With just 140 characters to work with, Twitter definitely has its limits. However, you can squeeze a lot into 140 characters, and so can your followers. Use the tips below to connect with your followers on Twitter.
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- Practice conciseness – Using Twitter is a great way to improve your writing. Think of the 140-character limit as an exercise that forces you boil down your message to its core elements. Why use five words when one will do? For example, the phrase “special offer for our Twitter followers only” could be reworded as “Exclusive offer” for a savings of 29 characters.
- Avoid confusing acronyms and shortcuts – Many Twitter users resort to acronyms and shortcuts in an effort to be concise; however, if they were to pick their words wisely, they would not need to resort to confusing shortcuts in the first place. By using plain English, your message is clear and you look more professional.
- Leave room for retweets – Retweets expose your message to a much broader audience, so leave room for your followers to include the characters “RT:” as well as their own @username. Usernames, RT, and spacing can easily add over 15 characters to a retweet, so shoot for a retweet-worthy length of about 125 characters. If you don’t leave room, your messages will be cut off or ruthlessly edited by retweeters.
- Use URL shorteners – Long URLs take up valuable real estate. Thus, if you are linking to something, use a link shortener.
- Ask engaging questions – What better way to start a conversation than to ask a question? Ask open-ended questions that require much more than a yes or no answer.
- Hold a #chat – Hold a chat about a topic related to your niche and invite your followers to join you at the appointed time. You will need to use a hashtag (#) so that participants can see the discussions. For example, if you intend to discuss hot rods, you might use the hashtag #hotrodchat. Make sure that you share the time of the chat using your time zone so that users can figure out when to participate based on local time.
- Share the Twitter love – If you want your Twitter followers to participate in your conversations and retweet your tweets, you will need to actively do the same. Designate at least a few times per week to retweet interesting tweets and engage in conversations started by other users.
- Preschedule some tweets so you have more free time to engage – By prescheduling the bulk of your tweets, your tweets will go out consistently. In addition, you will have more time to simply interact with fellow Twitter users.
- Show your appreciation – Share exclusive offers with your Twitter followers and make them feel special! By offering coupons and exclusive promotions, you are giving your Twitter followers yet another good reason to follow your business.
It’s your turn: What are you doing on Twitter to drive more engagement?