How to Engage on Social Media: Twitter

How to engage on social media: Twitter

How to engage on social media: Twitter

There is a bias in the business world against Twitter that I don’t comprehend. To me it is the friendliest and easiest place to engage in of all the platforms. Of course, that’s once you understand a few things about Twitter. The blog post you’re reading right now is part of How to Engage on Social Media: The Complete Guide.

Create Moments

Create Moments

Creating Moments on Twitter

Creating Moments on Twitter

Creating Moments

A relatively new addition to Twitter is called Moments. You can create your own Moments or look at other people’s moments. Anyone can create a moment. From Twitter Home ==>>Go to Moments ==>> Click Create Moments (upper right corner). Upload your own photos or add tweets — I called mine San Francisco Lights. Choose your tweets or photos, choose a cover and title and publish! It took me about 15 minutes.

The Number One Mistake People Make on Twitter

The Number One Mistake People Make on Twitter

The Number One Mistake People Make on Twitter

Don’t start your tweet with the “@” sign if you want everyone to see it. Add a “.” in front of the “@” sign so that everyone can see it. Yes, that issue’s been around forever. If you need to know more, head over to Gary Vee’s slideshare (it’s only a minute, trust me!).

Leave Some Space

Leave Some Space

Leave Some Space

Don’t use up all 140 characters. Use something like 100-130 if you want retweets. Your real estate is limited.

Add images for more retweets.

Add images for more retweets.

Add Images for more Retweets

Images and videos are gaining momentum on Twitter. In fact, you’ll get 313% more engagement if you tweet with images, according to Twitter. So do use images for more engagement.

Audience

Audience

Audience

According to Pew Research

Some 23% of online adults currently use Twitter, a statistically significant increase compared with the 18% who did so in August 2013. Twitter is particularly popular among those under 50 and the college-educated.

Is that your demographic? If so, then you’re in the right place.

The Language

The Language

The Language

Twitter is the land of hashtags (not too many–one or two is fine!), and abbreviations. Also, emojis are popular on Twitter. Here are some abbreviations.

@ sign = a user’s name. For instance, I’m @Carol_Stephen on Twitter.

RT = Retweet. Means you’re repeating something and giving credit to that person as well.

OH = Overhead.

MT = Modified tweet. Sometimes you have to remove/change a tweet and this is how you alert people that you’ve changed it.

# = hashtag. Hashtags help you organize your tweets. For instance, #cheese will organize tweets about cheese.

Hashtags

Hashtags

Hashtags

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags, especially if the hashtag can help others see the content of a tweet. A hashtag helps others to identify a tweet. For instance, if you’re tweeting about an article on autism, you could add #asd (autism spectrum disorder) to the tweet. If you’re tweeting about an event, you can add the hashtag event, such as #wcoc (WordCamp Orange County). Some brands have their own hashtags. For instance, the San Francisco Giants use #sfgiants and if you tag your tweet that way, you may be featured or retweeted by the Giants!

Emojis

Emojis

Emojis

If you’re on mobile, which most people are now, you have access to many emojis. Hearts and smiley faces can let people know the feeling behind a tweet, in case there’s any doubt–or if you want to add more sentiment.

Formality

Formality

Formality

Twitter is one of the most easygoing, informal of all platforms. Think of it as a backyard bbq. It’s easy to talk to people, and there’s a laidback feeling to it.

How to Engage?

How to Engage?

How to Engage?

Say hello to people. If you’re just getting started, this is the easiest way to begin. Above is one real example. You can start with asking about the weather, telling people to have a nice weekend, and so on.  Notice that my tweet begins with the “@” sign. So only those who follow both @ToyotaEquipment and myself will see that tweet. @ToyotaEquipment’s reply to me starts with text, so that tweet is more public. See the difference?

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Ask a new follower a question about their profile.
  • Ask someone you’re connected with for advice for a topic they’re an expert at.
  • Comment on someone else’s tweet and retweet it.
  • Tell others to follow someone whose account you enjoy.
  • Introduce two people who have something in common.
Lists

Lists

Lists

Once you have found a few people who like to engage, you can add them to a list. Here’s a post about using lists on Twitter. For instance, you could create a list called Engagers or Friendly People.

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

How much of your personal life will you share on Twitter? It’s a good idea to decide beforehand. My rules are to avoid sex, politics, and disasters. And when I’ve broken my own rules, I’ve had to pay. For instance, during the divisive election recently, I wrote about politics and lost followers. If you have to talk about something divisive, you may want to set up a separate account for that. As a business, I’d avoid those topics, though.

Tagging

Tagging

Tagging

Just because you can tag, doesn’t mean you should tag. If a conversation doesn’t really involve someone else, for the love of all that is holy, please remove them! It’s like being on a long bench of people and everyone between you and the person you’re talking to has to listen. Don’t force everyone to listen. On the other hand, if the people are actively involved in a conversation, then yes, keep adding them!

How Do You Engage on Twitter?

Leave me a comment! And of course send me a tweet!

Comments

  1. Those are all great tips and it’s funny but those are the questions I”m generally asked, too. I like how you write with actionale tips.

    • Hi Bridget,

      It still surprises me that people don’t know how to engage. If someone walked into their house for a party, wouldn’t they say hello? Or would they look down at the floor and pretend no one was there?

      Thanks for being so friendly and engaging!

      Carol

  2. Great, great post, Carol. Of course I retweeted it.
    I completely agree that Twitter rocks! I want to check out Moments and create some.
    I know I don’t use twitter “correctly” (i.e. placing the “@” at the beginning without the” .”) because I do want everyone to see my tweets, and I REALLY want to learn how to use it more effectively as my book’s pub date looms closer. I was aware that using images is the way to go and I love finding fun images, as you might have noticed.
    I much prefer Twitter to other social media (Well, I’m only familiar with Facebook, Instagram and a teeny bit of Pinterest) and it has been a fantastic way for me to connect with you and others.

    p.s. I finally subscribed to your blog via email! Hurrah!!! This is a luddite question, but will your blog automatically appear in my WordPress reader? I’d like it to do that, but I didn’t see a pop-up window allowing me subscribe – I only saw the email box, if that makes sense.

    • Hi Dyane,

      Thank you for retweeting! I so appreciate that. Moments is pretty easy, and I think you’ll enjoy it!

      You do connect with quite a few people on Twitter–I can see you connecting! Twitter is my favorite for connecting with people, too. Although I’m enjoying Instagram a lot these days as well.

      Thanks for subscribing to the blog! I’m not sure how the WordPress reader works. When I subscribe, I see everyone’s newest posts appear in my email, and so far that has been working for me. I know that Google used to have a reader, but they no longer do.

      Thank you for stopping by!
      Carol

  3. Hi Carol

    Great tips. I had this post when I was starting out on Twitter. I did find it confusing at first. It took me a while to realise I shouldn’t start public tweets with the “@” sign.

    I’ve gotten the hang of things with practice. As you say, Twitter is very easygoing and informal. You can chat about anything you want. Just like a backyard bbq – except you don’t have to worry about getting bbq sauce on your t-shirt.

    Clement

    • Hi Clement,
      Of all the platforms, Twitter is the one where I’ve met the most people. Something about the informality lends itself to the friendliness.

      I wouldn’t even mind if there was a little bbq sauce. 😀

      Thanks for your ongoing support!

      Carol

  4. Great tips Carol!!! You are spot on with all of your advice! I liked the backyard bbq analogy as well!

    When I have teaching others about hashtags I explain that they are like the yellow pages. A user can click on a hashtag to find tweets associated with the topic. I also tell people using hashtags helps people find you.

    Thanks again!

    Justine

  5. Oh my goodness. GREAT post Carol. Most comprehensive I’ve seen about Twitter. I’ll be checking some of the other links too.
    I’ve been on Twitter since 2009 (I believe) and along the way I’ve learned some of what you’ve written. Twitter is where I get a lot of engagement now.
    I hadn’t checked into Moments. I will now. I thought it was something Twitter selected.
    I have recently started adding tweets to remind people to leave room. I’m happy to retweet but have had to modify A LOT in order to make them fit. I’m guessing most people won’t do that work and the OP loses RTs.
    I have definitely seen how images help get attention and engagement.
    I had no clue about the demographics. I’m a definite outlier (age wise). 😊
    I love that I can also add EMOJIs from my MAC. I’ve just started using them on Twitter. I thought they were just a good Instagram add.
    I’m much like you with the sharing aspect.
    Thanks again Carol. Great information.

    • Hi Patricia,
      Moments are a great way to showcase photographs (good for you, for instance!).

      I wish people would leave more room for retweeting! Sometimes I try to condense, and give up.

      I’m probably an outlier, too! (High-five, lady-buddy!)

      Emojis are such fun, aren’t they?

      Thank you for all the support. Us outliers have to stick together!

      Carol

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