Pick a topic and stick to it
Choose a topic that interests you, whether it’s PR, fashion, cooking, or cats, and then tweet stuff that is relevant to it. A trip to the beach or your grandmother’s birthday does not fall into this category. Off-topic tweets can cost you, followers – unless you’re famous or a personal friend, people follow you to get updates and information about your topic, not you.
Then, start sharing information that could be valuable to your followers – this includes articles, blog posts, videos, etc. Retweet other people’s content too and always, always acknowledge them for it. Crediting them as a source, for instance by including their Twitter-handle, might be the start of a beneficial relationship, or at least it could make them more inclined to return the favor later.
Creating and sharing high-quality content yourself is also a big plus because it can position you as an expert in your specific field. When you share your own content, ask your followers to retweet – statistics show that this actually boosts the number of retweets you get.
People trust people, not default profile images. If possible, use a real picture of yourself and infuse your unique personality into your biography. Personality generates interest, engagement and encourages people to follow you because they can relate to your personality. Personality is also about showing a bit of emotion with your tweets – like NASA did when they honored Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy:
Be the first to break the news
Staying on top of the latest and the greatest is key, especially if you’re a content creator or just interested in giving your followers the very best. Try to break news about your topic to your followers as soon as you get it. News can increase the number of retweets you get, and cultivate valuable conversations about you.
A tweet is shortlived. Depending on a persons feed, it has a life-span of just a couple of minutes. Therefore, consistent activity is important in keeping your profile alive and well. Instead of sending out 15 tweets at once (which could be considered spam), spread them out during the day. This will increase both your visibility and your engagement rate. For instance, begin your day by saying good morning to your followers, post content or schedule tweets once per hour, or with at least 30 minutes between them, and end your day with a ‘see you tomorrow’-tweet.
Also, don’t be afraid to tweet the same content again. Since the Twitter stream moves very fast, there’s a good chance that most of your followers won’t catch your first tweet – particularly if they live in different time zones. If you stumbled on great information or you want to share your own content, schedule multiple tweets in advance. But make sure to vary it and remember the fine line between repetition and spam.
Imagine you’re at a networking event and you don’t know a single person there. Do you stand in the corner and wait for someone to engage in a conversation with you? Of course not! Think of Twitter as a huge networking event. If you want to connect, you have to reach out. Comment on or retweet your most engaged followers when their tweets are relevant, or when they retweet you. Ask your followers a question. Start conversations with people that share your interests. Being engaged yourself increases your social currency, which is invaluable when you need the help of others to promote your content. Twitter simply becomes more beneficial to you when you provide value to others.
Nike is a brand that understands how to engage. The ‘Just Do It’ campaign has caught upon loyal users of the brand so much so that many tweets it as a hashtag. Nike in return motivates their customers with replies in a down to earth and friendly tone, which is a good example of how to emotionally connect with your audience: