Updated: Nov 6
We interviewed Brad Kelly, CMO of Colorworld Books to get the secret sauce on Twitter.
Twitter can seem like a crazy, confusing jungle. In fact, the majority of our clients say they would never touch Twitter because it's "stupid", "confusing", "too difficult", or some combination of the three.
For Marketing Tip Tea Time at 2:22, we sat down with Brad Kelly, CMO of Colorworld Books to understand how he has mastered Twitter. If you want to skip the article, you can watch our interview below!
Brad tweets 200 times per day. This may seem daunting. For most, sending one tweet per day can seem like a feat, so how could you possibly tweet THAT MUCH? We dive into the best practices and the secrets to Tweeting out valuable content.
"Twitter is the most authentic of all the social medias." ~ Brad Kelly
Twitter is fast-paced and more difficult to build a following on. However, according to Brad, you will receive far more engagement back if you engage on others' Twitter posts. When starting from scratch, you essentially begin by talking to yourself over and over, and engage with bigger fish in an authentic way over and over until you start to build a following.
Twitter is the only platform in which you have direct access to huge brands and people. Brad challenges us to take a look at engagement on Instagram. If you look at huge brands or people, they post a pretty picture, get a ton of engagement, but the vast majority of the time, those big brands and people NEVER ENGAGE BACK. On Twitter, the opposite is true. Big brands and people almost always engage back with followers. Why could this be? It's just the authentic nature of Twitter, thus making Twitter the most authentic of all the social medias.
Twitter is the platform that drives the most authentic engagement, which means that in order to win at Twitter, you need to jump in and engage on other content, not just your own. According to Brad, you need to jump in and participate by adding value to the conversations that are happening, and you need to keep up with the latest trends so your added value isn't old news.
The Twitter ratio is how many people you're following versus how many people are following you. Your ratio is important! Brad says that you want 10x the number of followers than you're following. Anyone who is following over 1,000 people probably is not a good account. Many have heard 1 to 1 as the golden ratio on social media, but it's different on Twitter. Due to Twitter's fast pace and authenticity, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to add value to 1,000 accounts or more. Your goal for who you follow should be to get and give value to the conversations happening on those accounts. If you follow too many accounts, then you cannot have meaningful and engaging connections. Notice Brad's ratio below: 3,359 followers vs. 396 that he's following.
It's very easy to tell when an influencer is "fake famous" on their Twitter by two main things:
The ratio is off. You're following way more people than are following you.
Engagement. If you have thousands of followers but are barely getting any engagement you either have a bunch of fake followers (bot or foreign accounts that you most likely paid for) or your posts suck and no one wants to interact.
Either way, these are both red flags for accounts that you should stay away from/ make sure you don't become.
Twitter and Instagram ARE Different
Twitter is a place where looks don't matter. The nature of Instagram as a photo-sharing platform makes aesthetic the most important part of the platform. On Instagram, "You have to look beautiful or have beautiful graphics/ photos.
Take, for instance, Amanda Gish's Instagram Profile.
Amanda does a fantastic job of using color themes as an aesthetic in her profile. If you scroll through her profile, you'll notice that the color scheme changes as you scroll, which adds an extra layer of interest. Her profile (when this article was written) starts off green and then is yellow, and then is blue, and then is pink and red and so on. She takes tons of time to plan out and coordinate her colors so that the background, her outfit, her hair, and everything else, perfectly matches the aesthetic she is going for.
**Amanda Gish is a voice actress that Colorworld and Zova have worked with for virtual anime events. She is best known for voicing Witch in Goblin Slayer, Sanae Hououin in Keijo!!!!!!!!, and Hop in Dragon Ball Super. **
This level of detail is difficult to accomplish on Instagram and is also not relevant when translating to Twitter because as Brad said, "Looks don't matter on Twitter."
The trick to getting noticed is pretty simple. According to Brad, you need to
Find somebody who is doing what you want to do, well on Twitter.
Study how they're doing it.
Engage with that person/ brand.
You need to find those people who are already crushing it on Twitter, and go engage and try to talk to them on Twitter.
Twitter, in many cases, can act as a foot in the door to get meetings and engagement with people off of Twitter as well.
Brad tells a story of working hard on Twitter to engage with names that were much bigger than him, and then during conferences and networking events, he would go find those people that he was interacting with and introduce himself in person as the Twitter user @MOFinancial. They would immediately recognize him and that is how he would start conversations: by interacting on Twitter and then following up in person.
When you are a nobody, your job is to make everybody else look good. Here's how you do that:
Go find huge brands or people that are unbelievable at what you want to do and follow them.
Watch them, and when they do something spectacular, quote tweet it.
Put your own spin on it and why you think it's spectacular.
@mention the brand/ person then SEND!
By following this exact formula, you start to put yourself out there on the same level as the big dogs, and you will start to get noticed by the accounts that you are interacting with and sharing, and over time, they will follow you back.
What About Graphics?
We already mentioned that you do not have to be or look beautiful to make it on Twitter, but do graphics have their place in the Twitter-verse? Yes, they do. BUT, they are not needed, mandatory, and don't have to be crazy beautiful. On Twitter, it's all about the words.
However, when using graphics, there are some don'ts that you should try to avoid:
Do not put a ton of words in your graphical asset! The text area of Twitter is for text, the pictures, should be pictures and not words. Do not try to get around the 280 character limit on Twitter by posting a picture with a bunch of words in it.
Make sure your images are the correct aspect ratio so that they don't get cut off of cropped weird. The recommended size is 1,600 x 900 pixels - the aspect ratio must be 16:9!
If you're going to focus on the graphical element of your post as a major component, make something that's at least a little eye-catching (or completely beautiful if your on Instagram or plan to crosspost to Instagram.) The goal is to catch people's attention through the picture so that they become interested and read your post (especially on Instagram.)
Speaking of posting the same content to multiple social media platforms, it is now super easy to tell if you've copy/ pasted or posted from another platform. You can no longer push content to or from Twitter from another social media platform. Images will be cropped incorrectly, copy will be cut off because of the character limit, hashtags won't make sense, tagging won't work, and more if you try to cheat and push to Twitter from other sources. Brad does recommend using a scheduler such as Buffer (that's his favorite). It allows you to schedule posts in advance so you don't have to constantly be on social media to manually post content. Not only does Brad use Buffer to post to Twitter, but he uses for all the social media platforms that he manages.
Benefits of Twitter
Twitter has a really broad audience. There are users from every demographic in every location in every industry, and those who are really on Twitter are extremely active. The Twitter community is one of the strongest communities in social media platforms.
Twitter has the most authentic engagement of any social media.
Twitter is fast-paced. This can be good and bad. You have many more chances to interact and engage with new content, however, your content could be left in the dust.
You have access to the biggest brands and the biggest people literally at your fingertips.
Authentically interacting with your Twitter connections is where you really start to win. People can tell when you're not being authentic or faking it. They can "smell it." And that will turn off your followers before you can even send your next tweet.
Top Things You Should(n't) Be Doing On Twitter
To end our interview, Brad tells us the top things that you need to be doing on Twitter to become a Twitter Titan.
Answer every notification - It doesn't matter how mundane, or boring. Make sure you answer every retweet and comment. The only time Brad doesn't answer a notification is if it's "off-base". For example, if the comment is about someone's looks.
Don't only advertise yourself, you need personality and actual value in your posts. No one likes the sleazy salesman posts all the time. Make sure the content that you're bringing to the table is valuable.
Here's the most important takeaway of the whole "flippity" day! - Go find huge brands and people that are doing what you want to do and find authentic ways to interact with them. You WILL earn a follow back if you:
- Post great content (remembering to quote Tweet their content as well)
- Be complimentary (make others look good)
- Know what you're talking about (Are knowledgable of what you're posting)
- Be respectful (don't go down rabbit holes and get into mud-slinging)
This is only Part 1 of How to Become a Twitter Titan! We will be interviewing Brad again for some more secret sauce on Twitter. Is there anything you've found to be valuable on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below!
This is not marketing related, but according to Brad, there are 4 foods that he loves to eat/ drink are "medical in nature" and super good for you:
Apple Cider Vinegar