Your business’ Twitter profile seems great. It has a smart bio, you schedule at least two tweets per day during optimal periods, you know what a hashtag is, and you’ve got your brand identity guidelines on lock. You’re no Twitter n00b. The problem is, you’re not getting a lot of engagement.
Time to step up your game!
Twitter isn’t about scheduling a few posts, sitting back and waiting for social media magic to happen. It’s a real-time conversation spanning every imaginable topic and operating 24/7. You’re constantly competing to be heard above the chatter of over 304 million other people, and a tweet can be buried in less than a minute on the average timeline.
Don’t be intimidated! There are simple ways to improve Twitter engagement, increase followers, and keep your business in the conversation — you’ve just got to do your homework.
Twitter assignment #1: monitor trends
Imagine how quickly you’d drop your favourite magazine if it ran the same stories every issue. Trends change from minute to minute, new hashtags are coined, and if you handle your business’ social media you have to stay on top of them.
Log into Twitter daily and check out what’s trending, keeping a sharp eye out for topics that could relate to your business or community. If something grabs your attention, read up on it to be sure you fully understand the trend (lest you accidentally take it the wrong way). If it’s appropriate and relevant, tweet about it! Do capitalize with care; social media users quickly unfollow businesses blatantly latching onto every tragedy and trend.
Assignment #2: do hashtag homework
Have you ever been sent a link to a funny video, and then fallen into a YouTube spiral until the sun set and you lost a good part of your day? I encourage you to fall into a hashtag spiral at least once per week. My recent hashtag homework for Forge and Smith client SpecOps Software went something like this:
- clicked on favoured tag #cybercrime, read tweets using that tag
- noticed those tweets often used #cybersecurity, clicked that tag
- observed and clicked all of the following tags: #passwordsecurity #password #security #hackers #hacked #IDTheft #identitytheft #infosec #ITOps #2FA #3FA #cyberaware and #2FactorTuesday.
It turned out October is National Cyber Security Awareness month in the USA, and #2FactorTuesday is a popular weekly hashtag that global businesses use to chat about two-factor authentication. Both were great additions to the SpecOps list, which I wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t gone down the rabbit hole.
Assignment #3: keep it real
While hashtagging your way to success, take the time to talk to your community and potential clients or customers. Social media is supposed to be social!
When someone follows you, check out their profile and follow them back if appropriate. Read through your timeline and retweet relevant content, giving props to the profile that shared it while adding your own (improved) hashtags. Be mindful that while your primary goal should be MOAR SOCIAL REFERRALS to your site, megalomaniacs are only cool in superhero movies. Use some of those trends to tweet team photos, .GIFs, or anything else that keeps you humble and human.
I applied my own rules to Forge and Smith, and with a constant eye on industry hashtags for digital services we provide I increased organic impressions between 600 and 1300% per day — in just two weeks.