Keen to promote your resources on Twitter but not sure how to go about it? In the second of our series of social media blog posts, we explore how three Tes authors are driving sales through Twitter.
In the second of our social media blogs we’re focussing on Twitter. We’ll be looking at three Tes teacher-authors and – similar to our first blog post which looked at innovative teacher-authors on Facebook – we’re going to pick one key thing we love about each Twitter page. We hope this will help you to develop a strategy to talk about your own resources and share your teaching stories on Twitter. Each author has also provided their top tip for Twitter, and at the end we’ll share our top three Tes takeaways which you can apply to your Twitter page today.
Twitter has always been a popular platform for teachers and educators. Recent changes on Twitter show that the platform is evolving as tweets can now be up to 280 characters – double their original length. This is a small but significant change, as the 140-character brevity was a unique aspect of the platform. Twitter has recently seen stronger annual user growth compared to previous years (last year was 4%) and it’s still one of the bigger social networks with over 330 million users globally. The channel continues to be one of the best places to go to find breaking news across a variety of subjects, and education is no exception - if you haven't already, it is definitely a key platform to use as a teacher-author.
Tes author: Start Education (Mael Matthews)
Start Education is run by Mael Matthews who has been on Twitter since 2010 and has built up an impressive 12,000+ followers in that time! Mael teaches art in secondary school and as you might expect, there is a big ‘love of art’ story running through his inspiring Twitter page:
The thing we love most about Mael’s page is the wide variety of helpful and inspiring content he shares with other teachers, parents and those interested in the arts. His love for the art world shines through and he’s also happy to share down to earth, very human stories, about his family, his love of photography, and even a little education politics - all alongside regularly talking about his new resources. But again, even here he chats about resources that will help other busy teachers and makes them relevant to his audience, such as in this recent tweet:
Mael always retweets generously (like this example below), which is a great way to show support - and also get on another person’s radar. This could also result in him having his own content shared more widely, down the line by the person he has helped out (in this case Tes Resources!):
Mael has some great resources in his author shop, like the one below, and he clevery used the ‘pin to top’ function on Twitter (see below) to put a larger emphasis on a key Christmas resource of his. Pinning to top is a great way of making your tweets stay front and centre – especially if they’re doing well already, it will help attract even more engagement!
Mael’s top Twitter tip for Tes authors:
Mix your promotional tweets with general interest tweets. Think of it as a TV channel - people wouldn’t watch wall to wall adverts and they will lose interest if all your tweets are links to your resources.
Tes author: Brian’s Maths Topics (Brian Taylor)
Next up, we’re looking at the Math’s Topics Twitter page, run by maths expert Brian Taylor who is also know by his Tes shop - Magic Trickster. Brian was winner of our ‘Author-preneur’ competition for Tes authors which ran during early summer 2017. As well as getting extra promotion for his page, as part of the prize, Brian also received a special social media coaching session covering Twitter. Brian has definitely turbocharged his activity on his relatively new Twitter page since winning the prize! He’s gone from strength to strength with his number of followers now going over 1,300.
The main thing we love about Brian’s page is his engaging maths puzzles that he shares regularly! It’s such a unique and fun feature of his, where he gives parts of a puzzle-focused resource to all his followers and sets them the challenge of answering them. A few days later Brian publishes the visual answer on Twitter - and gets even more engagement. It’s a nifty trick and he also shares puzzle-type maths tweets by other authors he likes.
As well as sharing puzzles, Brian also shares his resources directly from Tes Resources and he sometimes uses special discount codes (available from time to time from Tes) to help promote the resources that he’s talking about.
Brian’s top tip for authors using Twitter:
Every now and again un-follow people who don’t follow you back – you don’t want the list of people you’re following to be massively greater than the number of people following you.
Tes author: Mr A, Mr C and Mr D (Matt)
The final teacher-author featured in our Twitter blog is Mr A, Mr C and Mr D. They have a healthy number of just under 6,000 followers on their Twitter page. Their page focuses on primary content and covers maths, science and literacy with a musical twist – they have musical themes in many of their resources to help make lessons even more engaging and fun for children.
The main thing we love about the @MrACDPresent page is the high volume of diverse content they put out. You can get away with putting higher volumes of content out on Twitter, as compared to other social channels. On some days they’re tweeting around 4-10 tweets in a 24-hour period and they have a nice style of engagement where they recognise and @tag everyone who shares their content. This constant @tagging and thanking reminds other Twitter users about them and, in turn, pulls back more engagement for their tweets! This is a great example of how having good manners really pays off!
@MrACDPresent are also great at promoting resource codes and using them to help cross-promote sales of their own resources during that discount code period.
We also like the way they listen to what people are saying about them online and actively sharing tweets where they spot people saying nice things about them or sharing their resources.
Three key Tes tips for Authors using Twitter
- Make sure your header photo is well designed and tells your Tes shop story well. Also make sure the small profile image is punchy - if you’re going for a personal approach, don't forget to smile in your photo!
- Fully complete your Twitter bio, use up the 160 characters allowed and include words for your specialist area of teaching, what other teachers would search for on Twitter, a relevant hashtag and say something funny or memorable about yourself!
- Schedule tweets in advance using a free or paid tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, allowing you to schedule up batches of content in advance and not constantly tweet live or have to come up with last minute ideas.