Anyone producing a web series or a documentary today needs to know about “Discoverability”.
What is Discoverability?
Discoverability is basically making sure that as many people as possible in your potential target audiences discover your content. They need to be aware it exists and then know how and where to watch it or buy it or engage with it or discuss it (including people outside your circles).
Why are Twitter Followers important for your web series?
A higher follower count mean more influence in your industry and with fans, but also signals that your audience, leads and customers are interested in your content.
Numbers and quality of followers really matter. If you only have 100 followers and you already know most of those people and those people do not have many followers or are not very active, it may be fun and it’s a great start, but it is not helping your discoverability that much. Nobody new will see anything. It is also hard to get followers as you do not have much reach so people often do not care if you follow them and do not follow back.
We have found it is good to do your research then start your account really early. However that does not mean you can rush out and follow tons of people. Plan to grow slowly and organically with a good mix of content and conversation. Once you pass 1000 Followers it gets easier as you become more useful to others and you have more chances to have conversations.
According to social media statistics, nearly half of all marketers cite Twitter as their go-to network for engaging with customers. Twitter is fast-moving, free and simple to use.
We find Twitter is great for:
- Finding news and contacts.
- Sharing news and awards, thanking funders.
- Increasing awareness of projects and letting people know where to find them.
- Conversations and networking with other industry people, cross-promotion with collaborators.
- Fans- water cooler discussions about the characters and show or fan art fan fiction etc
- Special access and shout outs for super fans.
- Customer Service.
People mainly look for news or conversations with “friends” with similar interests including TV or web series or characters or social media. They like helpful interesting information, access and value. What makes Twitter different from most other social media sites is that it has a strong emphasis on real-time information
Conversion to YouTube views directly from Tweet links may not always be as high as we initially expected, but there is still huge value in having a strong relevant Twitter Account.
Starting Your Twitter Account for your Web Series
Define and Find Target Audiences
The key thing we have learned is that you have to really think about your target audiences and what is interesting and of value to them. You need to understand clearly on each platform who you want to follow you, why they are on the platform and what they expect or like. This will allow you to maximize your reach and engagement on social media with the right people for your brand or project and achieve your social media goals (link to Buffer article).
Look at their demographics (sex, age, location), what music and other shows and brands they like, who they follow, who follows them, what hashtags they follow. We did a competitive review and built a database of hashtags for Instagram and Twitter including popular community hashtags such as #MondayMotivation, business ones like #webseries or #SEO, gender and purpose ones #LGBTQ, events, festivals, trends and lifestyle target specific ones.
Find followers who align well with your core values and you think will like hanging out and following you or that there could be mutual benefits.
Our targets on Sloppy Jones Twitter are :
1. Go for the easiest first- any people connected to the show like creators, cast, crew, funders, friends/family as obviously they are interested in news, probably like the content and want it to succeed.
2. Potential fans – people 18-34 who like queer series, comedy series, web series, diversity, women behind the camera, restaurant humour, bad boss humour, drag shows etc. These people love news and to be recognized and to have water cooler moments and access and to chat with each other and you. They should enjoy the funny memes but they also enjoy news about other comedy shows especially queer ones, other celebs etc. They want to know you see them and appreciate them. We find them looking at the followers of other series or brands or influencers we like and hashtags we think might be relevant. We check their follower count and what they post and like one by one and interact. It’s slow but steady and well worth it longterm as you end up building super fans and buzz. We follow up to a maximum of 1000 people to start but only in small bursts so we don’t look spammy and if they do not follow back after a few days and are not active or interested, we unfollow them gradually.
3. Influencers in our segment and other actors and creators. Retweet them and check their followers and what content they share that does best. Network, share things or responses they might like and be generous while you build. We are very happy to cross-promote with other web series and their creators/cast/crew as we can all grow. We especially like to lift up other women and underrepresented voices.
4. Media, brands, buyers, funders, festivals, branded content, experts, comedians, celebrities, Hollywood agents and digital marketing people. It is the only media you can have such direct conversations with people you might not normally be able to reach and also get noticed if you tag or retweet or respond to them. Another smart way to get other brands interested in your account is by shouting them out. Tagging other brands as a compliment retweeting and responding are popular tactics to show some love to others in your industry.
It is important to define a consistent brand and voice across all your platforms – a recognizable look, a tone, and core values. However, recognize that each platform is slightly different. Twitter can have more of a producer voice at times and share news and have conversations. It is very different from Instagram as it is so fleeting and not as visual. It can be very targeted.
Social Media Means Social
Social media means social and on Twitter particularly. Having good branding does not mean you only share your own funny stuff in character voices if you are are a comedy. Twitter is like a crowded cocktail party so you can’t just talk at people about yourself loudly, even if you are funny and charming – you have to listen and ask questions and smile and share valuable news, gossip and special access. According to Sprout social and Jeff Bullas and other experts – the right balance is to have 20% promotion and 80% conversation.
The 20% promotion is everything you put out about yourself- your content in your brand voice, your announcements, your fun facts or memes or gifs. You can see exactly what resonates best if you test so we recommend test test test. You can experiment at first and find what works. We tweet some memes and Gifs in characters’ voices, we tweet and converse in the writers’ millennial funny voices (similar to characters) and then we might go in chat groups like #webseries and talk business. We test everything and review the analytics and followers regularly. So many things can affect success so you should be fine-tuning all the time.
The content tied to your brand/show that you share should use relevant hashtags (not only your own), and tie in to what is trending and what is important to your audiences. It should not just be you pushing out what you like.
The other at least 80% should be replies, likes, retweets, chats, shares of interesting stuff like Tweets from your followers, relevant industry articles, buzzworthy stats, breaking news. Of course your should reflect your brand values but ours include include authenticity, diversity, inclusion and supporting other women so that gives us great opportunities. It is a big red flag if I see an account that does not retweet or like or chat a lot. Generally they do not do well and are not worth hanging out with on Twitter.
On Talent Hounds @mytalenthounds, I have approximately 16,000 followers and have stayed steady for 5+ years. I built them one by one and know most of them. I have them in groups – people who talk as their dog and love to chat and share authentic natural photos or videos but not funny memes or entertainment or dogs dressed up, pug owners and #pugchat followers who are super passionate and share their lives/love with pug pictures/videos, general dog lovers in various other groups, people interested in dog training and dog Mom tips, people interested in blogging, YouTube or TV, social social media and digital marketing experts, lots of brands (especially Telco and airlines), funders, media, and influencers.
I network with some people with under 500 Followers, either to be supportive or because of some connection, but I have lots of people with over 10,000 and quite a few over 100,000. I am in various groups and #chats where we will do twitter shares, discuss business or life, and we help each other. When I have something I need to share for a brand paid or a launch I have an expanded potential network of at least 16+ million, but of course, reach is fleeting, so I won’t ever reach everyone. If I only get 1% on a tweet that is still at least 160,000 that I can prove saw and engaged with my messages. I regularly get over 200,000 for paid product reviews for brands. That’s 200,000 new people finding out about a show or brand.
I used to put out memes or Gifs and several tweets a days but now I am not really promoting anything as I am focused on other projects so I have more conversations. I spend a tiny bit of time paying it forward and helping or rewarding my followers or people I target. My different audiences do not mind if occasionally I retweet something they may not be interested in like a Sloppy Jones announcement because I have built up a relationship. And I may find a few that are interested. However my reach has gone down because I have not been engaging as much as I used to.
Authenticity and Genuine Connections
Lory Mpiana helps manage our Sloppy Jones Twitter and said “I’ve learned that people want to feel like there is a person behind the tweet. They want to feel like they have a genuine connection with us (which they do) and that’s how loyalty is built. People are already being flooded with advertisements daily. I mean just look at Instagram, I believe we are now at 3 story views and then an ad appears. That’s where the disconnect lays and it is also why we have less than a second to catch their attention or else they will swipe through the ad quickly. Our platform is genuine, inclusive, and interactive and we don’t just see our supporters as a number. We see them as people. People who have lives, dreams, and a story to tell. That’s what sets us apart in our market, our empathy. “
Tips to Increase your Followers on Twitter
- Retweet and like more than you tweet. Give and take- 44% of all tweets are retweets and people love being retweeted. However more tweets = more impressions so balance out, especially in the beginning. Tweet a lot but not enough to annoy followers. According to data by CoSchedule, the “sweet spot” is anywhere between three and seven tweets per day to maximize engagement.
- Keep tweets to 70-100 characters.
- Research hashtags then use 1 or 2 hashtags per tweet like SEO for Twitter. According to data and best practices on how to use hashtags, tweets with at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement than those without them. Adding hashtags to a tweet is a quick way to increase the likelihood of new followers finding your account.
- Define then engage with your audiences- have conversations and make “friends” and loyal fans.
- Connect with influencers in your niche gradually in an authentic way.
- Try to tweet or retweet things your audiences might want to engage with and retweet.
- Add images, GIFs, Infographics, Videos and links to interesting articles with graphics. Catchy images are more likely to stop scrollers and encourage them to take a look at your post. Apparently infographics are shared three times more often than any other type of image on Twitter. Videos are six times more, especially quick How to’s and Listicles. Whether you’re looking to inform or entertain your audience (or both), filling your feed with visual content can help bring new followers into the fold.
- Ask questions, do inpsirational sayings and add things like “retweet this if you believe”. Motivational and inspirational tweets get four times more retweets apparently.
- Tweet and hashtag trending topics, especially if relevant to your audiences.
- Pin your most popular tweet. In the case of web series, pin your trailer for a while, pin awards or key announcements.
- Host a give away.
- Make sure you have a share button to Twitter on your website and embed tweets in you posts.
- Include a number in your tweet – odd numbers often work best or 10 Best.
- Test using an exclamations mark and CAPS on a key word in a tweet. Apparently research showed that they can increase engagement.
- Use popular words – Please works really well eg Please retweet (don’t be afraid to ask). Others include: you, blog, social, help, free, follow, how to, check out, new, post, Twitter.
- Women are more likely to retweet and like, especially about entertainment apparently so follow lots of women.
- Look at when your audiences are on Twitter and optimize your posting time by tweeting when they are most likely to see you. According to Sprout’s research on the best times to post on social media, brands typically see the most engagement during weekdays in the early and late afternoons but this can vary by target. Doug the Pug gets great engagement on Sunday afternoons when Millennials and students are scrolling through.
- Draw in followers outside of Twitter for example from Instagram, Facebook and Live Events
Do you use Twitter? Tell us in the comments and share your handle.