Twitter – some people love it, some people hate it. The platform is often the center to internet culture: where politics, journalism, memes and communities of all types come to converse.
I’m personally a fan of the platform, both for professional and personal use. Twitter is a critical platform for any brand, and during my time helping manage it at CSU, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks I’ve found helpful in elevating our Twitter profile:
1. Diverse content can drive up impressions
Twitter is great for sharing information, updates, feature stories, beautiful images and more. At a university there is a constant flow of events, research and messages to communicate. Because Twitter is constantly moving at a fast pace, sharing a wide variety of content can engage various types of users. A mix of current events, research news, local and national news covering CSU, fun and interactive content, and informational messaging all contribute to daily content, and helps us drive up our metrics.
More importantly, university accounts likely have a diverse following on Twitter, including journalists, students, alumni, researchers and more. Sharing meaningful content that appeals to a variety of audiences helps drive up engagement and impressions. Students might stay for the memes and pretty images, but there’s potential they’ll be interested in a research story or event. Similarly, it’s a great way to showcase a broad range of happenings at a university that might not be successful posts on Facebook or Instagram.
Next Monday, #ColoradoState will transition to Phase III of the Spring Semester.
💻 Remaining in-person & hybrid person courses will transition
🧪 Increased capacity to screen and test for COVID will begin
😷 Public health guidelines remain in placehttps://t.co/AIdBQ9YbHk pic.twitter.com/j706lqxiLd
— Colorado State University (@ColoradoStateU) February 8, 2021
The #ColoradoState Facilities Management employees keep our campus running and ready.
— Colorado State Univ (@ColoradoStateU) January 11, 2021
2. Use Twitter lists and TweetDeck to organize your feed
TweetDeck is owned by Twitter and is a dashboard app that enables you to organize your Twitter feed. Twitter Lists are a curated group of Twitter accounts that you can create and then display as a column within Tweetdeck. Browsing lists is a powerful way to both find inspiration and also funnel what pops up on your feed to see the accounts you might want to be retweeting. We have an “inspiration” list, where we often see what other universities or brands are saying during important times, or what type of content they’re sharing. We also have a list of the accounts managed by different departments at CSU, and it helps us catch almost every story or announcement that happens across campus. Similarly, we see all mentions or tweets mentioning “Colorado State University,” which helps us manage any crises that people are talking about online.
3. Use Twitter Moments to share major moments
Major events are great opportunities to create a ton of shareable content, and creating a Twitter Moment is a way to compile Tweets for a singular event. Moments are easy to organize and create, and can help your followers digest an event and see all of the content in one place. CSU has made Moments to celebrate Commencement and International Women and Girls in Science Day.
— Colorado State Univ (@ColoradoStateU) December 18, 2020
4. GIFs, emojis, videos and images are key
Similar to Facebook, Tweets with video content, photos of GIFs perform better than Tweets without multimedia assets. By incorporating any sort of visual in a Tweet, there’s a much higher chance followers will stop scrolling and check out the post. Tweets with critical information should have an anchor image, because it will have a much higher likelihood of people stopping to engage with it in some way. Emojis are another way to make the tweets engaging and aesthetically appealing, and this can especially help when you need to convey important information to the short attention span that exists on Twitter.
February has entered the chat ✅☀️ pic.twitter.com/G4az77L8Xx
— Colorado State Univ (@ColoradoStateU) February 1, 2021
5. Keep up with trends
Another way to increase engagement and reach more people is to engage with the internet trend of the week (or day). Trends like “Throwback Thursday” are classic options, but timely trends like the Bernie Sanders meme or the “you had to be there” trend are fleeting, and Twitter is a perfect outlet to share your take on the meme (if it makes sense for your brand). Some obscure holidays like #NationalBurgerDay, or major days of recognition such as International Women’s Day are great opportunities to share popular and evergreen content.
Strong. Fearless. Trailblazing.
— Colorado State Univ (@ColoradoStateU) March 8, 2021
You just had to be there 🏈 pic.twitter.com/BLos7RkJQD
— Colorado State University (@ColoradoStateU) March 2, 2021
Waiting for Friday like….. pic.twitter.com/VyC9HD9BNF
— Colorado State Univ (@ColoradoStateU) January 21, 2021
6. Interact with your audience
Twitter is a great tool to interact directly with your audience and is a platform where brands can process feedback or comments from people. Interacting with people encourages them to engage with the account, and increases the likelihood that they’ll interact back with you. Replying, quote tweeting and liking their tweets are encouraging signs to followers and a solid way to practice community outreach.
Congratulations! Welcome to the Ramily 🐏 #ColoStateBound
— Colorado State University (@ColoradoStateU) December 3, 2020
This is also a place where you need to be careful – people tend to be blunt and fearless on Twitter, and their comments can be harsh and serious. Regardless, the ability to see directly what your audience is thinking is a strong tool that can also help with your PR efforts.
7. Have fun
Have fun on the platform. Sometimes your Tweets will flop, and your followers just won’t care about that awesome research story you shared – don’t worry. If Twitter is anything, it’s an opportunity to simply share “what’s happening.”