Even though Facebook tends to dominate social web, Twitter is an important tool for social sharing and for building your own community (whether you are a person or a brand). Twitter is an ideal tool if you want to stay informed, drive traffic to your social properties, but most importantly build relationships with the like-minded people. Below are some tips that I found effective in increasing engagement with your communities on Twitter.
1. Infuse personality into your profile
People trust people, not default profile images. Use the real picture of yourself and infuse your unique personality into your bio. This will bring more interest and will encourage people to not only follow you but relate to your passions and keep an eye on your tweets, which subsequently lead to more retweets.
2. Be the first to break the news
Choose a topic (or several topics) that near and dear to your heart and consistently provide valuable information on these topics. That will allow you to position yourself as an expert in that area and your followers will come to rely on the valuable information that is hitting their Twitter streams. If you stay on top of the latest and greatest, try to break the news to your followers as you get them. That will increase the number of retweets you are getting and will foster the conversation around those news.
3. Tweet consistently but leave space for reactions
I recommend tweeting consistently. However, the reality is that most of us choose a time during the day to catch up on the news and read some research. During that one hour we usually come across multiple data points and links that we want to share with our followers. But sending 15 tweets within the same hour may be overwhelming to your follower base and may be considered spam. So to avoid that I suggest you schedule the tweets throughout the day with at least 30 mins in between them.
4. Ask questions but answer them as well
Asking your followers a question is the best way to engage them (and get some valuable information in the process as well). But if you want for your followers to engage with you, you need to equally engage with them. Answer their questions, share your knowledge, participate. Also consider participating in chats. Twitter becomes more beneficial to you when you provide value to others.
5. Connect people
Be a connector, in real life and on social networks. When you connect people with each other your followers will take notice and your credibility will go up. People will be more likely to engage with you.
6. Be generous – promote others
Make sure you retweet your most passionate followers, thank them, and link to their social properties. #FF and #Recommend others and their work.
7. Put some thought into your tweets
Make sure your content stands out. When you RT, customize the copy and add your own thoughts. When you tweet the link, choose a quote or statistics from the article that you thought was impressive or interesting and tweet that instead of the headline
8. Don’t use all 140 characters in your tweet
If you want to be retweeted more, leave the room for others’ Twitter handles. Some folks prefer old RT style to a new one and they will retweet you more if you leave space for their handle and ideally for a little bit of space to add their short comment.
9. Occasionally ask for a retweet
If you ask your followers to “Please RT”, you will usually see higher number of retweets.
10. Always acknowledge the source
Always, always, always acknowledge people who shared the information with you… even if they shared it through other channels. If that person has a Twitter handle, always acknowledge them as a source.
11. Tweet the same content multiple times
Twitter stream moves very fast. There is a good chance that most of your followers won’t catch your first tweet. If you stumbled upon great information or you want to share your own content with them, I suggest scheduling multiple tweets in advance during multiple days. If your followers are spread across the globe and are in different time zones, it may also be a good idea to schedule tweets during different times of the day.
12. Be open to new connections
Follow people back. This will allow them to connect with you personally through DMs and it will allow you to expand your social network. This worked for me so many times and I am grateful for all the new invaluable connections I made this way just because I was open to new connections.
I hope you will find these tips helpful and good luck!
Originally posted in American Express Open Forum