Nine months. Nine long months. This is how long it has taken us to reach 1000 followers on Twitter.
Although we're far from the follower count of Barack Obama we have still learned a lot of valuable lessons on our journey, so far.
We know, for sure, that @foxmere could have done it faster or gained more followers by now.
However, we're grateful for what we have achieved and for the engaged and committed audience that we have built along the way.
Here is what we have learned:
1. Build bold content
Make your tweets stand out. Use media and creative layouts where possible as these are more likely to drive user engagement.
In fact, a tweet with an image is likely to drive 150% more retweets.
Example 1: https://twitter.com/foxmere/status/1140899449801195520
Example 2: https://twitter.com/foxmere/status/1150646173860028417
2. Level up with scheduling
Scheduling allows you to be extremely measured in your approach to tweeting.
This can help with accurately reviewing your tweets and how effective they were.
As part of our monthly marketing routine, we block out time to write and schedule the next 4-6 weeks of Twitter content.
This content is then scheduled and distributed using TweetDeck.
We have found that writing all of your marketing tweets in bulk, on a monthly basis, saves time, fuels creativity, increases content output and ensures tweet consistency throughout the month.
When scheduling it's always good to be conscious of where your target audience might be at different times of the day.
We also recommend using a website similar to timeanddate.com to monitor public holidays in your overseas markets.
3. Give back to your audience
Anyone can schedule 10 tweets a week talking about their latest blog, latest sale or newest product but people tire of promotional content quickly.
That's not to say you shouldn't directly promote your business through Twitter.
However, we have found that one of the more effective ways to grow your audience and drive new engagement is to get involved with the industry and your audience directly.
Learn to make your audience feel special: engage with them regularly and champion their content.
Add value to the Twittersphere: share positive and informative news from your industry, ask questions, answer questions and don't be afraid to be playful.
Example 1: https://twitter.com/foxmere/status/1169653477510959105
Example 2: https://twitter.com/foxmere/status/1167120559945240576
If you don't already drive a well-established and well-loved brand and you're not engaging with your existing audience, you may find that your well-planned, polished and scheduled content may simply fade away into the background.
In fact, if there was only one piece of advice I would share with anyone using Twitter it would be: Don't underestimate the power of engagement.
It doesn't have to be time consuming either — over the course of one day we typically use 30 minutes looking for content to engage with and share.
Not only does this give back to our followers and increase the value of our profile but it keeps our feed fresh and inviting.
It also saves a lot of time when compared to generating original content each month and ultimately yields the best organic Twitter ROI that we have found.
4. Lists are a secret time-saver
Think of a list as a feed; they are a great tool for organising content creators by any taxonomy that you like.
If you follow a bunch of people that tweet about SMEs you could make an `SME` list.
If you have a bunch of people that tweet tech you could make a `Technology` list.
We find that lists are a particularly good time-saving tool for when you are looking for a type of content to engage with but don't have the time to scroll through your entire feed.
For example, you could have a list for accounts and people that you cherish (we call ours the "all-stars").
You could simply reference this list on days when you don't have much time for Twitter and just want to reach out to a few key people.
5. Review your work
Last and by no means least, review your work.
I found myself regularly Googling for answers to niche, industry-specific Twitter questions to find that most sources said "nothing is better than doing your own research".
And it's true. Whilst there are a tonne of great Twitter blogs, videos and resources out there nothing beats doing your own testing and research.
One of the most valuable exercises for us was performing our own A:B testing.
With the help of Twitter Analytics we broke down our content to see what content performed best and at what times of day.
This was no quick fix but it helped us form a solid profile on our model follower which now allows us to schedule and plan marketing better, ultimately saving us time and money.
Both Twitter Analytics and TweetDeck are free to use.
They are both simple yet powerful tools provided by Twitter.
They allow you to tweet with purpose and measure your success with ease and they are a great starting point for when you begin taking a more measured approach to tweeting.