3 Ways to Outsmart Twitter's Timeline Algorithm


Twitter's timeline works like this: all the Tweets from the people you follow since your last visit are gathered and shown in reverse-chronological order. Simple right? Here's the twist. After gathering those Tweets, each is scored by a relevance model. The model's score predicts how interesting and engaging a Tweet would be specifically for you. The highest-scoring Tweets is what shows up at the top of your timeline. 

Twitter also highlights three main characteristics their model considers:

  • The Tweet itself: Recency, media cards (image or video), and total engagement (number of Retweets, likes and comments).
  • The Tweet’s author: What type of past interactions you’ve had with them, the strength of your connection and the origin of the relationship.
  • You: What type of Tweets you found engaging in the past, and how often or how much you use Twitter.

Tweet and engage regularly

Tweeting for the sake of tweeting is never a good idea and, but if you can find the perfect balance of tweeting QUALITY content regularly, your followers probably won't mind it so much. Use tools like Sprout Social to schedule your Tweets so you're consistent with your strategy. Also, if you aren't engaging with other Twitter users, you're going to struggle to build an engaged following. So, schedule engaging updates and respond to your mentions. Easy!

Use video

According to Twitter’s online video playbook, videos are six times more likely to be retweeted on Twitter than photos, and three times more likely to receive retweets than GIFs. If your budget doesn't allow this, consider going live with Periscope. A few interesting tidbits and tips from the playbook include:

  • Video around a live event increases brand favorability by 63%
  • Use captions and visuals for people watching on mobile with the sound off 
  • Brand logo in a video can increase purchase intent by 9%

Re-share top tweets

Twitter moves extremely fast. So even if a Tweet gained traction and earned a lot of engagement, there’s a strong chance a big portion of your followers didn’t see it. Sharing that Tweet again will give you the opportunity to reach some of those followers who missed it the first time around.

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