Six years ago, Madalyn decided to host her own Twitter chat, and today, after all these years, thousands of participants, and millions of conversations later, we’re still here talking about Twitter marketing and constantly learning.
The biggest advantage of showing up consistently on social media is that you acquire a wealth of knowledge over time. Our #TwitterSmarter weekly chat isn’t any different. For our anniversary chat, we wanted something special. So we took a trip down memory lane to pick the best of #TwitterSmarter. Though we wanted to celebrate our best moments, we also wanted this chat to reflect how Twitter and our use of the platform have greatly evolved over time. Many concepts that were rather novel and seldom spoken about back in the day, such as inclusiveness on social media, alt text, and live-streaming, are now part of our everyday conversations.
It was wonderful to welcome some of our veterans to the chat as well as a whole bunch of relatively new #TwitterSmarter community members. Here’s a summary of our awesome chat.
Topic: Six years of #TwitterSmarter: Celebrating our best moments
Format: Eight questions directed at our community. Everyone’s thoughts are welcome.
Your bio is the best place to tell people who you are and what you do. As Rachel from Express Writers told us, having a clear bio will help your audience decide whether or not your content is relevant to them.
A1: Use your bio to clearly state who you are and what you do. This way, people will know right off the bat if your account might be appealing to them. #TwitterSmarter
— Express Writers | Your Content Writing Partner (@ExpWriters) July 29, 2021
Another good tip, as Alyx told us, is always to keep your information updated. Regularly check your bio for outdated hashtags and details, and refresh them. You can also add details of other ways people can get in touch with you, such as your email address or website.
— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) July 29, 2021
As Lori told us, responding timely to your community shows that you value their time. When you show that you care about them and their time, they’ll reciprocate.
A2: Value goes both ways.
If you want your community to value you, you need to value your community. Value and respect their time. Timely responses do just that. #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/3bS40BwZ6u
— Lori Anding 👑 || Introverted SoMe extrovert (@southbaysome) July 29, 2021
As Madalyn added, quick responses can help you make a great first impression on your audience. It’ll increase their trust in you and your business, sometimes even resulting in a sale.
A2: By responding in a timely manner, it shows your audience that you care. It also makes a great first impression by showing you’re attentive and that you’re paying attention to what they have to say. That quick response time could even result in a sale! #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/AbgQHXvw4K
— Madalyn Sklar 🚀 Digital Marketing Since 1996 (@MadalynSklar) July 29, 2021
Jim encouraged us to keep posting more videos. He also mentioned that video replies are a great way to engage your audience in a highly personalized way.
A3. Do post video just make sure to keep it to the point.
Video replies are great for connecting
— 🟣 Jim Fuhs #SMWL21 #DigitalMarketing (@FuhsionMktg) July 29, 2021
Cindy’s top tip was the same as many of our community members’: always add captions to your videos. Not only will this help people who choose to watch videos silently, but also those who have a hard time hearing audio.
A3: Do add captions! Some have difficulty hearing and others like to watch videos silently. #TwitterSmarter
— Cindy Peña (@cindympena) July 29, 2021
Julia shared another great tip. Be yourself. Instead of trying to emulate people you admire, be authentic and as you are in real life. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have a plan. You absolutely should, because a plan helps you create and share your content strategically.
A3: some do’s: be yourself. Show up authentically. don’t put on an act or try to be like someone else. People want to see the REAL you, the one they’ll meet IRL, so just show up as you are. Absolutely plan ahead so that you create value, but… Don’t overthink it. #TwitterSmarter https://t.co/PMoh3jq2ce
— Julia Jornsay-Silverberg (@jbethjs) July 29, 2021
Tim also spoke of the value of captions and suggested using the Twitter Media Studio.
A3: DO use Twitter Media Studio to add links and a description.
DON'T go over 140 seconds long. Also don't assume people will be able to hear the beginning of the video, use captions if you can (yeah I fall foul of this a lot!) #twitterSmarter
— Tim Lewis @Stoneham Press #indieAuthorChat (@StonehamPress) July 29, 2021
Burak also shared some great tips, such as including a headline for your videos, focussing on grabbing your audience’s attention earlier on in the video, making sure your audio isn’t cut off at the beginning, and above all, enjoying the process.
• Use a short headline for the video
• Try to grab attention in the first 3-4 seconds
• Make sure that spoken audio isn't cut off at the start
• Have fun with it, because if you don't, the viewer won't!#TwitterSmarter #6YearsOfTwitterSmarter
— Burak Sezgin 🦖 (@Burakiosaurus) July 29, 2021
As for the don’ts, our community’s top tips were not to:
– Overthink your strategy
– Go longer than 140 seconds, or 2.20 minutes
– Post spammy videos
The biggest thing to watch out for is background music in your videos. As Jim suggested, record your videos in a quiet place. He also shared a post he wrote avoiding legal issues while live-streaming. Check it out.
— Jim Katzaman – Get Debt-Free One Family at a Time (@JKatzaman) July 29, 2021
Jennifer emphasized Jim’s comment, also adding that you can instead buy tracks from music subscription services like Melodie and Pond5. Alternatively, look for free music tracks under the Creative Commons license.
A4: For the love of God DO NOT USE ASCAP/BMI licensed music. There are so many places to get podsafe or Creative Commons music for attribution. Or use a subscription service like @MelodieMusicAU or buy tracks outright from places like @Pond5. I use both. #TwitterSmarter
— 🟣 Jennifer Navarrete (@epodcaster) July 29, 2021
As Lance added, from music and slides to artwork and fonts, dissect all the elements of your video and make sure you have the permission and rights to use them all.
#TwitterSmarter A4: Again, PLEASE make sure you have all necessary rights, clearances, permission to use content, including still images, video, audio, etc. Someone made content you're potentially leveraging. They should be paid.
— Lance A Schart (@LanceASchart) July 29, 2021
Christine told us how she has a public list for everyone who attends her #ChatAboutBrand weekly Twitter chat. Adding people to a public list is a great way to make them feel like they officially belong in your community.
I add everyone who participates in #ChatAboutBrand to my "#ChatAboutBrand Rockstars" list.
It makes them feel more invested in it because they're officially part of a community.
Working on reaching out to those people on other platforms as well. ❤️ #TwitterSmarter
— Christine Gritmon ❤️ #ChatAboutBrand (@cgritmon) July 29, 2021
Masooma shared a whole bunch of ways to use lists, including creating lists of colleagues and peers, influencers and creators who inspire you, and potential clients you want to engage with.
A5. Favorite ways to use Lists: create lists for peers, potential clients, clients, & more so I can consistently engage with them.
Creative way to use Lists: create lists of micro-influencers, creators, & others to learn from them + spark ideas for my content. #TwitterSmarter
— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) July 29, 2021
Our friends from GiveWP told us they use lists to keep up with customers, as well as potentials they wish would become their customers.
A5: We love customer lists! 💚
Not just current customers that we want to engage with, but also wish-list customers that we someday would love to see use our product. #TwitterSmarter
— GiveWP (@GiveWP) July 29, 2021
The most important thing to remember when writing alternative text for images is that it’ll appear as an alternative to the image. And so, instead of using flowery language, as Megan said, explain the image as plainly and as specifically as you can. This is what people who can’t see images will use to understand what your image is about.
— Megan Powers of Marketing💥 #BlackLivesMatter (@meganpowers) July 29, 2021
Rachel shared an example of a good alt. text. For instance, say “The red sun set in a pink sky” rather than “The sun’s setting.” Though they’re both accurate and do a decent job of explaining the image, the former adds more context to the image making it more accessible for people who don’t see the image. Conveying the tone and scene of the picture is critical when writing alt. text.
A6: When it comes to alt text you want to be descriptive but to the point. This isn’t F. Scott Fitzgerald or Charlotte Bronte time. It’s Hemingway or Dickinson.
“The sun’s setting” is fine, but gives no context.
“The red sun set in a pink sky” sets a scene. #TwitterSmarter
— Rachel Wendte (@rkwendte) July 29, 2021
The simplest of things make the biggest difference. As Shawn pointed out, be aware of ingrained cultural references behind images, phrases, videos, and emojis you’re using, and make sure they’re inclusive and welcoming of all people.
— Shawn Tiwana (@TiwanaShawn) July 29, 2021
The best and most effective way to do this is to put yourself in other people’s shoes, as Pavel reminded us. That way, you’ll automatically tune your content to be more inclusive and friendly to diverse cultures.
A7: Put yourselves in their shoes. Share common interests and don't forget to be human. #TwitterSmarter
— Pavel Stepanov (@pavelStepanov77) July 29, 2021
Let’s admit it: we all struggle with time management and compromise on our own care at times. It’s important to set time aside for ourselves so we can re-energize and come back to work stronger than before. A great way to do this, as Yatharth explained, is to set time limits for each app you use. The apps will automatically freeze once you reach a tipping point so you’ll have no choice but to take a break to take care of yourself.
A8: I've recently realised that setting time limits on app usage in the phone helps a lot coz the app automatically freezes after reaching the limit. It helps to avoid mindless scrolling.#TwitterSmarter
— Yatharth Sharma✨ (@yatharthcreates) July 29, 2021
Our friends from VirtuDesk also mentioned that automating and delegating some tasks can be helpful too. They reduce your workload, giving you enough time to prioritize yourself.
A8: Take breaks when needed and plan to go out of town. Do it once or twice a month. Manage your time by delegating tasks to virtual assistants. #TwitterSmarter
— VirtuDesk (@virtudeskcom) July 29, 2021
Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks so much for reading through and for more insights from our 6-year-anniversary chat with the #TwitterSmarter community, check out this Twitter Moment Joana put together. If you liked this summary, you’ll love the live chat. Come join us on Thursday for our next #TwitterSmarter chat at 1pm ET. Catch you then!
About me, Narmadhaa:
I write all the 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.