MasterMinds: Masters of the Twitterverse: Part 2

**Editor’s Note: MasterMinds is a biweekly feature in which we invite leading master agents to share information, insights and expert opinions about what’s going on in their agencies, the IT/telecom channel or the business community in general.**

Now that you have your profile ready to present to the public, there are two elements to be addressed in tandem: how do you get followers, and what do you say to them? It’s important to get the balance right here. No matter how many followers you have, if you’re not engaging them with your tweets, you’re not going to keep them for long. And if you have no followers, even the most pithy and insightful tweets will be about as impactful as the sound of the proverbial tree falling in the deserted forest.

Since the best way to build a following is by engaging in the Twitter community, let’s look first at your tweets: 140 characters of pure content marketing. And as with any good content marketing, your tweets should contain relevant and engaging information for the purposes of stimulating interest in your company, your products and your services.

Tweets that attract and engage followers and stimulate conversations:

  • Have personality. Use as natural a “voice” as possible to give followers a sense of who you are. Remember, Twitter is a conversation, and your goal is to be engaging. Develop a specific identity, and don’t try to be all things to all people.
  • Are consistent. There’s no hard and fast rule on how often you should tweet; determine what frequency works best for you, then stick with it. Don’t let the conversation die.
  • Are focused. Tweet a clear, concise message about one subject. If you have more to say about that subject than will fit in a tweet (and this is usually the case), include a link to your website, an article or blog post. Use Bitly to create links that are short and can be tracked to measure response.
  • Include visuals. Photos and videos add impact to your tweets and stimulate greater response rates. According to Twitter, people are three times more likely to engage with tweets that contain photos and videos. Photos can be up to 5MB and don’t count toward the 140-character limit in your tweet. Acceptable formats are JPEG, GIF and PNG.
  • Incorporate hashtags. Using relevant hashtags can amplify the reach of your tweets. Use a keyword for your business or the subject you are tweeting about, such as #ransomware or #FCC, for example. Limit your use of hashtags to no more than two per tweet.
  • Limit acronyms. Yes, the 140-character limit on tweets has given rise to countless Twitter abbreviations. But if you must use them, do so sparingly and limit yourself to the well-known and socially acceptable. And never send out a tweet that is an alphabet soup of industry acronyms. As a rule of thumb, follow the same guidelines as hashtags: no more than two per tweet.
  • Encourage responses. Asking questions is a great way to stimulate interaction among your audience. Remember to keep it at a polite conversation level, though, and make sure your questions are noncontroversial.
  • Are fresh. Your feed should have a good mix of conversational and promotional tweets. Pull in news items and current events that are relevant to your business.

So now that you’ve found your voice, the next step will be connecting with your audience.

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