There’s no doubt that Twitter is one of the most powerful social media tools available to business owners and publishers who are seeking to increase reader engagement, but if you aren’t using Twitter to the fullest of its abilities, you’re simply wasting your time and your followers’ time.
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The fact is, Twitter offers a number of functionalities that can dramatically increase reader engagement, and in many cases, properly using Twitter will result in more sales and stronger brand loyalty. If you aren’t sure whether you’re using Twitter to its fullest potential, or if you’re unclear on the benefits of using Twitter, here are a few tips:
Create and Include Hashtags
A hashtag on Twitter is simply a “#” followed by a short tagline. The way Twitter aggregates hashtags is by allowing users to search for a specific tag, and it then provides results that include all posts that include the tag. So, for example, if you want to increase reader engagement, you could post about your upcoming sale on Tuesday and include the hashtag “#SuperTuesdaySale”.
From there, you would encourage your followers to include that hashtag in their posts. The goal is for their followers to also see the hashtag and, either out of excitement or curiosity, they will look into what the sale is all about. The end goal, however, is to encourage others to re-tweet (share) your post and hashtag.
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make after signing up for a Twitter account is to fail to follow through. Because it can take some time to develop followers, a new account may seem barren and pointless, leading many business owners to simply abandon their accounts altogether. Instead, post frequently on your account, even if you have few followers.
Posting often is a way to keep your brand in front of the followers that you do have, and by encouraging reader engagement through comments and the re-tweeting of your posts, you’ll eventually gain more followers, thus leading to more brand recognition and the potential for additional sales. You do need to be careful though. Posting too frequently can come across as spammy, leading followers to ignore posts, or worse, stop following your company completely. A good rule of thumb is to at least post between one and five times per day, but not more than ten times per day.
Finally, make sure you’re sending out relevant tweets. Too often, business owners, in an attempt to post frequently, will simply tweet out content that doesn’t really do much except for clutter up followers’ news feeds. Relevant content is what will encourage reader engagement, but simply posting funny videos or cute pictures will likely make it look as though your brand has no direction.
In the end, if you don’t have anything relevant to tweet, don’t tweet at all. It would be better to post relevant content less often than to post irrelevant content on a regular basis.