I know that by now you’re all using Twitter as a means of branding and getting your business’ messages heard, right? Good for you! With Twitter now boasting a whopping 700 million + users worldwide, you’d be remiss in not implementing everyone’s favorite microblog site as an integral part of your social media marketing strategy. So, how do you ensure that people will actually see and share your posts? How do you garner a broad Twitter audience? Read on!
First and Foremost, Always Remember that Content is King
It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again: Engaging content is the single most important thing you will require to garner and retain a loyal Twitter audience. It has to be interesting, informative and even entertaining. It has to be unique, so be creative and keep coming up with fresh, engaging content. How do you do that in 140 characters or less, you ask? Make the short bursts (commonly known as Tweets) your teasers lines and include links to your pertinent blog posts or other interesting and relevant content that your readers will want to devour. Why not make a game out of it – challenge users with trivia questions and even consider rewarding users who actively engage with recognition as some added incentive.
Post on a Regular Basis
If you want to retain and grow your Twitter audience, people have to know that they’ll always be able to count on you for fresh content. By fresh, I don’t just mean innovative, but also regular and consistent. Tweet often! And, by often I don’t mean 60 times a day. While you want to keep it interesting, you don’t want to inundate.
Engage your Followers in Conversation
Literally. A great way to do this is to ask questions. People will respond and you can take it from there. You can ask questions about your services or products to gain insight into what’s working and what’s not. Encouraging people to talk (or tweet) favorably about your services and products creates brand ambassadors! You can also sometimes ask questions completely unrelated to your business, for example about a film you’ve just seen or the NHL lockout – whatever interests you and whatever you feel might be of interest to your Twitter followers. Encourage people to share their thoughts and opinions – most of us love to get the opportunity to do that! Getting regular, intriguing conversations going is a great way to keep your Twitter followers coming back for more and a great way to garner more followers. And, a very important thing to do: Always respond to your followers when they ask you a question, or whenever they post something that warrants a response. Never ignore your followers!
Make Use of Directories
Did you know that you can list your Twitter account in such directories as Twibes.com and Twellow.com? Well, you can! Why not entertain the idea of building lists on key communication streams, making it easier for prospective followers within your industry or with shared interests to find you.
Make Good Use of Hashtags
Use Hashtags (#) to allow your tweets to be searchable, further enabling them to be seen by other users who share similar interests. Just stick a Hashtag in front of any keywords within your tweet!
Follow to be Followed
It only stands to reason that the more users you follow, the more users will follow you. When you follow someone, they have the option to follow you. Not everyone that you follow will want to follow you, but the more you follow, the more that will follow you!
Retweet Quality Content
Retweeting posts that are of interest to you will increase your visibility on Twitter. People following those that you retweet will view you as someone who shares common interests. Ensure that you include the @name when you refer to other users, as this will develop relationships. And, other users who monitor themselves will be sure to notice your retweet!
Tweet at Optimal Times
Yes, there are better times to tweet than others. For the full scoop, here’s a link to a previous post: http://escomputers.blogspot.ca/2012/01/why-timing-your-tweets-can-pay-off.html
Be Personal and Personable
I mentioned above that using Twitter for business doesn’t mean that all of your tweets have to be business related. In fact, it’s actually a great idea to sometimes include content that has nothing to do with business. You want to come off as personable and human, not as a goal-oriented machine. No one likes to read only industry stuff; everyone likes to read entertaining content. Don’t be afraid to crack a joke; don’t be afraid to post something controversial and thought-provoking. But, most importantly – never use automated tweets!! Oh, yes, people can tell when you do this and it makes you sound impersonal.
The purpose of social media is to be warm and engaging – social, in fact! So, be sure that your tweets come off this way and people will want to follow you.