Twitter can feel like a black box. But there are simple ways to maximize your reach. It’s not all about having huge numbers of followers. It’s about engaging with the followers you have. It’s not worth being on Twitter if you don’t do it right. But it’s easier than you think to do it right.
The greatest advantage of Twitter, in our opinion, is the ability to reach anyone — directly.
With Facebook’s algorithms changes, Twitter deserves another look.
IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS
For our purposes, the only goal that matters is getting people to click through to our content.
An important sub-goal is to grow your followers; many tactics below are designed to do that. More eyeballs = more potential clicks!
CONSISTENCY + TIME OF DAY
WHEN: Tweet consistently. Generally the best times are weekdays noon, 3 p.m., and 5–6 p.m. of the time zone you are targeting. To become (and grow) a mid-sized account, tweet 6-10 times a day. If that’s too much, don’t throw in the towel; do what you can, consistently. Little drops of sand… Retweeting and working with Lists (see both below) make it much easier!
Freaky factoid: 80% of the U.S. population lives in the Central and Eastern time zone. So you might want to err on the side of those time zones.
** All instructions below reference the desktop version of Twitter rather than mobile.
GROW YOUR FOLLOWERS (15 min/day)
If you are content to let your following grow organically, and not jumpstart it, skip this step and go straight to the ‘tweeting’ section.
Even if you can’t grow followers daily, spending a small amount of time — even once or twice weekly — will help grow your follower count. Since followers beget more followers, these activities have an important ripple effect.
1.) Look at Twitter’s suggestions.
Hover over the three accounts that display.
Generally, only follow people who are likely to follow you back. Look at their ratio of ‘following’ to ‘followers’:
— If they follow 10 people and 10,000 follow them, they are not likely to follow you back.
— If they follow 5,000 people and only 500 follow them, they are not likely ‘influential’ or helpful to you.
Click ‘refresh’, ‘view all’, and ‘find people you know’.
Employ follow rules above.
2.) Identify accounts for people active and/or influential in your space.
If you write about Kansas City, type that into the search bar. Click ‘search all.’
Employ follow rules above.
Search relevant hashtags like #kansascity. Click through to the accounts using those hashtags. How to find relevant hashtags? Google ‘hashtags for kansas city’.
Employ follow rules above.
*While following, take a moment to like and/or retweet one of their relevant posts. (See below for retweeting.)
3.) Look at the ‘following’ and ‘followers’ of relevant ‘influencer’ accounts.
When you identify an influencer account, click to see who they are following (and then who’s following them).
Hover over those accounts. See what their topics of focus are. Who is likely to be helpful to your goals?
Employ follow rules above to decide who to follow.
4.) Follow people who follow you.
Open notifications. Hover over images for those following you. These people are interested in you. Don’t let them slip away if they can help you. Employ follow rules above.
TWEETING (1 tweet, done well, might take 10 min)
The biggest mistake people make, in our opinion, is putting up a tweet and hoping it will get traction without doing a bit of research to tag accounts and find relevant hashtags. Here’s what to do, and how to do it well:
What: Keep tweets on point, true to your brand. Tweet travel, regions, destinations, itineraries and POIs.
Social: Tweet your own content AND tweet other people’s. Don’t forget the ‘social’ in social media.
Efficiencies: Queue up one or two posts a day — for one week at a time — using Hootsuite or Buffer (see below).
Tag accounts of:
• Bindu authors in your region who are active on Twitter (see Lists below)
• Influencers (see building relationships on Twitter below)
• Destination Marketing Organizations and Tourist Organizations in your area
• Accounts for POIs mentioned in an itinerary you are promoting. **Our @DannyMangin is very good at tagging businesses who appear in his itineraries. They help keep the tweets alive and seen by more people.
Don’t reinvent the wheel: You need not create 30 new tweets for 30 days. Recreate a tweet a week after you sent the original one. Only a fraction of people saw it in the first place. (Don’t retweet yourself; recreate the tweet.)
*Don’t do the same tweets over and over again. People will see you as a spammer.
• Wit always works. Keep phrases or sentences pithy, short. Questions are good. Pique the interest of people perusing their feeds.
• Always include a photo. Quality matters.
• Emojis are catchy. Use them but don’t overuse them.
• Conventional wisdom: don’t use too many hashtags (i.e. more than two). Conundrum: that’s fine for an account that’s well known, but you get found by using hashtags.
• We prefer hashtags at the end of a post (or even on a separate line) because the post will be easier to read.
• What catches your eye and makes you click through on Twitter? What posts have lots of likes, retweets? What do they have in common?
• Play with different formats, perhaps like this sample tweet:
Day 1 Belize
See a toucan
Visit a Maya Ruin
Eat a termite
Put an iguana on your head
Eat Belizian bbq
Go back to the ruin for sunset
#hashtag #hashtag #hashtag
@tagged_account @tagged_account @tagged_account
[LINK TO YOUR WORK]
RETWEETING (1 retweet, using the technique below, will take 2 min)
Purposefully retweeting relevant content (and content by your fellow Bindu authors) is impactful. And they’ll return the favor, amplifying your efforts.
Retweeting is easy; please do it. People want to be retweeted.
Sometimes it’s more advantageous to you to reconfigure someone’s post rather than do a simple retweet.
Click the link open so you can copy it from an external browser tab.
Copy the tweet you want to post.
Tweak the post. Add different hashtags and accounts.
Add ‘via @whatever_account_you_got_it_from’ or ‘RT @whatever_account_you_got_it_from’
Why do this instead of simple retweeting? If, at first glance, your account looks like you only retweet people (as opposed to creating original tweets), you won’t be taken as seriously by people considering following you. Also, Twitter doesn’t ‘count’ retweets as tweets, so Twitter will not recommend your account to others as often.
Quote tweeting keeps a conversation going MORE VISIBLY than simply commenting on a tweet. It’s simple:
Click ‘retweet’ and then ‘add a comment’ so your comment will display above the original tweet. Post. e.g.:
*BUILDING INFLUENCER RELATIONSHIPS (ongoing)
You can reach influencers. Perhaps, though, don’t start at the top with @CNTraveler, if you only have 500 followers. Approach it like dating: ‘like’ posts to get someone’s attention. Retweet one. Follow them (but don’t stalk them ;-)). Do this over the course of a couple of weeks. They might not pay attention to you on the first one, but they hopefully will over time. They want to know if you are sticking around, or fly by night, if you are quality, worth their time. Once you get on their radar, don’t overdo it. But don’t drop them either. Maintaining a relationship is easier than starting one. Be reciprocal, symbiotic in developing that mutually beneficial relationship. One of Martha Bakerjian‘s biggest fans is Beauty From Italy and whenever they retweet Martha, the posts gets a huge lift! You can build your own network full of accounts like ‘Beauty from Italy’ … rinse, repeat.
And in the process you will become an influencer!
LISTS (kinda a one-time effort)
Making order of Twitter can feel like looking for needles in haystacks… but not when you use Lists!
Create a list of Influencers in your region:
Then, when you find an influencer, add them to a list you’ve created:
Access your Lists quickly here/below.
Click it open to see a feed of ONLY tweets by those people/accounts. This makes it super easy to interact with these people.
Start by using the @Bindu Trips’ author list.
Use anyone’s public list! It’s totally kosher. Subscribe to anyone’s pubic list.
**When looking for more like-minded people to follow, click ‘list members’ and ‘list subscribers’. Employ follow rules at the top of the page.
When you subscribe to a list, it then appears on your Twitter homepage. People can also subscribe to any public lists you create. That can be a good thing for you, making you seem like a trusted resource if you curate worthwhile lists.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN @BinduTrips and #BinduTrips
The @ symbol is followed by a username and tags a specific user, who will be notified of the tweet.
The # symbol, or hashtag, makes the word that follows it a searchable term.
Use both when talking about your Bindu content.
Use #BinduTrips when posting original Bindu content.
We’re currently playing with #thisiswhy #thisishow #thisiswhere
Use the hashtags of organizations you are involved with: #SATW (Society of American Travel Writers) or #ASTWinc (Aussie counterparts) or #BGTW (British Guild of Travel Writers) or #ASJA (American Society of Journalists & Authors) or #TravMediaUSA or #TravMedia_UK
Depending on the day, use these:
#TravelTuesday (also goes by #TT)
BINDU AUTHORS (active or somewhat active) on TWITTER by REGION
For fast access networking with your colleagues:
@MitchellGroup @familyitrips @EmilyStone200 @EssentialNYC @evelynkanter @karlazimmerman @mojotraveler @Melanie_McManus @terriwrites @mara_vorhees @kimgranttravel @goCaribbean @floridahikes @SanibelChelle
@alison_plummer @akonthego @storytellerkc @okietravel @BinduColorado @beckyjlomax @jeffwelchmt @southwestliz @DestonNokes @ashleymbiggers
@indie_traveler @orpheusonthe101 @CherylCrabtree @michelebigley @amywestervelt @laadventuretrav @CubaExpert @dannymangin @keanetravels
@lynnezen @SanibelChelle @orracle @KarenThastings @CubaExpert @mtimokeefe @orpheusonthe101
@[email protected]_plummer @elizabethgowing @colinmoors @sallypederson1 @katejb @alison_plummer @lynnezen @kimberleylovato @gingerandnutmeg @napoliunplugged @leifpettersen @italymartha @wanderingitaly @cloggiecentral @BeebesFeast @jeremyhead @Melanie_McManus
@alison_plummer @danielmccrohan @GavinThomasTrav @thaitraveltales @taxi_talismans
@LeeMylne @alison_plummer @OzyRoadTripper @ChristineSalins @melanieball14 @Dorisdateline @noimpactgirl @TravellerKate @SueHenly @carmenjenner @careergypsy
THIRD PARTY TOOLS WE LIKE
The list could be really long, and it changes frequently. Start with these, all of which are or have free versions.
Hootsuite — For scheduling posts, and for scrubbing ‘likes’ older than 3 months, and for metrics
Buffer — For scheduling posts
Hashtagify.me — For hashtag research
Manageflitter — For unfollowing accounts who have not followed you back, and for exploring hashtags
FriendOrFollow — For unfollowing those not following you back
TweetDelete — For deleting tweets older than 365 days (or a time period less than that)
Bitly — Tracks the open rate and shortens your link
Dev Twitter Validator — For seeing how your tweet will look before you post it
Prep your posts if you don’t like how they look on the ‘validator’ above
Untweeps — Unfollow people who haven’t tweeted in a long time
Twitter Metrics on Twitter are also useful. Access here:
To make sure your ratio remains ‘good’ (i.e. more people are following you than you are following), unfollow people who have not followed you back after eight days. We like ManageFlitter but their free version is limited. Use multiple, free unfollow tools, including CrowdFire and Friend Or Follow.
Check the people you follow from time to time, especially as your numbers grow. You may find that some people you started following early on haven’t posted in months. Unfollow them to maintain a good ratio.
Use @BinduTrips in your profile.