This is why your Twitter isn't growing - Twitter explained
How to not scare away every single person who would be interested in your content
8 min read
Table of contents
- Social Media's reputation is worse than it deserves
- Giving a voice to those who used to be silenced
- Understanding Social Media - Getting you set up
- What kind of content does Twitter prefer?
- Plan your tweets
- How to present yourself on Twitter
- Accessibility on Twitter
To have a successful Social Media presence is to some more important than to others. While there are people who want to stay private and do not want to share their thoughts with strangers there are also people who enjoy using Social Media platforms daily as their source of opinion exchange and socialization.
Social Media's reputation is worse than it deserves
People who care about their Social Media are often portraited as self-centered. Which is an interesting take because opinions like that are often brought up towards women who managed to gather a respectable community size around them. There is often also the talk about who "deserves" an audience. And while Social Media offers everyone an audience - the idea about people deserving an audience is pretty out of the last century.
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Giving a voice to those who used to be silenced
Social Media has become a tool to give a voice to minorities who used to be silenced either by politics or by society. Giving a minority a voice and a potential world wide audience helps to raise awareness to problems that would have otherwise be ignored. It also helps to connect minorities with each other. Giving oppressed groups a piece of autonomy back then I am all here for it. Social Media is only as bad as the people using it. It is a tool. Nothing else.
Understanding Social Media - Getting you set up
While Web3 is hyped up everywhere, I feel like a lot of people have issues even understanding Web2. Web2 - Social Media is about the exchange of users with each other. In my time as a Social Media Manager and during mentorship, I have met a lot of people who were desperate on how to grow their numbers and my first look on their Social Media showed me they did not put the slightest amount of effort into it. This article is meant to be a little guide on how to tackle building a social media existence and how to care for it so it can grow and flourish.
Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash
Stand out with your profile - People need to remember you
I do connect with a lot of people and talk to a lot of people every day. It is impossible to remember everyone you ever talked to. This is the case for a lot of people. Your goal should be to stand out in a positive way.
Have a profile picture. Social Media puts the focus on the person and not on a brand or a company name. People want to talk to other people. Even if your other content channels are not branded to you personally - on social media the personal approach is way more effective than the brand approach. But don't go with the standard picture. Don't just set it up and then do nothing. Use photos and graphics to represent you. Stay minimalistic and don't overload your profile with text and arrows in banners.
Choose a fitting name and a fitting display name
Twitter allows you to set two different kinds of names. One is your account name and one is your display name. Make sure both are easy to remember - as short as possible and avoid any combination with random numbers. You want to be your own personality and not version 89324 of the same name.
Don't do it like this user
One important thing about your display name is - Avoid fancy font types by using mathematical or foreign characters. Also, avoid the usage of too many emojis in your name. The reason here is accessibility. You want screenreaders to be able to read your content to its user.
You now should have a profile picture, a banner image, and a fitting name, and an accessible display name? Then continue - Your about text.
The content of your "about me" text is dependent on what you want to represent. Either set a mood or vibe with it - or be informative. Remember this is what people who open your profile see first so it is your chance to convince people that it's worth following you. Feel also free to insert your pronouns to make it easier for people to know how to address you.
Choosing a topic
Unfortunately, Twitter prefers monothematic accounts over accounts that talk about everything. That is in my eyes a clear design flaw because especially Twitter grew more or less because of its openness and rawness of content. But since the algorithm now prefers accounts that care about one specific topic - this is the way to go when your goal is to grow your channel.
Your first tweet - Pin it
Your first tweet can and should also be your first pinned tweet. A pinned tweet will always be shown at the very top of your personal timeline - the list of your tweets. In this tweet, you can link to other social media channels or even write a tweet about why you think people should consider following you. What you write highly depends on the type of content you want to make.
What kind of content does Twitter prefer?
Twitter has a hierarchy of different content types they prefer to push out into the world. It is sorted in a list of priorities. The content type decides about how often Twitter will show your tweet to people NOT following you.
Hierarchy of content types
Live Content -> Spaces, Live streams ON the platform
Video Content -> Tweets containing videos that were uploaded to Twitter
Image Content -> Tweets containing images that were uploaded to Twitter
Text Tweets -> Your normal Tweet - only text
Tweets with links -> When you're linking to content - there is a higher chance that your tweet will be shown to fewer or no extra people
Here it is very interesting to see how little priority text-only tweets have. And those are most likely the majority of tweets sent on the platform. You can also see that Tweets containing links will be actively suppressed by the algorithm to be pushed to potential followers. Twitters' interest is for you to stay and interact on their platform for as long as possible. When you send links, you actively try to move people away from Twitter.
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How Twitter decides if your Tweet has priority to be shown over other peoples Tweets
Twitter has a little Checklist list with which they decide if your content is worth to be shown to other people. Let's go through this list and see what we need to improve in order to get reach:
When will my content be shown to other people?
- Tweet Type -> The first thing is the content type that we talked about a little further up
- Recency -> How old is your Tweet? If your Tweet is older than a day, it's basically out of the loop and won't be shown anymore.
- Follower -> People who engaged with your content before will see your Tweet more likely even if they don't follow you. While this is not completely in our hands - also who you engaged with is important.
- Engagement on the tweet -> The priority here is Comments, Retweets, Tweet Impressions, Clicks, and Favorites. You can clearly see that the engagement that requires the highest effort is valued the most.
- Activity -> How active are you? Twitter does not want to recommend you and then you abandon your account. If you're active, you will be shown to people more often.
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Plan your tweets
Activity and consistency are super important for your growth. If you do know you are going to have a hard time being consistent - batch plan your tweets.
You can see the little calendar with a clock icon at the bottom of the Tweet popup. It will then give you the chance to plan your tweet and let it be published automatically at the planned time.
To keep up with your planning, I suggest starting a Content Calendar. You can do this either with Notion, Google Calendar or even on paper. Whatever works with your planning. In the Calendar, you put a note that you want to tweet something and also the tweet itself. That way you have a nice overview of your scheduled content.
How to present yourself on Twitter
This is a very tough question because it again depends on what kind of content you want to do. One thing is very important. Be authentic and be yourself. Don't play a role to think it might be more popular. At some point, you will be tired of yourself and Social Media and then just abandon it. Honesty and authenticity will bring you further than an act. Be a human, make mistakes, be vulnerable from time to time. Humans want to connect with humans they can relate to. Not a perfect and artificial version of you. Many people might fall into this trap trying to be absolutely flawless on Social Media but this makes you appear pretty shallow. So be yourself, be honest and you will gain the audience that vibes best with you.
Accessibility on Twitter
Accessibility is a big topic on the Internet and not only on Twitter but there are specific rules that apply to the content you provide. As mentioned in the name choice - try to avoid making your name unreadable for screenreaders. But the same goes for content. Many emojis, ASCII art - all of these can mess with accessibility devices. Making a screenshot of these things and then combining them with an alt text would fix the problem for now.
I can not give you the perfect content plan for your Social Media because you have to find that yourself. But I hope with these points explaining how Twitter works under the hood, it will be easier for you to plan your content.