Twitter is a fabulous platform-building tool, when you do it right. And by now, everybody knows that “doing it right” means getting involved in a positive way with your tweeps. Twitter is not a good place for wallflowers, ranters, or the mean-spirited, but it’s the perfect venue for real, sincere conversation. If your one-on-one engagement on the site is low, it probably means that you aren’t going out of your way to join the discussion.
The truth is, Twitter doesn’t work well without direct communication with others. If you’re simply scheduling tweets to go out hour after hour, day after day, just pimping links to your blog (and your books, ackk!), you probably won’t have a lot of success attracting readers to either.
Here are several methods that will help increase your Twitter interaction:
- Seek out followers and talk to them! Approach active members of your online community – followers who support you by sharing your content – and start a conversation. Extending a simple “thank you!” lets others know you notice and appreciate their efforts.
- Promote the people who engage with you. That means retweet their stuff. Again, another opportunity for you to say, “great article!” and for them to reply, “Thanks!” … and who knows where it will go from there? In a real show of support, you can even visit, read, leave comments, and tweet links to your followers’ blog posts.
- Add images to your tweets. According to studies, adding photos and videos to tweets provides an impressive boost in the number of retweets. And every retweet is what? An opportunity to start a conversation.
- Use hashtags. Social media expert Dan Zarella says, “Tweets that contain one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted than tweets that do not.” You can also watch for positive, timely, pertinent hashtags that are trending and join in.
- More hashtags. Search hashtags, retweet tweets from the hashtag feed that might be of interest to your followers, and start a conversation with the original tweeter around the hashtag subject.
- Include links in your tweets. Studies show that tweets that include a link to an article have a much higher retweet rate than tweets that do not include links. Just be sure the link take followers to valuable content.
- Use bit.ly to shorten links. Again, Zarella’s research shows that link shorteners bit.ly, ow.ly, and is.gd were all more reweetable than tinyurl, with bit.ly leading the pack by a huge margin.
- Include the top 20 most retweetable words. Zarella analyzed millions of tweets and came up a list of twenty words (and short phrases) that get the most retweets. They are: you, twitter, please, retweet, post, blog, social, free, media, help, please retweet, great, social media, 10, follow, how to, top, blog post, check out, and new blog post. I personally never ask for retweets – but what do I know? Add them to your tweets!
- Use Tweriod to discover the best time of day to tweet live with your followers. After all, if you want to have a Twitter convo in real time, it might be best to start one when others are online.
- Tweet questions live to start a conversation. Short, easy-to-answer questions work best. What city do you live in? What’s your favorite book or movie? You get the idea.
- Keep your tweets short. Zarella says that tweets between 100 – 115 characters get the most retweets. Short tweets leave room for people to RT your messages and add their own message to it.
- Vet and tweet links to content from all over the web that will add value to your followers. The most successful Twitter accounts are pros at regularly sharing curated content.
- Test out your tweets on retweetability.com. Trying to go viral? Paste your tweet into the box and this site will score your tweet and tell the percentage of tweets with that score that are retweeted. How cool is that?
- Join or host a Twitter chat. You can find them by searching “Twitter chats,” or check the Twitter chat schedule.
- Host a twitter party. Link here to find out how.
Oh, and if you need help or a refresher about building a following, check out my article Twitter Tips (not just) For Newbies.
Readers, what can you add? What have you done to increase your engagement on Twitter? Leave a comment and share!
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