My 70-20-10 Twitter Formula for Ad Agency New Business

twitter for ad agency new business

A simple formula for using Twitter more effectively for new business.

I’ve been using Twitter for new business since 2007. It is the leading traffic generator for my website traffic.  One of the best helps I found when I first started using Twitter came from Angela Maiers, educator, author, blogger who leads Maier Educational Services.

Angela developed a simple Twitter Engagement Formula that provided focus and purpose for her participation. She called it the 70-20-10 Formula:

  • 70% Sharing others voices, opinions and tools. 
  • 20% Collaborations, directly responding, connecting and collaborating with others.
  • 10% Chit-Chat –  “trivial” details about working out, favorite movies, politics, and life in general that I use to connect with others as a human being.

In the early period of Twitter’s existence, Angela’s formula, helped me better utilize Twitter for my business. My personal 70-20-10 Formula evolved to be somewhat different than Angela’s. I’ve refined mine over a six year period with various tests. For example, I used Hubspot’s TweetGrader (measures the  power, reach and authority of a twitter account) to raise my grade to 100 and set a goal to capture the number #1 position in Birmingham’s Twitter Elite. I have used other tools to help me determine the frequency for tweeting my posts, finding the right mix of tweets – my content, curated content, conversations, and updates, etc.

Here’s my personal 70-20-10 Twitter Formula:

70 % Providing Resources.

Created Content

I’ve created new business articles that are appealing to my Twitter audience which are primarily is advertising, digital, media and Public Relations professionals. I write in an “evergreen” way to provide the longest return on my time investment. I avoid writing about things such as New Year’s resolutions, the Super Bowl, etc. I keep my articles in circulation on Twitter as long as I think each is still relevant to my audience. I also periodically include videos, podcast, SlideShare presentations, surveys and polls that’s I’ve created.

Those who are creating and sharing original content via Twitter are among the few.  You want to be in this elite group of Twitter accounts whose content is being read and shared by others.

Curated Content

Reading fuels my writing. Therefore, I read a lot of content from a wide variety of sources using an RSS Reader. When I find content that I think is relevant and helpful to my audience, I want to share it via Twitter. My followers are more likely to click thru the links if I consistently feed them quality content. That has to be my utmost consideration.


This is the schedule I’ve found which works best for me and makes my Twitter feed more robust. I schedule my original content to post once an hour, twenty-two hours a day, seven days a week. I’ve conducted a number of tests to get to that number, which is acceptable to my followers.

People tend to login to Twitter, check their Twitter stream, read a few articles that catch their eye and then log off. I also want to reach people in different time zones. This is why I’ve been able to create a large overseas audience, speaking engagements and new business outside of the US. I post on the weekends because there’s less communication cluttering social media. I often pick up new followers by posting on Saturday and Sunday.

I use SocialOomph to schedule my original content. This online program allows me to easily bulk upload my post and set the date range to publish. I can check the que once the posts are loaded and know when each one is scheduled to publish.

To add curated content, I use another online tool called Hootesuite Pro. Instead of publishing all of the helpful content that I discover during my early morning reading time, I add those posts manually to Hootesuite Pro and schedule a time for each one to publish throughout the day.

Both SocialOomph and Hootesuite Pro have many other features but, their primary use for me is in publishing original and curated content into my Twitter accounts. I also use them both to publish content to my other social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +. Each program provides helpful video tutorials to get you started.

20% Networking. Tweets that are directly responding to others.

Twitter has a neat definition of its purpose: “Twitter brings you closer.”

Twitter is a real-time networking site. Answering questions, sharing a point-of-view,  re-connecting, collaboration, participating in conversation, etc. From these important tweets, lifelong professional and personal relationships have been created.

Networking starts by finding the right people to follow. The tool that I recommend to help build up a “targeted” Twitter following is TweetAdder. It is a software program that you can own for a one time fee. You may buy one license for a single Twitter account, five to ten Twitter accounts or the Unlimited version. You can build a prospective client data base using their:

  • Profile Data Search: search twitter bio, plus filters
  • Location Search: search by geographic location around the world, plus filters
  • Twitter List Search: imports another users twitter list
  • Followers Of a User: obtains a list of profiles following a particular user (even your competition!)
  • Followed By a User: obtains a list of profiles a user is following

With TweetAdder you can manage more than one twitter profile. Having more than one Twitter profile can greatly multiply your twitter networks. I for example, have two Twitter accounts: @michaelgass (64,000 + followers) and @FuelLines (37,000 + followers).

Use Twitter Lists as a networking tool. You can create your own Twitter lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the users on that list.

It’s an easy process to create a list:

  1. Go to your Lists page. This can be done via the gear icon drop down menu in the top right navigation bar or by going to your profile page and clicking on Lists.
  2. Click Create list.
  3. Enter the name of your list, a short description of the list, and select if you want the list to be private (only accessible to you) or public (anyone can subscribe to the list).
  4. Click Save list

Here’s how to add or remove people from your list:

  1. Click the gear icon drop down menu on a user’s profile.
  2. Select Add or remove from lists. (You don’t need to be following a user to add them to your list.)
  3. A pop-up will appear displaying your created lists. Check the lists you would like to add the user to, or uncheck the lists you’d like to remove the user from.
  4. To check to see if the user you wanted to add was successfully included in that list, navigate to the Lists tab on your profile page. Click the desired list, then click Members. The person will appear in the list of members.

Quick Tip: Often you can find and use a Twitter list created by others, if they are focusing on the same target audience. Listorious is a third-party site that maintains a categorized directory of Twitter lists. You can search or browse through lists by category and find the most popular lists.

10% Sharing personal information.

If all of your Tweets or Retweets are information oriented, your Twitter feed looks dry and robotic.  “People want to work with other people that they know, trust and like.” I feel that Twitter allows me to share my personal side and make an emotional connection with my followers. It helps them to get to know me beyond my profession. It’s very similar to how we network at offline social events. 

Many tend to overthink social media channels such as Twitter. The truth is, The way you network offline is the same as the way you network online.”

A good rule when sharing personal information in any social media network is to use some common sense. I don’t share anything and everything. Only share what you feel comfortable sharing in person with extended family, acquaintances, work colleagues or strangers. 

Here are some of the types of personal information that I might share on Twitter:

  • Photos and videos that I’ve taken such as my home improvement projects, landscape projects, my travels and events, hobbies such as boating.
  • Who inspires me, inspirational quotes, books that I’m reading for fun – Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt, The Insider’s Guide to Boat Cleaning and Detailing.
  • My personal recommendations and opions (but not relgious or political opinions), such as this recent Tweet: “If you are in retail you should foll @Ball_Brad, former CMO of McDonald’s, Warner Bros Pictures, Nascar Entertainment.”
  • I share my likes and dislikes. For instance, I like Southwest Airlines and I greatly dislike US Airways.
  • My travels: At times I share location information, like my speaking trip last year to London. It was cool using Foursquare to check in at Buckingham Palace. It was also amazing at how many ad agencies made contact with me and provided opportunities to meet when they knew that I was visiting their city. I once tweeted that I was on my way to Nashville, TN and before I finished the 3 hour drive from Birmingham, I had 3 additional new business meetings lined up for the day.
  • I occasinally share my emotions and how I’m feeling. For instance, I wasn’t real happy having to spend the weekend on some major yard work projects.  I had a number of guys chime in with some of their own disgruntlements about their “Honey-Do Lists”.  I guess it’s true, “Misery loves company!”
  • I’ve tweeted television events such as the Oscars and shared my opinons of the Super Bowl ads. I’ve engaged with others via Twitter while watching programs such as AMC’s Mad Men and The Pitch.
  • I recently created a Twitter Poll after reading a couple of articles about working from home.

Additional Twitter articles that may be of interest:

Twitter Enhancement Tools: TweetAdder, SocialOomph and Hootesuite Pro

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. love it! Thanks!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to share Mathieu. That means a lot.

%d bloggers like this: