Location, location, location. These are the all-important 3 L’s of real estate marketing. But on Twitter, it’s all about the 3 E’s.
Engagement, engagement, engagement.
Without engagement, your tweets are just out there, in the wilderness, naked and alone. You need a reaction from your audience. And it needs to be actual, valuable engagement – engagement for engagement’s sake is not much better than no engagement at all. Anybody can generate a strong reaction to something as trite as “Share this if you love your grandma!”, but what is it actually going to do for your brand?
No. You need real engagement, with your fans and followers encouraged to become proactively involved with relative brand messaging. And to do this, there are a few things that you need to remember.
1. Use An Image In Every Tweet
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) November 23, 2013
Tweets with images have always converted much better than text-only messages on Twitter, and that likely will never change. And when you think about it, it makes sense – you’re far more likely to see and react to a (well-designed, relative) photo than you are plain text. It’s just how the brain works.
Earlier this year Twitter changed the way images display in user timelines. This is very important for a couple of reasons. One, now only images shared via Twitter’s own photo sharer (pic.twitter.com) automatically display in timelines. And two, this also means that images for all other sources – be that Instagram, Twitpic, Facebook, Flickr, and everywhere else – do not. So, if you want engagement on Twitter, you should always include an image with your tweets, and you should always upload that image directly on to Twitter.
2. Use One Hashtag
— Nike (@Nike) August 20, 2013
And just one hashtag. Or a maximum of two. Why? Because studies keep telling us that using no hashtags, or using more than two hashtags, has a negative impact on tweet engagement. Hashtags widen the potential reach of your tweet (to new readers) and give folks something to cling on to, but they need to be used sensibly and must always be relative to your content.
3. Ask For A Retweet
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 27, 2013
I know, I know. Asking for retweets seems so… desperate. But, the bottom line is that it works. Indeed, Twitter themselves recommend it as a strategy, but it’s important that you (a) don’t overuse this tip and (b) do it properly. Meaning, if you’re going to ask for a retweet, actually use the word “retweet”, and do so in a proactive way. For example, if you’re a grocer on Twitter, asking fans to “Retweet if you love our apples!” is a much better implementation of this strategy than “We love apples! pls RT thx!”.
4. Ask A Question
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) November 23, 2013
Proactively wording a tweet to encourage the reader to respond is an effective way to generate a response, and there’s no easier way to do this than by asking a question. This tactic shouldn’t be used for every single tweet, but once or twice a day actually asking something of your followers can pay dividends. And if you find that your readers have lots of questions themselves, consider a weekly or once-per-month Q&A session (using a unique hashtag).
5. Give The People What They Want
— Shark Week (@SharkWeek) October 4, 2013
And, perhaps in this case (as it’s Twitter), shoot where the birds are flying. Meaning, if you want your followers to read, understand and react to your content, do everything in your power to deliver to them content that they can easily read, understand and react to. And make sure it goes out to the right people at the right times.
This tip seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to overlook, especially as we’re wont to keep trying new things on social media, especially when it’s new and seems “cool”. There’s nothing wrong with experimentation and we’re all constantly evolving, but don’t forget to give your followers what they actually signed up for in the first place.
And then just keep doing it.