Tweeting for Engagement: Links Versus Text?

Tweeting for Engagement: Links Versus Text?

Tweeting for Engagement: Links Versus Text?

You’ve been on Twitter late at night looking for conversations, and all you’ve seen are tweets with links and people broadcasting. You’d really like to have a conversation and engage like you’re supposed to on social media, but how? Here’s one idea: Why not try plain text?

Tweeting Without a Net

If you don’t schedule a tweet with a link what does that look like? Will people still respect you if you don’t include a link? Well, yes, they will respect you. In fact, they might even try to **gasp** try to talk to you! How strange and wonderful that could be! And how different from the majority of the tweets out there! This isn’t about creating the perfect tweet; it’s about using Twitter to talk to people!

No Link = Less Commitment!

As Riggins Construction says, “Links are a bigger commitment for new conversations.” If you broadcast a tweet with a link, people have to click the link (if they trust it), read the whatever-it-is, think about it, and then get back to you. Without that dreaded link, people are much more likely to say hello, reply, or retweet. So it’s easier for your audience to talk to you–and for you to talk to them!

Fewer People Engaging Means You Stand Out

Listen!

Listen!

When fewer people are actually listening on Twitter, you get to look like a superhero when you engage! Well, maybe not like Spiderman, but you will get to be social on social media, which seems unusual some days. Now, I’m not saying to entirely stop putting out links, but adding in some tweets without links makes your Tweetstream friendlier.

The Road Less Tweeted

With all the broadcasting there is, you will definitely be in the minority if you listen. Sometimes taking the road less traveled can be a very, very good thing. You might even make a friend or two along the way!

More Spontaneity

Text without a link is more spontaneous. You can tweet about something that just happened to you, or something you’ve been thinking about, and start a conversation that way. Or you could look at your Twitstream to see if anyone is having conversations at the moment. You could also put those talkers onto a list, so that you can check back with them easily from time to time.

How Do You Like to Engage on Twitter?

Do you have any special things you like to do on Twitter to find people to talk to? I’d love to hear from you! Really. I would.

 

Comments

  1. Good advice. I regularly get caught up in just broadcasting and then I’ll take some time to look at my feed and be like wow, this is super boring. Gotta keep those spontaneous, text-only tweets in there to mix it up and keep people engaged.

    Cheers Carol!

    • Hi Eric,
      Well, I think a combination of plain text and tweets with links is a good strategy. But just tweets with links all the time and no engagement? Not such a good strategy (for me anyway!).
      Thanks again for commenting!
      Carol

  2. This article and the premise behind it is one of the main reasons why I rarely schedule tweets at all.
    I like to engage when the idea hits me and I like to hang out on my lists and my home feed to enter into conversations.
    Scheduling is very tempting and I’ve waivered in my opinion over it for years. I’ve settled on occasionally scheduling for the day but only when I know I’ll be checking.
    And it is true that links, though helpful, do ask a lot more of your audience than just text.
    Then we read that tweets with links are more likely to be retweeted and read and they make us feel better about not being so self-promotional.

    Composing tweets that are text based (aka our own thoughts) takes more work for some people, I suppose.

    It’s probably best to mix up your strategy and include a lot of options for yourself and your audience.

    • Hi Bridget,
      I’ve noticed that you do lots and lots of live tweeting. Sometimes I need to scroll down verrrry far to find something of yours to retweet because you’re so focused on everyone else. I like the idea of having tweets that are complete thoughts, that require very little of your audience as far as clicking and reading~that idea seems considerate.
      Yes, a mix as far as strategy goes works well for most people–not all one or the other.
      Thanks for the comment!
      Carol

  3. Also, those off-the-cuff remarks, otherwise known as the running commentary on our own lives, humanizes us which is especially helpful for brands.

    Thanks for including our conversation in your blog post!

    • Hi Bridget,
      Yes, you can’t replace the off-the-cuff remarks are part of what makes Twitter so fun. When people respond to a common event, for example, that makes everyone have a shared experienced (like during the Superbowl blackout). Maybe Twitter will be the shared-experience and replace TV in some way.
      Thanks for telling me about embedding tweets! I was able to take the code and put it into that post. Easy-peasy (lemon squeasy)!
      Carol

  4. Also, I’ve noticed that in my mind, after reading this, I am more aware that I should tweet more naturally.
    Thanks!

  5. Curious post. Really caused some reflection…as good posts should. As I have followed you and Bridget and watched the “masters” at work, I’m wondering?…is tweeting “self produced” content the same as “selling”? I’m not sure. My content marketing strategy is meant to educate, inspire, or entertain…or all three. I hope that the content will generate engagement…but it is not meant to be selling…hmmm. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    • Hi Allen,

      I wouldn’t stop tweeting your educational and inspirational posts. Not at all. It’s just easier for people to read and reply to tweets without links–there’s less commitment for them.

      You might want to test a few and see what happens! It could be a fun experiment! I sometimes get surprising answers from people that I normally don’t talk to when I tweet a question or comment without a link.
      And thanks for responding. I appreciate your thoughtful comments, always.

      Sincerely,
      Carol

    • Right, Allen.

      Start tweeting some just thoughts:

      “Should I wear the bow tie today, or save it for Tuesday Traffic Tips?”

      Your content is great.

Trackbacks

  1. Tweeting with Links – Best Practices | You, too, can be a Guru. says:

    […] it’s a good time to mix up your content. Carol Stephen discuses it in her blog post, “Tweeting for Engagement: Links Versus Text?” In the comments she brings up a good […]

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