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Twitter Engagement Best Practices

Oct 23, 2017
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There are 313 million monthly active users on Twitter and 100 million users logging in daily. Everyone from major news organizations, political figures, entrepreneurs, and average joes use Twitter daily. This diverse platform is more than just a place to share content; it's a great place to engage with and grow your audience. 

Twitter is a fast-paced social media network used by millions of people every day. It also happens to be my favorite social media platform. Twitter has helped me grow my reach and meet a ton of really cool people. While Twitter is great, it is not the same as Facebook or LinkedIn. In this video, I share a few best practices for increasing Twitter engagement.




Video Transcript:

Hey, what's up, everybody? Welcome to Hack My Growth. Today, we're going to be talking about the power of Twitter, and how we can use this awesome social platform to connect and engage with our audience in a more meaningful way. Let's go.

Before we get started, I just want to encourage you, if you like our videos and you've watched us in the past, please hit the subscribe button. We'd love to have you as part of this community. We always try to keep you up to date with what's going on in the realm of digital marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and more.

Again, thanks so much for coming in today. We're going to be talking about Twitter best practices. Now, Twitter is a great social media platform used by millions and millions of people. It's a great way to engage. It's a great way to share content, and it's become one of the favorite tools of news organizations and companies looking to share their information online.

We all know that Twitter has also been in the news a lot lately as news organizations use it, even political figures like to use this as a medium of getting their opinion out.

While some in the past have touted the flaws that Twitter's had, or maybe it hasn't grown as fast as a Facebook has, Twitter is still becoming a very powerful, and iconic part of our media empire, our media world, here in the United States, and abroad. It's one of the most powerful tools used by local governments, small businesses, and just people wanting to get to know each other and connect with each other online. Currently, Twitter has about 313 million monthly active users. Now, I want to stress that active part, because that means these people actually are on the platform. Yes, Facebook has a billion users, but the reality is a lot of those are stale, or dormant accounts that were maybe opened and not used. Not to say that Facebook doesn't have more users, they absolutely do, but Twitter has 313 million people actively using it every month, and about 100 million people using it every single day.

There's a lot of people on Twitter that span all types of user groups and demographics. It's a really cool platform in that way, but the key behind Twitter is actually to be social. That's the key to social media. A lot of people use social media as just an avenue to publish and promote their content, which it is a great tool for doing that, but if you don't engage with people, you're not going to build the audience that you want to build.

One of the things that you need to remember when using Twitter is to be social. You don't want just to share your own stuff, you want to retweet other people's stuff. If you're in a Twitter client, or you're on the Twitter App, you have that button that says Re-Tweet, and that's just like a Facebook share, or a share from another social media platform where you're re-posting that person's post and sharing it with your audience. This is a great way just to build a community and show other people the things that you're interested in, and also just build a camaraderie with other Twitter users and really build that engaging network.

This is really the reason why I did this video today. I just had this happen to me recently with somebody re-Tweeting or quoting an article that I had written. Now, you want to use the "@" account mentioned in your post. You may be typing out a Tweet, and you say, "Hey, that was a great article @Ryan_Shelley," because that's my Twitter handle. What that would do is that would alert me that they'd shared it. It also would show all the people that follow me that post as well, because you're mentioning me, and they follow me, and this post is now promoting me from somebody else. You want to make sure you add those @ mentions in there, so people know that you're giving them credit, or props, or engaging with them.

One of the problems that happens a lot is people go to share, and they go, "@Ryan Shelley did a great article about X." While you're sharing that person's name, if you actually start with an @ symbol that's called a direct Tweet, so the person who you're messaging to is the only one that's going see it, so if you did that to me, "@Ryan Shelley, hey great video," I would be the only person that saw it, because it would be directed specifically to me. In order to see that post from somebody else you'd have to go to that person's profile, and then you could possibly see it and some of the Tweets they'd sent out, but it wouldn't broadcast to my user group.

If you want to do that, as you can see right down here we've got two ways to mention, if you're going to start with an @mention, you actually need to put in a period before that @ symbol, and what that does is that tells Twitter, "Hey, I want you to tell everybody that I'm mentioning this person's content, not just the person I'm directly Tweeting." That's a really big key, and I see this mistake happen a lot where people are trying to share content on a large scale but what they end up doing is really only sending it to one person, because it's more like a private message in a sense without actually direct messaging somebody.

The other thing that Twitter has is hashtags, and we all know that Google Plus, as well as Facebook, have adopted hashtags to use on their platforms, as well, because they've caught on. For those of you who maybe are newer to social media or a different demographic, you may remember that as a pound symbol, but that is completely changed over the last few years, hasn't it? Now we call it the hashtag.

Now a hashtag is a way to group topics or themes, and when you use a hashtag you're saying, "This piece of content is related to this topic or theme," and people can follow themes and topics inside of Twitter, things that they're interested in, so they can get alerts when something is of their interest, you know piquing their interest. "Hey, this was sent out. This may be something you're interested in," so that's why we use hashtags.

A lot of people just wing it, and they make up hashtags, and sometimes they're very random hashtags. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it can catch on, but most of the time it doesn't add any benefit to you, the person using Twitter, or the people reading it. It's just silly. Don't wing it when using hashtags. Search hashtags. You can do that inside of Twitter to see what people are using and to see if maybe for instance, if you want to do social media marketing, well you want to use the hashtag social.

You also want to do SMM, social media marketing. That's a very popular hashtag within the social media marketing community, and you find that by doing research. You can also just use a Twitter search, and they've also got an advanced search feature that goes a lot deeper, that helps you find trends, and keywords, and topics, and interests. It's free to use. It's very similar to Google's advanced search, which allows you to see other trends and stuff in a deeper search the Google index. Well, Twitter advanced search does the same thing but in the Twitter platform.

The last thing I really want to encourage you, a really great practice to get in and get behind on Twitter is using multimedia. Twitter has the capability of having videos, of having live streaming with Periscope. We know that they've done a number of deals with the NFL and other programs where you can see live video now on Twitter. You can also use images like we talked about, and GIFs, which are very popular. GIFs are those five-second looped images that kind of maybe they're funny, or they kind of cause you to question, or just kind of draw your attention in because it's something that is seen over and over again.

It's very engaging for the human experience. The reason why is Tweets with images typically have a 90% better chance of getting reTweeted and shared. That's how you really start to grow your influence on Twitter, grow your following, is getting reTweeted, getting shared, having people say, "Hey, this person's got great content. You should follow them."

Making sure that you're using hashtags right, that you're mentioning people right, and that you're using multimedia in your Tweets is going to help you really promote what you're trying to share and who you want to be on Twitter. Maybe you're using it just to engage with people and grow your network, which is a great tool for that. Maybe you're using it to grow yourself as an influencer, which I have done over the last couple years, and it's really one of my favorite platforms.

By using some of these and a couple of other tricks and tips I've been able to grow my following to people who want to engage with me and learn more about what I have to offer. If you're using Twitter, maybe you're not using Twitter to its full potential, use these three tips. These are just simple best practices that you can get better at, and start to increase the quality of your Tweets, and the quality of your engagement.

Related Article: Best Practices for Using Mentions and Hashtags on Twitter

 Social Media Prospecting Workbook

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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