Twitter has developed at an exponentially rapid rate from a targeted RSS feed to a micro-blogging platform. The manner in which users interact within twitter are changing as well. Here are 7 tips for transforming your twitter feed into an engaging conversation that your followers can appreciate.
1) Engage with Industry Influencers
Twitter is about conversations, sharing information, and staying relevant. The best way to join to conversation is to take the first step in reaching out to top influencers in your industry. Many times, these influencers may be too busy to answer each and every tweet, and may even have social media professionals or interns managing the twitter handle. For this reason, don’t feel discouraged if each and every tweet is not reciprocated. Just be sure to keep the conversation going. The more interactions you have with relevant people in your industry, the more your brand will stand out to your target audience.
2) Follow Your Competition
The unwritten rule that following your competitors is a big mistake is simply a myth. Following your competitors, and staying afloat of how they engage with their customers, is vital for staying relevant within your industry. Additionally, you can see who your competitors engage with, and in turn follow and engage with these relevant users. Unless you are tweeting trade secrets, there is no reason to remain completely disconnected from the competition.
3) Tweet Research before Posts
Doing a simple search before each tweet not only shows you how much activity occurs around your topic, but may give you ideas for keywords that are receiving more activity at that moment. You can also check the trending tweets in your area, but these may not always be relevant to your business. Keywords that appear in more recent tweets provide better exposure for your brand. Use each tweet wisely.
4) Be Picky about Who You Follow, but Not TOO Picky
Follow as many brands as you feel are in line with your company. However, do not follow people or brands that you wouldn’t want your customers to see you associated with. Ensuring that your audience sees that your brand is consistent with who you are connected too not only shows them that you maintain a certain level of standards, but it also instills trust in your organization’s industry positioning.
5) Question Baiting – Ditch the Leading Questions
Just as marketers and brands are becoming smarter in targeting and engaging users, consumers are becoming equally aware of the methods in which they are being marketed to. Fake, disingenuous social conversation, such as “Question Baiting” will now only disinterest your users, but can consequently create harm to your brand and relationship with your customers.
Question baiting is a tactic that brands use to frequently tweet disingenuous, random questions with the sole purpose of generating responses to drive follows to your twitter handle. This may work on celebrity infatuated fans, but small and mid-sized business followers see through this as a ploy to drive traffic, and will not only become disengaged, but may unfollow, and see your brand in a negative light.
Be sure that questions you ask are relevant and provide insight to your followers. Most importantly, don’t tweet too many questions, and be sure to space questions that you do tweet out.
6) Don’t Just Link to Your Site, Link to Sites You Respect and Find Interesting
Twitter is undoubtedly a powerful tool for driving traffic. However, it is more so a communication tool with your customers. If you tweet relevant articles that your users will find interesting that do NOT direct back to your site, users will not only appreciate that you share relevant, amusing content, they will trust that your company’s twitter conversation is has their same interest in mind, and is not managed simply for self promotion.
7) Avoid Mindless Self Promotion – Most of the Time
Twitter is a great tool to keep your users informed of your company’s events, deals and news. However, if your twitter feed is ONLY about your company, and not about your users and relevant industry information, your followers will become blind to your posts. Followers want to be engaged, and continuing a relevant conversation requires give and take on your part. Show interest in posts of your followers, retweet posts that you find interesting, and respond to requests that are directed at you. Users find this more appealing than simply hooking your twitter feed up to your blog updates and letting your handle run on auto-pilot.
Feel free to let followers know what is going on with your company from time to time. But avoid using twitter as a one-sided conversation.
In Conclusion –
Craft your voice and interact with users in the most meaningful way that you can offer. This will not only grab the attention of your followers, it will allow interesting posts and conversations that you are a part of to virally spread, driving exposure to your brand.