Reaching your audience on social media can feel like a game of Whack-a-Mole. The second you spot a new trend, start to understand the algorithm, or have a stellar content idea, the platform changes how it sends content to your followers. It’s frustrating and confusing, especially for brands looking to boost awareness and use social media to reach prospects and customers.
Twitter is no exception, and many brands find it especially challenging. Perhaps it’s the shorter length of content or the constant flow of posts that makes it difficult for brands to find a rhythm. The Twitter algorithm has changed numerous times since the platform’s inception and, with each change, has created new ways for users to reach others. This has added a layer of complexity because users can now customize their experience on the platform and adjust it to their liking.
So, how do you hack the Twitter algorithm and make sure your content shows up on the feeds of the users you’re targeting?
There are two keys to hacking the Twitter algorithm:
- Show up consistently.
- Know when and how to show up.
Let us break it down for you.
Want to find success on Twitter? Think like an athlete.
Hacking the Twitter algorithm is one part strategy and one part consistency. You won’t be able to find success on the platform if you don’t show up regularly. There’s a sports analogy in here somewhere. What’s that Wayne Gretzky (and Michael Scott) quote? “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
It’s true with Twitter. Your social media marketing strategy means nothing if you don’t continually try to show up on the platform. If you share sporadic posts, you won’t achieve virality or grow your following. You need to figure out a posting rhythm that works for you, and you have to stick with it for an extended period of time.
One of the main reasons people struggle to grow their accounts is because they get stuck trying to make the perfect post. Edit after edit rolls in, review after review takes place, and before you know it, you’ve missed your window to post. The most tried and true method for success on Twitter (and many other platforms) is to show up consistently. Even when the algorithm changes, you can show up consistently to demonstrate to your audience that you are present, engaged, and available.
Related reading: How to Hack the Instagram Algorithm
Communicate brand values consistently.
Showing up consistently on Twitter isn’t just about the frequency of posts. It’s also about finding your niche and sticking with it. The algorithm prioritizes posts based on what people are interested in. According to Twitter, the Home timeline—which many users choose as their default timeline—ranks posts based on past engagement and interaction.
“Home, or top Tweets, are ones you are likely to care about most, and we choose them based on accounts you interact with frequently, Tweets you engage with, and much more,” Twitter shared in an explainer.
Here’s what that means for you as a brand: you need to know your audience.
You can’t and won’t reach every user on Twitter (that would be a 396.5 million person following). It’s impossible. So, instead, focus on the users that are most likely to engage with your brand. Figure out your niche and go from there. Here’s an example:
If your Twitter account represents a B2B company—let’s say you are a software tech company—your best audience would be people who buy your technology and are interested in it. This list could include your ideal customers (or B2B buyer personas), researchers in your field, journalists and platforms that write about software technology, and leaders in the software tech industry. Showing up consistently for this unique audience means providing content that will add value to their experience and content that is consistent with your brand identity. For example, if your brand identity has a youthful appeal, you could debunk common industry myths. If your brand appeals to a data-minded audience, you could share industry statistics.
Twitter Hack: Using Numbers to Boost Engagement
Across the board, posts with numbers, percentages, or data points get more engagement from Twitter users. Use this to your advantage! Find data about your industry and share it in a short post. Write five tips for success, and post them in a thread. Always use numerals instead of spelling out the number. You’ll increase Twitter engagement that way.
The key is to be consistent. Find your niche and stick with it, catering your posts to that area of interest.
Related reading: Niche Marketing: How Niche Is Too Niche?
Know when to post on Twitter for the highest engagement.
There’s no officially sanctioned best time to post across Twitter. It’s more about knowing your audience and understanding when they are available to engage with your content. You can use platforms like Typefully can help you identify the times of day when your audience is most engaged. As you develop your strategy, keep these timeframes in mind. Every audience is different, and you may be surprised to find out that your audience is most active early in the morning or during the afternoon slump.
Participating in Twitter trends and Twitter moments is another part of the “when” question of posting. One of the ways that the Twitter algorithm ranks content is by relevance and recency. Twitter trends reflect topics people are talking about online, providing an excellent way for brands to engage and further their reach. You can identify trends by looking at the Trends section of the Twitter site on a mobile or desktop device. When you click the trend, it takes you to the search engine with posts related to that trend.
If you’re looking to extend your brand’s reach, participating in trends is a great way to find new followers. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that your participation makes sense for your brand. Remember to tread lightly when discussing controversial topics. Those can come back to haunt you. However, pop culture, memes, and movements may be a great way to engage.
Twitter Hack: Participating in a Trend
- Identify the keyword driving the trend and use the exact wording or phrasing in your post.
- Craft a post that makes sense for your niche and includes the keyword(s).
- Add relevant hashtags.
- Post away and respond to comments when they come through.
Use threads and listicles to share your content on Twitter.
The content of your Twitter posts will depend on your brand voice, goals, and the niche you’ve decided to target. There’s no single type of content that every brand should be talking about. Everyone has to find what works for them.
That said, using specific formats to showcase your content can result in higher engagement. For example, listicles tend to get higher engagement. Think of this as a hybrid between a list and an article. All of the content is shared in a list format, so it’s easier for readers to digest. Again, you can use numbers here to boost engagement on your post.
A thread is another format that gets high engagement on Twitter. A Twitter thread is a series of related posts that show up one after the other. Each post is usually concise. For example, you can use threads to share a longer story, post a list of stats or tips, or provide some detail on a specific topic or issue relevant to your company.
Twitter Hack: How to Write a Twitter Thread
- Your first post in the thread is the most important. Find the “hook” in your story and phrase it in a way that makes users want to read more.
- After you compose your first Tweet, click “Add another Tweet” and write your next post. Keep going until you finish your story.
If you want to hack the Twitter algorithm, you must know how it works. With consistent effort and social media savvy, you can grow and connect with your audience to increase your brand’s reach on Twitter. Social media algorithms change frequently, but don’t get discouraged. If you show up consistently and learn how to post effectively, you’ll find success on Twitter.
If all of this sounds great, but you want someone to do it for you, reach out. Our team of social media experts can support your brand and help you grow on Twitter.