A major frustration for people trying out Twitter for the first time is figuring out how to get anyone to respond. They set up their Twitter account, tweet a few times and wonder why no one responds. While tweets are public unless you protect them, they probably won’t be seen by anyone unless they’re following you, they do a search for something you mention or you’re on a list. Here are some tips for increasing the engagement on your Twitter profile and getting people to listen to you…
- It’s Not All About You – Make sure you’re not just using Twitter as another distribution channel. While it’s ok to post your blog posts to Twitter, etc., people are only going to listen if you provide valuable content. Think about what your audience is interested in and make sure that most of what you provide (80-90%) is for them. Then, it’s ok to throw in a promo or your own stuff occasionally.
- Comment – Reach out to people. Comment on their updates. Comment on their blog posts. Don’t be a wallflower and expect people to find you first.
- Share & Retweet – If you share and retweet posts from others, they’re more likely to reach out or share your content. It’s kinda like kindergarten….
- Ask Questions – People like to give their opinion. Ask questions and have conversations around the responses (can be great content for blog posts and also a nice source of market research).
- Use keywords – Many people monitor Twitter for certain keywords. Don’t spam! But you may want to consider keywords that are important to your target audience (not to you) and try to use them occasionally. For that matter, monitor keywords for people who are worth following and also for starting conversations.
- Use hashtags – You’ve probably seen those keywords that start with a #. They make it easier to follow conversations and find tweets about specific subjects. Don’t over-use them, but consider using them when appropriate (especially if you’re attending a conference). Monitoring hashtags for finding people to follow and converse with can be handy too.
- Moderate a Twitter Chat – The great thing about Twitter is the ability to have a conversation with multiple people at once. Setup a Twitter chat using a hashtag at a specific time (helps to have a topic too) and get people talking.
- Find People You Know – People who know you are more likely to chat with you on Twitter and share your posts. In new Twitter – Click on your profile icon in the upper right, then click on “Settings”, then on “Find People”. For old Twitter, just click on “Find People”. You can search by names, or find friends from your contact lists on other websites and networks.
- Attend Tweetups – Find tweetups — or gatherings of people who use Twitter — in your local area to find other people who use Twitter and to meet in person. Nice way to network as well.
- Ask People to Follow You – Include your Twitter name on your blog, email signature, business card, etc. Ask people to follow you when you meet them. I like to trade Twitter names instead of business cards because I can follow the person right from my smartphone immediately. And people usually link up their website to their Twitter profile (or should) so you’ll have access to the rest of their info there.
- Follow People in Your Industry – Find people in your industry to follow. Reach out and comment on their tweets. Many people also will follow people who follow them so this can be useful for building your own following (remember: quality over quantity).
- Follow People in Your Target Audience – Use a Twitter Directory (like tweeple) to find people in your target audience to follow. Reach out to them as well (have conversations, do NOT market or advertise).
- Follow local People – People tend to feel a connection with people who live locally. Find local people through Twitter or through offline events.
What works for you? How do you have conversations and increase engagement on Twitter?
(photo by Eduardo Fonseca)