You already know how important twitter is as it relates to business. I’m sure you’ve seen and heard about social selling and the opportunities that twitter can present a brand. Many people see Twitter as a great broadcast platform and a channel to communicate their story. I feel it’s more than that.
When I look at Twitter, I see a channel that unlocks new opportunities and new connections. I see a channel that is built on the idea of sharing great information but also driving real authentic two-way engagement.
Recently, I’ve noticed a lot less conversation on Twitter and a lot more promotion. When I first fell in love with Twitter it was because I was having conversations with people from all over the world and meeting new people. Today, I still strive to build relationships and keep my engagement rates high. Here are some tricks that I’ve used to keep people engaged and to keep conversations on Twitter:
Ask Your Followers Questions
Questions are a great way to spark dialogue with people on Twitter. It is probably the easiest way and one of the best methods to get people to respond to your posts. Generally speaking, people on Twitter tend to be helpful and are open to the idea of helping the people they follow.
A year ago, I saw a friend of mine send out a tweet that he was in New York and couldn’t get a cab anywhere. One of his followers asked what street he was on and actually ended up picking him up and dropping him off at an event. Yes, I know that could be dangerous but these two had met in person a few months earlier at another event so it was cool.
That’s just an extreme example of how questions can drive two-way engagement. One thing that you’ll notice is that several brands and businesses use trivia style questions to spark conversations. This is also a great approach as people try to answer faster than the other followers! Here are a few types of questions that brands can ask to drive conversation:
- Brand Specific Questions: “How Many Skittles Did You Eat Today?!”
- Opinion Driven Questions: “How Do You Like Your Bacon: Crispy or Chewy?”
- Fill in the Blank Questions: “The Best Part of Waking Up Is…..”
- Trivia Style Questions: “Who Scored the Game Winning Goal in 2009 Stanley Cup?”
Share Visuals on the Regular
We grow up amazed by Comic books, cartoons and colouring books. While it may have taken some training and time to understand text; images and photos have always been an easy to decipher message. The saying that a photo can tell 1000 words is as accurate as it gets.
As humans, we’re geared towards embracing and being captivated by visual stimulation. The beauty and story being told in a captivating or compelling photo has always been powerful beyond measure. When we think of the most iconic moments in history, we don’t think about them in text. We think about buildings falling, crowds of people cheering, smiles of children and images of despair. We think in photos. We think in visuals.
Thus, it’s important for brands and individuals to think about how they can use images to better communicate their story. Whether it’s simply sharing a photo of a friend or an experience you’re having – photos are often opened simply for wonder.
Twitter has made images an integrated aspect of their platform. Instead of having to click a link and be directed to a separate website to view an image – you can now view images directly on Twitter. As such, it’s easier for people to see the photos you share and ultimately strike up a conversation about them.
Make Introductions on Twitter
There are more than 500 million registered accounts on Twitter. Unless you’re immortal, it would be impossible to meet & chat with every single person on Twitter. Furthermore, it’s also impossible to chat with or find every single person on Twitter who is actually worth following!
I follow thousands of people on Twitter and continue to find more interesting people, brands and parody accounts every single week. I don’t like to keep my favourite twitter accounts to myself and for that reason make an effort to promote those who create great content. It’s not only my way of saying keep it up but also my way of introducing my followers to great content.
As a result of making introductions, people not only remember you but are also more likely to introduce you to other accounts. Take time to make introductions and you’ll not only be able to build on an existing relationship but also be the bridge between new ones. Give it a try today!
Retweet Other Peoples Content
Another great way to spark engagement is retweeting the content of another users. Retweeting is one of the oldest mechanisms on twitter but is one that has seen some recent changes. For starters, there are two different types of retweets that you can give people. (1) The traditional “RT” and (2) The twitter integrated retweet.
For me, both have their pros and cons. I like the traditional retweet because it allows the person I’m retweeting to get a “mention” when I share it. I like the new retweet because it allows me to share content that is already 140 characters and puts a different user directly in front of my followers.
One of the best parts about retweets is the fact that it’s built on engagement. The act of a retweet is the sharing of someone elses content while letting them know that you’re sharing it. Sharing other peoples content allows you to be less of a promoter and more of a supporter. For every tweet you send out about your brand and your value; send three that include a mention or interaction with someone else.
Make An Effort to Say Thank You
Engagement is a two way street. If someone is sharing your content or giving you a shout out, the least you can do is give them a reply and say thanks!
This is a trick I’ve learned from some of the Twitter greats like @MarcAndAngel along with @GaryVee. We’ve all heard from our parents about the importance of manners and how far they can take us but it appears we’ve forgotten this golden rule.
For me, I try not to go overboard with the thank you’s but I definitely try to respond as much as possible. Recently Twitter has implemented a feature in which the only replies you see are those that are directed to people who you actually follow. That is, if I follow @Jim and he responds to a tweet to @Kathy, I will only see this tweet if I follow both Jim and Kathy!
A simple gesture can go a long way.
What tips and tricks do you use to stay engaged on Twitter? It’s not always easy so I’d love to hear how you do it!