I recently was asked by a client how one could get more followers and rewteets on Twitter. He had an event coming up that he wanted to promote and no one was retweeting his content. I think he was a bit taken aback when I suggested he worried less about forcing his event on his Twitter followers and stopped to engage and get to know them better. I explained that just like the real world the kinder you are and more you stop to get to know people the more likely people are to trust, engage and help you.
Imagine your neighbour John (who you have known for years. He has watered your plants, fed your cat and kept an eye on your house when you are away on holidays) knocks on your door and asks to borrow your lawnmower. Now imagine your other neighbour Dean (who you do not know very well. He uses your garden to dump his garbage in and often obstructs your driveway with his car - not to mention his loud parties) knocks at your door asking to borrow your lawnmower. I know I would react very differently to Dean than I did to John’s request.
The online world of twitter is no different. There are no magic buttons. It is all about building relationships and a reputation online. Very often some of the most respected business professionals come across poorly on twitter. So how should we behave on twitter?
- For every person that follows your account on twitter - Thank them for following you and follow them back. (unless there is a reason not to follow them).
- Always acknowledge anybody who mentions you and/or retweets your tweets. A quick “Thanks for the RT or “Thanks for the mention” will do.
- Promote other people’s content by retweeting their tweets. This will help you build a relationship with that person and make them more likely to share your tweets. A person who often shares other people’s good content will often get more followers and be perceived as a being worth following because of the great content they tweet.
- Always remember that twitter is about creating dialogue and is not monologue. So ensure that your tweets are conversational. This should instigate comments and engagement.
- Be careful not to spam your followers. Mindless self-promotion is a big turn off on Twitter (or anywhere else for that matter). So be subtle about how you promote yourself on twitter.
- Don’t ask people for favours on twitter until you have chatted them up first;) Twitter is a great way to talk to key business professionals and leading media folk. However, we need to take some time engaging with our targeted tweeter and maybe do them a favour or two (such as RT their content) before we ask for any favour.
- Recommend other people on twitter to your followers. Use the #FollowFriday or #FF every Friday to recommend and acknowledge the people who you value on Twitter.
- Vary your tweets, I am a great believer that if I want to promote an article or blog post one should tweet it out 3-4 times a day for a number of days. However to ensure that the message does not look the same every tweet – Rephrase each message and use the same url.
- NB. If someone talks to you or asks you a question on twitter, always ensure that you respond to them. (Even if it is the next day). Nothing can damage your reputation more than ignoring a question or complaint on twitter.
So my client finally stopped talking on twitter and started engaging with his followers. His new found twitter etiquette has already led to a steady flow of new followers and he is now getting more retweets than ever before.
How are you going to improve your twitter etiquette? Happy Tweeting
This article was written by Greg Fry, lecturer with the Digital Marketing Institute