The total number of Twitter users in the UK now sits at around 18 million. That’s a sizeable – not to mention influential – audience that businesses can’t afford to ignore.
When measured against the general population, Twitter users are more impassioned, knowledgeable, and feel more strongly about brand and culture alignment, especially those between the age of 18 and 35. Businesses that tap into Twitter see an increase in brand awareness (8%), brand preference (7%) and purchase intent (3%).
The movers and shakers of the STEAM world on Twitter
When used in the right way, Twitter can be an incredibly powerful tool for promoting the ‘Art’ and/or ‘STEM’ elements of your business and for networking with other creatives in the industry. For example, Celine Terranova, also known as The Part-Time Artist, says that Twitter has become her main point of contact with her audience, and is demonstrably more useful when it comes to finding new opportunities than other social media platforms. Through Twitter, Celine found her editor, has been featured in other blogs and podcasts, and feels part of supportive writing community.
Meanwhile, another star of Twitter is Swedish-born Simone Giertz, known for her wacky homemade inventions. Recent inventions including the “lipstick robot” and “a proud parent”. However, don’t be fooled by the absurdity of her inventions. Simone is a highly-skilled “non-engineer” and was a recent finalist at the annual Shorty Awards (STEM category) – Honouring the Best of Social Media and Digital.
British astronaut and scientist Tim Peake amazed us with his fun experiments and experiences throughout his six-month stay on the International Space Station. Peake has continued to leverage his popularity on Twitter to inspire and motivate the next generation of scientists and astronauts, as well as promoting his own projects including his new book Limitless and his live tour starting in October 2021.
How to grow your Twitter audience
- Use Hashtags. Arguably, the most important part of your Twitter strategy is to make the most of hashtags, because they get your tweets noticed and increase your following. Not only can you reach potential customers, but it’s also an effective way of connecting with fellow artists and likeminded individuals (who will in turn help to promote your business over time). Don’t go too crazy with your hashtags though – although there is no limit, it’s best not to use more than three if you can help it, to keep your message focussed.
- Tweet as much as you can. We follow others on Twitter because we find them interesting, funny or engaging. While it may sound obvious, if you don’t Tweet, others will not follow. Aim to tweet at least daily and let people know what you’re up to, whether it be shouting about your successes or sharing your struggles.
- Follow, follow, follow! Remember, Twitter shouldn’t be one-sided. Of course, overall, you’re aiming to gain more followers than accounts followed, but this won’t happen overnight. You’ll need to follow a number of accounts before you start to see that two-way traction. One tip is to follow people using an identified hashtag such as #FollowFriday. It’s the easiest way to get people to follow you back. Keeping up the momentum is key, so set aside time each week, and only follow those you are genuinely interested in.
- Don’t be too promotional. Your audience will soon switch off if all of your posts are promoting your goods, services or events. Make your Twitter feed more interesting by promoting other local or likeminded businesses – or sharing other newsworthy updates. Immerse yourself in the Twitter community by liking, commenting on and retweeting as many posts as you can.
Twitter tools to help
As an artist or entrepreneur, it’s likely your time is limited, but there are lots of useful tools out there to help you. Hootsuite is an extremely valuable platform, enabling you to schedule a number of pre-written tweets throughout the day across all your social media platforms. Hootsuite also helps you track and improve your social ROI, so you know what’s working, what isn’t, and where to invest in future. Also check out Sprout Social, a leader in providing support to businesses of all sizes by helping them to engage and analyse their audience.
Meanwhile, the Twitter Pinned Lists feature is great for keeping a beady eye on your competitors. Rather than having to search for a competitor individually, you can set up a pinned list that you simply switch to when you want to take a look. Your lists are completely private, allowing you to monitor accounts of interest without having to follow them.
Building your presence on Twitter can take time, but remember, there is a lot of support available out there for fledging businesses, including our resources here at STEAMhouse. If you haven’t done so already, check out the STEAMhouse events page, where you’ll find lots of relevant and useful sessions throughout the year, including our popular social media workshops.