There’s so much value to be found on Twitter…if you know how to unlock it.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad Twitter advice out there, “hacks” that don’t translate into anything meaningful, and temptation to chase overrated vanity metrics.
The truth is the key to Twitter success is to understand a few core concepts and let them guide your activity on your platform.
Here are the concepts that have helped me build relationships, attract clients, learn a ton of things, and attract 13,000 Twitter followers along the way…
1. Twitter success is about more than follower count.
You want more followers.
I get it.
And it’s worth reading my take on how to get followers on Twitter.
But while followers can be valuable and a marker of Twitter success, it’s crucial (and freeing) to recognize you don’t need a large following to get value from Twitter.
One relationship you make on Twitter can change your life.
The wisdom of one person you follow on Twitter can triple the revenue of your business.
The community you immerse yourself in on Twitter can change your perception of what’s possible.
Success on Twitter starts by expanding your definition of it beyond vanity metrics like follower count.
(This is one of the key lessons I’ve learned from studying and sharing the secrets of successful creators.)
2. Use Twitter to drive value, not traffic.
Twitter is great for a lot of things, but driving traffic isn’t one of them.
You may want people to go to your website, but that’s not what Twitter wants — it actually works AGAINST that happening.
Twitter’s algorithm reduces the reach of links that take people to your website (or anywhere outside of Twitter itself).
But on the flip side, it rewards tweets that include valuable content in the tweet itself.
This means you’ll be way more successful if you take the valuable information you posted on your website and incorporate it into tweets and tweet threads so it lives natively on Twitter (in addition to on your website).
Sharing links in tweets all day is a recipe for frustration — give the algorithm what it wants so it will work for you and not against you.
You get traction by writing tweets designed to provide value, not drive traffic.
The irony is doing so will increase your reach and audience which will ultimately get you more traffic to your website in the long run.
3. The more you tweet, the more success you’ll have.
Despite years of working in social media and a lot of success on Twitter, I have no idea what tweets will work.
And neither do you.
You may think you do, but trust me — you don’t.
No one does.
Even the most successful people on Twitter are never quite sure what will catch on and what won’t — it’s all a guessing game.
This means solely optimizing for quality is a mistake because you can’t accurately determine what quality is and/or if what you think is a good tweet will actually perform well.
You need more reps.
You need to take more shots.
You need to post more tweets.
Doing so increases the likelihood some will get traction and speeds up your learning process.
Every tweet you post is market research.
The more you tweet, the more you learn what resonates, and the better you get at tweeting.
There’s no magic number of tweets to post each day/week, but aim for as high a volume as you can consistently manage.
For help doing this, check out my breakdown of how I tweet five times a day or This Is How I Do It.
On a side note, I’ve recently increased to tweeting 10 times a day using that same system and have seen increased success as a result.
4. The more varied the topics you tweet about, the harder it is to grow your following.
Tweet about whatever you want.
The more varied your topics, the less likely people who discover you are to follow you, the less likely your followers are to see your tweets, and the more likely your followers are to unfollow you.
Because Twitter success is all about relevance.
Here’s an example to illustrate this point.
Let’s say your last five tweets include one about entrepreneurship, one about politics, one about the NBA, one about Game of Thrones, and one about being a parent.
And because you’re an awesome tweeter, let’s say they were all brilliant tweets that got shared a bunch and seen by thousands of people who don’t currently follow you.
Good for hypothetical you!
How many of those people do you think will check out your profile?
Probably a lot.
But how many will follow you?
Because a person who sees your entrepreneurship tweet checks out your profile looking for more of your thoughts about entrepreneurship, but what they’ll see is 80% of your recent tweets aren’t about that.
If the majority of your tweets don’t match the interests of the people checking out your profile, they’re unlikely to follow you.
Contrast that with an alternate scenario in which 80% (or more) of your tweets are about entrepreneurship.
That same person who saw your tweet about entrepreneurship would check out your profile and discover it’s a perfect fit for their interests.
In that scenario, they’d probably follow you.
I speak from personal experience.
For years I tweeted about whatever I wanted, but my following didn’t grow until I started only tweeting about stuff relevant to creators and audience growth.
Then it took off.
5. Replies are the secret sauce.
Most people obsess over how to write great tweets and while that’s important, it misses the real key to success on Twitter — replies.
Just about everyone who has succeeded on Twitter will point to replies in one form or another as a key to their success.
When you reply to other people’s tweets in an authentic way and start conversations or add value to them, a bunch of great things happen:
- It can start a relationship with the person who posted the tweet.
- It gets your thoughts (and profile) seen by a lot of people who don’t currently follow you — this is especially true when you reply to accounts that have lots of followers. In many cases, your replies will be seen by more people than your tweets.
- It leads people to engage with you which boosts your account in the algorithm and makes those people more likely to see your future tweets.
- It helps you attract more followers.
Replying to other people’s tweets is valuable for all those reasons, but it’s only half of the reply equation.
You should also post tweets that attract replies from your followers by asking questions or encouraging responses from people.
When you do that, a bunch of other great things happen:
- Replies to your tweets are strong engagement signals which boosts your tweet in the Twitter algorithm and helps it reach more people.
- It creates an opportunity for you to engage with your followers and build relationships.
- When people reply to your tweets, their followers will then see it which gets you on the radar of more people and potentially grows your audience.
- Replies can make your original tweet more valuable to your audience. For example, if you post a tweet recommending a podcast episode you listened to recently AND in the tweet ask people to recommend episodes they liked recently, all those replies turn your individual tweet into a collection of episode recommendations which makes the whole thing way more valuable (and likely to reach way more people).
More Secrets To Twitter Success
The concepts above will give you a great foundation to get more value out of Twitter, but there are certainly lots of other tactics you can employ as well.
Here are a few more resources you may find useful if you want to take a deeper dive into Twitter mastery:
What To Tweet: 21 Unique and Useful Twitter Post Ideas
Four Tweet Formats That Work For Me Every Time
Discover the secrets of successful creators.