Twitter. A simple concept of uniting businesses, bloggers, writers, game developers, artists and more has proven fruitful. Why is that?
Because it’s a fantastic method of finding common ground. It makes it easy to find others much like you, interested in what you have to offer. Sure, you can tweet about your tasty lunch, but that’s not using Twitter to its fullest potential.
Here are six tips to help you gain influence on Twitter.
1) Looking the Part
Consider this: you happen upon a game developer’s Twitter, expecting to find a lot of information on their work. Instead, you find a profile with no images, no links, and barely any tweets. What crosses your mind?
Probably something along the lines of “this can’t be a developer, they’re posing.”
Because it’s just not possible for there to be blank, lacking spaces in an actual developer’s profile, right? There’s no way there wouldn’t be more interesting content!
That’s precisely why you need to spend some time looking the part. That means tweeting screenshots of your game, adding a suitable profile picture, and tweeting relevant information. You’re a developer, so people follow you to see more video game content on their feed. Make sure you have a relevant picture (one of you or one of your game) and cover picture, and juice up your description.
2) Not All Self-Promotion Is Annoying
There’s a stigma that tweeting too much content about yourself is annoying, and will get a lot of people to unfollow you. While that’s true, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do at least a little bit. Everything in moderation!
That means if you tweet about your new game once, that’s good for one day. Maybe two, if you’re really excited. More than that, or worse, several times back to back, and you’ve crossed a line. Here’s why: Twitter feeds update live. If you tweet out 3 consecutive self-promotions, followers will see them back to back on their feeds. That gets annoying, because it screams “look at me, LOOK at me, LOOK AT ME.”
What you want to do is focus on the two single best bits of information to put out publicly. In doing so, you capitalize on the acceptable slots you have. Embrace the pickiness – only tweet what could motivate people to click on your content. If you’re on a rant — go for it, but be careful you don’t alienate your audience. Try and Tweet no more than 2-4 times a day (and space it out if you post more often!) and strategize what times of day to post at.
3) Speaking of Self-Promotion…
Tweeting about your latest game is one thing. Tweeting about yourself is a completely different beast. While you should be tweeting about your games, you absolutely need to let people know who you are too.
It might sound strange, but players have an undying curiosity about developers. If you make yourself more personable, they feel like they can relate to you. If they like you, you’ll have more of a chance to make a difference in the gaming industry.
Share some photos of activities you’re doing, food you’re eating, or just generally Tweet about your life! The beautiful part of indie development is that players and developers can connect not just as a game creator and a consumer, but as two individuals chatting. Give people a reason to talk to you!
4) Quality Vs. Quantity
If you follow 300 people and think that’s enough, you’re in for a nice surprise: you ideally shouldn’t be following more people than are following you.
Chances are you thought that by following more people, you got more attention, and more content to retweet from. But see, that’s the problem. If you have more to retweet from, you’ll end up spamming people and getting unfollowed.
The ideal balance is to only follow (at most!) the same number of people following you, as long as it’s all high quality. With such a limited number, you have to be picky about who you’re allowing on your precious feed. Plus, you have to read their B.S. every time you update your feed. Don’t subject yourself to torture!
5) Spread the Love
If you’ve gone ahead and hand-picked the people you really want to follow, then you should spread that love. As long as you don’t spam your poor followers, they should get a taste of the awesome content you’re always seeing on your feed.
If you see a particularly interesting article with a new angle, you might want to retweet it, to help other developers. If it’s a piece of breaking news that hasn’t picked up yet, retweet away! If it’s video game artwork that you were floored by, you already know you need to retweet it for your geeky followers. This is not only great for getting information to your followers but also for showing other indies that you’re active and spreading their messages. Fantastic for networking, and if you manage to catch a journalist’s eye — even better!
6) Have Fun On Twitter
It might sound ridiculous, but you need to absolutely have a blast using Twitter. If you don’t, you’re not using it right. Once you have it set up the way you want it, with the optimal profile images and links, the high-quality followings, etc. it should all become an entertaining experience. No more sifting through boring content. No more irrelevant information you chose to follow on a whim 3 years ago.
If you have fun, your followers will get that sense too. Following you should be a treat, and using your Twitter account should be addicting. Twitter is such an awesome platform and you can learn, connect, laugh and generally have a blast doing so.
Twitter isn’t just a form of social media. It’s gone beyond trend status, and morphed into a useful tool to connect with others, and promote your content. It helps encourage the promotion of others as well, which can’t be a bad thing! You never know who might thank you, or notice you.
So next time you want to up your Twitter game, make sure you follow these 6 easy steps to completely revamp the experience.
If you’d like to learn how to be a more successful game developer, consider reading The Definitive Guide To Game Development Success — a popular eBook designed to help turn game development into a sustainable career.