What We Can Learn From the Best Twitter Accounts

Viral tweets, iconic clapbacks, and inspiring stories are just some of the elements you’ll find on the most popular accounts on Twitter. Brands looking to connect with their audiences take to Twitter to use the short form social posts to spark engagement and learn about their followers.
With about 335 million monthly active users, Twitter remains a prominent force in the social community. Twitter users are also exceedingly loyal, with the number of users steadily rising or remaining consistent over the last five years.
Whether you’re new to the platform or a long-time user, there are valuable lessons we can all learn from brands that are killing the game on Twitter.

The New York Times

Boasting 42 million followers, the New York Times has survived and thrived in the transition from print to online media. Between their website, social channels, and podcasts, the New York Times has successfully made news easily consumable for a variety of audiences.

So, what makes the New York Times’ Twitter account, in particular, so popular? Firstly, about 67% of Americans admit to obtaining the majority of their news from social media. Twitter offers a concise way to brush up on current events, industry news, and popular trends that are a part of the daily water cooler conversation. A skipped Twitter scroll could mean that you are rendered unqualified to participate in a conversation about the latest political scandal over lunch.
A quick evaluation of the New York Times’ Twitter profile reveals a continual formula for the way the social media staff publicizes stories. Captions act as a quick synopsis of the article, instantly translating the core of the content without extraneous language or clickbait headlines. Article titles are straight to the point, giving the reader a clear indication of what they can expect to learn in this piece.
The New York Times uses photos and videos to support their reports, choosing content that relates to recent articles. The Times will also retweet posts from journalists, politicians, and important public figures if the text fits their straightforward style.
To provide value and important information to your own audience, try mirroring the type of language the Times’ uses to promote their articles. Draw attention to a blog post or current special by drafting social posts that direct followers to your site. Make sure that your audience is able to get something out of your content without making a purchase, such as valuable information, a download, or interesting industry news.


If you navigate to Starbucks’ Twitter page, you’ll likely see a mixture of sweet retweets, product promotions, and company updates. Starbucks has done an excellent job of positioning itself as a brand for the people, weighing in on environmental issues, responding to social injustices, and committing to their customers.
Starbucks commonly retweets sweet, funny, or relatable posts from their customers that chronicle anecdotes related to the brand. This action makes Twitter users more likely to feature Starbucks in a post in hopes of a retweet and allows the brand to show how they are an important part of their customers’ daily lives. If you don’t have a slew of users mentioning your company, try retweeting humorous or inspiring posts that relate to your product, services, or company purpose.
The Seattle-based coffee distributor also publicizes their involvement with charities, social movements, and environmental policies. Starbucks’ focus on corporate social responsibility especially appeals to millennials, who cite that they prefer companies that stand up for what they believe in rather than those that adopt a neutral position. To use this strategy at your business, first identify your practice’s mission statement. Then, find organizations and nonprofits that reflect your business’s mission.
When Starbucks promotes a new item, they use colorful photos and limited copy. The photo should speak for itself! Try this tactic by staging photos using items at your office and superimposing words onto the image. Or, take live action photos of your team at work to give a personal touch to your Twitter feed.


If you haven’t been following the Twitter war between Wendy’s and McDonald’s over the years, it’s time to tune in. This fast food restaurant has gained social media notoriety through sassy remarks, funny tweets, and throwing major shade at competitors.
Now, we don’t suggest that you drag your local competitors on social media, but we do recommend that you use humor to appeal to your audience (as long it’s appropriate for your demographic).
The team running Wendy’s Twitter account clearly pays attention to trending topics, viral tweets, and popular memes that they can skew to fit their purpose. Search Twitter to use popular joke formats, relevant memes, or related videos to increase social media engagement and show your followers some personality.
When scrolling through Wendy’s feed, you may notice that they use informal language in their posts. Now, this characteristic is not suitable for all businesses, but it is important to note that Wendy’s is paying attention to how their followers speak and use social media. Conduct your own analysis of your followers by clicking through their profiles and noting similarities. Not only will you be able to determine what sort of copy you should use on social posts, but you will also get insight into what topics your audience is most interested in.

Keep in Mind…

Remember, the number one rule to social media for business is consistency. Your post schedule, content, and branding should all be consistent and in line with your practice’s mission. Try not to use duplicate content on your social channels. Your demographic on Facebook may differ greatly from your audience on Twitter.
Now, take these tips to Twitter!

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