Admittedly, I am a little late to Twitter. Although I’ve had an account since 2009, I didn’t begin using it seriously until launching my blog three months ago. Prior to that, I mostly used Twitter to tweet my eBay and Amazon listings (yes, I was one of those), didn’t have a bio description, and didn’t engage in meaningful conversations. I had a whopping 30 followers, many of whom were shady spam bots. Nevertheless, I’ve a come a long way since I started tweeting with a goal and purpose. Once Style Context went live in April, I made a commitment to fully utilize Twitter to my best advantage. That involved extensive reading about Twitter engagement (special thanks to The Science of Marketing), conducting research on why people use Twitter, and trial-and-error. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts I’ve found thus far.
1. Share valuable content. More specifically, share content that others would want to share, retweet, or bookmark. This raises the question of what makes content shareable in the first place. A study from the New York Times Insights Group found that people are more likely to share content if it evokes an emotive response, such as shock, fear, inspiration, or empathy. Such content usually takes the form of a story (or in the case of inspiration, a quote), which means learning how to be a strategic raconteur is a powerful skill for viral marketing. Other types of shareable content include information-based posts such as guides, how-to’s, tips, do’s and don’ts (like this one), and tutorials. Consider the needs and wants of your audience and fill the void. The occasional “look what I had for brunch” tweet accompanied with an Instagram pic is fine, but ensure you’re providing your followers with the aforementioned valuable content daily.
2. Engage in Twitter chats in your industry. Your presence on social media is underutilized if you’re not socializing. As a fledgling fashion and beauty blogger, I make it a priority to engage in industry specific chats. Chats such as #fashionunfold and #bbloggers provide an opportunity to meet other bloggers and fashion industry professionals, gain exposure, and establish credibility. It’s also an effective way to network and make blogger friends. Find out what chats are popular in your industry and start chatting.
3. Include a picture, bio, and website. This one may seem painfully obvious to Twitter connoisseurs, but it’s still worth mentioning. Too often people write a vague description and many people still skip it altogether. Your description should convey who you are (to the extent that it is relevant on Twitter) and why you should be followed (e.g.: are an you expert of some sort?). Going back to #1, use the description to demonstrate that you provide valuable, share-worthy content.
4. Plan a Twitter chat well in advance and invite participants. If you’re feeling ambitious enough to start a twitter chat, be sure to plan for it as you would an offline event. That means planning a week in advance, setting a time (any time between 1pm-4pm is recommended), sending out dozens of invites, and creating an event on Eventbrite where users can RSVP. Throughout the week, remind users about the event and drop hints buy phentermine in india about the discussion topic(s) to raise interest and curiosity. This way, you can generate engagement before the official chat.
5. Tweet calls to actions. Because regular engagement is essential to success on Twitter, your tweets should encourage interaction. This could be as simple as asking users to retweet for a giveaway; to RSVP for a Twitter chat; or asking for feedback on a controversial topic (e.g.: is personal styling blogging dying out?). Dan Zarrella in The Science of Marketing advises using more verbs and fewer nouns in tweets as doing so results in higher levels of engagement in the form of clicks and retweets.
1. Avoid self-referential speech. As mentioned earlier, Zarrella found that tweets containing verbs instead of nouns had higher click through rates. He also found that people are less likely to retweet comments that contain the word “I.” Interestingly, “you” is the most retweetable word. Remember, social media calls for interaction and that means taking an interest in others besides yourself.
2. Don’t be negative. No one likes a Debbie Downer and a plethora of social media research suggests that doing so hurts your brand and image. One way to analyze if your tweets are predominately positive, negative, or neutral is to check socialmention.com. Generally, people are more drawn to tweets that exude positivity and optimism. If you’re serious about your brand, resist the urge to be impolite or uncivil. Showing tact, especially in the face of criticism, demonstrates maturity.
3. Don’t buy Twitter followers. I suspect this will be a contentious point. Many bloggers, brands, and celebrities will opt for buying thousands of followers to quickly build credibility and popularity. There are a couple of reasons why I am against buying Twitter followers. 1. They aren’t real followers. Instead, they are spam bots who will not interact with you (at least not in a meaningful way), and won’t improve your ROI or your Klout. And 2. It diminishes your credibility by signaling you would rather take the easy way out instead of putting in the work to grow honestly and organically. If you are a blogger who is seeking to work with brands, being dishonest about your followers can hurt your reputation. So before you decide to purchase 10k followers for $20, consider how it might hurt your brand.
4. Don’t be a spammer. Even a legit Twitter user can have spamming tendencies. While it’s important to share your content, don’t inundate followers with the same content ad nauseam. Doing so can have the adverse effect of followers refusing to click or (gasp!) unfollowing you. I’m not aware of any rule that prohibits posting a link a certain number of times, but I think three times is enough, spaced at different intervals. Speaking of three’s…
5. Don’t use more than three or four hashtags at a time. This might seem like an arbitrary number but the consensus seems to be that more than three hashtags starts to look like spam. Instead focus on the hashtags that are most relevant, and the audience you’re aiming to reach.
Those are all my tips for now. Do you have any do’s or don’ts I haven’t mentioned? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @stylecontext.