How the Twitter algorithm thinks

jasonleow  •  13 Sept 2021

A few things I’m learning about the Twitter ‘SEO’ algorithm as I learn to up my marketing game:

• Don’t add a URL on your first tweet. Twitter algo won’t like it as it brings people out of the site, and will down rank your tweet.

• If you @ someone in your tweet, your traffic has a higher chance of visibility, especially if that account has a high following. If you @ a few high follower accounts, even better. But use this with caution as can come across as spam.

• Starting off the tweet with @ means only the account user will see it (as it’s like a reply or tweet direct at him). So only do that if you’re directing tweeting to the account. Caveat: if someone follows both of you, they will see the direct tweet though (thnks to @tao for highlighting!)

• Threads are a popular algo hack now, but not the only way to get more impressions. Single tweets, quote tweets work too, if you do it right. Many accounts found success using just single tweets. But the other end of that extreme is Platitude Twitter - so moderate it well.

• Consistency and volume wins. The more content you create, the more comments and RTs you send, the more impressions/engagement your account gets. Multiply that on a daily basis. And that tells the algo that this is an account worth showing more of. Use apps like Typefully or Hyperfury to automate and schedule the volume needed.

• Commenting over original content. I saw a growth hack that recommended commenting up to 10x more than your original tweets. Especially powerful if you engage high follower accounts. The more engagement you create, the more visibility.

• Provide value. This an oldie but goodie. It’s as simple as just helping people out. Give value-packed relevant content to your followers. Do interesting stuff. If it serves them, they will look at it more, comment/RT more. Higher engagement is what the Twitter algo loves. You can win through value if you don’t create content consistently or with high volume.

• Visual content works. Twitter might be a very text-based platform, but I’d seen accounts like @visualizevalue do really well tweeting graphics, charts, graphs of Twitter memes and ideas. Another popular one is illustrated sketches. And of course, memes for your niche. Even stick man figures work!

• Knowing when best to tweet helps. Do your followers tend to engage during a certain time? Tweet and engage then. Use your analytics to inform on the best times.

• Scour your analytics for your best performing tweets. Double down on the same ideas and themes.

Give the Twitter algorithm what it likes and it’ll like you back. Simple, but hard.

Anything else I missed?


If you start your tweet by @'ing someone - other people will see it too if they follow both of you.

I have a feeling that Twitter favours tweets that were created using their tools more than 3rd party ones.
3rd party tools have more change to produce spam, so I suspect they are dialled down in the algo.

tao  •  13 Sept 2021, 11:08 am

Interesting info. Thanks for sharing!

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therealbrandonwilson  •  13 Sept 2021, 2:15 pm

@therealbrandonwilson 😊👍

@tao thanks for highlighting that point! I updated the text.

Oh didn’t know that part about 3rd party tools. How did you arrive at the observation? Noticed that many of the top accounts with high following all used 3rd party tools…don’t seem to affect them?

jasonleow  •  14 Sept 2021, 2:30 am

It was something I had read previously - but might be out of date now. The idea was based on the fact that Twitter prefers people using the app as it will lead to more use (and seeing more ads!) rather than relying on 3rd party scheduling tools.
I found an interesting study here that pretty much showed it as a draw between the two.

tao  •  14 Sept 2021, 7:55 am

@tao ah makes sense that they might favour inhouse tools. But seems like the benefits of using 3rd party tools minus any potential penalty is still a net positive…

jasonleow  •  15 Sept 2021, 2:26 am