How to get real value from twitter
You've probably heard the bad news about Twitter...
- Twitter’s growth is stagnant. (monthly users stalled at 328m in Q2 of 2017)
- It’s awash with fake accounts. (48 million bot accounts - 15% of all users)
- It’s home to an army of online trolls. (Ed Sheeran quit Twitter recently, citing overwhelming abuse from trolls)
- Donald Trump hangs out there. (A selection of Trump Twitter cartoons)
- It’s deeply confusing to use.
All these things are true, but in that chaotic space there are still multi-millions of active users from many communities. Among them are four groups of people you want to reach -
- fellow adventurers
The one thing Twitter excels at is being the home of breaking news. The journalists will be the last to leave, and if you want media coverage to raise your profile and/or promote your adventure, Twitter is the place to build relationships.
Journalists also turn to Twitter to find experts, interviewees and quick answers to questions. They use hashtags for this which you can follow, notably #JournoRequest and #haro.
- Always check if journalists who interest you are on Twitter. (Try the @bizofadventure Adventure Journos Twitter List for ideas.)
- Follow them (and add them to a Twitter list so you can find them among all the people you follow).
- Read what they share, comment on it, retweet it.
- If you share something they wrote, always add their username so they know about it.
- If you share content from a big magazine like Outside, tag the journalist rather than the magazine.
- If you spot a question from a journalist where you can help, answer it quickly.
- Follow hashtags like #journorequest and #haro (help a reporter out). Also the @helpareporter, @journo_request and @ProfNet accounts. Look for journalists needing experts opinions or interesting people to interview.
- When the time comes for you to approach a journalist, you may get a quicker response by sending a Twitter DM (direct message) than by sending an email. (In your settings, you control whether people you do not follow are able to send you DMs.)
There is an active blogger community on Twitter where you can find advice, and opportunities to cross-promote. You will also find brands looking for bloggers to feature their goods. Follow hashtags like #BloggersWanted #BloggerRequest #PRrequest #OutdoorBloggers.
Look out for the #OutdoorBloggers monthly twitter chat - third Tuesday of each month 7.30pm - 8.30pm UK.
While Instagram is the social network of choice for the adventure world, brands tend to look across the Big 5 Online Spaces when assessing your ‘social influence’ as a possible brand ambassador or sponsored athlete - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and your blog. [Blog post: Why you need to build an audience]
Twitter is also a way to get the attention of brands. Not every company uses Twitter, but those who are active are looking for interaction.
- Find the brands you are a fan of, or would like to work with.
- Follow them (put them on a Twitter list so you can find them).
- Read, comment, retweet their content.
- If you are talking about them, tag them in the text and/or in the photo, and/or use their hashtags (which should be featured in their Twitter bios).
- In its origin, brand ambassadors were brand users who were already fans, who then got special deals. Get noticed as a fan of the brands you want to work with.
Many adventurers have dormant accounts littering Twitter [bad idea, find out how to use your Twitter account for marketing even if you're not active] or they just autopost to Twitter from other social media [probably also a bad idea, find out why]. However, those who are active, are looking for a conversation.
Twitter can be the easiest place to build an online friendship with an adventurer you admire, because you can banter back and forth through tweets.
- Find them on Twitter. (This is why you as an adventurer need a consistent name and photo across all your internet properties -make yourself easy to recognise!)
- Follow them. (Put them on a twitter list. If your list is public, they will get a notification. Putting them on a list named something like Adventure Inspiration! is a nice way to send a compliment.)
- Read, comment, retweet their content.
- Use their blog content / interviews with them as material to share on Twitter, always including their Twitter handle so they know you’ve done it.
- Use their hashtags, if they promote one.
- Join their Twitter chats.
- Give a shout-out tagging them to let them know you appreciate them. @mountainenergy (Will Close-Ash) is a master of the shout-out.
Other useful posts about Twitter
- How to set up your Twitter account for maximum impact
- 23 Ways to Get More Followers on Twitter