For the past 6 months I have been involved as Co-Founder for a Twitter App called Buffer. Being the non-technical part I am focused on writing blog posts and reaching out for coverage. Another vital point was to grow an engaged Twitter account to increase our distribution.
Along the way I have tried many different techniques and I believe the following 5 tips were most important to make things work for us:
1. Promote Others
The first piece of advice is to promote others?
Following the words of “If you want to get noticed, notice others” has proven to be the most important factor to grow our network on Twitter. Naturally, as you start taking notice in others tweets, they will start retweeting you too.
Now it is crucial not to retweet others for the sake of retweeting them. Be sincere and honest. Find the thought leaders in your niche and start retweeting thoughtfully if you believe it provides value for your following. It helps to add a short comment to personalize retweets and to show others you are truly engaged with that content.
In many cases this can simply mean to add the author’s Twitter handle and showing appreciation for the post:
2. Be Consistent In Order To Build Trust
I learned that building trust amongst your followers hardly happens if you can’t commit to a regular presence on Twitter. This doesn’t need to take up much of your time. Use simple Tweet scheduling tools to pre-write a few tweets to be sent spaced out over the whole day.
As you grow, you can increase your frequency and become even more active. Creating a consistency of content tweets is fantastic, because you can provide value for others beyond your product. It allows you to be very active the space you are in, without referring to your own startup all the time.
3. Be Focused On Your Niche
A mistake I made early on is to start tweeting about every topic you could think off, starting with Social Media, startups, design and whatnot. Doing this left me faceless in the space, where no one could recognize what I was all about.
In order to get noticed I suggest you start tweeting about topics that are tightly interconnected with your products’ focus. The major benefit of doing this is that as you become known as an expert voice in your space. I found that if someone now learns about your product it can make a huge difference, as you have already provided them with knowledge about a very related topic beforehand.
4. Be Creative With Your Tweets
A technique I love to share is to genuinely see your Twitter account as a micro-blog. This means you think carefully about the wording of tweets posted. Of course, I wouldn’t suggest to tinker for hours. Yet tweeting something different than the headlines of posts that everyone else is tweeting about can help you to stand out.
Try rewriting post headlines or adding your thoughts next to them. Another way to do this is to find a quote from a post you enjoyed and turn that into your headline for the tweet. Doing this can spice up your tweets and shows your followers that you are truly engaged with the content you are tweeting about.
Someone, whom I love to cite for his very creative Tweeting patterns is @TweetSmarter, rewording the original title to show engagement and create tweets to suit his audience more:
5. Be Fast
Twitter’s fast paced nature makes it perfect to be used as a great support channel. What I found is crucial here is to answer tweets in a short time window of receiving them. In general leaving less than 1 hour between your response might be a good timeframe.
In order to manage your time well, collaborating and sharing the work on who is online can help a great deal. In our case, we change who is “on duty” every 3 hours. Providing such a fast customer service has led to great praise and happy customers many times in the past for us.
What Are The Results?
As I am writing this the Buffer Twitter account has around 8,500 followers. This isn’t an insane number, but still very useful for our purposes. What I am particularly happy about is engagement happening. If we post a question, about 10-20 of our amazing followers reply. A Klout score of 66 seems to confirm engagement too.
Looking at our Tweets, you can see that we get between 20-50 clicks per Tweet sent. Posting at a frequency of 10 content tweets every day means we are able to generate about 200-500 clicks. Also, on average we get between 2 and 5 retweets on each of them. Blog posts on the Buffer blog, which we are solely promoted through the Twitter account get between 50-150 tweets each.
I hope these tips are helpful for you to get fully hooked on Twitter with your startup’s Twitter account. Taking it serious and investing a small amount of time each day can already make a big difference I learnt.
Which other techniques are you using to make your Twitter account stand out? Do you think the above tips can help?