I had a bit of a dilemma when starting this blog – should I be explaining how to improve engagement or techniques to increase engagement on Twitter? Ultimately, everyone wants his or her Twitter engagement to increased ten fold. But in reality, engagement should be about quality not quantity.
Hence why I opted for ‘improve’. It’s all well and good boosting your engagement but you need it to be with the right people – your target audience.
With that in mind I’ve pulled together 20 ways you can improve engagement on twitter for your business. Oh, and I’ve made it 20 because it’s our 20th birthday (click here if you want to see some hilarious photos of us all 20 years ago!).
1) Create Twitter-worthy content
You don’t have to simply retweet and share other people’s content. Why not create some of your own? Start a blog, offer added-value downloadable resources or write a factsheet on something your customers will care about. This content will be right for SEO too.
2) Make the most of Twitter lists
Lists can help bring your Twitter account to the attention of selected Twitter users. Create lists according to different audiences – maybe key opinion leaders in your industry or those tweeting about a relevant topic (you can follow these instructions to get started). Make the lists public and as you add people to the lists they’ll get a notification.
You can then promote your newly created lists via Twitter (and other social media platforms) as a go-to place to see tweets from specific audiences. Lists will also help you to choose Twitter followers to engage with by giving you a quick and easy way to see what this specific group is tweeting about.
3) Track how you’re doing with Twitter analytics
Have you set up a Twitter analytics account yet? Click here to get started. With analytics you’ll be able to monitor which of your tweets achieves the highest engagement, allowing you to decide what really works.
4) Use images to your advantage
The statistics show how important images are for Twitter. Make sure your images are the right size though; here’s a good guide by Sprout Social. Images will grab attention and as a result, some experts have claimed they make tweets 94 per cent more likely to retweeted!
5) And don’t forget video…
I promise I’ll stop going on about video soon but it is the content marketing tactic of the moment. And Twitter is making some real advances in featuring video: Native video has now arrived and it’s a fantastic, interactive way to encourage engagement.
If you’ve not got a lot of video content, you can post GIFs on Twitter too.
Tip: Opt for looping GIFs, otherwise it will appear as a static image.
6) Use hashtags the right way
Take a bit of time to do some research into regularly used hashtags relevant to your business. For example, the facilities management industry regularly uses #FacMan to start or participate in conversations.
Only ever use trending hashtags (like #TheDress) when they are relevant to what you’re tweeting. Never jump on board with a trending hashtag only to get noticed – you need to genuinely add something to the conversation otherwise you’ll appear spammy.
7) Live tweet and encourage others to do the same
Whether you’re at an event, hosting a webinar or at a networking seminar use the hashtag to engage with other people tweeting about taking part. Tweet each other about the event, tweet quotes from key speakers, retweet each other – just always use the hashtag!
When you host an event, create a hashtag and let others know about it on promotional materials and presentations. Double-check your hashtag though; you don’t want to end up with any embarrassing ones!
8) Join conversations
Set up some saved searches on Twitter and check them regularly to see if there are any conversations you could contribute towards. Look for key phrases about your business’ services or products and always set up a few saved searches for your brand name and slight variations.
9) Keep it short and sweet
Although you’ve got 140 characters to play with, tweets shorter than 100 characters have a 17 per cent higher engagement rate. In fact, have a look at this infographic for a great outline of how long all your online content should be.
10) Share and don’t forget to mention
When you’re sharing content you’ve found online via Twitter why not mention (using @) the author? They’ll be flattered that you’ve shared their content and may even tweet back and start a conversation.
11) Update your profile
Complete your bio, add a link to your website and create a slick and simple header image. Make sure your bio is well written, regardless of the limited space. It’s still an opportunity to convey your brand to visitors.
12) Structure your tweets and use the right language
You want your tweets to have maximum readability and ‘retweetability’. Use language that is easily read and don’t throw grammar out of the window. Although you may need to shorten some words, if you do, put yourself in your audience’s shoes – does it still make sense?
Tip: A great tweet structure to follow is: Text (including any @mentions) + Shortened Link + Hashtag + Image Link
13) Offer variety
It’s easy to get into a routine of tweeting the same content from the same publications and websites over and over. But a little time will help you find fresh, new content that will get people clicking and engaging. Search a little deeper into Google for news and content that’s genuinely interesting.
14) Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
With that said if you find the content genuinely interesting then it’s more likely that your audience will too. However, remember who your audience are and always keep them in mind when tweeting. Don’t mix messages and only target one audience.
15) Encourage aspiration or association
Make your tweets appeal to those who would like to be a part of a group or those who share the same ideas and values. In fact, this post on the Social Media Examiner explains it really well and gives a few extra tips on how to boost Twitter engagement.
16) Show your human side
Be human! Respond to those who mention you and talk with your audience. Also, if it’s right for you, tweet photos of team events, be funny and create content that allows you to show the human side of your business – perhaps a ‘behind the scenes’ campaign could work.
17) Try various Twitter tools
There are lots of different tools out there that claim to help boost Twitter engagement and some are very useful. Explore options that can help you schedule posts and discover content (for example, buzzsumo.com can help you find content that performs well).
18) Mistakes are okay (but have a plan in place)
Mistakes happen, after all point 16 shows we’re human. This is a very quick break down of some action plans to have in place:
- If something gets tweeted that wasn’t correct or permitted then remove the tweet and, if appropriate, issue an apology tweet.
- If complaints arise on Twitter then try to take them offline, by suggesting they send you an email.
- If you are trolled then politely ask them to stop, if they do not report the issue to Twitter and block the user.
Discuss how you plan to deal with any mistakes or issues internally and have a clear plan of action in place. If you feel unsure about how to deal with such situations, get in touch with a reputation management expert.
19) Use Title Case When It’s Right
Moz reported 64 per cent of survey respondents found title case (also known as sentence case) more engaging. So, when it’s right, give it a go in your tweets and have a read of the Moz research findings here.
20) Have fun!
Finally, have fun with Twitter. Make it an opportunity for your business and not a chore.