Twitter is a vast, sprawling network stuffed full of vacuous noise. It seems like nine out of every ten tweets are along the lines of “Work is sooo boring. #ihatemondays” or “Up at 6am today to catch the train… I wish I was still in bed.” People post mundane details of their life in the assumption that somebody, somewhere is hanging on their every word, waiting with baited breath for the next tweet about the queue in the canteen or a veiled comment on office politics. Getting more out of Twitter as a business means transcending these bland, pointless statements and becoming more sociable on this vibrant platform.
1: Don’t yak about yourself too much
One of the most important tips for getting the most out of Twitter is to ditch your ego trip and post things that are interesting and relevant to your industry. The question posed by Twitter, “What are you doing?” is the worst way to approach tweeting. Research has shown that tweets not about you are 50 percent more likely to be re-tweeted. You should post up any articles, links, discussion points or events related to your industry that your followers will be interested in. As a rule of thumb no more than one in four tweets should be about yourself or your business.
2: Connect with the right people
Use tools such as Wefollow and Follower Wonk to find people who are interested in your business or are near your local area. Many businesses blindly follow people in the hopes of being followed back, but don’t get to engage in any meaningful interaction with them. Choosing people who will be interested in what you have to say helps ensure that you gain more relevant Twitter followers.
3: Interact meaningfully
One of the best ways to generate interest in your Twitter profile is to communicate with people. In the past you’d have to saunter over at an industry function and make small talk. Now you can read something they posted up and come up with an interesting comment to tweet in response. You can post links to related articles, or ideally to blog posts you’ve made on the subject. The key is to interact and get involved with the community.
4: Help people
Twitter tools like HootSuite and Summify can be used to watch for tweets about problems that your business can help with. If somebody posts up a problem related to your industry, you should be on hand to provide an answer. Link them to a useful article or video, or even just solve the problem in 140 characters. This is a great way to generate followers and get people interested in what you have to say.
5: Facilitate conversations
Making bland statements about your industry won’t generate much of a buzz. You should ask questions, conduct Twitter polls and get your readers to interact with you. Twitter should be like a series of small back-and-forth interactions, not like a megaphone blaring out public service announcements. The key is to talk to people rather than at them. You can get an idea of what your customer base thinks about different issues in your industry, and give them a chance to express themselves. If they give you an interesting response, thank them for it and share your thoughts on what they said.