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Tweet This, Not That: 5 Ways to Improve Business Engagement

June 24, 2014 | Nikki Bisel

Conch shell laying near the ocean. Twitter business engagement is built by sharing the shell!
Pop quiz! How do you tell if a Twitter account for a business is being managed by someone who understands the intricacy of social media, or merely someone who joined because they heard they "needed to be on the tweeter"?
If that last line didn't already give it away, one of the biggest reasons to join Twitter is to help promote business engagement and generate leads for your company. Many of those who create a business Twitter account unfortunately skip past the engagement part, and jump right to marketing their cause. The problem is, not many people are going to want to check out your product or service if your only content reads like a radio ad for a car dealership. Much like a skilled performer, you need to delicately dance around the 140 characters you choose to use, in order to best promote your cause and build your authenticity.
That being said, whether you're a content creator or a business owner, here are five tips for improving your Twitter experience:

1. Don't let robots do your job

The laziest thing you can do as a business on Twitter is set up an automated response system. You've probably seen it before, where you follow back an account, and they immediately send you a direct message asking you to connect on Facebook and LinkedIn. This screams, "I can't be bothered to personally say hello."
Look no further than these examples by major corporations on how setting up automated replies can tarnish your reputation in the blink of an eye.

2. Find the right conversations

Twitter is sort of like a networking event that never ends. If you want to be successful as a business, you need to mosey your way into the conversations that matter. Do this by interacting with and following other users that are relevant to your business, and by searching keywords and hashtags to find them. For example, if you sell popcorn, find people talking about that, snacks, movies, and so on.

3. Tweet with more than just text

Thanks to images being embedded within tweets, Twitter has become more of a visual medium for communicating. Many successful businesses on Twitter understand that photos are a big player when it comes to grabbing people's attention. Whether sharing another user's photo, or posting your own, attaching a photo to a tweet can often times double the amount of engagement it gets!

4. Share the conch shell every now and then

If you ever read The Lord of the Flies, the boys in the novel use a shell they find to represent social power. When they hold up the shell, everyone else listens to what they have to say. Far too many businesses on Twitter seem to take this concept literally by always keeping the spotlight on them when tweeting.
Should you find that many of your tweets are simply linking back to your site, or promoting your own cause, you're hogging the shell. Take the time to find content from other users that you can retweet and modify. Sharing goes a long way, and you'll find that people might even share your content in the future.

5. Use hashtags; just don't use too many of them

#Would #you #be #annoyed #if #you #saw #a #sentence #like #this? When your tweets have too many hashtags, you go from trying to connect your tweet to a conversation, to looking like a crazy person. Too many hashtags is like layers of clothing. You wouldn't go out wearing seven t-shirts! A golden rule of thumb is to find one to three relevant hashtags you can include when writing a tweet aimed at a particular discussion.
If you're creating your own hashtag to continually use, be mindful of its length. Since hashtags have no spaces or punctuation, it is best to keep them as short in length as possible.
What other tips and suggestions do you have for Twitter business engagement? Send us a tweet and let us know your thoughts!

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