The Twitter Experiment: How to Get Started with Twitter in 2018
The other day I listened to a small business podcast where a copywriter chatted about using Twitter to grow her following and increase website traffic. I thought to myself, "well, she's a copywriter, that makes sense." And then continued on with my daily errands without really giving it more thought.
Fast forward maybe 10 hours later (I know it took TEN hours!) and I realized that I hardly ever hear about Twitter in the "circles I run in". The focus always seems to be on Instagram and more recently I've been noticing more attention given to Pinterest. But Twitter? Twitter sits alone at the lunch table. Twitter is just not the cool kid right now.
I decided I needed to do some digging and find out the real story on Twitter. Who is using it? What type of content is being shared? Do you even use hashtags on Twitter?
Surprisingly there wasn't a ton of great content out there on the subject - when I did a Google search on "How to Use Twitter" the most relevant articles dated back to 2013! Here's what I could piece together using recent (all from 2018) data and research.
WHO IS USING TWITTER?
Twitter has 330 million users and 24% of American adults use Twitter.
While Facebook is still by far the most popular social media platform in the US a similar number of people use Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest.
Twenty-four percent of American women use Twitter and 23% of American men are Twitter users. Forty-six percent of Twitter users long on daily and Twitter is most popular among 18-29 year olds.
The most common demographic on Twitter are those you have a college degree or who are in college.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU "TWEET"?
When I opened up my Buffer account to start scheduling tweets the schedule defaulted to 4 tweets/day. This was consistent with data I found stating that the average person tweet 364 times in 90 days or simply 4 tweets/day.
However, I found another article that suggests you tweet 5-7 times per day but that quality matters. Like other social media platforms consistency, quality of the content and engagement will all factor into how often your tweets are seen by your followers.
THE TWITTER ALGORITHM
Yep, Twitter has an algorithm much like Facebook and Instagram. According to Twitter here's some insight on how the algorithm works:
"In order to predict whether a particular Tweet would be engaging to you, our models consider characteristics (or features) of:
- The Tweet itself: its recency, presence of media cards (image or video), total interactions (e.g. number of Retweets or likes)
- The Tweet’s author: your past interactions with this author, the strength of your connection to them, the origin of your relationship
- You: Tweets you found engaging in the past, how often and how heavily you use Twitter"
THE TWITTER EXPERIMENT
In the past several months I have been focusing on increasing my blog traffic by using Pinterest. At the time of writing this post more than 80% of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest. I decided it was time to diversify and use other social media channels to find a different audience and increase my traffic.
I had a personal Twitter account that I opened years ago and barely used so I decided that I wanted to really "start fresh" with this little experiment so I created a new account @WeberHamilton.
I already had the "Awesome" plan from Buffer ($10/month) to help me schedule out tweets so that I maintain consistency. I sat down and scheduled 1 month of tweets (4 tweets/day). This took me about 3 hours. I'm hoping that I can shorten the amount of time this takes each month once I get the hang of it.
What did I tweet? I focused on making my tweets content rich and made sure that the majority of the tweets link back to the blog to help drive traffic. It so helps that I have a bank of blog posts from the past two months that I can link as well as my podcast episodes. Every once in awhile I would throw in an inspirational quote as well.
Here's my profile on Twitter on DAY 1. Stop by my profile and give the girl a follow. On Day 1, I had 2 followers. But, hey, those are REAL people who thought that maybe I had something interesting to share.
I'll be keeping you all updated on how it is going and sharing the exact techniques and stratigies I am using!
Want to follow me on my Twitter journey? You can follow me @WeberHamilton
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