I was never interested in Twitter. I saw it as a platform for the egomaniacs to share the minutia of their lives, but when I tried it recently, I was amazed to find an incredible networking platform with great potential for organically building an audience with relatively little effort.
Twitter Doesn’t Care About Your Life
Maybe you never joined Twitter, because, like me, you never felt the need to share what you’re eating or when you use the restroom, but that’s not what Twitter is all about. Those type of posts have long since faded form the platform. Now Twitter has become a tool that allows you to connect with a large group of people that share your interests.
Twitter Doesn’t Have Downvotes
Twitter is a great place to share your content without repercussions. It can be difficult to judge when and how often to post (or email) on other platforms. This can be especially worrying in audiences can be destructively negative toward new posters.
Twitter allows you to post often and find exactly which content appeals the most to your audience before sharing it elsewhere. Don’t risk an unsubscribe from your email list or losing all your karma. Post all sorts of images or articles on Twitter and find which ones get the reaction you’re seeking, then send it elsewhere.
Twitter Has the Noise of the Real World
The volume of posts on Twitter does come with a bit of a drawback. It can be hard to stand out amongst the noise. That’s definitely an issue, but it’s just as much an issue as you’ll find elsewhere. Twitter is an excellent trial ground for figuring out what’ll grab the attention of your audience amidst the noise of our busy world.
Twitter Doesn’t Care How Much You Tweet
Seeing the same thing on Facebook over and over again is annoying. With Twitter, not so much. The feed is quickly changing as there are a much larger number of posts per day. When I first joined Twitter, I only followed a couple people. Immediately my feed was filled with one guy posting screenshots of his game. On other platforms that behavior would be annoying, but as soon as I started following more people the increased noise allowed those posts to be spread out and become interesting rather than annoying. It may be a lower attention span platform, but as I mentioned earlier that can be an advantage if used to optimize your message before bringing it to other platforms.
Twitter is Public
Every profile on Twitter is public. That means you can follow the advice from experts in your field, message your favorite youtuber, or retweet press reviews. It’s also casual enough that these tweets don’t need to be entirely professional and following (or unfollowing) doesn’t require the same commitment as befriending people on other platforms such as Facebook. It’s incredibly easy to connect with anyone on the platform.
What other platform gives you such access to influential figures (or at least their PR department)?
Twitter Allows You to Filter What Posts You See
On Reddit, I’ve narrowed my subreddit subscriptions down to just focus on games. On Twitter, my profile also mostly follows game creators. Of the two platforms, which one do you think I learn from most?
I’d say Twitter. I have far more moments of inspiration and learning on Twitter. Just recently, I saw an incredible gif of a “transmutation shader” in action which included a link to the project in the comments. I’m looking forward to learning more.
While on Reddit, there seems to be a major focus on “play my game” with little other content. I understand the desire to get some feedback after putting a lot of work into a game, but when 90% of the title posts are “play my first game” the market has been flooded with low-quality content. (Yes, get eyes on your game, but if the most interesting thing about your game is that it’s your first, I’m not likely to play it. Is it a fun action RPG? Is it an untraditional racer? Is it Pong with an oval ball? Say it! Stand out with a hook unique to you.)
Twitter has Several Opportunities for Growing Your Audience
Most social platforms require you to either form a connection in person or produce viral videos in direct competition with thousands of other people doing the same. Twitter is different. There’s at least three solid opportunities for growth:
- Following Others
Hashtags tag your post as something that likely interests a specific community. There are people (and bots) that watch these hashtags and like the tweet, retweet it, or even follow you. It won’t guarantee you 1,000 followers overnight (it still needs to be something worth sharing), but just using a relevant hashtag will get a few eyes on your tweet.
Retweeting is bizarre. Retweeting is simply sharing a tweet that someone else created to your audience (and potentially adding something to it). You can fill up your page with re-used content and it’s actually a good thing! It keeps your feed interesting, keeps you looking active, and it helps out the person you re-tweeted and gets them interested in you.
Following others is the simplest way to build your audience and the most often gamed. New Twitter accounts want more followers. To get them, there’s an unspoken push to follow-back anyone that follows you as it’s a mutually beneficial exchange. (Twitter does have a follow cap depending on your followers/following ratio. You can read about the specific details here.)
Some have taken this to the extreme by mass following and later unfollowing anyone that didn’t follow them in return. It still happens today, but it’s not something I recommend and Twitter has imposed API limitations to try to stop this abuse. Personally, I follow anyone that looks interesting (thought I try to avoid rarely used accounts). I’m not too worried about hitting the limit as 5,000 follows is fairly high and follow backs are pretty common.
Twitter Allows Low Commitment Follows
The best thing you can do for the launch of your game is to build an audience beforehand, but that can be difficult to do. Most of us guard our email addresses carefully and Facebook only shows your content to a small portion of your followers unless you pay to “boost” your content. Twitter allows you to get the word out without ads, carefully constructed emails, or expensive ad campaigns.
Twitter has Built-in Potential for Virality
This one should be obvious at this point. Twitter has built-in potential for virality. Sharing is mutually beneficial to content creator and the person sharing it, both sharing and connecting with others is low commitment behavior, there’s potential for connecting directly with major influencers, and there are several methods for organic growth.
1.) Contribute original content. Too many people only retweet and become a secondary source of information. If you don’t have original posts, then users will follow the people that you’re retweeting instead.
2.) Be generous with your likes, comments, and follows. They don’t cost you anything and you don’t have to worry about the follow limit until you hit 5,000 anyway. I make it a point to checkout anyone that likes, retweets, or follows me. Not everyone does the same, but there’s still a chance you’ll pique someone’s interest just by sharing their content.
Twitter is an ideal networking tool, because it’s casual, public, and low commitment. It also allows you to connect, keep your audience up to date, and organically grow your audience without sharing your personal life. I use it to connect with game players, journalists, and other indie devs, keep followers update on my games’ statuses, and share the articles I write on this site. It’s been an excellent tool for me and it an help you too.
Ready to get started on Twitter? Check out RiteTag to compare the popularity of various hashtags and prioritize.
Interested in how a Twitter noob progresses with the platform? Follow me @tangled_reality!