Being #TwitterSmarter

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Have you ever looked at your Twitter feed and wondered what else you can do to make it work better? Even if you have an engaged community on Twitter, it can seem like there’s so much more you can do and get from the platform. So this week on the chat, we spoke to none other than Madalyn Sklar, our resident Twitter expert about being #TwitterSmarter. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Madalyn Sklar
Topic: Being #TwitterSmarter
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What’s the ideal length for a tweet?

Honestly, there isn’t one. When Twitter increased its character limits from 140 to 280, it received a lot of backlash. Now though, people are comfortable with 280 characters, and they don’t always use up all available characters.

However, there’s been some research into this, often looking at tweet lengths and corresponding engagement. The sweet spot seems to be between 71-100 characters. That’s a big margin. Madalyn’s advice is to experiment extensively and see what works for you and your audience. Ideal tweet length can vary based on the nature of the conversation and whether or not you use any media.

After all, as Melissa so nicely put it, what’s really ideal is using as many characters as you need to convey what you want to convey.

Q2: What kind of media (images, videos, GIFs) do you like to engage with on Twitter?

Madalyn loves engaging with all of them because they’re all great ways to visually enhance your message. They’re also excellent for grabbing attention in a busy feed.

If she had to pick one, though, Madalyn would always choose custom GIFs. If you’ve been on the #TwitterSmarter chat, you’ll know that Madalyn and many of our regulars love using their own GIFs. These personalized GIFs also garner a lot of enthusiasm and engagement from others. It’s a great way to show your audience a side of you they’ll never see otherwise. Check out this chat summary from when #TwitterSmarter veteran, Christine Gritmon, joined us as a guest. She spoke about how brands can get the most out of custom GIFs.

It’s also worth noting that even though a lot of people like engaging with visual media, some won’t—as George pointed out. There may be many reasons for this: If everyone’s sharing visual elements, it might clog up the feed and distract people, GIFs and videos might trigger or disturb people who are sensitive to movement-based visual stimulations, and visual media without explanatory alternative text might limit people who use screen readers from consuming content. This is why it’s essential to experiment with your content and understand what your audience wants.

Q3: What do you like most about Twitter chats and Spaces?

Madalyn likes that Twitter chats and Spaces make it easy to meet new people and expand her network.

Not only has she been able to share her expertise through chats and Spaces, but she’s also learned a lot from the many people she meets and engages with on the platform.

Check out this article on Madalyn’s website about how you can use chats to meet people and learn. If you’re keen to learn more about Spaces, have a look at this article about how Spaces can benefit your brand.

Cindy‘s favorite aspect of chats and Spaces is that she gets to listen in on a broad range of topics that help her look at things in a new light.

Q4: How do you use Twitter Lists?

Madalyn uses Lists to keep up with her favorite creators.

She also has a couple of helpful articles on her website. This one discusses how you can use Twitter Lists, and this one explains how you can create your first list, step-by-step. Check them out!

DiKayo told us about how she uses Lists to organize brands that she wants to contact for her podcast. That way, she can go through them one at a time, whenever she can.

Matthew uses Lists to organize tweets about events and conferences that he’d like to attend or hear from.

Q5: How many tweets are too many for a Twitter thread?

Subjective. If you find that you start a thread and have said everything you wanted to say in three tweets, stop at that. A thread becomes uninteresting when the tweeter starts to ramble. That said, if you need 15 tweets to illustrate your point clearly, then that’s what you should do. Have a look at Madalyn’s guide to Twitter threads to learn more about how you can use this feature effectively.

Carrie echoed Madalyn’s advice. She also told us about how some people tend to thread tweets within threads. This can quickly become confusing and turn off any readers. Try and keep things simple and straightforward. My personal favorite tip about threads is to number them as you go so that the reader has some continuity. Numbers are particularly helpful when people start replying to a single tweet in a thread.

Q6: How useful is the bookmark feature to you?

We all come across tweets that we want to read later. Bookmarks are a great way to save these tweets, as Madalyn explained. It’s even handier if you subscribe to Twitter Blue, which lets you categorize your bookmarks into folders.

Check out Madalyn’s article to learn how you can use Bookmarks.

That said, our friends from GiveWP explained the real struggle of remembering to go back to those bookmarks. So many of us like the idea of returning to our bookmarks, but the truth is, we don’t always do. Besides, if you bookmark too many tweets, without Twitter Blue and folders, it can be hard to find what you need even if you do go back to your bookmarks.

Q7: How can you monetize your Twitter content?

The most obvious way to monetize your Twitter account is to periodically share links to products or services that generate sales for you. Madalyn promotes her coaching and consulting services, and online courses, as well as her lead-generating marketing activities like her weekly Spaces, chats, and podcast.

You can also use Twitter’s features like Super Follows to create subscription-based content and the Tip Jar where people can leave a tip for you.

Q8: What Twitter tools do you use the most?

Madalyn likes to try out new things regularly, and as a result, she uses a lot of tools. Her favorites include Agorapulse, SocialJukebox, Buffer, Brand24, and TweetDeck. Have a look at this article to learn about 9 great social media tools you can use to manage your business.

Madalyn loves Agorapulse because it saves her a lot of time. She uses it to schedule her evergreen tweets, collaborate with her team, and check her progress periodically. Learn more about Agorapulse here.

She uses Brand24 to keep an eye on any mentions of her brand or #TwitterSmarter, both on Twitter and on external media like other social channels, blogs, and podcasts. TweetDeck is also a brilliant Twitter tool that’s easy to use and free. Have a look at this summary of a #TwitterSmarter chat with our guest, Warwick Brown, where we discussed how to use TweetDeck effectively.

Other tools our chat participants vouched for include, Ecamm Live, Canva, Hypefury, Easil, BlackMagic, and StreamYard. Go on, check ’em out!

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Madalyn, have a look at this Twitter thread. 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!

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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.

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