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Tuesday, 5 March 2019

12 Top Tips for Twitter Success

Twitter is NOT Dead...You Get Out What You Put In!

I often read posts online that make reference to the glitz and glamour of Instagram and Pinterest for bloggers gaining traction in their reach and traffic, and that Twitter is a dying platform. I also see many comments in the groups I'm a member of on Facebook making the same statements. However, I have to say, I disagree to some extent, & here's why...

When I started my blog in late 2012, I was a little shy about "putting it out there" and for about the first four months happily kept it as a diary-style update. It was at that point only really a training log detailing our weaknesses and what we were doing to try to improve them. I soon realised that I enjoyed finding new exercises and tips to help us improve through YouTube videos and other 'articles' shared online. I wanted to be able to share these with other, but at the time I didn't have a wide equestrian network on my Facebook, Instagram wasn't really anywhere, and Pinterest was all about cooking and interior design...However, I had seen lots of success in sharing my professional views via my own Twitter. From that, I decided to give @TeamTunnah a go...

My journey on Twitter from start through to today

I soon realised that there was a whole network of other amateur horse riders, from all over the world, enjoying different disciplines, and doing their own thing with their horses. But they did enjoy reading my updates, and I quite liked theirs too. I then discovered numerous "chat hours" dedicated to those enjoying equestrian life... #equinehour was the first and used to be by far the most popular and engaging from my seat, with #horsehour a close second after a while. Suddenly, there was #dressagehour, #equestrianhour, #eventinghour, #ponyhour, #riderhour... You name it, there was a day and time dedicated. And best of all, they all co-ordinated so none clashed. Throughout 2014 and 2015, I engaged with these hours regularly - not all the time or on all of them - but regularly.

Let's leave Twitter a moment...

At the end of 2016, I bravely launched my Facebook page. The nerves were real... I'm not even sure why. Maybe because it's the network full of friends & family, and although literally everyone is mega supportiv of my blog, at that time, only the "big boys" had pages. You know, brands, professionals, teams, and bigger setups. One of the main reasons I decided to go for it was to stop bombarding my non-horsey friends on Facebook with "awww look at how cute my horse is" type of content! And to this day, it's why I very rarely share my blog page content to my personal. What's the point? I may as well just put it on my personal profile if I'm going to share it there right away and as a way to garner engagement on it...

A few months after, I decided to focus on my Instagram account. I wanted to make it more dedicated to my blog and our stories. After all, my life outside of horses doesn't seem that interesting in comparison to these "perfect" life accounts that are out there. Plus Instagram is all about great pics... If you want to update friends on what you're up to, Facebook is this way folks!

Think I've gone off on a tangent? Well sort of, but intentionally...

The focuses onto getting Facebook up and running and considering content for Instagram took up a lot of my "spare" time that I had for the niceties for my blog. Which, left Twitter almost neglected. OK, so maybe not neglected, but my attention to it, definitely went down... And as time went on, I was drawn more and more into other areas. Twitter is conversational, so if you can't give it a little something all the time, it does go downhill.

Let's focus on my recent performance on Twitter (& I am a small account in scale of the platform and bloggers on there!)

At the start of 2019, I set myself, what I am now starting to think is an almost impossible goal to reach 2,500 followers, hit 25k impressions each month AND be more commited to it as a platform. January went well... February was a good effort to, but with almost a quarter less tweets by me.

I can very much tell you... Twitter is NOT dead. Otherwise, how did I go from just 5,000 impressions on 12 tweets in December, to 39,000 impressions over 182 tweets in Janaury, picking up 839 profile views and 33 new followers?

If the platform was dead, I would have wasted my efforts entirely over the last two months.

How does that translate into traffic back to my blog? 

Shamefully, I have zero visits from Twitter in December. Yes. ZERO! January saw 861 and February dropped to 654.

Now when you factor in that Twitter's primary focus is talking to each other, traffic is an added extra. You have to be prepared to engage with others and hold a conversation with other users; it is not only about pushing out your own content.

Twitter's Algorithms Vary Vastly from Facebook and Instagram

It's similar in one sense - it wants to sow you content that you like. Let's start at the beginning as a brand new account...

You follow accounts. Your 'Home' feed will be full of the content that those accounts are pushing out. Simple.

  • You start liking some of that content. Twitter reads that as a signal.
  • You start retweeting the content. Twitter sees that as a strong signal as you're happy to essentially share it.
  • You click on a few links in tweets, or click to expand images. Twitter sees that you are kind of interested, but maybe not commited.

Next time, your Home feed will be adapted to prioritising content that you've previously engaged with.

Wait...this sounds a lot like Facebook and Instagram... Let's add a layer of complexity.

You reply to tweets from various accounts, like a few tweets and retweet a one or two. AND you start pushing out your own content. Well now Twitter has a lot to consider. It will determine what to show you in the Home feed based on how you've interacted with other accounts, and even make connections within patterns of behaviour between you and other users that you follow. So often when you are seeing that someone you followed liked a tweet, it's probably because it's from an account that you usually like tweets from also.

But what about if you're following some who keeps putting out content that you don't really like. This is where Twitter introduced one of its best features ever... Mute.

Most people just complain at the "rubbish" on Twitter. But it can literally only show you what follow and interact with. So just mute it. It's a temporary signal to Twitter that you really don't like this account's tweets.

Even stronger, and I've no idea why people don't just do this - unfollow them. Guess what? You'll never see content from them again. Ever. Unless you go looking for it, which is sort of your own doing!

So what do you need to do to make sure that the efforts your putting into Twitter don't go to waste?

Here's my top 12 tips on how to make sure Twitter can work for you. If it's new to you, you'll need to put the hard work in to build the momentum and get some traction. But it will pay off.

  1. Absolutely number one - be able to have a conversation with someone you don't know but share a mild & lose connection with an interest that you hold
  2. Do not go all out and self-promote. You will not be welcome.
  3. Once you've master the art of this platform, put energy into your followers because it does directly link to increased engagement, providing you stick to the principles
  4. Build your audience within your pocketed niche - don't start on broad topics. Start small, work big
  5. Do not just kepe posting the same tweet over and over - adapt it. You can get 4-5 tweets from every blog post. Easy.
  6. Got 'auto post to Twitter' turned on from Facebook, Instagram or your blog? Don't. It looks awful to us Twitter lovers. If you want to put content on there, make the effort.
  7. Use multimedia - photos, videos, links. It's there. Use it.
  8. Make sure your blog post are setup for Twitter cards.
  9. Practice the art of writing catchy tweets that grab people's attention in 1-2 seconds. Literally.
  10. Test but don't spam. Figure out when is best to tweet, what type and with what content
  11. Get yourself a Buffer account to help with broadcast tweets and management of retweets to avoid spamming your followers while you're having 5 minutes making a coffee
  12. Do all you posts have a share to Twitter button? If not, add it.


  1. Twitter is still the platform I have the biggest following on. I am not that active on it anymore and I know I need to make the effort a bit more. But I am really lucky to have a really loyal following built up from when I was active. I still get mentioned in things, still have people liking and retweeting me and still get several new followers a week.

    All my blog posts share to Twitter automatically and while I agree that sharing directly from instagram looks awful and I very nearly stopped doing this, these posts still get attention and retweeted. And while I am struggling to find the time to invest in Twitter properly, I am finding that ok regular content is better than no content!

    1. Likewise, Twitter is my largest in terms of following. Just taken a look at your profile and great that you have that loyal base, but imagine, with just some small changes to how you're sharing content to the platform so it is optimised for it, and spending a few minutes here & there to hold conversations, you could move from 1-2 likes per tweet into the double figures and spread your content even further!

    2. I know it won't take much at all! I'm just struggling to find the time right now. Plus even when I was super active with all original and optimised content, my link clicks were always fairly low. I'm hoping to find some time in the next few months to come up with a bit of a plan to be more active.

    3. Yeah, you can definitely get more from your link click activity. Perhaps construct the tweet differently. Not all of my traffic is via link preview tweets, sometimes a link and a pic uploaded. I just try loads of different ways!


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