April 1, 2014
You’d think, with just 140 characters to fill, it would be easy to produce lots of content for your company’s Twitter feed. But it’s surprising how something so short can actually be so challenging. Twitter requires snappy, succinct and most of all interesting information. You only have a few moments to capture someone’s attention as they scroll through their newsfeed. Your task is to present the sort of information that will prompt clicks and increase the number of followers.
So how do you keep that Twitter feed engaging at all times? Here are some tips you may not have considered that will make your feed fresh and your followers coming back for more information.
Try Trending Topics
Want to know what people want to read about? The single easiest way to gauge public interest is to check in with the topics that are trending on Twitter and the rest of the Internet. Obviously these topics are of consequence to a lot of people, because they’re generating so many searches. So whatever you write about related to those topics will be of interest to many of your followers.
There are a number of different ways to gauge trending topics:
- Study Twitter’s list of most popular hashtags on the left-hand column.
- Try a site like What the Trend, which is devoted to decoding Twitter trending topics.
- Look on Facebook and Yahoo, two other sites that track trending topics, to see what people are looking for.
- Check out Google Trends for an update on the hottest searches of the moment.
Check Out Your Newsfeed
When you look through your own newsfeed, what do you find most interesting? What types of stories draw you in? See what tweets are getting the most retweets in your newsfeed. What do those tweets have in common?
By doing some detective work, you can figure out what types of tweets get the most attention and engagement, and you can work those tactics into your own Twitter feed. For instance, the website Mashable is known for posting headlines that relate to pop culture in some way, often in the form of a list. A recent post with the headline 13 Words We Never Want to See on Scrabble Boards received more than 100 retweets and more than 60 favorites by combining humor with a familiar game.
Use Images and Audio to Draw People In
Twitter is a largely text-driven site, so when you see a picture in your newsfeed, it really gets your attention. Posting photos is one way that you can set your Twitter feed apart from the rest. It’s simple to upload a photo to Twitter. But don’t just limit yourself to pictures; you can also upload other things, like:
- Audio clips
- Large pull quotes
A word of caution, though. Use this strategy only once a day, and try to mix up the sort of visual or audio you’re serving up. These methods lose their impact if they’re employed too often.
Hashtags serve a dual purpose on Twitter. They help inform people about what topic you’re discussing, offering a way to keep up with a virtual conversation. For example, if you’re tweeting about the Oscars or the Super Bowl, you can follow all the tweets about the same subject by looking up a popular hashtag.
But hashtags also serve a secondary purpose that’s not as widely discussed. They’re fun. Coming up with clever or unexpected hashtags is a great way to keep your feed interesting and distinguish you from your competitors. By encouraging your followers to use the same hashtags, you too can build a timeline of your conversation that others will want to check out. Plus sometimes it’s just nice to #blowoffalittlesteam.
Interact with Your Followers
There’s nothing worse than a tweeter who doesn’t react to anything on their newsfeed. Part of the beauty of social media is interaction. Think how excited you got the first time someone famous retweeted something you wrote, like when your favorite singer favorited your tweet about her concert. You can hold people’s interest by engaging in back-and-forth with them.
Ask your followers timely questions and respond to their answers. If it’s October, for instance, and the World Series is about to start, ask who they like to win. Engage in some banter. But don’t be afraid to tackle more serious topics as well.
Twitter is actually a great place to have deep discussions, because the brevity of the medium forces you to really think about what you tweet. There are no wasted words. Jeff Jarvis is a great example of a smart person who has interesting conversations on Twitter. Look at his feed for inspiration for your own discussions.
Watch What Competitors Tweet
Smart businesses pay close attention to what their competitors do, and that’s not just in the board room. In addition to keeping an eye on your rivals’ business strategies, you should be keeping an eye on their Twitter accounts. See what they do that draws a response in your industry.
Don’t be rude about it; there’s no need to hijack a hashtag or tweet something nasty about the competition. But you can get an idea of what sort of topics are engaging their followers and what resonates with the same people you want to be following your account.
Examine Your Analytics
If you don’t employ an analytics program to break down information about your tweets and your feed, it’s time to start. Analytics can give you valuable insight into which tweets and topics connected most deeply with your followers. Once you start to see patterns, you’ll figure out what they’re interested in and what you should be focusing on. Great analytics programs include:
Having an interesting Twitter feed should be a primary goal for your business. The better the information you offer, the more followers you’ll gain, and the more sales conversions you can get from social media. Follow these tips and you should be engaging more followers in no time.
Adrienne Erin writes twice weekly for SiteProNews about online marketing strategies that help businesses like Pony Exhaust succeed. Follow @adrienneerin on Twitter to see more of her work or get in touch.