Your organization is about to launch a great opportunity and you’re excited to start receiving submissions. Before your submission call goes live, it’s time to think about using promotion to get the highest quality work—and where better to promote your open call than on social media?
Twitter is a great place to start. On Twitter, all of your audience members are already active and using the platform to scout out opportunities and promote their own presence.
So, how can you make Twitter work for your open call?
Update Your Profile
Your first goal on Twitter is to establish a presence in order to get more followers. To do that, you’ll want to present your organization in an appealing way. Your username, bio, profile picture, and background/banner image are the best places to do so.
To ensure that users can find your organization, make sure your username and account name are recognizable (i.e. you can find Submittable at @submittable on Twitter). Next, you’ll want to focus on effectively using the limited space in your bio to describe your organization—we recommend a crafted tagline that explains what you do, a URL to your website, and any hashtags that you use consistently. Finally, select a high-resolution photo that accurately represents your organization and a compatible banner/background image.
Tweet Accurately and Often
Since Twitter only allows 280 characters per tweet, you’ll want to share only the most pertinent information about your call while also taking care not to overwhelm any potential submitters or applicants. Once you’ve identified the best way to describe your call, make sure to share a link to your form or website in the tweet and add an accompanying image, as tweets with visuals get more engagement. Here is a great example from Michigan Quarterly Review (MQR):
In this example, MQR announces their open call, specifies what sort of work they’re looking for, and gives the deadline for submission. They also use an image and share a direct link to their website in order to boost engagement. Concise, clear, and informative.
Although it may seem excessive, data suggests that promoting the same content multiple times works surprisingly well—especially on Twitter, where content is concise and short-lived. Don’t be afraid to tweet about the same call multiple times to ensure your audience has a chance to see and engage with your tweets. You can use Twitter’s scheduling tool or an external scheduling tool like Buffer to help you manage the frequency. We recommend spacing out tweets about the same opportunity over at least 24 hours and evenly distributing those tweets up until your deadline. Try testing out different images or finding a new way to describe your opportunity in order to avoid seeming repetitive.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are a great social media tool that help users categorize and find the right content. For example, if you’re tweeting about an open call for poems, you can use the #poetry hashtag to help users who are interested in poetry find your tweet. Be sure to search the hashtag you’d like to use beforehand to make sure it is a relevant and active tag. Include any hashtag your organization might use regularly as well as a general hashtag like #contest or #fiction to get traction from a larger audience. An example from Ruminate Magazine:
If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation of hashtags, check out this article on Sprout Social.
Be an Active Twitter User (Retweets, Likes, and Mentions)
A good rule of thumb for getting your own tweets noticed is trying to promote other accounts within your field. For example, if you run a literary journal for emerging writers, seek out other organizations doing similar work. You can support these colleagues by following them and by retweeting or liking the tweets on their timeline that catch your attention or feel worthy of sharing.
Mentioning other accounts in your own tweets is another great strategy for engaging with others and, in turn, promoting your own tweet/open call. If you’re referring to another organization or user, make sure to tag them using the username that comes after the ‘@’ symbol on their profile to ensure that they see your tweet and have a chance to share it.
Tag Submittable in Your Tweets
If your organization uses Submittable, we will happily retweet your open call on our own Twitter page. Simply tag @Submittable in your tweet and we will share your post with our 22,000+ Twitter followers!
Twitter can be a great way to reach the audience you’re looking for and eventually, collect high-quality, winning submissions. Try not to get overwhelmed! If you’re already on Twitter, half the work is done—now it’s time to start tweeting. We’ll see you in the Twittersphere.
If you’re a creative organization using Submittable for an upcoming call, check out our free promotion services to maximize your reach.