Can you believe that Twitter will be ten years old next year?
It was launched back in 2006 and despite its long tenure as one of the top social media networks (as of the fourth quarter of 2014, it averaged 288 million monthly active users), many businesses still don’t understand it or how they can monetize it successfully.
They understand that they need Twitter engagement from their followers, but most don’t have a successful strategy in place to achieve that goal.
Fortunately there are many ways to very quickly create a community on Twitter. Here are five tricks I have used to double my Twitter engagement.
Give value on Twitter
This may seem obvious, but too many treat Twitter as a place to do nothing but promote their own agenda. They don’t spend enough time focusing on the WIIFY (what’s in it for you). It’s important to remember that your customers don’t care about your agenda. Instead, focus on providing content that will get engagement, content that YOUR SPECIFIC AUDIENCE WANTS.
For example, you run an auto-body shop, your audience may find value in car maintenance tips, pictures of beautiful cars, or even motivational quotes about living life to the fullest. That type of content may not push direct sales, but they will help you to create a community that likes and trusts you. And that WILL increase the sales for your business.
Engage on Twitter
Remember Kevin Costner’s famous phrase, “It you build it, they will come”? Well let me just say that those words do not apply to social media, especially not to Twitter. Sure there are some successful brands that can broadcast to their audiences, but for the vast majority of us, the rule of reciprocity will apply. You must give in order to receive.
If you have a large audience that is already retweeting your content, start by thanking them and asking open ended questions. If you are just getting started, find conversations around topics in your niche by doing keyword searches. If you’re a local business, you can do an advanced Twitter search to find conversations people in your area are having that you can jump into.
One of the coolest things you can do with the advanced Twitter search, however, is to search for people asking questions. Simply scroll to the bottom of the advanced search page and check the “question” box.
Use images when Tweeting
As Kim Garst noted in her presentation at Social Media Marketing World 2015, tweets that include images receive:
18% more click-throughs
89% more favorites, and
150% more retweets
Need I say more?
Use hashtags on Twitter
Twitter users use hashtags every single day in order to find content on specific topics. If you aren’t using hashtags to label your content, you’re missing out on the opportunity to be found by people who might be looking for the exact content you have to offer, people who could potentially be looking for a product or service like yours.
So please, use hashtags.
There’s no magic number for the perfect number of tweets per day. However, Twitter is a constantly moving stream of content and it can get quite noisy, which means that if you’re only tweeting once or twice a day your content is probably going to get lost in the fray.
According to a 2012 study, the average user follows 102 Twitter accounts. This means you will need to tweet more frequently if you want your content to be in the newsfeed when that user is actually on Twitter. If you’re tweeting only once in the morning and once at night, people who are using Twitter during the middle of the day might never see your content. Ever. And for some businesses, this could be a major portion of your audience, depending on their lifestyle and habits.
I would recommend tweeting at least ten times a day using a variety of content, from tips to quotes to blogs to content that you’ve curated from other sources. If you have a large audience and lots of content, you can even tweet much more. Jeff Bullas, for example, tweets every 15 minutes because he has both a large audience and massive amount of content.
Someone could argue that these five tips aren’t “tricks,” that they are nothing new; and they would be right. There’s nothing black hat here. No short cuts. The truth is that being successful on Twitter and getting Twitter engagement isn’t rocket science. It just requires a little strategy, a little preparation and a little work. There’s no magic, no secret sauce. Just the willingness to roll up your sleeves and jump on in.