Twitter can be a great place to connect with your members and share important information about your organization but having a ‘handle’ is only the first step. Here are six ways to get more engagement and make the most out of your activity on social.
1. Brief Is Best
Tweets are limited to 280 characters, but even shorter tweets are best. Keeping your message brief also leaves room for others to retweet your post without having to edit for lack of space. When another person retweets your tweet, your handle will appear in front of your original tweet with the words RT (Retweet) in front of it, automatically adding more characters to the post. Here are some other tips for keeping things short:
- Delete all articles, adjectives, etc. that do not express the gist of the story
- Change all “ands” to the ampersand symbol and do not write out numbers
- Use “/” between words without spaces instead of using “or”
- Get rid of full stops/periods and rely only on capitalization to show a new sentence or thought (informal grammar is often used on Twitter because of the character limit, so it’s not considered unprofessional)
2. Quality + Quantity
To avoid spamming your followers, share content that is engaging and insightful or acts as a resource, like information about your organization’s activities and benefits. It’s not just about quality, though, you also need to make sure people have the chance to see your posts:
- Tweet at least 2-3 times per day (including weekends). Tweeting more is better, but make sure you’re always adding value
- Don’t be afraid to post the same thing more than once (with different copy) at different times in the day or week. Tweets have a short lifespan, so there’s a good chance that most people didn’t see it the first time
- It’s OK to schedule tweets, but make sure you check in to see what people are saying. You’ll want to respond as quickly as possible to keep the discussion moving. Scheduling also lets you tweet at any time of the day so your account remains active even when you may not have time to sign in (it’s also great for reaching people in other time zones!)
- Constantly being active builds your reputation with followers because it shows you’re invested in your community. Tweeting regularly also increases the chances your tweets will appear in your followers’ home feeds.
3. Use Hashtags, but Don’t Overdo It
Hashtags make your tweets searchable, so you’ll definitely want to include them, but use hashtags wisely:
- Highlight keywords or topics so your tweets can reach a larger audience. This is especially important when tweeting from a conference. The less generic the hashtag, the better.
- Don’t use more than two in an individual tweet - your potential engagement drops when using more than two hashtags.
- Pay attention to trending hashtags and join the conversation if you can add value.
- Whenever possible, use hashtags within sentences instead of stand-alones at the end of the tweet. Providing context makes for a clearer and more professional message than a bunch of hashtags disconnected from the tweet’s main point (it also saves character space, which you’ll remember is important for retweets)
4. Build a Presence and Follow Others
Find key people in your field and follow them. You can also create separate lists of followers in Hootsuite to organize and track specific groups:
- Follow the accounts of researchers who publish in your society’s publications
- Follow news outlets and institutions in your discipline. For example, if you work in health science you might want to follow @Reuters_Health or the @CDCgov
- Identify influencers by finding people who often tweet you and keep them on your radar to retweet or mention - it’s easy to spot them by scrolling through your “mentions” stream in Hootsuite
5. Be Social
It might go without saying, but Twitter is really all about having conversations:
- Retweet and respond to people who mention your brand
- Be prepared to answer customer service questions or direct them to the right person within your organization
- Include information about how to become a member and remind current members about their benefits, such as linking to the join page on your website, or creating fun content like an infographic of member benefits
6. Stand Out From the Crowd
The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is more true than ever, especially online. Here are a few final tricks to reach more people on social:
- Catch your followers’ attention with pictures and video. Although when you do share images, try to stay consistent with the society’s brand and always share content that’s relevant to your followers
- Twitter automatically makes tweets which receive more engagement – your ‘Best Tweets’ appear larger in the feed, so your best content is easy to find
- If you’ve got a particularly important or successful tweet, “pin’ it to the top of your page so it’s the first thing your followers (or potential followers) see when they visit your account
About the AuthorMore Content by Anna Ehler