If I had a nickel for each time someone said Twitter was dead…
Well let’s be real – I’d be on a private island somewhere, getting fed grapes by men named Pablo. Sadly, I’m still peeling my own damn grapes, but one thing remains true: a lot of bloggers and business owners are abandoning the Twitter ship.
But have no fear, my friends, because today, we’re making it rain life vests.
In this post, my goal is to show you why Twitter isn’t dead, and how you can harness its potential to grow your blog and biz. Because trust me, there is potential – you just haven’t been taught how to use it. Over the years, I’ve acquired over 25,000 followers on my personal account, which has landed me paid Twitter chats, brand partnerships and one time, even a horrifically awkward radio appearance.
I guess you can say I’m now a believer. (Or devoted Tweetheart, whichever makes you cringe more)
— Christina Guan (@happy2wander) May 31, 2017
So that’s why the focus of today’s post is on Twitter strategy. A step by step for eliminating overwhelm, and crafting a plan that actually supports your goals. For extra pizazz, we’ll be bringing our strategies and tips to life with examples from our brand new Slaying Social account, which we started less than a month ago. 200 followers later, our egos are inflating by by the day 😉 And trust me, if we doofuses can build our Twitter from the ground up, there’s no reason you can’t.
TELL US YOUR TWITTER HANDLE! Drop your handle in the comments below so we can connect with you and show you some love. After all, our goal is grow together. Bonus points if you tell us your biggest fears, struggles and concerns when it comes to Twitter strategy.
So, let’s get to work. Today, to properly build your Twitter strategy, we’ll be answering the following questions:
- WHY do you need a Twitter account? (and do you really)
- WHO are you trying to reach with your account?
- WHAT kind of content will you create and share?
- WHEN will you post it/make time to post it?
- HOW will you stay competitive among the sea of other accounts on Twitter?
- (BONUS) HOW will you grow your followers and community?
WHY do you need a Twitter account? (and do you really)
First, really ask yourself: DO you need a Twitter account?
While I’m apparently the president of Twitter’s fan club, I can admit that it’s a time consuming platform, and one that supports certain goals better than others. So, before diving headfirst into this strategy post like it’s a pool of chocolate pudding, take a quick second to evaluate whether or not Twitter actually supports your broader social media strategy goals.
I’ve found that Twitter is absolutely dynamite for the following:
- Establishing yourself as a thought leader/expert in your field
- Connecting with prospective readers/customers/members for your community and tribe
Twitter is NOT amazing for:
- Large-scale traffic generation
- Passive income
For Slaying Social, Twitter makes sense, mainly because we’re using it as a platform to get our names, brand, and unique voice out there. We’re still SO new to the game that most people have zero clue we exist… but instead of simply sulking in the shadows like an emo teen, we’ve decided to take an opposite approach: put ourselves out there and make as many connections as possible.
Why Twitter for us? Well, it’s simple: the Twittersphere is PACKED with our target audience. Social media managers, bloggers, business owners, you name it. It’s like a freaking candy store of valuable ideal readers. It then made sense for us to choose Twitter to make connections, get our names out there and establish authority in the wild world of social media.
… BUT, depending on your niche, that might not be the case.
Ask yourself: who are your ideal customers? Do they hang out on Twitter? Is it your goal to get your name out there or is it something else?
These are some tough but important questions you should ask before just tweeting for the sake of it (or because that’s what all the lit youths are doing…)
WHO are you trying to reach with your account?
So, if you have decided that yes, Twitter IS magic and you want to move forward with it, the next important thing on your to-do list is determining what kind of audience you’re trying to attract.
For us, that is (again) social media managers, marketers, bloggers, online business owners – essentially anyone with a stake in social media and could benefit from free social media advice that helps grow blogs/businesses.
That’s a whole lot of people.
But if you think about it, when you cast SUCH a wide net, you’ll inevitably get a pretty mixed bag of humans, and that’s problematic because your goal should be to create a tribe of raving fans, not a tribe of people who only sorta tolerate your existence.
To create raving fans, you need to “get” your audience, and to do that, you start with defining who exactly they are.
That’s why it’s so important to refine your target audience and make sure you have a painfully specific ideal audience in mind. We’ve discussed this before, especially during our Facebook strategy week.
But beyond just knowing what kind of content to create, defining your ideal audience also has an additional bonus on Twitter: if you know who they are, you’re better able to find them and engage the crap out of them (that’s the technical term).
See, the brilliant thing about Twitter is that it’s a non-stop swirl of open conversations – open doors, if you will. Whereas on Facebook, going onto people’s personal profiles/friending them/commenting on photos of their grandma might get you nothing but a hefty restraining order, Twitter has a magical way of feeling less creepy, with all sorts of possibilities to jumping into conversations via hashtags, joining chats, etc.
… in a way, Twitter is just one massive cuddle puddle of people who want to be heard and loved.
*wipes away silent tear*
So, ask yourself: WHO is your ideal audience? Questions like demographics (age, gender, geographic region) and interests are important. Be as painfully specific as possible.
We’ve crafted OUR ideal audience more around a certain personality type than anything else. In a sense, we are targeting jaded folks (like you, eh?!) who are sick of wishy-washy advice and sales funnels that preach “I make 6 figures while sitting by a pool in paradise!!!” If that resonates with you, then we’re clearly doing our job right.
Specifically, we’re targeting social media managers, bloggers and business owners in the 25-40 age group living in North America, the UK and Australia. Even more specifically, we’re looking for people who enjoy wit, sass and a no BS mentality. The tone of our content reflects that, hence why our sense of humour so clearly hinges on weirdo pop culture references and self-deprecation.
Because we have such a clear picture of our ideal audience, now we can write our content with a consistent tone/goal in mind. Trust me, this will save you a LOT of time in the long run.
Now we get to the juicy stuff: your content strategy.
Yeah, another layer of strategy. Whaddup?
After determining that you wanna be a cool youth and hop on Twitter, AND after deciding who your target audience will be, you need to then move onto creating a magnetic content strategy that gets people to follow and most importantly, engage with you.
Here’s the problem: Twitter is a unique beast in terms of content creation.
On Twitter, brevity and wit thrive. You can’t just say whatever and expect people to fall in love with you… After all, you’re not on the Bachelor.
Instead, you should focus on being follow-worthy, which (of course) starts with an excellent content strategy – one that is crafted to appeal to your ideal audience.
In simple terms…
A step by step on building your Twitter content strategy:
- Figure out your target audience
- Decide specifically what you want to be seen as an expert in
- Determine what your voice/personality will be on Twitter
- Look at key influencers in your field of expertise with substantial followings (that are similar to your ideal audience) – what are they doing right? What are they sharing? How can you be different from them?
- Create a plan for creating/sourcing this content (bonus points if you schedule this plan into a calendar)
Soooo super simple right….? Ha. ha. ha. *sobs into 3rd tub of Häagen-Dazs*
I mean, sure that was brief, but let’s be real: building a content strategy is a topic that could warrant its own entire series (#PotentialForeshadowing). That said, those 5 steps above outline your to-do list. Next up is how to ensure you actually get it done.
PS: This article will help: 8 tips to slay your Twitter game.
WHEN will you post it/make time to post it?
You can strategize your brains out, but without execution, you’re still swimming in a pool of 140 character chaos.
BUT the brilliant thing about Twitter is that SO much of it can be automated. We personally use Buffer to schedule everything and it makes everything SO easy. Other alternatives include TweetDeck (which is Twitter-specific), HootSuite and CoSchedule.
Now, before you rage quit and throw yourself into a pit of leeches, don’t worry: planning out your work schedule is actually pretty straightforward.
A step by step for building your Twitter work calendar:
- Decide the tasks you need to accomplish daily, weekly and monthly
- Decide how long you will devote to each task
- Put these work blocks into your calendar and make sure you stick to them
But hey, because we’re friends, why don’t I let you in on a hack I use for scheduling content at lightning speed?
…. using lists!
Many of you might remember my affinity for lists. After all, here’s an entire post dedicated to using them (the basics are covered in there).
BUT here’s the trick: if you create multiple lists based on different topics you want to share, then you can easily scroll through those special feeds and schedule your content quicker than I down jars of Nutella.
For example, let’s say your account frequently likes to tweet cute gifs of dogs. An easy way to source content to retweet and share is by creating a Twitter list called “Dog Gifs” and adding different accounts which tweet things related to this topic. Then, anytime you need to schedule posts, you can just scroll through this one list, and curate your content quickly like a total badass.
PS: if dog gifs are your niche, you do not need our help. You are already winning.
After setting up Twitter lists for Slaying Social, scheduling Tweets has become the simplest thing in the world.
… *whispers* It’s actually kind of fun.
HOW will you stay competitive among the sea of other accounts on Twitter?
You’re probably tired of hearing this, but just like with any other platform, you need to make sure you have something unique and follow-worthy to offer (AKA a unique value proposition) before you can conquer Twitter.
The good news is: you probably already have it. You.
The thing that people often forget as bloggers and business owners is that at the heart of it, they’re still just people. The #1 unique thing that you have to offer is your personality, so don’t be ‘just another soulless robot’ on Twitter and inject your unique voice into the content you share. Twitter has this magical way of humanizing brands and businesses in a way that’s not as easy with a Facebook or blog, so take advantage of it!
— Slaying Social (@SlayingSocial) October 3, 2017
And at the end of the day, you need to believe that you yourself are worth following. So, what is it that YOU can bring to the table that sets you apart from others?
Again, it’s important that this unique value proposition aligns with your overarching Twitter goal.
Here are a few different ways that you can set yourself apart from others in your field:
- Unique voice – putting a different twist on your topic by presenting the information differently
- Unique community – proactively building relationships with people in ways that others in your space have not done
- Unique expertise – becoming an authority on a specific topic that lacks experts, or simply being a “better” (i.e. more knowledgable) expert on a certain topic
To help you out, let’s lift the veil on OUR unique value proposition with the Slaying Social Twitter.
While we’re still strategizing and changing things up all the time, our unique value proposition is a mix of all three things mentioned above.
- Our voice – we want to be sassy and witty as hell. Our goal is to deliver important social media news/information in a way that is entertaining and fun.
- Our community – we want to establish a community of bloggers and entrepreneurs who are done with wishy washy advice and laugh in the face of boring/lame content (e.g. lifestyle porn + “LEARN HOW I MADE 6 FIGURES BY THE POOL WHILE GETTING MASSAGES IN PARADISE FREE WEBINAR” BS. In a sense, we’re trying to round up the jaded folks who are sick of all the crap that’s out there. Don’t forget to join us if that sounds good!
- Unique expertise – we want to provide stellar, actionable info in a funny and entertaining way.
So yeah, we’re just trying to throw unique value all over the place 😉
TIP: Look at accounts in your field of expertise with substantial followings. What tweets of theirs are getting the most engagement? How can you replicate their success? Best of all, ask: what can you do differently from them to set yourself apart?
(BONUS) HOW will you grow your followers and community?
Follower count does matter quite a bit, both for social proof and for getting your content seen.
But beyond just numbers, what’s more important is creating a genuine sense of community.
Really, community what Twitter is all about. There are two tiers to this – for one, it’s getting the numbers, but then it’s important to nurture those numbers and turn them into community members.
So, in simple steps……
How to grow followers on Twitter (and build a sense of community):
- Identify the followers you are trying to attract
- Create magnetic content that would appeal to these followers
- Find other, large accounts who share your ideal followers
- Follow and engage these accounts in hopes that they’ll notice you/fall in love 😉
“Bruhhh, did she just advocate the follow method for growth?!”
Sort of. But hear me out!
I admit, this growth method might be controversial for some, but I have personally seen great results from it. To me, the follow/unfollow method on Twitter is different than on other platforms like Instagram. For one – you can use lists to stay organized so the clutter issue is eliminated, but secondly, using this method to get someone’s attention can really work, so long as you nurture that connection. You’ll see some people with absurd followings (200k+) yet zero engagement – that’s an example of this method gone wrong.
BUT, I know from first hand experience that if you nurture your relationships on Twitter, it’s possible to turn these follow-backers into devoted members of your community… who do engage with the content you post.
How to nurture your community on Twitter:
“I swear, if Christina mentions lists oooone more time…….” – every reader ever
Sorry guys, the answer is (once again) – LISTS!! *throws confetti*
Let’s be real: most people hate Twitter because their feeds are follow of garbage. Lists are the super simple solution to this problem. And as a bonus, you can use them to create a REAL sense of community.
Here’s how: create secret lists of connections you want to nurture. Let’s say you’re a blogger who has a friendship squad of fellow bloggers you’d like to support. You could create a list of them and then frequently like/retweet their content. Likewise if you’re a business with prospective leads you want to nurture, you could create a list of these and engage with them from time to time.
FUN EXAMPLE: I had a musician friend who was (admittedly) ultra good-looking and had an army of fangirls who adored him. To nurture his fandom, he had a secret list set up of all the fans who would tweet/mention him regularly. He would then go and like/respond to tweets from time to time, at which point the fan’s heart would (presumably) explode.
…. It’s really that easy. People like to feel as if they matter. If you can find a way to build real connections/relationships with people on Twitter, you are winning.
So, hopefully after all that – you’re looking at Twitter in a slightly different light.
… And if not, welllll… *holds back tears* it’s fine. I’m not mad.
Truly, There is SO much potential in this platform, but only if you use it correctly… and as always, strategy is key 😉 Now go forth Tweethearts, it’s time to get to work.
TELL US: What’s your Twitter handle? Drop it in the comments so we can follow you!
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