Using Twitter to Grow Your Community

text based graphic with same text as in post

You’ve probably heard social media managers talk about “building communities” on Twitter. What does that mean, though? Building a community on social media is about gathering people who share the same interests or who work in the same industry to connect with and learn from each other in one place. Why is Twitter such a popular place to do this? We asked social media strategist, Danielle Stein. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Danielle Stein
Topic: Using Twitter to grow your community
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Why is Twitter a good platform to grow your community?

Twitter is a good platform to grow your community because it’s a culmination of thousands of communities and groups of people who engage with and between each other. Regardless of who you are and who your audience is, you can find your kind of people on Twitter. Because this is where everyone comes to share their life experiences and learn from others’.

Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of new social platforms and ways for people to engage with each other, but none of them have been as effective and as far-reaching as Twitter. If you have a message to share, you’ll always have an audience on Twitter. All you have to do is show up and engage with them.

Besides, as Carla pointed out, Twitter is an instantaneous platform. You don’t have to wait long to find out whether what you’re doing is working, and if so, how well. If your strategy isn’t working too, you’ll have the opportunity to quiz your audience as to what they want to see from you, instead.

Q2: What Twitter activities can you do to engage and grow a community?

Our guest’s advice was simple. Tweet constantly, ask questions and genuinely engage with your community, and organize and participate in community activities like Twitter chats, Spaces, and branded hashtags. Just show up and be there for your audience.

Adriana shared a good tip, too: Although it’s important to tweet regularly, you don’t want to tweet just for the sake of tweeting. Make sure that what you’re saying is useful to your audience. A good way to determine if your content is valuable is to think of one person in your audience and considering if your content would help them.

Q3: How do you create content that your audience will want to share and engage with?

First rule: Be yourself. Authenticity is big on Twitter—because there’re so many people trying to be someone they’re not. Develop a catchy and memorable visual image for your brand, be original, and relatable. People will gravitate towards you. Just remember to respond to everyone who engages with you because that’s the only way you keep the conversations flowing and relationship growing.

Another good way to create content that people will want to share, is to actually create what they want to share. As our friends from VirtuDesk suggested, run a poll to ask your audience what they want. Then deliver that.

Q4: Share your best tip for growing a community in Twitter.

Danielle recommended being active and being yourself on Twitter. That’s the key to building long-term relationships. Share content that you personally resonate with. That way, it feels genuine. When you put genuine conversations ahead of growth, people will naturally engage with you.

Our friends from Social Media Pulse shared another great tip: Use Twitter Lists to keep a tab on people you want to connect and build relationships with. Engage with them, and gradually start engaging with them on other platforms as well.

Q5: What are the benefits of hosting a Twitter chat or Space?

Both chats and Spaces are great for highly-relatable conversations at close quarters. Instead of being a broadcast-like medium, they help you take the discussion to your target audience so they can directly respond and engage with you.

The best thing about chats and Spaces is that you get access to people who don’t follow you or know of you. So every time you host a chat or a Space, you have the chance to reach a whole new set of people. That’s not all, though. Chats and Spaces are also good ways to connect deeper with your existing community and followers.

Madalyn is a great example of a brand that’s grown exponentially by hosting chats and Spaces. She started the #TwitterSmarter chat in 2011, and it’s helped her build awareness and grow her influence in the Twitter marketing space.

Q6: What are the benefits of attending a Twitter chat or Space?

Participating in chats and Spaces helps you connect with people you’d never connect with otherwise. Not only is it a good way to meet people in your industry and those with similar interests, but it’s also an excellent way to find new interests and expand your horizons. You’ll learn new things and also realize that you know more than you thought you knew. There’re so many people who’ve gained job opportunities and lifelong relationships through chats and Spaces.

Our friends from GiveWP made another good point: Participating in Twitter chats and Spaces forces you to converse. So many on Twitter use the channel to post announcements, but when you’re on a chat or Space, you get to share your voice, your tone, and yourself without filters. This helps you build a stronger brand—everyone loves a brand with attitude, beliefs, and a strong personality.

Q7: Name some of your favorite Twitter chats and Spaces.

Our guest’s favorites are #AdweekChat that runs every Wednesday at 1 pm ET, #TwitterSmarter that’s on every Thursday at 1 pm ET, and #PopChat on Fridays at 1 pm ET.

Pavel shared a whole bunch of great chats, including #WinnieSun, #BizapaloozaChat, #DigiBlogChat, and our chat regular, Christine’s #ChatAboutBrand.

Theodora shared a few more good ones, including #FreelanceChat and #MTTalk.

If you’re interested in nonprofits and social causes, you might also want to check out #CharityChat, as shared by our friends from GiveWP.

Q8: Name some brands that do community building well.

To build a strong community, remember to show up and be authentic. Our guest gave a shout-out to The New York Times and Matt Navarra for their amazing work.

Other favorites included HubSpot, ConvertKit, CMWorld, Wendy’s, and Chewy. There’re so many excellent brands doing some awesome work with their social media communities. Go on and explore.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Danielle, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together for us. If you like this summary, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us next Thursday at 1 pm ET for #TwitterSmarter. We also have an after-chat on Twitter Spaces at 5 pm ET. See you there!

profile picture


About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff to pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

Say hello: The Opinionated Copywriter | LinkedIn | Twitter