It has been a while since we discussed Twitter tactics on these pages. That’s the funny thing about social media — once something new comes along, a more mature platform can seem less exciting. But make no mistake, Twitter is still responsible for some serious traffic that directly affects your bottom line. Maybe it’s time we had a little refresher course on getting your Twitter brilliance seen by the right people.
Twitter, as you likely know, presents a particularly unique set of challenges in terms of engagement, as creating a message with impact largely depends on having it re-tweeted, and thus amplified, by followers. As a result, tweeting to a small list of followers can often feel about as effective as shouting into a dark, empty room.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for pumping up your number of followers. However, there are a few simple strategies that can make that list grow, making sure your 140 character nuggets of brilliance get in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
1. Tweet regularly. Even if only a handful of people are following your account, make sure you have a regular presence on Twitter. Yes, that whole “dark, empty room” thing can make this feel like a futile act at first, but there is a cumulative payoff.
When users find your profile, they are much more likely to click “follow” if it’s apparent that your account is active and important to you. Going days or weeks between tweets sends strong signals that your Twitter account isn’t important to you — and therefore shouldn’t be important to potential followers.
2. Don’t overdo it. Twitter’s interface only displays a limited number of tweets at any given time. Therefore, a user’s Twitter feed is valuable real estate. Nothing will cause you to lose followers faster than clogging up timelines with information that isn’t interesting or valuable.
While this shouldn’t discourage you from having an active presence, it should make you think creatively about what you’re tweeting, rather than just blasting out links or chopped-up press releases.
3. Follow effectively. Chances are good that many other companies and individuals in your field have a Twitter presence. In addition to following them, peruse their interactions and followers for people with an evident interest in your industry, and follow those users, as well. Not only will this alert them to your own account, but it will also allow you to track and relevant online conversations.
Joining these conversations by interjecting your perspective and demonstrating your insight and authority on the topic is another good way to pick up followers.
4. Hashtags. Utilizing hashtags can be an effective technique to get your content in front of potential Twitter followers. By marking your tweet as part of a larger conversation, it exposes your account to an audience that might not otherwise be aware of its existence.
Yet, while the allure of a larger audience may tempt you to end every tweet with categories like #restaurantweek or #convention, it’s better to think “scalpel” as opposed to “sledgehammer” when it comes to hashtags. Overusing hashtags can make your tweets appear unnecessarily cluttered, and some evidence suggests the aesthetics make them less likely to be shared or re-tweeted.
5. Think visually. In a platform with a 140-character limit, a picture’s 1,000-word currency has never been more valuable. On any given day, photos are frequently the most shared content on Twitter, so mixing in something as quirky as a shot of a hummingbird outside the office window can gain considerable traction.
Along these lines, if you’re tweeting stats and numbers, consider making them into an eye-catching graphic. It’s much more likely to be re-tweeted and catch the eyes of new followers than a tweet simply listing the same information.
There you have it. Five simple Twitter tactics that can help any business or personality establish themselves a trustworthy and valuable social media presence, and will ensure that your business and customers are conversing in the same online places.