ACES: A framework to guide your Twitter strategy

in April 8th, 2021
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For a business owner unsure about where to focus their energy, the number of social media platforms can be overwhelming. Do you need a TikTok? What about a YouTube channel?

We are major proponents of founders and business leaders using Twitter — if not for a brand account, then for personal use. This may come as a surprise, since Twitter's user base is in the mere millions, while platforms like Facebook are closer to billions. What Twitter may lack in massive scale, it makes up for in quality connections. There is a large community of business owners, entrepreneurs, and those that support them on Twitter. It can function as your extended support system.

Of all the platforms, Twitter best replicates an in-person interaction. Twitter's real-time nature lends itself to interactive conversation. That much of the platform is primarily still short-form text means that what people share is often less polished and more informal, as if they were speaking or thinking out loud.

If LinkedIn is the boardroom, Twitter is the cocktail party.

Our love for the platform aside, it's not for everyone. The same things that make the platform unique can make it hard to use effectively. Conversations happen all day long on Twitter. If you're not on the platform at the right time, you may miss it. Therefore, we recommend Twitter for those who know they have the time and energy to dedicate to an almost daily practice. Of all the social media channels you could be on, we find that Twitter requires that most regular, frequent use to reap the rewards.

For those considering Twitter for personal or brand use, we have a basic framework to help guide the kind of content you post. It’s called ACES. You read more about it in this blog post.

Action

Community

Expertise

Sales

In this model, 90% of what you or your business shares on Twitter should fall into the first three categories. Only 10% should focus specifically on driving sales. This balance helps to ensure that your focus is on content that builds affinity and loyalty amongst your followers, rather than annoyance. 

Here are examples of what each category of content looks like on Twitter. 

1. Action

This category is self-explanatory: posts to encourage your followers to engage in a specific way with you or your company. This could mean posting a link to something that takes them off of Twitter like a newsletter or event sign up. But we challenge you to think of creative ways to drive engagement without making people leave the platform. Twitter, and social media more broadly, is intended to resemble true conversation — how can you recreate this?

A few ideas:

  • Ask a question 
  • Take a poll
  • Solicit recommendations 
  • Request feedback

2. Community

We define connection content as posts that share personal stories and build relationships.

If you are a founder or a leader at a small business, you share a lot of the same pain points, questions, and experiences as others in your position. Sharing about these on Twitter can help you find a community of like-minded individuals. 

From a brand account, you can share content or posts that reflect a more human side of your business, like stories from employees or customers, for example. Similarly, partnering with other businesses or individuals related to your industry is a great way to introduce your audience to something they might appreciate and expand your community to new people. 

3. Expertise

This type of post is about showing your or your business’ expertise on different subjects. Focus on topics that relate to you, your business, and your audience. 

You can show expertise by sharing third-party content, industry news, or your own opinion or thought leadership on a particular topic. Regardless of what you’re sharing, the key is to share your own point of view and to contribute additional perspective. 

The more you practice posting expertise-related content, the clearer your point of view becomes and the easier it is to identify possible topics to discuss. 

4. Sales

As we said, posts that are intended to sell your products or services should make up less than 10% of your activity on Twitter. On social media, softer selling tactics can often be more successful. This may mean promoting positive press, events, or gated content more often than linking to specific product or demo request pages. 

When posting something that is promotional, the same best practices apply that we have already mentioned. Be genuine and personal. Present information in a way that is relatable to your audience. 


Outside of the above guidance, it’s important to remember that Twitter is meant to be a reflection of you and your personality — it is a platform and community that rewards transparency and relatability. You can make jokes, use memes, and make typos — sharing your real thoughts, questions, and challenges will connect you with those who share the same experiences. 

Additional resources to get you started on social: