Do you know why most individuals and businesses really use Twitter?
Sure, they might be interested in industry information. Or they might want to stay up on politics, world events, entertainment, and public opinion.
But when it really boils down to it, most people—particularly professionals and businesses—want attention.
Yup. Most brands are using Twitter for self-serving purposes. So give them what they want! When you, a business owner or marketer, give them the attention that they’re looking for, you can boost engagement and brand visibility, establish relationships, and expand your network.
“Liking” people’s content isn’t enough. Twitter users love shout-outs! Tag them. Like and retweet their content. Leave meaningful comments. That’s when you can start to get some real traction.
Create “Shout Out” Tweets
Find value-added ways to share other people’s content while giving them recognition and credit for that content. You can do this by finding great articles from your potential customers and from industry experts and influencers. If you’re finding content using Google, or stumbling upon great content on other social platforms, take the time to look up the author’s Twitter handle so that you can tag them.
When you’re retweeting, rather than simply retweeting with a single click, share content and tag the author in your tweet to give recognition and to build a relationship. Add some substance to your tweet that shows thoughtfulness and provides value to other readers.
To create some examples, I’ve used a great article about Developing a Value Proposition from earlier on the CAMP blog, a post written by Patrick Icasas, B2B Blogger, Copywriter, and Content Marketing Consultant.
Here’s the most basic type of “shout-out” tweet that just includes the title of the article, the business handle, and a couple of hashtags:
Developing a Value Proposition (without an MBA) http://bit.ly/2sHffRD via @campseaks #valueproposition #marketing
Here’s a tweet that doesn’t include the title, which is fine for articles that have been configured with Twitter cards, in which case the featured image and title will pull up anyways. Instead, the tweet is all about the shout-out:
Great article by Patrick Icasas, Content Marketing Consultant with @campspeaks. Must read! http://bit.ly/2sHffRD #marketing
Here’s an example of a tweet that pulls a quote out of the article, which is interesting for other readers and also shows the author that you were paying attention and not just retweeting at random:
“A #valueproposition is a clear & concise statement of how a business will satisfy a customer need.” http://bit.ly/2sHffRD via @campseaks
Here’s another similar example that uses a quote pulled from the article along with the shout-out:
“Value propositions should never be overlooked.” Patrick Icasas, @campspeaks. Great article! http://bit.ly/2sHffRD #marketing
Another effective approach to tweets is to pose a question that the article will answer:
How can a business assert that their experience will be better than the competition? Insights by @campseaks http://bit.ly/2sHffRD #marketing
Craft Meaningful Replies
When replying to someone else’s content, don’t just say, “Great article!” As with the examples above, take the time to say something meaningful.
@campspeaks great article! “Value propositions should never be overlooked.” I couldn’t agree more!
@campspeaks thanks for the #valueproposition insights. Looking forward to reading more of your content.
Reach Out to your Audience
There’s nothing worse than those automatic “thanks for following” responses. If you use one of those apps, stop it ASAP. Manually acknowledging new followers and letting your network know that you value them, however, is definitely a great practice. This can be a high maintenance job, but it pays off in relationship dividends.
Once again, when you reach out to your followers, give your actions some meaning. Instead of just saying, “thanks for following”, visit their page and “like” some of their content. If their content is appropriate, follow them back. If their page is obviously a spam account, or if they really have nothing to do with your industry, you’re not obligated to follow back, but if their account is in line with your brand, go for it!
You can take the relationship-building one step further. If their content warrants it, give them a content-driven shout-out or comment using the practices described above. Let them know that you’re paying attention.
Remember, Twitter engagement really isn’t about you. It’s about them; the people who follow you and the people who you want to attract. These people are your audience. Your customers. Your network. Put yourself into their shoes and give them what they want: Recognition. Attention. Stop to think about why they’re there. When you give people the attention that they’re looking for, it makes them feel successful. It makes them feel good. It makes them feel like Twitter is “working” for them. And as the person or business that’s given them a boost and has made them feel good, they’ll remember you. They’re more likely to follow you back. And they’re more likely to reciprocate the relationship by engaging with your content, too. That’s how to engage, stimulate conversation, and develop relationships.