I’m personally starting to become more and more a fan of Twitter for the short and sweet news updates by the resources I follow, not to mention I’ve grown to appreciate when links or pictures are included in tweets. The brevity of a 140-character tweet summarizes what I need to know going into an article, and pictures are an added bonus to reinforce the point. When the tweet is catchy enough to draw me in, the pay off better be worth it. It almost makes me feel like I’m on the outside of an inside joke (and who ever likes feeling that way), so I click the link and 99.99% of the time I’m glad I did.
However, it doesn’t stop there, if the link or tweet really gives me a good chuckle, I’m more likely to retweet it. Bang! Success! They’ve just increased their Twitter engagement, without breaking a sweat. Here’s three ways you can increase your Twitter engagement:
Keep tweets short and simple
The key to increasing engagement isn’t trying to use all of your available 140 characters with loads of hashtags. Keep it short and simple. My Mom was right, always keep it simple. And keep those pictures in mind: recent research by Twitter reveals tweets including a photo showed 3 to 4 times more replies or retweets than those that didn’t. Twitter has evolved from short SMS-style messages to almost a postcard style, where it’s possible to attach “media experiences” to each tweet.
Journalists can use this to their advantage when out in the field by providing real-time photos. The same is true when you’re at a trade show or event. By providing your followers pictures along with your tweets, it makes them feel as though they are right there with you. After all, that’s what’s so appealing about Twitter, you actually feel as though you get a glimpse into the daily life of authors, celebrities, politicians, brands and even the President.
Interact on a regular basis
Social media management isn’t a Monday through Friday, 9-5 job. It does and it should require someone monitoring your channels after hours and on weekends, to be on the lookout for negative (and positive) comments and/or to be the first to announce breaking industry news. Most Twitter interaction rates rose 17% on Saturdays and Sundays, but rarely do brands or organizations reply during that time.
The Internet doesn’t close and neither does social media. In order to get the most “bang for your buck” when it comes to Twitter engagement, you need to monitor and be a part of the conversation when your followers are there–not only when it is convenient for you.
Look at managing your social media accounts like being an on-call doctor. More than likely you won’t have to set an emergency tweet, but it’s better to have the antiseptic damage control kit ready than be ambushed by a social media virus. Set up Google alerts for certain keywords so you’ll know instantly if negative tweets were posted about your business. If you don’t relish the thought of making someone work during the night or weekend, setup a rotational “on-call” social media watch and take turns monitoring feeds during off peak hours.
Use hashtags, get found
When Twitter was first introduced, users relished the thought of having the power to start their own #hashtag trend and this gave birth to the #createyourownlonghashtagmovement. As you can see, this can be distracting, but more importantly, it doesn’t translate well for measuring interaction and growth. Too many hashtags can dilute a message, not to mention, waste precious characters.
On the flipside, not creating a unique hashtag for an event, key topic or industry area that you’re brand is an expert about can be detrimental to your interaction rate. Attendees like to be able to help promote and participate in events and take part in conversations that are easily searchable. Yes, hashtags are a great way to be found on Twitter and show up in search. They’re even a great tool used for engagement during Twitter chats.
The most important thing to remember when trying to increase your Twitter engagement: Think like your followers. Give them the information they are looking for when they are looking for it in short, concise, consistent bursts. Supplement with pictures for increased media experiences and try not to get too #hashtag happy. Create a unique and engaging experience for your followers.
What has worked for you? How are you engaging customers using Twitter?