One of the best and most important uses for Twitter is engaging your audience. In fact, Twitter is probably the best social network at engagement. It allows you to start, find and participate in other people’s conversations without coming off as intrusive (in most cases). And you can reap the benefits of engagement (and maybe even start enjoying yourself) if you can just master the basics.
But I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s take a step back.
What is “engagement,” anyway?
“Engagement” in this context can be summed up in one word: interaction. It involves listening and talking to customers on your social media network (Twitter or otherwise) in a genuine and timely manner. They talk to you, you talk back. Hopefully they’ll return the favor.
What do I get out of it?
A lot! Engagement on Twitter can mean a lot of things. Good customer service engagement increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. Brands that excel at starting Twitter conversations are more effective at their social media marketing than those that don’t make the attempt. In fact, Twitter released a whitepaper that said 70% of users felt more confident about a SMB after following and reading their tweets.
If you do it right, Twitter engagement can supercharge your digital marketing efforts. The Social Media Examiner released a report that said 90% of all marketers surveyed indicated that social media generated more exposure for their business.
So that begs the question: “how do I do it right?”
The Right Way
There are a few common best practices that make for great Twitter engagement:
- Timely replies – Twitter’s a very fast-paced platform, where a single tweet can disappear in minutes. As a result, conversations get obsolete very fast. In fact, a survey by Convince and Convert found that 32% of respondents expect a response time of 30 minutes after posting a complaint on social media. So when you see someone mention you on Twitter, jump on it as soon as you can!
- Keep your brand personality – “Brand personality” on Twitter isn’t just your avatar or your account name. The way you interact with people on Twitter should be the same as how you interact with customers in real life. Keep it consistent. Are your tweets funny? Clever? Insightful? Considerate? Stay true to your brand!
- Stay relevant – If you’re posting under your company account (and not a personal account), keep your tweets relevant to your industry. Only participate in related conversations. If your brand is a bakery, don’t jump into a conversation about dogs (unless you’re making a dog-themed cake).
The Wrong Way
As you start exploring Twitter conversations, you may be tempted to do some pretty awful things. Things like:
- Selling yourself – There are lots of brands that use Twitter as their own advertising space. That’s a big no-no. People are going to run away from your Twitter feed if it only contains links to ads and self-promotional things.
- Getting into arguments – You’re going to encounter angry customers on Twitter, or people who just don’t like you. That’s only to be expected. But do not get into an argument with them online. Always be professional, because Twitter never forgets.
The Best Advice
Now, all this may sound intimidating, but don’t worry. I’ve got a tip that will simplify everything for you. Ready?
Act like you’re talking to friends.
Stay pleasant, stay true to your brand and before you know it you’ll find that engaging on Twitter can actually be a whole lot of fun!
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