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Twitter revealed their algorithm—here's how to beat it

What brands + creators need to know about tweets.

Jack Forge / MidJourney

Twitter made their recommendations algorithm public.

The actual algorithm. They published it. You can read it.

I went through the code + read a bunch of researchers’ takes to put together a list of takeaways. I’ll link to deeper reading at the end, but I want to focus on what you, a marketer, need to know for your brand social.

Let’s dig in.

Twitter Blue will give you extra reach

Elon promised Twitter Blue would get you reach, and it’s right there in the algorithm.

Yes, your brand should pay for Twitter Blue. $8/month for the blue checkmark, extra features, and now extra reach is a complete no brainer, period. If you’re feeling bougie, the $1,000/month gold checkmark + affiliate badge features make sense for a very particular set of skills brands, too.

Images + Video technically get boosted, but not enough to change your content strategy.

This is where nuance matters. I don’t want you over-engineering your content strategy over spilled code. I want you knowing what’s important and contextualizing the data to help you make the best strategies for your brands.

Take the Twitter algo boosts for tweets with images and/or video. It’s 2x. Which, hey, cool, we’ll always take a boost. But here’s the thing. Good content > a specific type of content, and a 2x boost isn’t even sort of significant enough to make you rethink your content types. Keep doing what you’re doing!

Links technically hurt, but you should still link.

Stop it. I can hear you, social managers—you’re gonna say SEE, Twitter’s algorithm deprioritizes content with links! We should never use links!

The Twitter code essentially says that tweets with links COULD get marked as spam, but then specifically clarifies “if the tweet has enough engagements, do not mark as spam.”

You should definitely use links when you need to use links. We work in marketing. We need to sell some things. Don’t spam links, but none of the above should change your current links strategy.

Use spellcheck + don’t make up words

This one really surprised me. It turns out if a word isn’t recognized by a common language or interface language, Twitter severely penalizes that content with a 0.01 ranking.

Making up fake words is kinda my gag, so this bummed me out. Granted, engagement solves all problems, and if your tweet’s getting likes, you’ll beat the algorithm, but make sure you’re at least spelling everything correctly.

Follower-to-following ratio matters!

You know those accounts that follow 36,000 people, but only have 37,000 followers? Yeah, they get penalized in the algorithm. Besides, that whole follow-for-follow early social tactic never got you quality community anyway. Follow accounts that make sense, but don’t follow accounts as a growth tactic.

Niche down.

You rationally know this, but it turns out there are algorithmic reasons to stay on topic. Twitter clusters users together into communities of sorts based on similar profiles/interests—it’s one way they know how to recommend new content. Even more interesting, you can actually get algorithmically slapped for posting content that doesn’t make sense for their invisible clusters.

The takeaway: stay on brand, don’t get weird.

All that said… have fun out there.

Again, I wanna stress to not go crazy on optimizing. What continues to matter more than anything: do you have a great hook, and do you have a truly creative idea. Get these best practices baked into your brain, then just let them naturally influence your content.

Additional reading on Twitter’s Algorithm

Where to find me on social

LinkedIn: righttt on the cusp of 50,000 LinkedIn followers! Meet me over there—I’m sharing insights from my career coaching with young marketers. What’s on their mind, what questions they’re asking, & how senior marketers can help.

Twitter: I’m bringing back my old Twitter breakdown threads next week, starting with some of my favorite brand TikToks. Follow there to get daily social media tips + analysis.

Instagram: My IG’s my personal life, but you’re welcome to come hang. Lotta basketball content, lotta 2000s rock + emo, and some personal writing.