Twitter is an important professional networking platform for the Digital Humanities. But it’s not exactly self-evident how to make it work in your favour. This part explains how you can improve the rate you’re gaining followers at by immediately providing them with reliable information about what value you provide for them. The best and quickest way to achieve that is by a one-time improvement session for your bio! If that’s not a life hack 😉
As some of you might remember, I did a Twitter Engagement Experiment at some time in autumn last year. Now I wanted to share my most important learnings, so you can make your Twitter presence more effective with just as little work as you want to put in. Actually, this was all just meant to be one post but it got so crazy long that I decided to make it into a series of digestible short posts.
More Twitter Growth/Strategy advice
8) Set up your profile right (profile image, header image, bio text and pinned post)
Set up the four informational things (profile & header pic as well as bio text & pinned post) so that people can see in 2 seconds what they will gain from following your account.
Use a picture of your face for the profile pic (proven to work better and I can attest to that from my personal profile!). Use the header image to quickly communicate what your account is about. Just one quick tagline or elevator pitch style thing (here, you can use visuals too!).
Come up with a good, short elevator pitch which shows immediately what value you contribute to your followers. Repeat this message in (slightly varied) from in all your information. Convey it visually, textually and using hashtags.
Make that same message very clear in your bio as well. The more often you communicate that message clearly, the more likely people will be able to pick up on it in the very limited attention span that you have to convince them.
Honestly, I think this was one of the biggest problems with my accounts before and it was fixed in a few minutes. Ever since, I feel that my follower count grows much more on a regular basis, even without me being very active on Twitter – maybe because people are less reluctant to trust me because I communicate clearly what value I provide.
Use hashtags but only very specific / relatively narrow ones or it will be too vague. Don’t overcharge any of those areas. Also..
9) Use spacing.
Both on the phone app and the web, you can use line breaks to add in empty lines.
Doing that will both make your post take up more space (“attention grabbing”) and also, make it easier to digest quickly (you only have fractions of seconds for people to decide whether they’re interested or not!).
Career Conversations’ Stefanie also says that she tried an experiment with images or videos and found that plain text worked better – she thinks that might be because we’re bombarded with ads so much in our lives that we’re already trained to subconsciously filter out content which seems spammy, scammy or like ads. So make sure your posts don’t look like ads – not even resemble them in the slightest!
10) Use the pinned tweet wisely to communicate info worth sharing.
This can be further info about who you are and what you do (Career Conversations has recommended video intros at some point) or what a user can gain from you. Or maybe a link to your most important/ most recent publication, phrased according to the “attention-grabbing” three-step-tweet-formula.
Phrase your research as a problem which you solve (this makes for good papers anyway). Start with “Wanted to know… Have you had the problem…?”, then suggest a solution or link to your research.
Maybe check out the Epigrammetry Article Outline Challenge for Abstract optimization.
11) Always answer all comments on your posts.
This will double the engagement rating for your post.
12) Overall, act naturally, i.e. liking what you actually like, commenting when you actually have something of value to contribute.
This will naturally make you more visible and attract people interested in your comments.
13) Find a big account relevant to your topic (like AcademicChatter or so) and start talking to people commenting on their posts in the comments, maybe follow them back etc, if they seem to share your interests.
According to CareerConversations, this is a good way of naturally growing your account.
She has done it with lots of success (see her Twitter and also her Youtube where she shares tips on how to use Twitter more successfully) and suggests you should invest 20 minutes daily to actively do just that, in order to “grow” your following and improve your engagement/interest rates.
She suggested maybe using your commute time for this. I did that for two weeks as part of the experiment and let me say, it works. However, I’m not up for doing that on a daily basis.
So, that’s it for today. Stay tuned for the next episode.
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Other posts in The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide
- Improve your Twitter Strategy: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 1
- Retweet Bots and Hashtags: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 2
- Bio Engineering, Tweet Structure or How to lure your audience: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 3
- Long-Term Twitter Strategizing: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 4