Not all Twitter accounts are created equal.

Establishing a successful Twitter brand takes time and dedication – it doesn’t happen overnight. You need to make a concerted effort, carving out time every day to post, interact, and create content like pictures, graphics, and even video.

Brands that take the time to really develop their Twitter accounts are pretty easy to spot. Their timeline is filled with a steady stream of a variety of content in different forms. They interact with their audience and their audience interacts with them. They have an established style or voice that makes sense for the brand. Whether it’s the information they provide or simply their personality that you enjoy, it’s a brand that you want to follow as opposed to feeling like you should follow.

Brands that don’t, well, they are pretty obvious too.

One of the best ways to up your Twitter game is to learn from your successful Twitter peers. No one likes a copy cat, but seeing what works and what doesn’t merits some thought.

Fortunately, Indianapolis is home to some really great brands that do some really wonderful things on Twitter. Here are some of my favorite local Indianapolis Twitter follows with a couple notes on what they do that is so good and what you can learn from them.

Indianapolis Colts, @Colts

Variety is the spice of life. Keeping a timeline fresh with a mix of engaging content like video, pictures, and graphics as well as sharing others’ content, whether it’s a member of the team or another account in the community makes for a compelling and interesting follow. Content needs to be the top priority of any Twitter account.

That is where the strength of the Colt’s Twitter stream really shines. There is a lot of great collaboration between the players, the social media team, and the video team. The players are heavily featured, whether in videos or retweets of their personal Tweets. This helps create a connection with the audience and the team, not just with folks that are already invested in the team but others as well.

A lot of kudos to the Colts’ Twitter success goes to their social media coordinator Amber Derrow (@amberderrow) who has played a part in almost tripling their following since she took over the account in 2015. As a comparison, the Colts currently have more followers than other smaller market teams like Cincinnati, Tennessee, and Buffalo as well as outpacing some larger markets like Miami and both Los Angeles franchises.

Lesson: Keep your timeline fresh and exciting with a variety of content, trying new things along the way. Get the rest of your company involved to increase investment from both your audience and the employees themselves.

Bakersfield Mass Ave, @BakersfieldMass

Any successful food brand needs two things on social media: great photos and a personality. Bakersfield, a Mexican restaurant located on Mass Ave., has that in bulk.

Knowing their audience is a younger crowd coming out to enjoy a margarita (or three) and chow down on tacos, Bakersfield has established a casual and somewhat snarky persona that really fits the community and product.

Bakersfield also showcases their product and space with really great photography, some original and some corporate. They do a really great job of expanding upon the content as well – not just posting pictures of tacos but including relevant or funny captions alongside.

While part of a larger chain, the Mass Ave Bakersfield (with the occasional exception) operates independently from other accounts, leaving control of the account to the locals. It shows. Bakersfield Mass Ave posts independent content, shares local content, and interacts with customers all while maintaining the lovably snarky and sometimes silly persona.

The lesson: Personality and voice on social media is a powerful tool that helps you stand out and gives you an identity. Find a persona that works alongside your brand and embrace it.

Butler Blue III, @ButlerBlue3

Butler Blue III, better known as Trip, is the mascot of Butler University and an extension/collaboration of their academics, athletics, and just about everything Butler related. While not exactly a business, Trip is for all intents and purposes the face of Butler and the account helps “sell” the school. And they do a hell of a job!

Trip has adventures all around the city of Indianapolis and makes friends along the way. The account is so, so good about creating a community. They take photos, tagging and interacting with them either through direct response or retweeting.

The result is an extremely lively page that gets a lot of interaction from some of the biggest local names and brands in town – exposing their communities to Trip.

Seriously, how can you not immediately fall in love with Trip? I didn’t even go to Butler or come from Indianapolis… and I follow him!

The lesson: Don’t do Twitter alone – build a community! Involve those around you and start conversations through photography and tagging. And if you can find an adorable face to rep your brand that doesn’t hurt either.

Sam and Lorraine spent some time chatting about this topic recently. Listen to the episode now: 

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