I still remember the day that I signed up for Twitter for my blog–I had no idea what I was doing! I signed up and started to look around at all the features, feeling a profound sense of confusion at the whole thing.
Now (two years later), Twitter has become my favorite social media platform for my blog. I’ve received a lot of questions over the years about how I have grown my Twitter following and what I use Twitter for, so I thought I would write a post about my experience!
Whether you’re completely new to Twitter, or if you’re looking for new ways to engage with the platform (there is a lot more to Twitter than just tweeting!), I hope you find this post helpful and informative!
Following others on Twitter
One of the first things you will want to do as a new Twitter user is follow other accounts. This process sounds simple, but Twitter is a social media platform that makes comparison and follower numbers really easy to get caught up in. Every time that you follow a new account, remember that your intention should be that you are genuinely engaged in the content that this creator has.
By following other creators that you are genuinely interested in, you will start to form community (which is one of Twitter’s best strongpoints!). When you’re on your main Twitter profile page, on the lefthand side you will be able to see a box called “Who to Follow”. By clicking “view all” in this box, you will be redirected to a page that lets you view accounts that Twitter recommends.
When you first start out on Twitter, don’t worry too much about how many accounts you’re following. Make it your goal to genuinely engage with these accounts over following as many as possible.
This is where one of my favorite aspects of Twitter comes in: building community. When I started a blog, I thought that the only community I would have is between me and my readers but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
I found so many bloggers who inspired me to be the best that I could be, and to work hard towards my goals. All of this through following them on Twitter and reaching out via Direct Messages (DMs) and engaging with their amazing content!
The other half of this starting out process has to do with your own profile, and tips to make it stand out to others (so that you receive that engagement in return, and connect with others who reach out to you!).
Creating your Twitter profile
One of the most important aspects of a Twitter profile is your bio. Not only does it tell fellow Twitter users about who you are and what you do, it’s what shows up on the screen that encourages users to follow you! I love reading through bios of other users, and over time have crafted mine to convey who I am and what people will read if they follow me.
Your biography has character limitations (much like an actual Tweet), so it’s important to include all of the key features you want to highlight! I highly recommend using the Twitter app on your phone to craft this bio, because then you can use fun emojis and other symbols to add to your overall aesthetic!
Using Twitter: RT, Likes, etc.
One of the main ways to use Twitter is to convey your thoughts, and connect with those of others. What I love most about this is when you have a community of people who support each other and who bond over similar ideas.
I often compose tweets on my phone (mostly because I can use the emoji features of my keyboard). One of the common questions is when and when not to use hashtags, and it took me quite some time to figure out a balance that worked well for me. I don’t like every tweet to have a hashtag, but if I am publishing my work (a new blog post) or the work of someone else (celebrating the successes of others is a great thing!), then I love to include as many hashtags as I can fit with the character limit.
Something important to remember is that the order of your tweet actually does matter to a certain extent. It’s best to use @user [if applicable] +tweet text + content link + hashtags. When I first started out on Twitter, I remember that the hashtags I used didn’t work when I put them somewhere else in the tweet, and the link would often not work if I put it after the hashtags.
When you scroll through Twitter, you can like, respond to, and Retweet the content that others post. I mostly like and respond to posts when I scroll through Twitter (it’s an amazing way to start a conversation–the other day I joined a conversation about favorite types of pasta and why)! Retweeting is a great way to show that you absolutely loved the content that someone produced, and that you want your audience to give it a look. This puts the tweet on your timeline of posts. You can also “quote” a tweet when you Retweet it, meaning that you add your own explanation or food for thought above the original tweet itself.
You can also participate in something widely known as FollowFriday (#FF), where you tweet the hashtag followed by a list of people that you think others should follow. This is an amazing way to recognize amazing content being produced by others, and to grow community!
Using Twitter: Twitter chats
This is one of my absolute favorite parts of Twitter, and why it is my favorite social media platform over Instagram, Facebook, and others. Twitter chats are scheduled meetings of Twitter users to discuss a topic at a certain time in the day/week/month.
The first Twitter chat that I ever joined was #BloggingCollege. I accidentally stumbled upon it after seeing another blogger tweet using that hashtag. I clicked on the hashtag and was brought to a page where everyone was discussing (in real time) a topic related to blogging in college. I joined the chat on a whim and never looked back! I made amazing friends and found so many other amazing blogs to follow along with over the next two years.
I have also found other Twitter chats that I have loved, and this is where the feeling of community grew for me. In fact, something super exciting is that I was able to meet a blogger (Sara from Sara Laughed!) in real life that I had originally met through #BloggingCollege! I kept thinking of how my life would be so different had I not started blogging–but it’s also true to say that it would be quite different if I hadn’t found Twitter!
The tricky aspect: The numbers game
The hardest part about any social media–Twitter definitely included–is the numbers game and comparison. It’s so easy to become disheartened by numbers (this has definitely happened to me in the past, and in all honesty is still happening with sites like Instagram). What’s important to remember is that engagement is more important than numbers. The number of people who engage with your content (like, RT, reply, etc.) is demonstrative of the community that you have built.
As best as you can, try to ignore the numbers and instead focus on engaging with others and using Twitter as a platform that you truly enjoy. I love all of the opportunities that Twitter has for growth and for meeting others!
What is your favorite part about Twitter? Do you have a chat or user to recommend? Also feel free to leave your twitter handle below so that I can follow your updates! 🙂
© The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.