Growing up on an orchard, I didn’t need an alarm clock. Instead, in the early hours, the local birds would start their morning chorus: singing to the sunrise at an unmissable volume.
While that was usually enough to wake me up and make me take notice, it was almost impossible to pick out the sound of an individual bird.
Over the weekend, as I was putting together a list of social media suggestions for a friend’s music group, it struck me that this is what Twitter is like today. Millions of people, sending out billions of messages, a timeline that renews itself in seconds. In that sort of noise, how do you make yourself stand out?
You can do something unusual.
There’s a Big Ben twitter account, for example, which broadcasts the appropriate number of BONGs every hour – and that’s all it does. But when I’m reading back over the tweets that have flooded my timeline overnight, I find those BONG tweets a useful way of separating the messages into hourly segments.
But perhaps a better strategy for most Twitter users is to be engaging.
Twitter works best as a conversation tool, not as a one way broadcast. I recommend tweeting regularly, of course, and tweeting at hours when your intended audience are most likely to see your message. However, it’s important to realise that your followers may be following hundreds, or even thousands, of other people, that they may only use Twitter for ten minutes a day, and as such your one message could easily be missed.
In an ideal world, of course, all of your followers would be looking back along their timelines to find your tweets, to retweet them, to click on your links. For most people, this isn’t a reality.
However, there are strategies you can use to increase your visibility.
The first is to create great content. Tweet things that your followers will be interested in, whether that’s useful links or your latest deals. This increases the chances that they’ll be looking out for your tweets.
The second is to create great relationships. Follow interesting people. Talk to them. Send @ replies and retweet their messages. Perhaps they’ll do the same for you. Perhaps they’ll add you to one of their filtered lists, which gives your messages a higher chance of being seen. This takes time, and it may seem a lot of effort, but in the end you should see the results.
There’s a whole lot of birdsong on Twitter, not just in the mornings but 24 hours a day. Are your followers awake and aware of your messages?
If you’ve got any other tips to increase your visibility on Twitter, feel free to leave a comment below.