Twitter has many great benefits for any brand, whether your carrying out social recruitment, engaging with customers, increasing sales leads, offering support or all of the above. From catching up with the latest industry news to seeing what your competition is doing or tweeting about, it’s a great resource to include in your social strategy. If your happy to use Twitter purely as a source of information then there are some tips in this article for you, if you’re trying to increase your Twitter following and engagement then there’s also some useful information for you. I’ve tried to keep the below as acute and time efficient as possible, I appreciate that we’re all busy people.
1) Be yourself, an individual
People follow individuals for their personality, individual style and personal opinions, they follow brands for their unique content, offers and insights. Robots have no sole or heart (like the tin man from The Wizard Of Oz!) and as such are not interesting. They never have their own point of view, never dare to be slightly controversial in their opinions and never engage in discussions with their followers, all of which a real person (or brand) can, and should, do. Be yourself, create and portray your brand message through your tweets and comments, you’ll soon start to gain followers, interact and become part of the Twitter community.
2) Use images in updates – 94% more likely to get a retweet
— CIPHR (@CiphrHRSoftware) March 24, 2014
Since Twitter introduced changes to allow images to automatically display within a users feed, it’s become easier than ever to attract attention and stand out from the other tweets. Selecting a suitable image for your tweets is essential, don’t choose an image that’s irrelevant, just because you like it, it should portray what the tweet is about. This can be slightly abstract but the relevance should be obvious.
3) Shorter tweets attract higher engagement
According to testing carried out by Dan Zarrella, tweets of between 120 and 130 characters attract the best engagement. This might be because they allow a retweet without cutting off any of the message as well as additional hashtags/comments to be added.
4) Quote part of the article – 30% more likely to get a retweet
— CIPHR (@CiphrHRSoftware) March 12, 2014
Quoting part of the article you’re linking to, instead of simply tweeting the title and a link, is a great way to attract more retweets, clicks and engagement. It’s much more interesting and enticing if a teaser of the content is included in the tweet. Space in the tweet is an issue but finding a short sentence from the content works wonders.
5) Don’t send too many updates – between three to five Tweets per day is ideal
Sending too many tweets is annoying for other twitter users. If they only see a constant, unbroken stream of your tweets when logging in then it won’t take long for them to unfollow you. Too many tweets is also detrimental to your brand as it’s highly unlikely that you can find enough quality content to maintain the tweeting frequency: quality over quantity.
6) Use Buffer to schedule and monitor
One great tool which I use both for business and personal tweeterage is buffer. Buffer allows you to schedule tweets by using predetermined times for each day of the week. It also has the added advantage of capturing stats regarding retweets, mentions, clicks, favourites and potential audience (through retweets etc). There’s both a free (with restrictions) and premium version of Buffer, which one you choose depends on the number of accounts you wish to connect.
7) Analyse (Bit.ly)
There are many link shortening sites on the internet. One in particular that offers very useful analytical tools is bit.ly. By using their service to shorten links used on your social updates you can start to analyze how different formats, times and content work, and don’t work, on Twitter.
8) Retweet with comment
By adding your own stamp on a retweet you not only personalise the update and offer your reasons for sharing, but you also invite engagement from the original source. This could be anything from a discussion about the content to a mutual follow. This is a very effective way of building a following and community within Twitter that will benefit your sharing efforts in the future. Some example retweet formats are:
- The “thanks for sharing @username” retweet
- The “via @username” retweet
- The “I like the bit about…..” retweet
9) Create a Weekly calendar of topics
By drawing up a content schedule you can start to build a strategy that works for you. Different days could mean a certain genre of update or you could use the schedule to simply ensure you have the best content to share, at the best times. The schedule doesn’t need to be anything fancy, a simple Excel or Google spreadsheet would do.
Hubspot offer a very useful tool which will generate blog topic ideas based on 3 words you input, relevant to your industry.
10) Use trends
If practical and relevant, use current trending topics and keywords to give your updates the best possible visibility. Ensure that the trending topics are relevant to your updates and you’ll encourage engagement and retweetery. You can find the currently trending topics and hashtags, by location on this very clever site, Trendsmap.
11) Use lists – no follow necessary to see tweets
Using list in Twitter is extremely useful to organise other Twitter users into categories of interest, such as:
- Influencers in their field (those you want to engage with)
- People you are actively engaged with
- Particular topics within a field of interest
Another little known tip is that by using lists you can effectively follow a user (see their tweets) without actually following them. Great for keeping a beady eye on the competition!
12) Tweet just before or after the hour during the week (out of meetings/appointments)
One great tip that I learned recently is that, during the week at least, try to tweet just before or after the turn of the hour. Many people who may have been in a meeting will finish just before the hour and may well be checking Twitter quickly before their next engagement. This is also true of lunchtime.
13) Don’t start ‘@user’ as only they or people following both will see the tweet
If you start a tweet with ‘@twitteruser’ then the only people who will see the tweet are you, the user mentioned and any users following you both, your audience is seriously restricted. If you need to start a tweet by mentioning another user then precede the ‘@’ with a ‘.’.
14) Where appropriate, mention new followers URL
A great tip to retaining and engaging with new followers is not only to send them a welcome message, but, where appropriate, tweet a link to their website or resource. This will gain their gratitude and probably a mention on their stream. It’s also just a nice thing to do!
15) Twitter search
Knowing how to search effectively for the rich content shared on Twitter everyday is key to the curation process and your personal learning and growth. Below are the useful syntax to use to search like a pro!
16) Remember the different time zones
If your target audience is worldwide then you’ll need to think about the different time zones when scheduling your tweets. Ensuring that your updates are timed not only for your home county, but also those countries of your followers, will ensure that you tweet to as many potential recipients as possible.
17) Use Tweriod & Buffer to tweet at your optimum engagement times
Tweriod analyses your tweets and tells you when you get the best engagement (retweets, replies etc). Once you know when to tweet, you can automatically set up your schedule in Buffer to tweet when your most likely to receive a retweet or 2.
18) Use Twitonomy to analyze the competition
Twitonomy is free, for limited use, and easy to use. It allows you to not only analyze your Twitter profile, but also that of other Twitter users. Using Twitonomy allows you to see hashtag use, followers, retweets, favourites, mentions and other details of any Twitter user you choose. Great for analyzing what works and what doesn’t, for your profile and that of others.
19) Twitter doesn’t take the weekend off, quite the opposite
Even if your office is closed at the weekend, that doesn’t mean that you should stop Tweeting. In fact, engagement for brands is actually 17% higher at the weekend. Couple this with the fact that not many brands bother to tweet at the weekend (only about 19%) and the chances are that you not only have a captive audience, but also noticeable an advantage over your competition.
20) People use their phone while they travel, take advantage
Ever sat on the train and looked around at how many people are using their smart phone? Most of us will browse social media to pass the time while travelling, and this time online can be capitalised upon. Scheduling tweets for the morning and evening rush hours is a great way to attract engagement.
21) Hashtags work, that’s why everyone uses them
Using hashtags on keyworks increases your tweets visibility. hashtags have proved so popular and effective that the functionality has spread to other networks such as Facebook and Google+. Using hashtags increases engagement by 100%
22) Asking for a retweet works
The simple and, some would say, obvious strategy of asking followers for a retweet works. If you actually state in a tweet “Please retweet” the reshare rate is increased by 86%.
Source for 20, 21 & 22: huffingtonpost.com
These are the tips that I use when Tweeting or using Twitter to find content, if you have any more tips or tricks then let us know in the comments!