Twitter is unique among social media channels. Some consider it a vanity platform for elite professional athletes, celebrity influencers, and thought leaders, but millions of savvy brands and individuals have learned how to leverage Twitter to build their audience and engage loyal users.
Twitter is a short-form text and visual media platform that many users click on first when opening their phones. It differs from Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest in both how it is used and by whom. According to Twitter itself, “Twitter is what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.”
The type of content that performs well on Twitter is typically not as visually heavy as that of Instagram or video-reliant as YouTube. It is also not as wordy as that of Facebook. For much of Twitter’s history, there was a 140-character limit on posts. That made for more punchy, colorful posts in fewer words. The character limit has since been doubled to 280 characters, but few posts even come close to the old 140-character allowance, and that expectation of brevity still applies for most users.
Who's using Twitter?
Twitter usage and demographics data was published in an article from Feb 2020 by Omnicore Group, a healthcare digital marketing agency. There are multiple statistics available on who is using Twitter and how they are using it.
These facts will help in deciding if your desired audience is active on the platform. If so, read on to learn how to build and grow your Twitter audience organically.
These facts can help in deciding if your desired audience is active on the platform. If so, read on to learn how to build and grow your Twitter audience organically.
- 330 million active users each month worldwide
- 48 million active users each month in the US
- 152 million daily users of Twitter
- 500 million tweets are posted per day
- 80% of users are on mobile devices
- 42% of users are on Twitter daily
- 66% of users are male
- 34% of users are female
- 22% of adults in the United States use Twitter
- 38% of users are between 18 and 29 years of age
- 26% of users are between 30 and 49 years of age
- 80% of users world-wide are affluent millennials
How to get more followers on Twitter
1. Start with a strong profile
Your profile will be the first thing people click to and see when deciding whether to follow you. Your profile picture should be engaging, well-lit, and representative of your personal brand. People engage with people and the more times they see your face, the more they will trust what you are saying.
Write a descriptive, interesting bio that will appeal to the followers you are seeking. Read the bios of some of your favorite Twitter personalities to get ideas on tone, language, and information to include. If your identity is tied to
Perhaps most important for a valuable profile – make sure that you are easy to find via search. Your real name – or what most people know you as – should be your Account Name and, if available, your handle.
2. Find and follow people who have an audience or platform related to yours
Now that you have a good profile, you can search for Twitter users with a similar audience to the one you want. Depending on the level of fame of some of them, simply following them could result in them following you.
Specifically look to follow active individuals, not only business and brands related to your niche. Active users are more likely to engage with you and to do so directly.
You can also search hashtags related to your area of interest or expertise, follow the relevant profiles and add yourself respectfully and thoughtfully to the conversations happening on their posts.
3. Post content that performs
Pay attention to what is happening in the world, within your niche areas and what is trending on Twitter.
This blog article from social media tool Post Planner contains examples of content that work well on Twitter and are more likely to be retweeted, shared or commented on.
- They include:
- Behind the scenes and insider info
Another piece of content that can result in significant engagement with an organic audience is asking a thoughtful question. Social media users really like to give their opinions, and a well-crafted post with a question that is timely, relevant and thought-provoking can generate a variety of answers, spur debate and draw in new followers.
Your content strategy doesn’t have to be “spray and pray” either. Check out analytics.twitter.com to performance of your posts and measure growth over time.
4. Tweet frequently and at the right time
Twitter posts have the shortest lifespan of the social media channels, averaging 15-20 minutes. This does not mean that they disappear at that time, but the fast pace of Twitter pushes them down the feed quickly. By comparison, the average Facebook post lasts 5-6 hours, Instagram is 1-2 days, and Pinterest posts can live on for up to 3 months. This short lifespan is the reason many suggest that beginner users tweet twice per day, and experts tweet 6-8 times per day.
Once you have been tweeting for awhile, you will see what time of day your followers engage the most and can plan your best posts for that time.
5. Engage with your followers
You will work hard to acquire followers. Make sure you keep them by engaging with them in authentic ways. Answer all questions posed to you and post often enough that they don’t think you have gone dark or moved your focus from Twitter to another platform.
6. Get social followers from your other channels to follow you on Twitter
Speaking of other platforms, if you are already active on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn, incentivize your followers there to follow you on Twitter.
If you have a Twitter post that is getting good traction, link to it or copy it and encourage people to go follow you on Twitter to see the whole story and join the conversation.
7. Use the correct hashtags
Twitter has plenty of helpful tutorials and content on their site, including this page on how to use hashtags well. Hashtags were created on Twitter to help people find the content they were interested in.
Search Twitter for the hashtags you think fit your content and use them accordingly. Twitter recommends on the page linked above to only include two hashtags per tweet as best practices, although many users will often include more.
What's the Value in an Audience?
A large and engaged audience is both a receptive buying pool and a loyal following. Building a strong network of followers will also help you craft future content. You can revisit what resonated most and what didn’t and use that to guide future content pieces.
Ultimately, the right audience could lead to valuable opportunities for sponsored content and influencer marketing.
Putting it all together
Smart marketing asks two questions before any time or money is spent:
- What is the goal?
- Who is the audience?
Answering these questions will guide you in selecting the social media channels to focus on as a brand or individual. Many marketers believe it is best to pick one channel to begin with and do it really well before you add others. If you are growing your brand and have pages on all the channels, but don’t have the time and resources to optimize your content or go months without posting on some of the channels, your whole brand suffers.
7 ways to get more Twitter followers
- Start with a strong profile
- Follow people who have an audience similar to yours
- Post content that performs
- Tweet frequently and at the right time
- Engage with your followers
- Get social followers from your other channels
- Use the correct hashtags
Twitter is the right platform for many individuals and brands. The limited character-count in posts appeals to those who do not consider themselves natural writers, many target audiences are active and easily found on Twitter, and new followers can be found and engaged.