You may have read something from me before or heard an audio or even watched a video about me saying that I hated social media. I really truly did.
I simply couldn’t see any reason why anyone would want to know what I had for breakfast or neither was I interested in what they did at the weekend.
Am I selfish or anti-social?
Maybe I’m both?
I just seemed to be the only one that wasn’t interested.
All of that changed when I started my agency XenMedia. You see, my clients wanted to be on social media and were willing to pay me to run their campaigns.
To be honest, they got me when they said they were “willing to pay”.
I’ve now got to consume myself with this stuff or else I’m gonna lose business.
So I decided to start my social media adventure off with Twitter.
Being honest, I’d had a dabble before with previous businesses and saw absolutely no benefit to it at all (like most small businesses).
It wasn’t until I started delving deeper into the rabbit hole and started studying how successful people and brands were using it.
My eyes were opened!
I’ve cherry picked what I believe are the best Twitter hacks for your business.
Not everyone will agree with my list. They’re just the hacks that are working for me and the accounts I manage.
Thanks for taking the time and I hope you can learn at least one tactic you hadn’t heard of before…..
Table Of Contents
If you’ve been using Twitter for a while, you’ll probably know that you can upload images, gifs and videos.
What you may not know is that engagement levels using video go through the roof.
Now when I say video, I don’t mean a Youtube video that you copy and paste from Youtube.
I’m on about uploading a native video (where you upload your own video file to Twitter, normally in MP4 format).
Your followers will love you for this, especially those on mobile.
According to Twitter 82% of, users watch video content on Twitter with a ton more engagement.
Note: You have a 30 second time limit for videos you upload.
Tip: Use a free software video encoder tool called Handbrake to optimise your videos for the internet.
This piece of software allows your videos to play smoother once they are uploaded.
This is particularly liked by Youtube (the largest video sharing platform on earth). If they like it, it’s got to be good, right?
If there’s one takeaway I want you to learn from this list. VIDEO IS GOING TO RULE THE INTERNET! Period.
Here are a few fun facts:
If you aren’t creating video and sharing to social media, now’s the time to start.
Whichever person, company or brand that gets this right in your niche wins!
A lot of people don’t know where to start or haven’t got a clue how to use a digital camera.
News flash! You don’t need to learn how to use a digital camera.
You’ve got an HD recording machine right there in your pocket. It’s called a smartphone.
Most smartphones these days can shoot in 720p HD. Try filming pointless uninteresting things first and then start filming the behind the scenes of your business.
The more you film, the better you’ll be. Start uploading these Twitter and then upload some more.
Ideally, you’ll want to follow people that are in the same niche as you (and by this, I don’t mean competitors).
When it comes to liking and retweeting their tweets always try to find a tweet that they have personally tweeted (not retweeted).
You can’t always do this since most people simply retweet content for other accounts.
If this is the case, instead of liking and retweeting random accounts.
Look for accounts that you follow and who follow you with a tweet that is on topic and visually appealing.
If you find one, like one of their tweets and then try and find another person. When you find that person retweet their tweet.
Here’ a breakdown of the strategy:
So why do this?
Ok, it kills two birds with one stone.
The first option of returning the favour increases the engagement and they are now aware that this is your policy.
You’ll find that they will be tripping over themselves to retweet more of your tweets (especially if you have a considerable amount of followers).
The second option allows you to engage with 2 separate accounts that also follow you. However, in this instance, by liking and retweet 2 separate accounts, 3 of them will receive a notification that you have engaged with them.
Why is this so powerful?
There are many people that use software like Commun.it.
This software breaks down which accounts are most engaged with yours and suggests you give them a shout out on a Friday.
The more you engage with other accounts, the more lists you will be on at the end of the week.
For the record. I hate people and accounts that don’t engage on Twitter.
They learned how to automate their tweets and have run with this concept. Unfortunately for them, this strategy doesn’t work.
Whether you have 100 followers or 100,000 followers.
If you don’t speak to them, engage with them or partake in any 3-way chats, your Twitter account is as good as dead.
I’d love to show you examples, but that wouldn’t be fair.
Whether you send a text, image, video or Gif, I encourage you to start engaging on Twitter. If you don’t, no one will engage with you. It really is that simple.
Probably one of the most underused tactics on Twitter which is strange considering how effective it is.
If someone either thanks you for following them, comments on one of your tweets or has any other interaction with one of your tweets.
Thank them by sending a text and gif.
The Gif below is me replying to a guy named Alex. Alex very kindly retweets my tweets regularly.
I generally don’t retweet other accounts at the weekend so instead, I have liked one of Alex’s tweets and attached a cheeky Gif to the message.
You don’t even need to trawl the internet to find a suitable Gif.
Twitter is has connected its dashboard to Giphy and shows you a variety of gifs you can use simply by selecting one.
So how is this done?
I was a little unsure whether I should add this hack.
It’s such a powerful tip that it can sadly be abused by those that are looking to spam. Anyway, I felt it was too good to leave it off this list 🙂
Ok, this is a great little hack that doesn’t take very long to do but has achieved great results for my clients.
Note: Please don’t over do this!!
The accounts within your niche that have a huge following (10k+) will almost certainly have a pinned tweet at the top of their profile.
This pinned tweet is their most popular and most engaged tweet of them all.
You can get yourself noticed and increase the chance that they will engage with you by following the instructions above.
Make sure your comment isn’t a throwaway sentence but written from the heart and with a little thought.
These people can see right through any BS statements and will most likely ignore you if you’re not genuine and authentic.
I’ll hold my hands up and say I personally use this technique no matter how large their following is.
To me, Twitter is all about community and engaging. It’s not important to me the fact that they only have 50 followers.
I also advise my clients to stick to the 10k level of followers since their comments and who they follow strategy are generally more strategic.
Feedly offers a free service that allows you to compile a list of your favourite websites related to your niche.
In the search bar simply type in your niche or topic and Feedly we trawl through the available Blog RSS feeds and presents you with a list.
You can pick and choose which feed you want to follow and the great thing is. As new blog posts are posted, your feed will update automatically in real time.
So if you’re stuck for content ideas to tweet about on Twitter, Feedly is your answer to getting new content.
The image below is a folder on my desktop for one of my blog posts “Top 10 Small Business Marketing Tips“.
As you can see, I have several images for the same posts which allow me to post the same tweet multiple times a day without annoying my followers.
It’s also a cool way of tweeting your content when you don’t have much of your own content to tweet.
Note: It’s imperative that you try to tweet as much of your own content as possible. With all of the noise on Twitter these days, it’s really hard to get your content noticed.
Again, this is a tactic I haven’t seen being used by many people on Twitter.
I think because it takes a little work and a bit of imagination to produce several images for the same post.
I used some free software called Canva to produce these images.
There are 3 software solutions you can use to find out the right time to tweet to reach more followers:
Tweriod is a free tool that allows you to find out the best time to post your tweets.
Not only does it show you both the time and day, it also pairs up quite well with Buffer to stack your tweets.
It’s easy to register. As long as you have a Twitter account it’s pretty much a one-click sign-up using your Twitter account.
You’ll be asked to authorise Tweriod via your Twitter. Simply accept. They also offer a premium analysis tool, but the free tool is all you need at the moment.
They also offer a premium analysis tool, but the free tool is all you need at the moment.
Probably my favourite tool when it comes to the best times to post on Twitter.
You can find out the best times you should schedule your tweets by seeing when they were liked and retweeted the most using a tool called Followerwonk (yep silly name but it’s effective).
Sign up for a free account at Followerwonk to analyse when your tweets get retweeted.
Once you have this valuable information, you’ll be able to strategically schedule your tweets at optimal times when you know they get retweeted the most.
Followerwonk is a paid service by Moz, however, they offer a free trial (at the time of writing there isn’t an expiry date on the trial).
The free trial is somewhat limited, but to learn optimum times of engagement, you can do this for free.
Sign up for Followerwonk. Once you are registered you will be able to analyse statistics using the Analyse tab at the top:
Yep, another free tool to use to find the best times to post your content on Twitter. Like the other two options, Audiense has both a free and paid feature.
I use both Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule my tweets as well as other social media platforms. The reason I use Hootsuite is down to a number of tweets you can schedule for a relatively cheap subscription.
Ever wanted to know who your competitor speaks to, tweets about, what software they use to tweet and how many tweets they post a day. then look no further than a free piece of software called Twitonomy.
It’s free web-based software that gives you a breakdown of:
Do you know the best part?
Not only can you get all of these stats for your account.
You can also get them for any other Twitter account (including your competitors).
What you do with this information is completely up to you. I know what I’m going to do with them 🙂
If you’re not using lists to segment your Twitter followers you’re losing out on lots of free traffic, tons of retweets and quite a few new clients.
So what are they and how can they help your business?
Twitter lists are a way of grouping people or accounts into different categories.
For example, if there are certain accounts that continually retweet your content, it’s wise to add them to a separate list.
Guess what? You should be!
You should be returning the favour. Anyone that retweets your content retweet their content.
If their tweets aren’t relevant to your own, then simply like one of their tweets and add a comment.
That way they can see that you have responded and will continue to engage with you.
This is where BIG accounts go wrong.
They post tweet after tweet and never engage and wonder why not one of their 30,000 followers even cares.
Follow this strategy, even if you have a small following. Once your account starts to grow you’ll find your engagement levels will go through the roof.
If there are certain clients you are interested in doing business with. Add them to their own list and engage with them.
The list goes on……..
We’ve already spoken about scheduling your tweets with Hootsuite.
I advise you to have a go out using Buffer tool.
In my honest opinion, the Buffer tool slightly edges Hootsuite ever so slightly due to their “rebuffer” tool.
This tool allows you to resend a specific tweet that has been a proven winner in the past and is pretty much guaranteed to do so again when it’s added to be scheduled.
The good thing about this tool is the fact that Buffer won’t schedule the tweet if you have used it recently.
You can also add content feeds within your dashboard supplying you with a nice stream of content ideas you can use to tweet about.
This is powerful stuff!
Did you know that you can embed your tweets onto an existing blog post? For example,
For example, if I’m posting one of my tweets about one of my blog posts and it starts taking off on Twitter (lots of likes and retweets).
I can embed that tweet onto the very same blog post to increase exposure and future engagement from my readers.
How do you do this? Let me show you….
Why is it so important to do this?
When someone comes across your profile, you’ll want to encourage them to share your tweet. However, you don’t want them to share just any old tweet.
You want to force them to share the tweet of your choosing.
You can do this by pinning a tweet to the top of your profile page.
The likelihood of someone choosing this tweet to engage with is pretty high.
Here’s a video explaining this technique:
If you use Twitter a lot and you’ve been using your mouse to navigate around the platform.
There’s a different way to do this and it’s a faster, more efficient and it saves you time.
Check out keyboard shortcuts for Twitter.
If you would like to learn how to use these shortcuts, it’s not that difficult. Simply press “?” and you’ll see this pop-up:
There aren’t many people that realise that web apps can have shortcuts too!
So how exactly do you find the shortcodes for Twitter?
Press the “shift key”, hold and then press the “? key”. As illustrated below, this will bring up the keyboard shortcuts.
It basically allows you to search for specifics ( a narrowed down version of the search results).
This is great if you don’t want to sit there and trawl through a long list of tweets that aren’t relevant.
So, you’ve got a nice list of followers and now want to attract a new batch of eager followers. The best way to do this is by promoting a tweet.
Depending on which audience you are targeting, the promoted tweet will only be shown to Twitter users that you specify in the Twitter ad dashboard.
Don’t forget, you’ll also want to exclude your own followers from seeing this promoted tweet. You’re only interested in fresh new eyeballs to see your tweet.
You can only upload one gif per tweet. However, Twitter allows you to attach up to 4 images per tweet.
Tweets with photos from verified accounts indicate a 35% boost in Retweets, on average. That’s not a bad boost, is it?
Back in 2014 Twitter announced that you could now add multiple images to a single tweet which will be displayed as a preview collage in your feed. Pretty sweet!
I often switch it up to display a variety of 2 image tweets and 4 image tweets.
There’s so much information flowing on Twitter it’s actually quite hard to narrow down your search by simply using the search bar at the top.
Or is it?
There’s a sneaky trick called “search operators”. This allows you to narrow down your search based on a selection of criteria.
To use these operators, just head to the Twitter search page.
Operator: “happy hour” | Finds tweets: containing the exact phrase “happy hour.”
Operator: love OR hate | Finds tweets: containing either “love” or “hate” (or both).
Operator: beer -root | Finds tweets: containing “beer” but not “root.”
Operator: #haiku | Finds tweets: containing the hashtag “haiku.”
Operator: from:neilpatel | Finds tweets: sent from person “neilpatel.”
Operator: to:XenmediaM | Finds tweets: sent to person “XenmediaM.”
Operator: @XenmediaM | Finds tweets: Referencing person “XenmediaM.”
Operator: “happy hour” near:”Manchester” | Finds tweets: containing the exact phrase “happy hour” and sent near “Manchester.”
Operator: near:London within:15mi | Finds tweets: sent within 15 miles of “London.”
Operator: superhero since:2010-12-27 | Finds tweets: containing “superhero” and sent since date “2010-12-27” (year-month-day).
Operator: ftw until:2010-12-27 | Finds tweets: containing “ftw” and sent up to date “2010-12-27.”
Operator: movie -scary 🙂 | Finds tweets: containing “movie”, but not “scary,” and with a positive attitude.
Operator: flight 🙁 | Finds tweets: containing “flight” and with a negative attitude.
Operator: traffic ? | Finds tweets: containing “traffic” and asking a question.
Operator: hilarious filter:links | Finds tweets: containing “hilarious” and linking to URLs.
Operator: news source:twitterfeed | Finds tweets: containing “news” and entered via TwitterFeed
Very few people use these search parameters.
You’ll be one of very few with the insight to carry really in-depth searches now!
Bearing in mind this feature over 2 years old, very few people are live streaming using Periscope.
So why use the live stream feature?
Interact with future clients
Set a time and day to answer feedback from your clients.
Friday would be a good day for this.
Notify your clients in advance that you will be answering questions and get them to use a specific hashtag on the day so you can easily follow the questions coming through.
If you have a new product launching and want to turn this into an event.
Why not live stream the event and invite both new and existing clients to watch!
Share breaking news
If you have added a new feature or changed the terms of service of your business, doing this on a live stream is great.
Not only will this go out in real time.
Each live performance is recorded for future use. This means any clients that missed the live performance will be able to see a recording.
Emoji’s are great, aren’t they? Makes you feel 13 again when you start using them.
Did you know that there are a few ways to get easy access to them from your desktop?
Option 1 – Windows 10 & 8 Touch Keyboard
Option 2 – Google Chrome Plugin
There’s a cool Google Chrome Plugin that allows you a quick access to a selection of emoji’s of your choice.
2. Then click “add extension”:
3. It will then be installed at the top of your browser (click on the emoji icon):
4. You now have a choice of several of the popular emojis to use as you please.
Choose from the selection or simply do a search in the search field at the top.
Once you’ve found one you would like to use, click on the copy button and then paste it into an empty field. Either in your scheduling tool or in a tweet box.
Option 3 – Copy & Paste Website
I have two favourite websites that provide you with a selection of emoji’s to choose from.
Simply select which emoji you want to use, then highlight it and then copy it.
I found the best results using (CTRL + C) and then pasting it into a text area (CTRL + V).
In some cases, it might just show a rectangle. However, when you actually send the message it will show the correct emoji character you chose.
I’ll hold my hands up and confess that I have never used this tactic. Not because I don’t think it’s good, but I’m a big fan of the 140 character limit personally.
Don’t let my personal views sway you though.
If you have more to say and can’t fit it into a tweet, why not grab a cheeky screenshot of the text you want to use and then just attach this to the tweet you want to post.
That way, you can get around limiting yourself to the 140 character limit.
You can get free screenshot software from:
I personally use SnagIT to capture all of my images.
This is paid software. However, they are offering a free trial at the moment. This is available for both PC and Mac.
Retweeting other people’s content is a great strategy for future engagement.
Other than being a good citizen, retweeting someone else’s content doesn’t do you any favours.
The idea is to produce lots of your own content and have people share this.
The best chance for this to happen is by not retweeting anyone else’s content except your own.
I specifically do this at the weekend. That way, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get one of your blog posts, images, quotes etc liked and retweeted rather than someone else’s.
Knowing which lists you are on will give you an idea how people see your Twitter profile.
It’s also a great way to try and network with people or accounts that think that much of your content that they are willing to include you in a list.
So, how do you find this out exactly?
Click on your profile picture:
By default, the “subscribed to” tab will be selected which are lists you have personally created.
You need to choose the “Member of” tab, which are lists someone has added you to:
From here you can scroll down the list and see which people or accounts you could enter into a conversation with. They might be potential clients or future joint venture partners.
They might be potential clients or future joint venture partners.
Not only can you find out whose list you are on, you can also find lists you would also like to be subscribed to.
For example, Neal Schaffer has added me to his “Social Media Content” list. I have the ability to also subscribe to the same list:
Why is this helpful?
If one of the top influencers has compiled a list of who the top social media content sharers are, it actually makes sense that I can have access to this list too!
Again, I can start following some of these accounts, engaging with them and see if there are possible business relationships I can foster over a period of time.
This is one that really surprises me. Simply posting a tweet that is a text quote but without an image.
This is extremely popular and you generally get more “likes” and “retweets” from this tweet in comparison to any other.
Where can you find quotes to use?
You can copy and paste the quotes you like and tweet them. Alternatively, you can add them to your scheduling tool.
There are a few more hacks that I haven’t listed in this article.
I’ll try to write an additional article and show you those.
Some of the hacks listed might not fit with your Twitter profile or overall strategy. No problem.
Why not try one or two of them to see if they work.
Don’t forget, I stumbled across a few of these by mistake.
Often experimenting, testing and tweaking until I could make them work.
So what do you think? Are any of these hacks useful in your business? Have I missed any out and what is working for you right now?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Feel free to bookmark this post for future use.
Des is a full-time online marketer who sells information products and a membership program. He tests and studies what does and doesn't work and then shares his findings on this website. He takes you behind the scenes of how he runs his business to help you market yours.
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