Speaking at Adtech London this week, Olga Andrienko, Head of Social Media at SEMrush shares the tactics the SEO company has used to grow their Twitter audience from 7k to 23k with 450% engagement in 9 months.

She recommends five specific tactics:

#1. Reach out to 100 people in your industry everyday: start with your favourite experts and look who they follow and check out their lists.

A good example of someone who use extensive lists is Robert Scoble, a Futurist specialised in tech that I follow on Twitter. He has 471 k followers and has created numerous lists of experts and organisations from tech news brands to tech event organisers and weapons for entrepreneurs. If you are interested in this industry, chances are that you will find in his lists the experts to follow and see who they follow in turn.

#2. Monitor and respond to brand mentions. Check regularly your Twitter account to see who has mentioned you and acknowledge it with at least a thank you

#3. Tweet popular content. Check what is trending in the industry and tweet or retweet related news. Add the twitter handle of people and organisations cited in the news

#4. Track and answer popular questions. Add value to others; don’t just broadcast your information

#5. Participate in twitter chats. This last tactic is what SEMrush has used to grow their followers and build an engaged community

Olga explains that it’s not enough to just have followers. They also need to actively engage with your content with likes, shares and comments.

The average rate of engagement on social media is less than 1% but there are ways to get your followers to participate more actively.


So how to transform followers into a community?

Create space for people to communicate said Olga; which is just what twitter chat enables to do in real time and the benefits are numerous. You can:

  • Grow your audience rapidly
  • Engage more in depth with existing followers
  • Build relationship with experts in the industry
  • Find a lot of content ideas by tapping into users-generated content (UGC) and listen to the problems they want to solve

She also provides a step by step recipe to hold a successful twitter chat. Here are my 7 key takeaways:

#1. Define a topic for discussion.

This is not the place to promote yourself or your company. Act instead as a facilitator for other experts and the audience around a topic or question you have predefined. Of course the topic should be relevant to your area of expertise or interest.

Where to get topic ideas to hold a chat? Olga shares 5 different sources:

  • Research the popular keywords that are relevant to your brand
  • Check trending topics in your industry
  • Look for the speech headlines at live events
  • Refer to the frequently asked questions from your clients
  • Ask for suggestions to the experts who will be attending the event

#2. Select who to invite to the chat?

Create a targeted list of people who will be interested in this specific topic; not all your customers or prospects but a selected audience who is likely to engage in the conversation and share it with their own network.

Look for people who bought something related to it or have engaged with this same content at some stage in your feed. Tools like SocialBroTwExlistFollowerwonk and Birdsong allow to extract, refine and select the best match for a specific chat.

#3. Fix a date and time to hold the event

#4. Create a self-explanatory hashtag for the event to group all the discussion

#5. Publicise the event on Twitter ad your others channels

Use images to announce the chat. Emotion is important to capture people’s attention.

Tools like canvasnappa.io or placeit allow to create compelling beautiful images easily.

#6. Hold the event

Welcome everyone, ask a question and select the best contributions to share with participants when they don’t use the #. Do not share links in the chat. This will take people away from the conversation.

You can also use livestream with Periscope or Meerkat to increase the engagement.

#7. Measure the effectiveness

Use tools like TweetBinderKeyholeKlearTopsy to track and measure your chat’s reach.

Have you held or participated to a twitter chat? I’d love to hear from you. Share your experience in the comments below.