Growing Your Twitter Account

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The biggest challenge for everyone starting a Twitter account is figuring out how best to grow their account and reach new audiences. Unfortunately, there’s no one magic recipe for success. As we’ve learned in our many years of #TwitterSmarter, there are so many things you can do to improve your account—and a few things you should never do if you want to have any chance of succeeding. This week on the chat, we spoke to Jason Zackowski, a chemistry teacher who tweets as Bunsen and BEAKER—the science dogs. Jason has helped take the account to a staggering 111k followership. He clearly knows a thing or two about growing a Twitter account.

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Jason Zackowski
Topic: Growing your Twitter account
Format: Eight questions directed to the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What are some ways to optimize your Twitter account?

Like so many social media managers, Jason also spoke about how managing a social handle is a full-time job by itself. Time management is crucial. He explained that he usually allocates certain types of tweets for each day so that he can stick to a schedule that has the right balance between variety and predictability. For example, Fridays are allocated for Texts From Bunsen. You might’ve seen similar things on social media, and especially on Twitter before too. Monday Motivation, Small Business Saturday, Tuesday Thoughts, Throwback Thursday all started the same way.

Implementing this plan, however, takes a lot of time and effort. It takes extra consideration for the Bunsen and BEAKER account, in particular, because of its educational nature. Science isn’t subjective, and so every tweet needs to be just right. Jason told us that he allots time during the weekends to draft tweets on his phone so that he can always tweet them out, even when he’s not around a laptop.

Madalyn also spoke about the importance of ensuring your profile reflects who you are and what you do. In many cases, optimizing your Twitter account is mostly about conveying your message correctly so that you attract the right type of audience.

Q2: How can you use pinned tweets to improve your profile?

Jason spoke about how he first learned the importance of the pinned tweet during the Twitter Audits Spaces session that Madalyn hosts along with Dhariana and George—join in every Saturday at 1pm ET.

The pinned tweet, essentially, is a way to tell people who visit your profile a bit more about yourself so that they understand why they should follow you. For the Bunsen and BEAKER handle, this meant they had to explain what they did and introduce the dogs so that the audience knows what to expect in the future.

Jason did this by pinning a thread of tweets that properly introduce the dogs and himself—the chem teacher behind the handle. This way, everyone who lands on the Bunsen and BEAKER profile now knows exactly who they’re hearing from and talking to. And I’m sure adding photos of Berner and Goldie helped get some attention.

Of course, there are other ways of using the pinned tweet as well. You can change it as many times as you want, and Alyx uses that to her advantage by pinning a tweet that includes all the Twitter chats she’ll be participating in each day. This way, when someone lands on the Charlie Appel Agency Twitter profile, they’ll know where and how they can reach Alyx that day.

Q3: How important is your follower count in growing your account?

In #TwitterSmarter, we often talk about how follower counts aren’t the most important thing—engaging is key to maintaining a healthy community. However, Jason highlighted that having a large follower count has its benefits too. For instance, when you have a big following, that means your potential audience is bog too. So you’ll have more performance data to analyze. Also, when people see a big follower count, they immediately think you’re a big account. This can be helpful in building your reputation.

All that said, Jason also talked about the importance of growing your follower count organically. Consider how you want to grow your numbers—one viral tweet or campaign may give you a sudden boost of followers, but they don’t always last. Constantly retweeting other people’s content will get you some followers, but how long before someone else comes along and does the same thing?

Being there for your community, sharing valuable content, engaging consistently—all of that will help you grow. Of course, that won’t happen overnight, and if you know and acknowledge that you won’t resort to buying followers.

Q4: What are some ways to organically grow your account’s reach?

Content quality is essential, according to Jason. He spoke about the value of providing your audience with helpful content that they can learn from and use in their daily lives. Of course, the occasionally viral tweet will help you, but it has to be supported by consistently useful and engaging content as well.

For the Bunsen and BEAKER handle, Jason organizes a variety of content. Cute dog pictures often go viral and gain them extra followers, but serious followers stay for the science and educational stuff the handle posts alongside the cuteness. You have to achieve that balance to sustain your growth.

Jason also told us how he promotes the Bunsen and BEAKER brand on other social channels like Instagram and TikTok by sharing screenshots of high-performing tweets. It’s a new trend, but it’s catching on quickly. Experiment with various content types and channels and find new ways to re-share your content and brand.

And of course, as we’ve already said before, engaging is essential to growing your account organically. It’s not easy but nothing worth getting is easy. The bigger you become, the harder it is to consistently engage with everyone who engages with you. When you get to that point, start using tools to manage your notifications and consider expanding your team to have more people tuned into your community’s feedback.

Q5: Do Twitter followers automatically translate to customers?

Certainly not. People follow brands they’d like to know and engage on social media. But they buy from brands they know, like, and trust. They buy from a brand because that brand’s offered something valuable to them and they want to show their gratitude by becoming regular customers. To get to that point, you need to constantly work on your offering and market your brand so that people would want to support and buy from you.

As Pavel emphasized, followers don’t always become customers automatically. It isn’t right to expect them to either. However, they might become potentials. Develop connections with them so they can know you for who you are—then there’s a higher chance of them converting.


Q6: What are some ways to reach new people within your target audience?

One of the best things you can do to reach new people is to experiment extensively. As Jason explained, he’s tested out tweeting from Beaker’s perspective. It’s been largely successful for the brand because of Beaker’s unique voice and personality. It’s important to constantly evaluate how your experiments are doing and evolve as necessary. Look at your competitors and analyze what works and what doesn’t for them. If you can learn from their mistakes and avoid making the same mistakes, you’ll have a good chance of success.

Expand your skillsets on social media. Jason spoke about how participating in Twitter Spaces expanded the brand’s audience and reach, and also helped Bunsen and BEAKER become part of a larger social media management community.

That said, however, it’s also important to be aware of your strengths and limitations. As Jason pointed out, he’s not as confident on TikTok as he is on Spaces. Acknowledging this helps him prioritize his channels and direct his efforts appropriately.

Jeremy suggested keeping a close eye on trends, lists, and hashtags. That way, you’ll know what’s happening in a broad range of niches. Choose the most relevant ones to engage with and increase your reach.

Q7: How do you measure the growth of your Twitter account?

Surface-level metrics can be handy. Have a look at how many likes, retweets, quote retweets, followers, and engagements you have and compare that with your stats from about 3, 6, 9 months ago. Doing that can help you analyze your growth over time.

All that said, to see those figures go up, you need to be innovating constantly. Have a look at your content calendars and strategy to assess how much fresh content, products, and tools you’re using to try and grow your account. Twitter has a lot of new features and functionality you can experiment with—whether it’s joining Spaces conversations, engaging in Twitter chats, setting up a newsletter, creating public lists, using Twitter Blue to organize your bookmarks and threaded tweets, or running ads, look for ways to change things up and keep your content appealing to your audience. The more you expand, the more people you’ll meet that you can collaborate with.

Twitter Analytics, as Lance pointed out, is an excellent way to assess your profile’s growth over time. It’s a free tool built into your Twitter profile and it automatically calculates your engagement rates over a period of time. You can also download this data and analyze them further to identify patterns and form your strategies accordingly.

Q8: Why is it important to engage with your audience?

Engagement is how you show your audience that you care about them. If you don’t care about them, they won’t care about you either. Replying to comments and engaging with your community’s responses to your tweets is easier when you’re a smaller account. The more you grow, the more challenging it becomes. However, that’s no reason to give up. As Jason suggested, try to respond at least to the first 20 percent of your replies. Like tweets, retweet them, send a GIF, or a video reply—whatever you choose to do, do it in a way that shows you value your audience.

Another reason to engage with your audience is to show them you’re human too. Involve them in your business’s decision-making processes. For example, Jason told us how the Bunsen and BEAKER Patreon community gets involved in designing new merchandise. After all, they’re the ones who’ll buy it and cherish it—why not listen to what they want you to do? It’s an excellent way to make sure you won’t fail.

Above all, your audience is your community. They engage with your content because they like your brand and want to show their support. Such dedication deserves to be reciprocated. Allocate time to respond to these loyal supporters—they made you, and they can also break you. It’s a lot of work, but it’ll be totally worth it. You’ll also, undoubtedly, make some lasting friendships along the way.

Well, that’s all from me, folks. Thanks for reading through, and for more insights from our chat with Jason from Bunsen and BEAKER, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together for us. If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us every Thursday at 1pm ET on #TwitterSmarter. Afterward, we also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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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.

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