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5 Tips To Make Your Startup’s Twitter Account Stand Out

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:

old buffer app tweet

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:

tweet smarter tweet

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.

tweet analytics

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?

About the Author: Leo Widrich is the Co-Founder of a Twitter App called Buffer. Every week he tweets more Twitter Tips on the Buffer blog, say hi @LeoWid anytime, he is a super nice guy.

  1. Listen to Leo, people! He’s an awesome Twitter user that everyone can learn from.

    • Dave, thanks for the kind encouragement here. So glad to hear that it is useful advice. I continue to learn from only the best to improve. Without any flattery, you are on top of the list.

      • I think more people need to realize that you are the business mentor they are looking for on Twitter :)

  2. Solid post which I’ll put to use, but I have to argue with a small portion of one of the tips… #2 Be Consistent (“Use simple Tweet scheduling tools to pre-write a few tweets to be sent spaced out over the whole day”)

    I think you’ll find far more value by participating in the conversation in real time (even if it is overall LESS time spent) it will be more sincere (and more FAST – tip 5).

    People can smell scheduled tweets from miles away and get bored with it (#unfollow)


    • Hi Rick,

      Thanks for stopping by, glad you liked the post.

      Yes, I think you are absolutely right, being part of the conversation is the key. Personally, I found that optimising the timing of your Tweets, by scheduling them, isn’t so much a problem. The Tweets are still your own content. I see this more as optimisation. What I think is quite different though is auto-tweeting by having RSS feeds directly post to your Twitter stream. Even for this, many find a very good usecase, but I would rather refrain from doing it.

      What do you think about this?

    • Keith Griffis Sep 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm

      I am a fan of scheduling blog post tweets, but certainly not replies or direct interaction. If there is a good mix, I am fine with scheduled tweets. Buffer is good for that. Also, I will say that @TweetSmarter has a great tweeting pattern.

  3. Great tips pal… loved the part of know your market and be consist :)

    You rock,lead the way for others and i know for a fact you help others grow :)

    Gr8 stuff.

  4. Stellar post, AWESOME twitter app. Our 88 year old company is changing the way we do business because of social media, and Buffer has proven itself indispensable.

    • Jeff,

      Thanks for your comment. That’s a very interesting thought there and great to hear that Social Media is transforming your business. And most importantly, that you are realising that!

      Wow, fantastic, glad Buffer is of such great use for you! Keep on Buffering :)

  5. Great article. We need more of this :-) Regarding “be focused on your niche”, let’s say your product is file sharing for small companies, what would be examples of good people to follow/things to tweet about?

  6. Nice article. Everytime I read an article in here makes my entrepreneurial skills to an upper extent. Also, really like the idea of Bufferapp. Some of the statistical mapping of the data will be a key one to add on.

    • Hi Mayank, thanks for your comment.

      Awesome, that’s great to hear. I think you are right, I end up here on the Kissmetrics blog very often too, the info is just super helpful for everything I do around my startup.

      Sure, glad Buffer is helpful. Yep, especially the analytics help you to learn more about your impact. Let me know if you ever have any questions about it. :)

  7. Hi Tommy,

    Thanks a lot for stopping by here and leaving your comment. Glad you found it useful.

    Sure, so I think filesharing is all about collaboration. So starting to tweet about posts or even write posts that help you to make online collaboration easier is something I would intuitively think off. (Like 5 Tips To Work Together As A Team/ How to be more productive when collaborating online)

    I hope that helps. There are also a few great directories like Wefollow, Twellow or Tweetdeck’s directory to find relevant users in that space, filtered by topics.

    Hope that helps, please let me know if you have any more questions. Oh and it was great bumping into you in person today! :)

    • hey Leo, yes it helps! Thank you! However, you didn’t bump into me today, it must be someone else :-)

  8. lauren caldwell Aug 09, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    thanks for this!!!! Great stuff!

  9. Hello Leo(great name) and thank you for Buffer. I hope it makes twitter a more attractive proposition for ur startups who seem a bit reluctant. Will give it a go and spread the tweets!

    • Hi Lola,

      Thanks for stopping by, and glad you like Buffer. Yes, absolutely, I hope it makes it easy for your startup to create a regular and consistent presence to drive more traffic and users. Give it a go and let me know if you have any questions about it.

  10. Thanks Leo for the tips. I just have a question about hashtags. Should one #hashtag be used in all tweets?

    • Hi Gerard,

      Glad you liked the tips. Sure, that’s a good question. So, hashtags definitely help, but overusing can easily be overwhelming for followers.

      Try one or two at most and try finding out beforehand, what is posted in that hashtag already. So for startups, there is a very well monitored #leanstartup hashtag, which is worth to include. #Twitter althought obvious, is great for Twitter Tips for example.

      Hope that helps, please let me know if you have any more questions about this. :)

  11. offer something (be creative with what you can offer and how you do it). that helps too for new accounts.

  12. Maskinauktioner Aug 19, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Great tips´, I will like to use them, Thank you very much, I will visit your blog again soon.

    Many regards from Denmark

  13. Really helpful tips! thanx


  15. Awesome post – short & sweet with great tips.

  16. Really useful startups tips for newbies. Yes, being consistent is important in order to build trust. Thanks Leo for these excellent startups tips :)

  17. Loved this post. Perhaps due to it being precise and full of information and pictures….I love pictures because they convey the intended message quicker and more clearer. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Great tips, twitter is getting more and more popular by the day. by having a twitter account you can reach more to your visitors easily and conveniently.

  19. Hi Leo, as a startup trying to figure out our way in marketing, I am pretty impressed with this article. Out of thousands we were reading on. I must say this is clear & makes true sense with no fake jargon. Thanks for the tips & yes we will follow them for sure. If its k, would like to mail and get in touch with you personally to learn more.

  20. Great Read, i would like to do all of it and return back here with the results.

  21. Engagement and creativity are the tips to getting the most out of Twitter, whether this is as a person or as a brand account etc. Your profile ultimately defines your brand image on Twitter. Make sure it reflects everything that your company is about – make sure you fully optimise it! Add a profile picture, cover photo and relevant bio along with your website link and location. Have a detailed look at your competitors who’ve had the most success on Twitter. Study the style of their Tweets, not because you should copy them, but just to give you an idea of what works with your target market.


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