30 Fast and Effective Ways to Raise Your Engagement on Twitter

By on July 31, 2014
30 Fast and Effective Ways to Raise Your Engagement on Twitter

First time Twitter users often suffer from overwhelm. There are so many conversations happening simultaneously that it can feel like walking into a packed bar where you know no one but you’re trying to connect through all the noise. Even though it can seem crowded, Twitter can be a great way to expand your business and create meaningful relationships -- you just have to know how to go about it. If you don’t know that much about Twitter, here’s the basic low down on what it is.

Twitter is an online or mobile app based social platform that allows you to create a profile, follow other users and gain your own followers. All your messages are called tweets and they show up in a real time, live, news feed that your whole world of followers can see, or anyone can see if they seek out your specific account.

All your tweets are limited to 140 characters (total, including URL links). You can include hashtags (aka the symbol formerly know as the number sign  # ) and that’s how topics are organized on Twitter. Every time you put a hashtag in front of a word, it becomes a topic and anyone else on Twitter looking for that topic, can see it in a live Twitter feed organized to include only tweets with that specific hashtag. That’s an important point to remember when you start tweeting for engagement, but more on that later.

You can talk directly to anyone you follow, or any Twitter user at all, by using their profile handle. This is known as tagging someone in a post. Every new profile on Twitter is assigned a name that users come up with which will be preceded by the @ symbol. For example our Twitter handle is @i_SmallBusiness. If you wanted to talk to us, you could just tweet something like, “hey @i_SmallBusiness you guys have a great site” and we would see it. Pretty cool, huh? Anyone you follow also starts to show up in your personal newsfeed.

Now that you understand the basics of using Twitter, you’ll want to get a good following going. The first step to starting your Twitter account is to remember that just like in your personal life, you want to be yourself. The second step is to be consistent and engage with others on Twitter regularly. Don’t pop on Twitter once a month and expect to have a growing following or engaged followers. Finally, the third step is to come up with what you’re doing to say and try to establish who it is you’re going to talk to on Twitter.

Once you have that basic outline of the process started, you need to start tweeting! So here are 30 fast and effective ways that you can do just that -- and create real engagement on Twitter.

Remember, you’re perfectly free to tweet about your business, but building followers and real relationships will mean coming up with inspiring and viral content that goes beyond your niche.

1. Tweet about news from your industry. However, don’t just RT (that’s re-tweet) messages from other users. Make sure you add your own commentary and spin to the story you’re about to share.

2. Tweet inspirational quotes. Did you know that quotes are one of the most retweeted pieces of content on Twitter? Well they are. So posting regular, great quotes will help establish you as a leader and someone to follow on Twitter. Expert tip: put a quote over a great image for extra impact that goes viral.

3. Love certain Podcasters or podcast shows? Guaranteed they’re on Twitter. So tweet about their podcasts, hashtag their show or name and start conversations with other followers and fans of the podcasts that you enjoy.

4. Share photos of your local area and tag them to the place or hashtag your city or neighborhood. Photos are great ways to share what’s going on in your area. Search the “topics” section of Twitter to find hashtags that are relevant and relatable to your area to make sure you’re using the right ones. For example: a popular hashtag in the Los Angeles area is #mydayinLA -- find what fits!

5. Tweets don’t need to be all business -- share tweets that have your musings from a recent film or about a story in your local paper. Tweet about things that matter to you or activities you do locally. Again, hastaging your post or the area is a great way to expand the reach of eyeballs that will see your particular post and grow your audience.

6. Ask questions. A great way to build engagement is to throw out a general question and ask for support. If you live in Austin and your car just got destroyed by taking your dog out for a muddy hike, try something like, “Looking for a local Austin car detailer to fix this! Help?” and be sure to include a photo of your Fido in the car. People are usually helpful and responsive on Twitter -- they like to help!

7. Seek out the experts in your field or in business in general that you admire and follow them. Then try to RT their tweets with commentary that you find helpful or relevant and help spread their message. By helping share their community it just may help yours. Or better yet, thank them for something. Don’t expect a reply back but if you get one, it’s a nice personal shout-out! Expert tip: Don’t start a tweet with a person’s Twitter handle. Why? Only they will see your reply in their news feed. If you put a word before their handle, your whole feed and their whole feed will see your tweet -- thus expanding your influence and chance of exposure.

8. Everyone loves a great app. So share something about the apps you love. Twitter and smartphones go hand-in-hand and people will love a new app that keeps them productive they can get to right from their phone after reading your tweet.

9. A numbered list countdown or count-up can be a great tweet series. Try spending some time coming up with a numbered “Top 20 Quotes” list or “My 50 Best Pieces of Advice” list and then schedule a new tweet to be released each day in your tweet series. Having a scheduling program like Hootsuite can be a great way to make sure your tweets are steadily coming out and you can program them out en masse ahead of time if you know you’ll be traveling or have a busy week ahead.

10. Going to a conference or event? Even concerts are great opportunities to tweet, photograph and share in live time with hashtags related to your event. You’re sure to see others doing the same.

11. Get involved in the issues that are surrounding your industry and take a Twitter stance on something that aligns with your company’s philosophy. You have 140 characters to defend your position or share an idea you think will benefit your industry’s issues.

12. Participate in the common hashtag events of the week that are globally popular. For example, commonly used are #FF for Follow Friday where you list out other Twitter users that you recommend people follow (and even why if you can), as well as things like #TBT for Throwback Thursday where people share photos of their younger selves, old company photos or anything else that’s a “throwback” in time. They’re massively popular tweets.

13. Tweet about a problem you’ve faced or overcome and what the solution was that you found. Especially if that solution involves a product or person you can thank or share on Twitter.

14. In that same vein, why not shout-out to places you’re going that have great service or with customer complaints. Be careful with this one not too go too far on the complaint side and become negative or critical, but if you’ve had particularly good or bad service, let people know. Most businesses are on Twitter and respond. Try tweeting about a great airline experience on a business flight or a wonderful concierge at a hotel you visited. People love personalized tweets that share customer feedback.

15. Speaking of customer feedback, check Twitter to see what people are saying about you and your business. Quickly address service complaints or issues through Twitter and acknowledge compliments. Talking back to users reaching out directly to you is a great way to keep brand loyalty with your customers.

16. Suggest local things to do and hashtag the locations. If your business commonly uses a local caterer or stays at a great hotel, let people who might be visiting the area know. Recommend places to eat and things to do from your locals perspective. They’ll thank you for it and so will the community.

17. Search for topics related to your industry and see if there are questions you can answer. One of the earlier tips was to ask questions. Try also answering them for others looking for answers. It’s a great way to share your expertise and knowledge.

18. Keep in touch with your calendar and extend the appropriate holiday greetings for the season and your industry. Share photos or quotes that relate to the holiday at hand.

19. With your staff’s permission, announce important events or promotions in their lives like graduations, certifications earned or promotions. This will both humanize your company and make your employees an important part of the social media process.

20. Use Twitter to communicate problems like power outages, server crashes or other unexpected events that might be impacting your businesses service or performance. Address concerns coming in and keep your Twitter followers updated so they know what’s happening.

21. Keep your followers informed of closures and hours. Sharing important closures, online scheduled upgrades and changing business hours or operating locations is a great way to keep the group up to date with the latest.

22. Brag a little. It’s okay to announce big milestones that your company has achieved without telling your customers to buy anything. Don’t feel like you can’t talk about business; just blend business with personal for an interesting mix.

23. Keep up to date with global events and share any tweets or updates on what’s happening with issues. Give your (non-alienating) opinion on them to maximize their personalization.

24. Suggest products that aren’t your own. Include the business in the tweet, and maybe even post a video of how it works.

25. Try coming up with your own Trivia (especially if it relates to your industry). People love a good game of guessing so come up with your own famous quotes and make them guess the answer for a RT.

26. Share simple solutions for common everyday problems. These aren’t your big business obstacles and growth opportunities, but just little life hacks you’ve discovered that people can try out. The best way to do this is look at your own day. Did you figure out a way to trap a spider and get it out of the house and into the yard humanely? Share it! Discover how to make almond milk at home? Explain it. Tweet about any life hacks or tricks you have learned to share your experience.

27. Coffee and tea are the keystones of any office. What brands do you buy? Ask your audience for suggestions and share what you guys are brewing up and why.

28. Don’t just tweet about the holidays. What about important business times of the year? Tax time? Quarterlies? Keeping your followers abreast of important dates means they’ll grow to trust your information. Also, tax time is great for making a joke or two.

29. TED talks are hot-button content anywhere. Share them, explain why they’re awesome, and inspire your followers to respond with their own suggestions. Make sure you tag whoever the speaker is and hashtag the topic for maximum exposure to a vast audience of potentially new followers.

30. Try using the Video function in Twitter to share little informative clips or funny antidotes. Or even try using the Vine app and linking them to your Twitter account to share videos on two platforms.

Now that you’ve read these thirty ideas for engaging conversations on Twitter, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @i_SmallBusiness and even share this article to your Twitter followers if you feel like it helped you. We’ll keep you informed of great stories and helpful small business tips to keep you growing and successful. You can also comment, like and share on our Facebook Page.

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right .