As one of the most popular forms of social media, Twitter has over 500 million tweets posted per day. That’s roughly 5,800 tweets every second.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “How on earth can I get my messages seen in the proverbial tempest that is Twitter?”
That’s a good question, my well-spoken reader, and one which can be answered more easily than you might think.
1. Personalise those retweets
Say you’ve just read a great blog post about something. You think “This blog post about something was great! I’ll just retweet this…” So you do. You find the little button on the blog and you tweet it. Great. Except now, you’ve just tweeted a basic, bog-standard advert for the article. There’s nothing there from you. Put in your own opinion on the article. Write a (very) mini review. Make sure that you put something of yourself in the tweet; otherwise you’re just giving publicity to the article. That’s fine normally, but if you want to be promoting yourself and getting noticed, there’s nothing there to set you apart from a simple bot. Try asking your followers for their opinions, or using a question to draw them in. By putting a little bit of your own flair into it, you can make yourself much more visible in a pre-populated tweet.
2. Sharing is caring
Since there is so much activity on Twitter each day, it’s very easy for your articles and tweets to just get lost in the Twitterverse, which is why you need to share and post things multiple times. “But wait!” I hear you say. “If I keep posting the same thing multiple times, people will think I’m just a spammer!” Well, of course they will; which is why you change them a bit. Use the tips from point #1 and personalise them, even if you just reword your message a little, that’s all you need.
3. Result of personality
This links pretty strongly with #1, but perhaps the most important thing you can do to get noticed on Twitter is have a personality. Think about your Twitter feed. How many of the businesses and brands that you follow simply post dry, uninteresting updates? Or links to articles with just the title? Exactly. It may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at the number of people who don’t do it. Some people think it’s unprofessional, but you can still be perfectly professional while having personality. Here is a great example from the Smart USA account:
We learn two things from this eye-catching post. Firstly, the folks over at Smart have a sense of humour, even when dealing with criticism. Secondly, everyone should stay the hell away from Emus. It’s Smart’s sense of humour, aided by the colourful graphic, which makes the post stand out both on the page and in peoples’ memories. Remember that if you’re struggling (or you were born without a personality), there are companies who provide dedicated social media management.
You shouldn’t underestimate the power of trends on Twitter. You probably know that you can see trending topics on the left hand side of your profile, with a handy little list of the topics that are being talked about the most. The fact that you can break it down by location makes it even more useful, as you can see what’s trending in your target area! This lets you do something called ‘trendjacking’, where you use a trending hashtag in your own posts to draw more attention to them. So long as you keep it relevant, fun and not too promotional (or you’ll just look like a soulless cash-grabber), it will usually pay off. However, make sure you research the trends and don’t just throw them in without knowing what they’re about. A prime example of a company using a trending hashtag without knowing the source was back in 2012. After the Aurora Theatre shooting, #Aurora was trending, prompting Celeb Boutique to post this:
Ouch. Naturally, Celeb Boutique got into some hot water for this, and while they later apologised for the mistake, the damage was done. So, basically always check where the trends come from. Otherwise people will certainly notice you, but not in the way you’d want. Contrary to the saying, there IS such a thing as bad publicity.
5. We’ve got a visual
Visual content is an extremely effective tool for both grabbing attention and being remembered. Roughly 65% of people are visual learners. People often say that ‘the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text’ (which has no factual basis), but while this may not be true, visual information is certainly more favourably processed by the brain than huge blocks of text. Think back to your Twitter feed again. How many of the people you follow simply post text? Most of them, right? That makes standing out easy: just use images. Visual content is a great way to get your thoughts and opinions across quickly and easily, as well as taking up more space on the page, making your tweet more obvious. Just take a look at this handy piece of visual content to understand how visual content can affect your tweets:
6. Talk it out
Finally, the simplest method to get noticed on Twitter is to engage with other people. People won’t remember you if you’re just a one-way talk-o-matic. Chat with them, both on your own posts and on other people’s. Search your Twitter feed for something to start a conversation around; you’ll be surprised how happy people will be to chat back. Listen to what other people are saying around you and engage with both influential people and newcomers too. Remember, the more the merrier!
If you walk away (metaphorically) from this article with only one piece of advice, it should be that the most important thing to get noticed is to be yourself. Be funny, and interact. Back it up with images and knowledge of trends and before you know it, people will be calling you the Ultimate Twit. Oh, you know what I mean.