Twitter is a fickle woman. Sometimes she loves ya. Other times? Not so much.
Few people know that better than Gerry Moran.
The Philadelphia resident helps B2B brands, small businesses and individuals with their social media strategy, tactics and skills to drive real business outcomes through his social media coaching blog, MarketingThink.com. He’s worked in various marketing roles for more than 30 years, including iconic brands like Kodak, Purina, HBO, IKEA and SAP. He’s also worked as a digital strategist for award-winning agencies imc2, WhittmanHart and Digitas. And, Moran started a virtual ad agency, InspectionMarketers, that created marketing materials for home inspectors in North America.
For the past three years, Moran has served as the head of social media for SAP in North America. So, Nimble Media reached out to Moran for his advice on writing effective tweets.
If anyone knows how to do that, it’s Moran. In just under six years, he’s amassed a mind-boggling 67,800 followers and has sent out more than 10,900 tweets to go along with the 58,300-plus he’s already following – not bad for someone who’s last name isn’t Cyrus or Bieber.
But Moran didn’t know what to think about Twitter when it first came out, he said.
“It took me a while to really wrap my (head) around it,” Moran said in an exclusive interview with Nimble Media. “I didn’t really start to invest (my time) in it until, maybe, four years or so ago, and it’s sort of evolved since then. … Now I see it as critical to my personal brand’s success.”
As Moran soon discovered, learning how to effectively leverage Twitter takes time, patience and practice. He offered up six tips to help boost your Twitter account and rack up more favorites, followers and retweets.
1) Attach a visual to your tweets
Check out Moran’s tweets. Almost all of them come with some kind of visual, whether it’s a photo or even a cartoon. And Moran is a big fan of infographics.
“I try to use an infographic in almost all of my tweets,” he said. Sometimes Moran curates infographics from other sources; other times, he creates his own. “Graphics really tell a story,” he said.
2) Play the numbers game
Moran has had great success tweeting short pieces of information and pairing it with a number, statistic or percentage. For example, the tweet “Sell less. Teach more. Have a conversation to close the deal.” was paired with the URL, the hashtag @socialselling and a cartoon, which said, “88 percent of Executive Buyers Want a Conversation, Not a Presentation.” Within five hours, the post was retweeted 22 times and favorited 12 times.
Another tweet, “38.6% of social shares of blogs happen on Twitter” included the URL, the hashtag #contentmarketing and an infographic. It was retweeted 15 times and favorited 16 times in less than 12 hours.
“A fact with a number or percentage behind it, plus a visual, is very important. It does all the work for you,” he said. “The ‘38.6 percent’ tweet … gives a fact, then has a graphic to back it up. It tells a story by leveraging a statistic and a graphic.”
3) Keep it short
Moran said most of his tweets are in the 100-character range. “That seems to work best for me,” he said. “Short tweets with a fact and a graphic get the most retweets and favorites.”
4) Know your audience
Moran said he centers his tweets around three groups: small businesses, #socialselling and business to business social media. “I’m always looking for facts, figures and numbers that speak to that audience,” he said.
5) The early bird gets the worm (and the most retweets)
According to Fuse Work Studios, tweets that are published between 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. see a 30 percent increase in engagement rate compared to those that are posted outside those times.
Moran, though, takes it a step further. He sends out the bulk of his tweets early in the day before people’s Twitter feeds fill up.
“I’m on the East Coast, so I started dabbling with tweeting around 3 in the morning. I’ll get 10, 11 retweets from that time frame,” he said. “The reason? Europe is up at that time. But it really depends on your audience. I do most of my Twitter love between 6:30 to 9:30 in the morning, every half hour, right before work or right as people arrive at work.”
6) Tweet, tweet and tweet some more
Full disclosure: Nimble Media tweets between four to six times a day, on average, which includes curating content, retweeting and general social media engagement.
Moran? He aims for 15 to 20 tweets per day, sometimes more.
“I like to tweet at least once an hour and try to schedule them out to about 5 p.m.,” he said. “Anything after that is spent on retweeting and socially sharing other’s content.”
Have any tips for getting retweets and favorites? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.