Building a Strong Following on Twitter

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The most fun thing about Twitter these days, and the most frustrating, is that no two days are the same. Constant changes to the platform and its algorithm are making it challenging for brands to stay and win new followers on Twitter. So this week on the chat, we asked content marketing strategist, Teodora Pirciu, how you can go about building a strong following on Twitter. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Teodora Pirciu
Topic: Building a strong following on Twitter
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What makes you follow someone on Twitter?

This is a subjective question, but when you boil it down, we all follow someone because we like their tweets, their bio is engaging and convincing, and/or a friend suggested it.

From a business perspective, you might follow someone because their content is educational and relevant to what you do, as our friends from VirtuDesk pointed out.

Q2: How can brands make their profile stand out from the competition?

By joining conversations and being an active part of the community. This means you’ll have to be more social and conversational, but you don’t necessarily have to have an opinion about everything. Get involved in matters that matter most to your brand.

Madalyn suggested looking at what others are doing and making sure you’re doing something different. Use Twitter’s extensive features in creative ways to connect with your community. Run Twitter Spaces, participate in chats, jazz up your profile, and use a variety of content formats to appeal to your target audience.

Another good way to ensure you stand out from the competition is to take a stance on something that matters to you and your industry, as George suggested. It’s not always easy, as people may interpret it as political or polarizing. However, holding your ground attracts the right kind of audience to your brand.

Q3: What’s a good number of followers for a brand on Twitter?

Quality always trumps quantity. As our guest pointed out, there’s no point in having millions of followers unless you can generate some form of revenue, goodwill, or credibility from it. On the other hand, having a few hundred highly-engaged followers will probably give you more value.

As Maithilee also noted, the number of conversations you have with an audience that wants to converse with you is far more noteworthy than the number of people who followed you ages ago and haven’t looked at your profile since.

Q4: Is Twitter Blue necessary to build a strong following?

The answer may depend on a variety of things. For instance, how does your audience feel about Twitter Blue? If your primary audience isn’t one to be swayed by the ups and downs of Twitter management and the Twitter Blue saga, then not having the blue tick won’t hamper your growth, as our guest explained.

That said, as Madalyn explained, she has strong opinions about Twitter management, and she’s not afraid to voice them. At the same time, as a power user of Twitter, she also appreciates the new features and the trials coming out from the company. She happily tests them out and shares her feedback. And so in Madalyn’s case, as her audience aligns with her views, Twitter Blue—and her support of it—might help grow her audience.

Q5: How can brands use hashtags to attract the right audience?

Hashtags are great for rallying people around specific topics, or events you’re organizing or attending. Many brands these days use hashtags to create and nurture communities rather than to reach and convert new audiences, as our guest noted. Hashtags are also great when you want to participate in an ongoing trend and share your own opinions.

As Wendy suggested, you can use hashtags to live-tweet at conferences and communicate with fellow audiences in real time.

Q6: What types of content brings in new Twitter followers?

Evergreen content, when repeated periodically, can bring in a lot of new audiences. Dedicate a large portion of your Twitter content to matters you know best about, and people will eventually catch on.

As Pavel said, content that’s relevant, educational, trending, funny, and competitive are all great ways to attract new audiences.

Q7: When should brands start their own Twitter chats or Spaces?

Consider starting your own chats and Spaces when you know you can realistically manage the workload associated with running them regularly. So many people like the idea of it, but underestimate the effort and time it takes to run chats and Spaces consistently. Before you get started, make sure you have the resources to sustain long term.

As Meg mentioned, however, it’s never too late to start your own chat or Space. If you have the capacity for it – and relevant content ideas – you can start and succeed at any time.

Q8: How can brands use memes to capture a broader Twitter audience?

Know your target audience. That’s the key to success on Twitter. Memes aren’t any different. Customize your memes based on your audience’s age and demographic. The last thing you want is for your audience to have to ask their children who the guy in the picture is.

Be wary, though, when it comes to using memes, you have to understand the culture and the context of what you’re sharing, as Kaz reminded us. Don’t share a meme because every other brand’s sharing it. Find memes that resonate with your brand and personality and you’ll have a stronger impact.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Teodora, 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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