Getting the Most out of Your Twitter Presence

#TwitterSmarter community chat - Getting the most out of Twitter - June 27, 2019

Let’s face it. Even though Twitter’s been around for a long time, and even though we’ve been on Twitter for a long time, we all need an occasional refresher. That’s social media—evolve or be left behind. Twitter’s always making changes to its platform and users are identifying new ways to leverage the power of conversation on Twitter. It’s only natural that we talk about it. So we decided to host a community chat—one where Madalyn poses questions and everyone shares their suggestions and lessons, learning from each other.

Here’s a short summary of the chat.

Topic: Getting the Most out of Twitter
Guest: #TwitterSmarter community
Format: Eight questions, everyone’s welcome to answer

Q1: What is the key to a sustainable Twitter presence?

Despite having a Twitter account for ages, a lot of people fade away after a few animated interactions. The reason is quite simple—Twitter, or any social media for that matter, takes time and effort. You can’t become an overnight sensation—unless you’re a bad-mannered politician or a flimsy supermodel.

Be patient. Like Christian said, it’s important to remain positive and persistent, even when people aren’t responding to your efforts. You’ll have bad days, and engagement will be slow at the start, but if you’re relentless you will see results.

If you’re having trouble being patient, try some of Christopher’s ideas. Don’t just focus on yourself, but see what others are doing too. Engage with them, learn from them, be genuinely interested in their work. People will reciprocate. And if you’re sharing something—a lesson, a tip, or an article—make sure you break it down so it’s easy to read. Use bullet lists, screenshots, charts, and anything else that’ll help you educate your audience better.

No matter what you do though, unless you do it consistently, you won’t see much results. And the key to being consistent is to have fun. When you enjoy what you do, you’ll do it even when the odds are seemingly against you. Passion drives motivation, y’all.

Q2: What should your Twitter profile tell others?

As with any social media platform, your profile is your first impression. It’s the initial point of contact for your audience and potential customers. So it’s rather critical that you make your profile sparkle.

Tiffany listed out a few suggestions to help you craft a good profile. Aside from your name and profession, tell people what you care about. A marketing consultant doesn’t share the same tweets as a painter, and so it’s important to let your audience know what to expect from you. This will also help you attract like-minded people, instead of random Twitter users who follow-back for courtesy’s sake.

Our friends at Bentley University made some excellent points about the tone of your profile. You don’t want to sound remote and unapproachable. Instead, make sure your language and voice are friendly and inviting so that your audience will want to communicate with you.

Oh, and a great tip from Lauren: Use a pinned tweet to include more information about you and some links to your website. It’s a good way to add an unmissable call to action.

Feeling ambitious? Make that pinned tweet a video and introduce yourself in person!

Q3: How can you make you and your brand stand out from the rest?

Despite all the hate speech and rumours of closure, Twitter has only grown stronger in numbers. More and more people are starting to tweet so many ideas, opinions, creative work, hate speech, and educational content that it can quickly get overwhelming. How can you ensure you stay adrift?

Really, there’re no shortcuts. As Gabriela said, the best way to stand out from the rest of the noise is to know what you’re doing.

Define your goals, and know what your key performance indicators (KPIs) are so you can effectively measure them and learn from them. Understand how you’re different from the rest of your competition—what do you offer that they don’t? That’s your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). And then find creative ways to tell and re-tell your story. Experiment with new layouts, different mediums, content lengths, posting times, and run polls even.

Christian also pointed out another important aspect of social media—active listening. Be aware of your audience’s problems and concerns and try to resolve them through your content. In other words, be useful and people will remember you.

Beware, though. Don’t let the pressure of social media trick you into becoming a fake. Offer extreme value to your audience, but always remain grounded on who you are. Be your natural self—and if that means you’re offline one day because you were with family, then so be it.

Well said, James!

Q4: What are some ways to measure your Twitter activities?

When you’re involved in such an interaction-heavy platform, it’s easy to lose track of time. You could go from replying to a tweet to scrolling through conversation threads for hours together. That’s why it’s always a good idea to be mindful of your time. As Carlos suggested, keep tabs on time invested and compare it with your returns. Remember though, social media is all about building relationships, and that does take time. Keep your expectations and analysis reasonable.

Other than that, you can also look at engagement rates. When people respond to you content, it means you’ve shared something so valuable that they take the extra time to reply to you—even if it’s just to say thanks. Identify those types of content and share more of those.

Jack also pointed out something we often miss: the importance of followers. We all know that a person’s follower count doesn’t always indicate their effectiveness. However, it’s also crucial to know the difference between worthy followers and random bots that follow you around. In Jack’s case, a potential customer had been following him for a long time, observing his work in silence, before reaching out to hire him. That’s a big win.

Q5: What are ways to keep track of relevant conversations on Twitter?

Of course, following a hashtag is the easiest way to keep up with a topic. But there’re other ways too, as our community explained.

Lists are a vastly under-utilised feature. You can create innumerable lists, both private and public, and add users to your lists. This way, you can categorise people you want to hear from based on industry, interest, and even certain Twitter chats. Public lists are available for others to access and subscribe.

Christine shared some more ways to follow-up with conversations. Don’t ignore your notifications. Especially if you participate in chats, notifications can quickly pile up. You can set preferences for your notifications so you don’t get overloaded and can focus on the important ones. You can also customize Twitter Trends for your network. So instead of seeing trends in your location (default), you can choose trends based on your community’s activities—comes in handy if you’re working from across the seas.

And of course, if you haven’t already, embrace Twitter’s Advanced Search. It’s a great way to locate those specific tweets or threads you came across months ago.

Q6: Share your major do’s and don’ts on Twitter.

We’ve talked about the dangers of automated direct messages so many times on our chats. Not only is it spammy to send a DM to someone who’s just followed you, but it’s also alienating and impersonal. Twitter is about making valuable connections.

What you should do, instead, is engage with others genuinely. Make sure your content is tailored for the platform, which in our case is Twitter. Use hashtags sparingly—Twitter recommends a maximum of two. Any more than that and your tweet will become illegible and annoying.

As jack pointed out, there’re plenty of potential customers and influences on Twitter you can get help from. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you need them. Make friends, not cold sales calls.

Q7: In what ways can you use visual elements in Twitter? Tag your favorite tools.

People love visual media, so use them more. Gabriella offered some good advice about how to choose your visuals. Simply put, before you tweet ask yourself if a particular visual justifies your brand image, your tone, and the expectations you’ve set of yourself. If it’s relevant and intriguing, go for it!

GIFs are fun and relatable, and branded images and GIFs help establish your authority. Videos and video replies, however, take it a step further. And like Tamara said, an introductory video on a pinned tweet is highly effective. Not many people use it, so it has an element of surprise your audience will appreciate.

If you’re looking for tools to help create visuals, check out Giphy for thousands of timely and engaging GIFs. Canva has long been the go-to for non-designers to whip up great-looking social posts. It even has pre-made templates in the correct sizes so you don’t have to worry about the image getting cut off on your posts. Little things like that go a long way in reducing time spent on designs.

For video making and editing, try tools like Renderforest and Wave.Video. And if you’ve always wished for Photoshop-grade photo editing, Lightroom, Snapseed, and VSCO are all easier alternatives with mobile apps.


Q8: What’s the difference between using your phone’s default camera and Twitter’s camera?

Most of us on the chat were unaware that Twitter had made big changes to their camera. Usually, when tweeting a photo, you’d fetch it from your image gallery. And you would’ve used the in-built camera on your phone to capture the photo.

However, you can also open camera from within the Twitter app itself. This is Twitter’s own camera, and you can take photos and post them directly at the moment. You can also start a live stream, add a location, and a caption. Photos captured on the Twitter camera also pop out in a feed because of their background colours. Read more about it here.

Think of it like Instagram—where the photo (and the story it shows) is more prominent than the comment or the caption. In other words, like Cristopher quoted, it’s “for people who see something worth sharing, but don’t always know what to say.

Is it better than using your phone camera? Not necessarily. Does it reduce the number of steps to post a photo on Twitter? It does. Is it easier? Hell, yes.


Our community chats are always filled with so much insights that I can’t possibly cover them all in one summary. Luckily, Kyle Hetrick put together this amazing Twitter Moment. Click through for more ideas and lessons.

That’s all from me, folks. Signing off with this little nugget from Coach Brian. See y’all next time.

About me, Narmadhaa:

I’m a writer of all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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