How To Twitter Better
This may sound pathetic, but my Twitter account is the most valuable thing I own. It’s worth more than my house, my car and my life. The only thing I wouldn’t sacrifice to save my Twitter is Gerri (sorry wife and two sons). For better or worse, this is the climate today’s media operates in. When bosses in suits sit down to figure out who to hire and how much to pay them, one of the first things they look at is followers on social.
It’s sad but it does make sense. Twitter is an ideal way to drive clicks, push readers toward certain sites and help establish a brand for a company. The more followers you have, the more you can help. But it’s not that simple. It’s important that your followers are high-quality. They need to be interested in the companies you’re working with. They need to be in the right income bracket for the products you’re pushing them to. They need to be active and engaged in the space.
After nine years on Twitter, I’ve stumbled my way into what works for me. Here are 10 tips to grow your account in a valuable way.
1. Provide value: The worst thing you can be is too “selly,” too unoriginal or give your followers pointless drivel they don’t need. Luckily, there’s a simple solution: Don’t sell, be unique and make each tweet valuable. By providing day after day of high-quality content, you create something that readers have to have and trust. I try to add something of value in every single tweet. If I’m not doing that, I don’t hit send. It can be information, comedy or a worthwhile link. Basically, my goal is the following: You can’t play NFL DFS optimally if you’re not following me on Twitter. If I can accomplish that, then I know I’ve provided unique value.
2. Stay on brand: A while back Matthew Berry said something that stuck with me: Your audience should be able to recognize your tweet even if your name isn’t attached. If you’re reading an Evan Silva tweet, you know it’s his. If you’re reading one of mine, hopefully you know what tone, voice and information to expect. I tweet news and statistics to help fantasy football and basketball players. I also like dogs and Sam Hinkie and sexually charged jokes. Straying from those topics rarely makes sense. Your followers should know what they’re getting before the tweet even comes.
3. Less is (usually) more: There’s no right answer to how many times per day to tweet. If you can send 100 tweets in a day that provide actual value to your followers while staying true to your brand, then send 100. But for 99.9 percent of people, that’s simply not possible. Tweets like “wow, Alex Smith is bad” or “I can’t believe Eric Ebron dropped that pass” are not providing value. Every single tweet should be high-quality so your followers can’t afford miss a single one.
4. Be authentic: Without the trust of your readers, you are nothing. The vast majority of my tweets are simply facts/stats/links I come across while doing my own research. If I’m looking up how WR1s have fared vs. Xavier Rhodes over the last three seasons, I’ll put the results in a tweet. If I come across a crucial injury update, I’ll put it in a tweet. It’s incredibly important to be honest and authentic so when it is time to promote a product or company you believe in, you have the trust of your following.
5. Don’t blindly use the RT function: Am I providing value by simply retweeting an Adam Schefter tweet? Of course not, everyone already follows him and whatever he tweets will immediately be saturated across all media. If I want to highlight a tweet from a popular account, I add value by quote-tweeting it and adding my fantasy-centric spin.
6. Stick with your profile pic: I’ve already discussed ways to create a consistent Twitter brand, one which sets/meets expectations of followers daily. Part of that is picking a profile pic and sticking with it for very long stretches (maybe even forever if you’re rapidly balding/getting more disgusting by the day). Confusing followers by changing your profile pic or straying wildly from topic to topic is quietly detrimental.
7. Rarely engage with trolls: All social media is infamous for trolls. I don’t see a lot of value in defending myself against them for everyone to see. There are people in life who just don’t “get it” and engaging with them is a waste. A classier move is to simply take the high road and be confident that the people who do “get it” appreciate your work.
8. Perfect punctuation: If you want to be taken seriously, there should never be a spelling or punctuation error in your tweets. Don’t mess up their vs. there or your vs. you’re. Don’t have too many spaces between words or fail to capitalize the beginning of a sentence. It’s another way to earn trust – the chances I would buy or even click something from someone who doesn’t know the difference “its” and it’s” are zero.
9. Transparent begging for follows or clicks: Maybe I’m old school, maybe I’m an asshole or maybe I’m some combination of both. But I believe follows and clicks should be earned not given. I’ve seen people tweet “If you follow me I’ll follow you back!” I’m only following people who provide value in terms of unique information or perspective or comedy. I’m not following you because you followed me. Along those lines, tweets such as “RT if you’re playing Tom Brady today, like if you’re playing Russ Wilson” are transparently pathetic to people with a reasonable IQ. If we have a strong Twitter account, the follows and engagement will come naturally.
10. Referral links: In the intro, I mentioned how a number of Twitter followers correlates with your value in the media job market. Another way to monetize your account is through referral links. However, simply spamming out links won’t be effective and will also severely damage your brand. The key to generating referral link clicks is to embed them in high-quality content and working with high-quality companies. “Sign up for FantasyLabs today!” is a disastrous tweet. “Anthony Davis actually fares better on back-to-backs than he does on one rest day, via FantasyLabs trends tool” will be far more effective.
I’m always up to talk about Twitter strat, feel free to use the contact function on this handy website if you have any questions or comments.