a custom “About Me” page as your primary account link through focusing more on quality than quantity in your Tweets and practicing “strategic following” (as he demonstrates in an eight-minute video here).
How to Get More Twitter Followers by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal
Jim Dougherty promises and delivers not just “another article about how to get more Twitter followers…(but) pragmatism. No touchy-feely gobbly-gook – just some straightforward tools (bookended with some cynicism) to help you grow your Twitter followers.” He walks through how to use tools like justunfollow, manageflitter, and socialbro (as well as Twitter advertising) to help quickly build a targeted Twitter following ( with some work).
Kim Garst presents “20 quick and easy steps to help you build a huge, targeted Twitter following” in less than a half-hour per day, from scheduling some of your tweets to maintain an active flow when you can’t be at your computer and using Twitter directories like Wefollow and Twellow to recommending others and using Twitter search to find and follow “people who are talking about your brand, your products, or about something around your niche.”
Expert Guides to Twitter Stats and Analytics
Twitter Experiencing Massive Growth: New Research by Social Media Examiner
Suzanne Delzio passes along results from four recent research studies indicating a bright future for Twitter. Among the findings: according to Pew Research, “from 2013 to 2014, Twitter’s audience rose by 27.7% (from 18% to 23% of all Internet users),” and “in a 2014 study by eMarketer, researchers estimate Twitter will grow by 5% to 10% year over year until 2018 when 24.2% of Internet users will be on the platform.”
Kevan Lee (again) presents his list of the “15 most useful Twitter stats used by the pros…as well as how you can find these stats for your Twitter profile.” His list ranges from how to discover the top interests of your followers and who your followers are following to level of engagement (retweets and favorites) and tweet reach percentage (how many of your followers you actually reach).
How Do You Know if Your Twitter Strategy is Effective? by Razor Social
Ian Cleary outlines four questions to ask to help determine if (and how well) your Twitter marketing strategy is working, and how to gather the supporting metrics to answer each one. For example: to answer the question “Is Twitter driving relevant traffic back to your website?”, he shows how to use Google Analytics custom segments and goals to analyze the engagement and conversions of Twitter-driven site traffic and compare it to other sources.
How to Use Twitter Analytics to Find Important Data by Social Media Examiner
Alex Bossenger shows how to use Twitter analytics to “find the data you need to track your campaign success” in this richly illustrated post. He explains the importance of and how to use the Twitter dashboard, followers dashboard, how to manage user profiles, and even how to switch between managed accounts if you use your Twitter handle to manage multiple Twitter accounts.
15 Twitter Statistics You Probably Don’t Know, But Should [Infographic] by Social Marketing Writing
Mitt Ray shares an infographic featuring 15 Twitter stats to help you “get better results on Twitter…(including) statistics that can be used to get more retweets, clicks on the links you share and followers.” Among the stats: tweets with open and close quotes are 30% more likely to be retweeted than those without (who knew?); tweets including numbers get 17% more retweets; and tweets that contain links shortended using Bit.ly are about 9% more likely to be retweeted.
Guides to Using Twitter Features
15 Twitter Hacks That Will Turn You into a Twitter Ninja by Buffer Social
Neil Patel offers instructions for 15 Twitter “hacks” to become a power user, from creating follow lists and discovering which lists you are on (“From your lists page, click on ‘Member of.’ Knowing what lists you’re on gives you an idea of how you’re perceived on Twitter”) to managing the apps that have access to your Twitter account and a full list of Twitter keyboard shortcuts.
5 Twitter hacks that will blow your mind by iMedia Connection
Though much of what’s covered here (using Twitter advanced search operators, keyboard shortcuts, timing tweets) is detailed in other posts in this collection, Greg Kihlstrom adds his own unique spin, and includes one “hack’ not explained elsewhere: “If you’re ready to move to the next level, get ready to use Twitter to perform real-world tasks. Whether you want it to make a pot of coffee or operate a remote dog feeder, working with Twitter’s API opens up a whole new world of possibilities.”
5 Tips for Brands to Get the Most Out of Twitter’s Latest Update by Social Media Today
Though these features are no longer “new,” the detail provided here by Mike Lewis is helpful. He details the “what” and “how to” of Twitter capabilities like “best tweets,” “pinned tweets” (“the ability to ‘Pin’ or feature one of your tweets at the top of your profile stream so visitors to your profile see it immediately”), filtered tweets, and the new look of follower / following lists.
How to Schedule Photo Tweets That Expand in the Twitter Feed by Search Engine Watch
Pointing out that “Although photo tweets do a great job captivating our audiences, it can be a challenge for social media marketers to schedule visual content ahead of time. Platforms like Hootsuite let you schedule photo tweets, but they don’t appear expanded in the feed like a direct upload would,” Travis Bernard explains, step by step, how to “schedule a photo tweet from the native Twitter client.”
Twitter News and the Setting You May Want to Change Right Now by The Wonder of Tech
Carolyn Nicander Mohr explains how Twitter’s photo tagging capability works, noting that you no longer “have to waste any of your precious 140 characters with @TwitterID’s. Instead you can tag someone in the photo and free up space for more words, hashtags and links.” She also explains how this potentially impacts privacy, and how to change your settings if you’d rather not be tagged in just any photo on Twitter.
Aaron Lee (again) talks about “10 brilliant ways to use Twitter Lists to always be engaging,” from the basics of creating lists and who you should add to them (influencers, retweeters, co-workers, etc.) to how to follow tweets based on conversations and interests using Flipboard.
Five Ways To Use Twitter’s Favorite Button by SocialTimes
While acknowledging that “The favorite button is not Twitter’s most popular feature, and it doesn’t get as much press as retweeting,” Lauren Dugan nevertheless makes her case for its growing popularity, explaining a handful of different uses for favorites, such as to save links, pay it forward, or to network (“Using favorites, you can mark the tweets from the people you want to network with, and make sure you follow up with them about their tweet shortly”).
The 20 different ways of using the Twitter favourite button by Econsultancy
Going beyond Lauren’s post above, Chris Lake explores 20 ways of using the “favorites” button, including liking something (obviously), disliking a tweet (using the favorites button sarcastically), to bookmark a tweet, to trigger some further action using IFTTT, to attract more followers, build a personal brand, and other purposes that may never have occurred to you.
Best Guides to Twitter Tools
5 Tools for Downloading and Analyzing Twitter Data by Entepreneur
Guru-ess of online tools and frequent best-of honoree Ann Smarty reports on five data mining tools “you can take advantage of to archive your own Twitter data,” among them BirdSong Analytics (“an absolutely unique tool that lets you download all the followers of any Twitter accounts. It’s a paid tool but I don’t think such feature has any alternatives”) and NodeXL (which enables you to take “archived data from Twitter, input it into NodeXL, and create a breathtaking visual representation of your tweets from any period you like”).
Michael Patterson showcases nine helpful tools for finding hashtags that are relevant to your brand, including Hashtags.org, #tagdef (“essentially a combined dictionary/thesaurus for trending hashtags”), and Tagboard (“one of the most aesthetically pleasing of all of the hashtag research sites. For each ‘Tagboard’ you create, you specify a specific hashtag for it to track. Tagboard then displays popular posts containing that hashtag on a board”) and others.
Easily Manage Twitter #Hashtag Contest with Zapier by Brad S. Knutson
Brad Knutson offers a detailed, six-step guide to creating a Twitter content using Zapier, from getting set up and modifying your settings through connecting your Twitter and Google Docs accounts, selecting your content hashtag, and testing the “zap” (“After I created this Zap, I essentially just let the contest go in the background, and after it was all said and done, I used the spreadsheet to randomly select the winner. It took me longer to set up the Zap than it did to actually monitor and maintain the contest”).
10 Awesome Twitter Analytics and Visualization Tools by Twitter Tools & Tips Blog
Garin Kilpatrick reviews 10 tools “designed to add value by presenting a different way to visualize or analyze your tweets, the people in your network, and the tweets from the people in your network,” including Tweet Archivist, Twitonomy, Twitter Counter (“a way to visualize and track the growth of your own followers, and even compare your growth to the growth of other users”), and Tweetstats.
5 Tools to Simplify Twitter by Social Media Today
Eva Gantz writes about her handful of “absolute favorite Twitter tools to save you time and energy, and let you get back to running your business,” including UnTweeps (“UnTweeps lets you improve your following-to-followers ratio (i.e., I’m following 1500 people, and 2000 people are following me) with minimal effort. It simply auto-unfollows any account that hasn’t tweeted in x amount of days”) and Twubs for tracking hashtags.
5 Twitter Tools to Increase Your Blog Retweets by Social Media Examiner
Aaron Lee (once more) helps readers of this post “discover five easy-to-use Twitter tools that make it simple and fast for readers to spread the word about your newest blog content.” Four of the five are WordPress plugins; the other is ClickToTweet.com, a website that lets you “install a prepopulated tweet and use your own call to action in your blog post…you can use it on blogging platforms besides WordPress, in PDFs and in your newsletters.”
5 Tools to Research the Demographics of Your Twitter Followers by Small Business Trends
Ann Smarty (again) highlights five “great apps that will let you get the proper stats to start engaging your followers in a real and dynamic way,” among them BirdSong Analytics: “Do a quick analytics search of any social media profile and find out exactly what conversations your brand is generating. That includes through followers, who you can target more efficiently while still improving your visibility for reaching out to new demographics.”
5 Free and Awesome Tools To Use #Hashtags Wisely by Search Engine Journal
Ann Smarty (once more) writes, “hashtags are everywhere…you can use them for any number of things, but you always want to do so smartly. These tools will help you out,” such as TwChat, a tool for managing tweetchats “which turns a collection of hashtags into a chatroom.” Furthermore, she notes, TwChat is “very simple, free, and no downloads are required.”
Ericson Ay Mires serves up brief reviews of nearly four dozen tools for tweet scheduling, social media management / monitoring, content sharing, follower management, Twitter profile design, Twitter research, WordPress plugins, creating “rich tweets,” and bonus Twitter tools such “Group Tweet – Group tweet enables you and several other people to tweet from the same twitter account while maintaining your individual user name. If you run a business that requires lots of people to tweet, don’t miss this one.”
What Twitter Tools Do Social Media Managers Use? By More in Media
Dorien Morin-van Dam lists more than two dozen of her favorite Twitter productivity tools in nine categories, including brand monitoring (Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Socialmention); tweet scheduling (BufferApp, Social Oomph); finding great content (Triberr, Feedly, Scoop.it); and audience-building (Nearbytweets, List.ly).
And Finally…Twitter Skepticism
The Unbearable Lightness of Tweeting by The Atlantic
Journalist Derek Thompson details his experiment in using Twitter Analytics to determine the value of his tweets in driving web traffic to the publication that employs him. His conclusion? “In the last month, I’ve created nearly 2 million impressions for Twitter. Whether that is good for my Twitter persona and my pride is a qualitative question whose answer resides outside the bounds of an analytics dashboard. But it is quantitatively…” (see the article for the actual metrics).