On average, people spend over 2 hours per day on social media. How much of that time do you commit to Twitter on a daily basis? If you're a Twitter addict, a good chunk of that time could be spent browsing through your timeline. And if you follow hundreds of people, or more, your timeline can get messy pretty quickly, considering there are 500 million tweets sent each day.
So how do you declutter your timeline some, become a Twitter pro, and be able to find exactly what you're looking for in the shortest amount of time to optimize your Twitter experience? You likely have multiple social media accounts, so being able to zero in on what interests you can be a huge time saver. That's exactly what we're going to cover in this blog with these Twitter hacks:
1. Create A List
Creating a list on Twitter enables you to access only the information you're interested in. If you want your timeline to be as organized and streamlined as possible, this is the Twitter hack you're going to want to implement.
According to Twitter, “A list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of tweets from only the users on that list.”
To create a list from the web, click on your profile icon in the upper right corner (in between the search bar and Tweet buttons) then "Lists". Then on the right-hand side, click on the "Create New List" button, and you'll see this screen:
Type in a name for your list and a brief description (optional). Set the privacy settings (if it is public, others can follow it as well), click "Save list", and you’re done.
On the next screen, you'll be able to type in users by name to add to your list you've just created, or you can go to individual profiles and click on the overflow icon (the icon with the three dots on it), then click "Add or remove from lists" to add them to your list. If you have multiple lists, you'll be able to choose the specific list you're wanting to add this user to.
2. Determine What Lists You're On
Curious how popular you are on Twitter? Then you'll want to determine what lists you've been added to. Just like you can add other Twitter users to lists, others can do the same with your profile. By determining what lists you're on, it will help give you an idea in regards to how others perceive you on Twitter. For example, are you on a lot of "social media" lists, "digital marketing" lists, "growth hacking" lists, and so on.
Determining what lists you're on is actually quite simple. To do so, from your Lists page (the one you can access by clicking on your profile icon then "Lists"), you will see a "Subscribed to" section and a "Member of" section. Click on the "Member of" section to see what lists other Twitter users have added you to and you're done!
3. Subscribe To Other Public Lists
So far you've created your own lists and determined what lists others have added you to. But what about subscribing to other lists? When you created your own list, you noted there were two privacy settings - public and private. When other Twitter users create their lists, if they chose the public option, that gives you the ability to subscribe to and follow their Twitter list.
By doing this, you can gain access to specific information you are looking for (for example, Facebook marketing tips or SEO techniques) and you get exposed to like-minded individuals who are interested in the same kind of contest as well. This is especially useful if there are certain Twitter users who you are targeting, perhaps for influencer marketing or some other type of relationship, and you're hoping to get noticed by joining their list.
To subscribe to other lists, once you are on that Twitter profile, click on "Lists" to see all lists they have subscribed to or are a member of. In this case, you are interested in the "Subscribed to" section. Look for any lists they have created, click on that list, and if it is public, click "Subscribe" and you're done!
4. Unleash The Power Of Hashtags
This is a no-brainer, but if you're using Twitter, you better be using hashtags. Tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement than those without. Not only that, but they also enable you to gain followers and improve your reputation, as well as extend the reach of your post.
Hashtags have multiple uses, according to Quick Sprout, including contests, education, events, news, and advocacy. Your hashtags should be concise (long hashtags are bad for business), conversational, and unique.
TrackMaven analyzed over 65,000 posts on Twitter and found tweets with a single hashtag performed best in terms of engagement (there was a sharp decline after two), and hashtags with 18 characters perform best.
5. Know The Best Time To Tweet
This isn't an exact science and you will get different answers depending on the source you are looking at. However, HubSpot put together an awesome infographic based on data CoSchedule compiled from a multitude of sources, including Quick Sprout, The Huffington Post, and KISSmetrics, and this was the end result for Twitter:
You should, however, still experiment to see what produces the best results for you. It is quite possible you will get the most engagement from your followers during those hours, but you also may not. If you are using a social media management tool that provides analytcs, check to see if they provide optimization reports showing when your followers are responding best to your tweets, as that data will be specific to your profile.
6. Apply The Search Operators To Find Cool Tweets
The Twitter search bar is a pretty cool feature. As Twitter puts it, the search bar enables you to "see what's happening right now". You may only be using it right now to search for Twitter users and hashtags. But, have you ever used any of the search operators? Check them out:
7. Do Targeted Searches With The Advanced Search Feature
The Twitter advanced search feature is a powerful tool that sometimes goes overlooked. But when you consider just how much data is available on Twitter (remember what we said above about 500 million tweets each day), using the advanced search enables you to cut through it and find extremely valuable data that might be useful to you.
Whether or not the search operators are your thing, according to Twitter, here are the available parameters you can use to refine your advanced search - happy searching!
8. Check What Apps Have Access To Your Account
You probably come across a lot of websites and services that ask for access to your Twitter account. That's common practice nowadays for many social media networks as you integrate social media with other activities you do on the web. That said, it doesn't hurt from time to time to go in and take a look to see what apps have access to see if there are any old ones you are no longer using that can be removed.
To do this, go to "Settings and privacy" within your profile and click on "Apps". If there are any apps listed that you are no longer using, simply click "Revoke access" and you're done! If you click this by mistake, you'll have the opportunity to undo the action and restore access.
9. Put A Couple Of Hashtags In Your Profile Bio
Ever thought about putting a couple of hashtags in your profile bio? You only have 160 characters to work with, so you want to put keywords in there that make it easy for people to find you. And hashtags can certainly do that. By having hashtags in your bio, it makes it easier for people to find you when they are performing searches. Just make sure the hashtags are relevant to what you do. Here's an example:
10. Turn Off Email Notifications
If you are tired of getting a flooded inbox with emails from Twitter, you can turn them off with a single click of your mouse! From within your profile, click on "Setting and privacy" then "Email notifications" and you will see the below screen. While you can control individual email settings, if you want to stop emails altogether, click "Turn off" and you're done!
11. Tweet Via Text Message
Do you want to tweet via text message, instead of using the Twitter app on your mobile phone? That's totally possible! Tweeting via text message enables you to send a text message to a short or long code and the text you send will then be posted as a tweet to your Twitter profile. For more information on this feature, click here.
To activate Twitter text messaging, from within your profile, click on "Settings and privacy" then "Mobile" and you will see the below screen. Select your country, enter your mobile number, click "Activate phone" and you're done!
12. Browse Twitter With Keyboard Shortcuts
If you have Twitter open on your computer and press "?" on your keyboard, the below pop-up will appear with all available keyboard shortcuts. These basically give you the ability to browse Twitter with your keyboard instead of your mouse, and for some, make the site much more intuitive and faster.
For example, instead of clicking on the "Tweet" button, you could just press "n" instead. Or if you were on your "Settings and privacy" page because you just activated Twitter text messaging, you could press "gh" to go back to the Twitter homepage. Test them out and see how you like them!
13. Encourage Some Shut-Eye
If you need your beauty rest, or just can't be bothered with noisy notifications during some hours of the day, you can set sleep settings for Twitter updates on your mobile phone. Please note these settings will only be available if you have added your mobile number to your Twitter account. If you have yet to do so, scroll back above and read #10 for directions on how to do so.
Assuming you have done this, from within your profile, click on "Settings and privacy" then "Mobile" and you will see a "Sleep Settings" section with a drop-down where you can select the ON and OFF times where you do not wish to receive updates. Without Twitter sending you updates throughout the night, hopefully, you can fight the urge to go and check your timeline anyway!
14. Download Your Tweet History
Ever wanted an archive of every tweet you've sent out? Or maybe you want to look back at all of the awesome and possibly dumb tweets you've sent out all of these years, to see how you've matured on Twitter? That is absolutely possible with the "Request your archive" feature Twitter rolled out, where they will literally email you a .zip file with a CSV of every tweet you have sent out, dating back to the very first day you signed up on Twitter.
To download your Twitter history, from within your profile, click on "Settings and privacy" then "Your Twitter data" and you will likely have to enter your password at this point. Then scroll down to the bottom and click on "Twitter Archive" then the "Request your archive" button. After doing so, you should see this pop-up and you're done! Just be patient and wait for Twitter to email you that file and have a blast going through your tweet history when it arrives!