Everyone knows they need to market on social media.
And while a lot of people know that Twitter is one of the important social networks for marketing, not as many know the best tricks and tactics for the site.
So in this article, I’ll give you a run-down of the 9 best hacks for marketing on Twitter.
These run from the more fundamental hacks, to some more unique ones. But all of them are great additions to your marketing arsenal.
What are we waiting for? Let’s get started with the first one:
Hack 1: Get down the basics of your profile as best you can
The basics: a good profile picture, description, username and account name, site link, and header image.
I’ll use my blog’s Twitter profile as an example:
We have a description that clearly states what the account is for, and the gist of our blog. There’s a link to our blog.
Our name and username (meaning the name that comes after the @ symbol) are the same. Our picture includes the name and has the blog logo. It’s the same on all other social media accounts.
And then we have our header/banner image at the top of our profile, using our design and color scheme, plus our site tagline.
Basically, the identity of the account is as clear as possible.
If someone on Twitter sees one of our tweets, and they move their cursor to our icon, they’ll immediately understand the identity of the account, let alone if they visit the profile.
If your blog or site is based on your personhood, image, etc, then most of the basics are the same. For example, see how the Twitter profiles of one of the most famous marketers looks like:
Neil Patel gets in all the key points, links to the consulting page of his site, but features his face in his profile picture and banner image—since it’s a major part of his brand.
True, not everyone can get their username to perfectly line up with their regular name. Sometimes you get unlucky, and someone else has already registered a username.
However, you can always try to keep your username as close, logically speaking, as possible. The key word there is “logically.” You can’t just delete a letter.
Your name is Great Blog Name. But the handle @greatblogname is already taken.
Instead of taking @greatblognam, take @greatblog or @nameofagreatblog, etc.
Plus, you can always consider asking the owner of a given handle, and even offering to purchase the name from them.
Anyway, you get the idea. Keep your Twitter profile as clear as possible, meaning not just what you are, but the identity and personality of your business.
Hack 2: Master hashtags
That’s admittedly a generic piece of advice, so let me tell you what I mean specifically:
First, the basics. Use hashtags that are very relevant. This may mean getting creative, but it’s not hard to see how widely used a hashtag is.
Second, don’t use too many hashtags. For one thing, it’s annoying to users. It makes the account come across as overzealous and more focused on getting retweets than providing something valuable to followers.
Twitter itself recommends one or two relevant hashtags per tweet as the sweet spot.
Third, it may be useful to create a branded hashtag, meaning one unique to your business. While it’s good for those that already have some following, it’s useful for a variety of reasons:
Branded hashtags help you organize content about your brand, but they’re also good for promotional campaigns.
For example, you can offer challenges with prize offerings for people who use your hashtag in a certain way.
Hack 3: Add images, GIFs, and video
You might already know intuitively that adding media to your social media content helps it get noticed and shared more. You may have already seen some stats.
But let me give you a couple stats that come directly from Twitter itself:
Now, admittedly, this is from a 2014 blog post. So the exact numbers may not be true anymore.
But I see no reason why the numbers would go down, as everyone has gotten even more glued to their devices since 2014.
So this is a pretty simple hack. Despite being simple, it’s versatile: you can add media to your tweets in a bunch of different ways.
In this example, I used an image as part of a thread of tweets:
By doing this, I get people to focus more on the specific parts of the thread. Additionally, the images are custom-made, and add personality.
It’s worth noting that there are a million things you can do just within the realm of images.
For example, you can use stock photos to add visuals to tweets without spending too much time or money (though you should probably be careful to pick good stock photos).
You can create original images, especially infographics. It’s also a good idea to create image templates, to save you time while keeping your images original.
You can read more image tips directly from Twitter here.
To say nothing of what you can do with GIFs and video—though those are also a little harder to tweak as needed.
Hack 4: Interact with followers, especially with polls
This hack is pretty common, but for good reason: it’s tried and true.
When you interact with your followers, you show them that they’re important to your business. It signals that they matter and that their following you is meaningful. It helps social media feel more genuine.
To give you an example, here’s how Windscribe, a popular VPN service, used a poll:
In this instance, the poll isn’t directly tied to Windscribe’s business. For example, they didn’t ask their followers to choose which features they’d like to see in the next app update. Or what servers they liked the most.
But, it’s not a completely random question either. People using VPNs are using the internet a lot, and many want a VPN so they can game or stream shows. Heck, some people even use VPNs to work remotely, as it’s more secure for sensitive information.
Additionally, Windscribe heavily markets itself as a “fun” company with a lot of personality. It’s all over their social media and website. So this friendly poll is in line with their branding.
I’m not saying your Twitter polls can’t be explicitly related to your business. Of course they can! It’s a great way of gauging how your audience and customers feel.
But they can also vary to more fun and relaxed questions. And many businesses, like the one above, find they’re useful in adding personality to the brand.
Here’s another hack, that may be relevant to some of your businesses:
You can always take customer support questions on Twitter. A lot of businesses do it, especially ones providing online services of some sort.
Sometimes this is done through Twitter direct messages (DMs), sometimes through public tweets. But either way, it’s useful for some businesses both as a marketing tool and a support method.
Hack 5: Use Twitter ads
There are good reasons why people use Twitter ads. One of them is that they apparently work even better on Twitter than other social media platforms:
Though to be fair, that’s what Twitter says.
Even so, it makes sense. Twitter is a bit unique among social media anyway.
Twitter Ads are pretty easy to use, and are often noted for their helpfulness in the early stages of building an audience.
Many people use Twitter ads more at the beginning of their marketing than later. While you can of course use it whenever is best for you, it’s good for gaining that legitimacy of a decent follower count, from which other followers come.
Hack 6: Some times are better for posting than others
It shouldn’t be surprising that some times of the day—heck, that some days of the week—are better for Tweeting than others.
At some parts of the day, a large chunk of users in a certain area will be taking a lunch break. Or at work. Or having dinner, or about to go to sleep, or…you get the idea.
Now with that being said, there’s no single perfect time that’s great for posting. There’s a limit to how much of this stuff we actually understand, and there are bound to be differences where you’re living and what industry you’re in.
Hubspot finds that good times are 8-10am, and 6-9pm, when people are commuting to and from work.
It also notes that B2B companies (business to business) are better off tweeting during weekdays, while B2C companies (business to consumer) are better off tweeting on weekends. This is because people are typically looking for business solutions while at work, and consuming for themselves more on their downtime.
Meanwhile, TrackMaven found that the best time to tweet is around 5pm, and the best day of the week is Thursday.
So in conclusion? Optimal posting time is real, but that doesn’t mean it’s clear-cut. So continue to do not just your own research, but your own experimentation in particular.
Pro-tip: the best way of experimenting with this stuff is to use social media monitoring tools.
Hack 7: Plan your content
Twitter is famous for its hot takes. If you go on other social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit, you’ll find tons of Twitter screenshots.
They range from funny to serious, but one of the most common elements is that they encapsulate an idea in a short amount of text, about a current event.
So it often seems like the best way to market on Twitter is to be perpetually at the keyboard, waiting for a moment to craft a hit tweet.
While it’s certainly good to be ready to respond to current events, the bulk of your Twitter content won’t be like that. It’s unrealistic for all but a handful of what you actually put out there, frankly.
(If the purpose of your blog or business is to respond to current events, you may be an exception).
Planning your tweets ahead of time requires a bit of energy up-front. But once you sit yourself down and do it, you’ll find it’s much easier to put out tweets later.
One great tactic is to use a weekly or monthly calendar, where you can simply mark down your tweet drafts or even note important days.
Plus, having a monthly or weekly calendar is NOT mutually exclusive of being timely. There are certain events you can indeed plan for.
For example—holidays, significant dates in your field (if applicable), entertainment or sports events, etc.
And one of the hidden benefits is the ability to see your tweets as a collective. You might find, once you take a step back, that too many of your tweets are memes. Or too many are dramatic, etc.
Hack 8: Use Twitter lists
A Twitter list is a list of accounts you don’t necessarily have to follow, usually about a certain subject. Twitter lists let you curate your feed.
Here’s an instructional article from Twitter on how to make lists—it’s incredibly easy.
One of the great things about Twitter Lists is that they’re very versatile.
You can view tweets from accounts in your list as you scroll on your timeline. You don’t even need to follow all the accounts in your Lists—relevant tweets will just appear on the timeline once their authors are in a List.
You can also just look at a feed solely of material from sources in your Lists.
You can even follow other people’s Lists, if they’ve been made public.
So how does that help marketing?
Using Twitter Lists are a great way of keeping track of what’s going on in your Twitter universe, and it can be as specific and far reaching as you want.
For example, you could make Lists like so:
- A list of your favorite accounts for reporting on local news (if locality/area matters to your business)
- A list of your favorite accounts for reporting on your field/niche
- A list of your favorite influencers in your field
- A list of your competitors
And you could use all of them, or just have one or two of such Lists.
Twitter is already a great platform for keeping your ears to the ground. It’s often the best platform for getting breaking news, developments, or even just hot takes.
But it can also be chaotic, and Twitter Lists allow you to use the best parts of Twitter in a more efficient manner.
And there’s one more useful function, though it won’t necessarily be relevant to all readers:
Just as you can follow someone else’s Lists, other people can follow yours (if you set them to public).
This is a good way of bringing value directly into your followers’ timelines and proving that your account is useful to those who follow it.
Hack 9: What’s the lifespan of your tweet?
Understanding the life span of your Twitter content is important for two main reasons:
First, it helps you get a sense of when your Tweets have lost their chances of getting further attention, and when they haven’t. It’s good for coordinating with optimal posting time.
Second, if something bad happens—you make a bad tweet or your account is hacked—you have a rough sense of the amount of time you have to address it before it becomes virtually impossible to erase.
Even if your plan doesn’t revolve around going viral (which should be the case), you still want lots of retweets to build your audience and drive traffic.
But just think it through:
You make your tweet. If it starts getting likes and retweets quickly, the momentum will likely continue. Even if it peters out at some point, the more engagement your tweet has, the more likely it is to CONTINUE to get engagement.
But if your tweet doesn’t get enough engagement after enough time, it’s pretty unlikely to get noticed. It’ll get buried in the timeline and lose relevance.
True, there are always odd moments where you can bring up an old, but relevant tweet or where someone else will do that—but those are rare and not something you can count on for marketing.
Anyway, this is something most of us can intuit after spending enough time on social media (and especially Twitter, of course).
The question then becomes…what is your window of opportunity? What’s the threshold you need to cross before you can stop counting on your tweet to pick up steam?
Well, there you have it! As promised, 9 Twitter marketing hacks.
Even the ones you may have expected should have given you a solid stat or example—a good reminder that the basics have to be followed for a reason.
And the rarer ones, like Twitter lists? Now that’s just waiting for you to make the most of.
So there’s no need to dilly-dally! With these in your toolkit, it’s time for you to get out there.
Author Bio: I’m Chris Wagner, Head of Content @ HostingPill. I regularly write about Hosting, Web servers, and WordPress. I have more than 9 years of Industry experience.