In the Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Instagram debate, I’ve always been more drawn to Instagram. Throughout high school and college, I wasn’t as active as most of my friends on Facebook and never really understood Twitter (or what a retweet even meant). I could follow my friends, favorite actors, and singers, but I didn’t really care all that much (#sorrynotsorry). I had a Twitter profile, but in the first two to three years since I had joined the social media network, I Tweeted less than 20 times. Who cared what I had to say? After all, I never had anything worth-while to put out to my few followers.
Fast forward two years. In December 2013 I started as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Account Manager at 451 Marketing, a fully-integrated Boston-based marketing agency, without a Facebook and a less-than-lacking Twitter profile. My first few SEO accounts I was assigned to were integrated accounts, so I had the pleasure of working side by side with our award-winning social media team. A couple months in my new position at the agency, through brainstorms and learning about all the hard work that goes into social media strategy and implementation, my eyes were opened to the possibilities and the power of Twitter.
After I had spoken at the MRA Social Media Symposium last year, reactions I read on Twitter encapsulating my presentation began to initiate my thought process for what I could accomplish, achieve and learn using Twitter to my professional advantage. I made it my goal to become a SEO Industry Influencer. Since that day, I became more and more active on the 140-character social media network.
According to Twitter Analytics Follower Dashboard (analytics.twitter.com) I started the summer with 189 Followers on Twitter, which at the time was impressive to me considering how I underutilized the tool. As of the first week in September, I now have 486 Followers that have a top interest in technology, marketing. My followers increased 157% in one summer.
Here’s how I did it and how you can too:
Cleaned up my profile: I started by amending my friends list and trimmed down who I chose to follow. I removed peculiar and spammy profiles, questionable tweets and freshened my profile with a Boston skyline header photo, updated my personal description bio and incorporated the SEO hashtag (#SEO) and my company’s username, @451Marketing. I used my company’s branded red Pantone color as my profile’s color theme and included a personalized link to my LinkedIn page to make it easier for other industry experts to connect with me in other capacities of social media.
Prospected & followed industry experts, tools and personal accounts: As a SEO, I am constantly reading up on what is new in the industry because the only thing constant in SEO is change. I read and scan somewhere between 10 to 15 different digital marketing blogs on a daily basis, all of which have active Twitter profiles like @sengineland, @sejournal, and more.) I followed other popular industry blogs, found the profiles for the digital marketing tools we use in our agency and looked at Twitter’s suggested profiles in the ‘Who to follow’ section. The more accounts I followed, the more educational information I had in my stream and the more I was able to learn. Twitter makes it easier to scan information you may be interested in that having to actively find it on multiple blog websites.
Engaged with my following: The more I built up who I followed, the more followers I received. Twitter makes it really easy to share content, so if I see something that interests me in my stream I feel is an important subject in my industry, I always retweet or favorite the posts. This helps contribute to my industry knowledge both on and off social media.
Followed back, only if they appeared to contribute to my interests: Sometimes, I get followers who are only interested in growing their followers with a “follow back.” I only follow back profiles that contribute to my digital marketing knowledge, whether the content theme incorporates SEO, PPC, Social Media or Content Marketing. Bonus points to profiles that make it easier to see what they are about by incorporating keywords in their bio, and why I’m happy I do the same.
Searched for popular hashtags: I quickly learned that utilizing highly searched keywords like #SEO and #SEOChat lead to higher impressions, clicks and retweets and altogether more engagements. Find your industry’s popular hashtags by searching for keywords in Twitter search and seeing what your industry experts are using. It’s also okay to utilize popular social media hashtags like #TBT and spinning them to work for your industry. If you can think quick, using Twitter’s Trends can be to your advantage as well.
Created my own media: I found a great tool called Pablo by Buffer that helped me create beautiful and unique custom images in less than 5 minutes. If I find something interesting in one of the blogs I keep up with, whether it’s a quote from Matt Cutts (Google’s former head of Web Spam) or a new fact about SEO, I create a custom image and share on Twitter. Some of my custom images have received more than 6,000 Organic Impressions! I name each image file with my name so that when someone Google’s my name, these images appear in Google Image Search. Three cheers for SEO!
Joined and engaged with Twitter chats and Twitter parties related to the industry: I was recently invited to join my first Twitter Chat hosted by MySiteAuditer about how to be an effective SEO Account Manager. Using the hashtag #SEOProChat with the format Q1:A1, my answers to questions asked by MySiteAuditor were able to be seen by a wider audience and I was able to prove my industry knowledge to followers that I wouldn’t necessarily be in front of. Twitter chats are a great way to grow your followers and learn more from people in your industry, as well as find and engage with other knowledgeable people in your industry.
Left my personal life off Twitter: I understand there are many uses for Twitter, but when I decided to exploit Twitter for my professional development, I made the decision to leave my personal life on Facebook and Instagram. Friends still mention me in personal tweets but I choose not to engage and sometimes remove the mentions from my profile altogether. I want my industry to be able to learn from me and opinions shouldn’t be swayed with a couple personal tweets. Better safe than sorry!
Didn’t let social media become a chore: I might get some repercussions for saying this, but I don’t think it’s necessary to post every day. Some days, I’m too busy with calls and meetings to even browse Twitter, let alone come up with a unique custom image and post. I don’t let Twitter become a chore. In July, I tweeted 18 times and still received 4,179 Organic Impressions and 184 New Followers.
Growing my network both online and offline is a great way to build my digital marketing knowledge base and meet like-minded people in my industry. To become an industry influencer takes time and strong dedication, but if you love your industry as much as I do mine, it shouldn’t be difficult to find the ambition to start. If you are interested in following me and learning more about SEO and the digital marketing space, my twitter handle is @mel_arroics. Happy influencing!