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6 Things That You Didn’t Know About Twitter

Twitter was never meant to be a social network. In fact Twitter started life as an internal messaging service for a podcasting company just over seven years ago.6 Things That You Didn't Know About Twitter

But how things have changed.

On the social web we live on a diet of fast change and rapid media evolution. Twitter’s slow burning maturation often flies below the radar and Facebook changes such as the new timeline and graph search attract numerous blog articles, comments on Facebook and mass media attention.

Twitter has become a multi-media social network without anyone really noticing.

Are you just tweeting text?

Many of us are just using it for tweeting text and links and forget that you can increase engagement by including video, images and even Slideshare presentations that can be viewed within the Twitter platform. Twitter is hoping that we will use the network to share multi-media in new ways.They are even punting on changing the world of video marketing and communication by integrating their new 6 second video service called Vine into the Twitter ecosystem.

Twitter’s aim is to make video an acceptable marketing medium that is short, snappy and sharp, that cuts through the clutter just like they have done with the humble 140 character text.

Effective marketing is multi-channel and multi-media

The question is often asked “what social network should you be using?“. The answer is, “As many as you can manage and that time and resources allow where your target audience is hanging out

Multi-channel marketing should be your goal.

Coca Cola knows this well and Wendy Clark the  senior VP-integrated marketing communications and capabilities at Coca Cola had this to say about effective marketing strategies in a digital world.

None of our plans are simply social, or TV, or mobile or experiential. On the contrary, it’s the combination of owned, earned, shared and paid media connections“.

She went on to say

“No single medium is as strong as the combination of media

To highlight this point she mentioned that for their Olympic campaign in 2012, Coca Cola used 60 different types of media!

In other words multi-channel  and multi-media combined are vital to create marketing synergies that have the potential to become viral. The  Old Spice social and mass media strategy also showcased this.

Did you know this about Twitter?

Twitter has released some internal research that shows how multi-media rich its platform has become and also its increasing role as an effective buzz and engagement tool that can used by journalists, news organisations and  users to increase their Twitter followers and retweets.

#1. Tweeting more gets you more followers

For journalists who post a concentrated number of Tweets in a short time span, follower growth is 50% more than expected.

 Tweeting more gets you more followers

#2. You can send tweets with a text message

Twitter was born with mobile in its DNA and that is obvious from its 140 character limit that was designed around the texting constraints of  mobile SMS. When Twitter became embedded within Apple’s mobile operating system it reached a tipping point that has continued to cement its place as the the web’s go to channel for breaking news and quick bytes of information.

Twitter can be set up to integrate with your texting.

Tweet via SMS

Not only can you send tweets with a text message but you can receive text messages when someone new follows you, your tweet is retweeted and even when your tweet is marked as a favourite.

Below is the screen you see when setting up your mobile for texts and Twitter. To make sure that you aren’t receiving texts all the time from someone new following you or retweets it may be best to turn most of these off.

Twitter text notifications

#3. Tweets with media receive on average 3 to 4 times more engagement

Twitter started as mono-media but has evolved into a multi-media social network. Media can include videos, photos and even Slideshare that can be viewed within Twitter. Tweets with multi-media receive 300-400% more engagement than tweets without media included.

Twitter and Multimedia

#4. Using more @mentions increases your follower growth faster

Twitter research of its Twitter stream shows news organizations that tweet 20% fewer URLs and 100% more @mentions grow followers 17% more than expected.

Using @mentions on Twitter promotes engagement 

#5. Hashtags can increase engagement by almost 100%

According to research from Twitter, journalists using hashtags increased engagement by 100% and the increase was 50%  for news organizations.

Hashtages increase engagement by 2 times

#6. Retweeting more gets you more followers

Sharing more but letting them know via a retweet can get you more followers.

So use the retweet button.

Twitter found that journalists with above expected follower growth send 200% more retweets (3X) compared to journalists with below expected follower growth.

Retweeting more gets you more followers

What about you?

Have you been guilty of tweeting a lot? Have you increased your followers?

What about retweeting? Are you a big retweeter?

What works for you on Twitter? ook forward to hearing your stories in the comments below.



Want to learn how to use Twitter to market your brand and your blog?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

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Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Mark Landau

    Just curious. What’s the mechanism by which #1 occurs. If the guy there tweets a few updates from a basketball game, how does he gain more followers?

    A non-follower won’t see the tweets. So, unless I’m missing something, the only way a non-follower winds up following him is if the non-follower sees a retweet of the basketball update (but who would retweet that?) or happens to follow someone who @replies *and* somehow gets those @replies in his feed (most people don’t get someone elses’ @replies). Since neither of these scenarios are too likely, how does he gain followers?

    • These are broad stats. Likely in the scenario you have given they may have included a relevant hashtag. You can also search for nearby tweets so that could have an impact as well as handles. By tweeting in volume in combination with these things likely causes increased followers

  • Jeff, just read something the other day that said hashtags are becoming less and less useful. Do you agree? Do they just have to be used more sparingly to be effective?

    • Hey Bill, thanks for dropping by and asking a question. Over time things do become less effective as they lose the shiny effect. My experience is that they still work and I have even heard that Facebook is thinking of introducing them.
      They can be overdone and I try not to use more than 2-3 at a time.
      So I think it is at this stage continue to use them and watch this space!

    • I think they are getting spammed/over used… Using them wherever it makes sense(genuine) should always remain good thumb rule.

    • Randomly applied hash tags not so effective. Hashtags organised aroung events or campaigns are still a great way to connect people and group messages around an idea

  • Great article, thank you for sharing. I agree with you about using hashtags, they help people find old tweets that would have otherwise been long forgotten. I have been working on my mediation website (mac-sg.com) and twitter has been tremendously helpful in building an audience to my weekly blog entries.

  • Excellent points. I agree, especially, with the RT suggestion. Thanks.

  • Amy Birch

    Great post Jeff – I like to think of myself a little Twitter-know-it-all but you’ve proved I am not! 🙂
    I’m excited to see where Vine will go, and how it will influence other sites to jump on board, or if it’ll fizzle into nothingness.

  • SusanRaber

    I am still a Twitter dunce. I can never remember to use hashtags. I’m just getting to the point where I remember to update my Facebook page. I’ll get there eventually though- these posts help me know how best to spend my time online. At least I am learning how to direct my efforts.

  • Keith Watson

    Jeff, your insight is very helpful. Being “Between Careers” social media has become a great way to network.

  • I have a love/hate relationship with twitter. One day I think I am doing well on that thing and the next, I lose like 50 followers! Makes no sense to me! LOL

  • Hey Jeff curious about your thoughts on something – It’s probably never a good idea to post 2 links in one tweet, but when you post an image or video link is it your about me page that gets people to land back on your page? Any thoughts or ideas?

    • I generally don’t do that and most of my links go to content. My book tweets do go to Amazon to buy my book.

      • Agree. People are interested in content first and once they see the value of the information they become interested in the person

  • Caitlyn Michel

    Lots of great information! Thanks for the post

  • The add-media advice is counterintuitive. Thanks 🙂 I was sure that posting plain text makes Twitter stream less cluttered and – therefore – more effective. What a mistake!

  • Another great Article, thanks Jeff!

  • PrincessNorrain

    I have a question about favorites: Why would a random person, that I don’t even know, want to favorite a four month old Tweet of mine? It’s happened three times this month.

    The Tweet was from back in January and it was an apology for a
    disgusting Tweet that went out when someone hacked me. It’s now May,
    over four months later. What scam are these people up to?

  • Adam

    Definitely agree about the multimedia posting increasing the followers. Text posts just don’t cut it anymore. Not sure why Twitter didn’t try to integrate Vine into Twitter, instead of making it separate.

  • Praverb

    I love Tip 5 and Tip 6. I have been starting to use more hashtags lately. Retweeting is a highly effective strategy as well. Thank You for these awesome posts.

  • sanchitkhera7

    I always thought that #s were childish. Or is that just me