No matter who you are or what business you’re in, it’s hard to deny that Twitter has changed the landscape of communication between companies and customers. It has opened the doors for open and personal exchange, and now your startup can build a personal relationship with a growing amount of people with a minimal amount of physical effort.
Because interactions are limited to 140 characters, it doesn’t take very long at all to answer a question or break down that invisible barrier and have some direct contact with your audience.
Here are five types of tweets that can help you get more attention on Twitter.
People love thinking about insightful questions. Depending on the type of business you’re in, these questions can come from a broad range of topics and ideas. A science fiction community might enjoy discussing what color their lightsaber might be, or which planet they would most like to see from orbit. Likewise, a car dealership might ask its followers to list their favorite car movie.
Either way, it encourages an open dialogue and breaks down that business/individual barrier. It’s very easy to expect nothing but self-promotion from a startup’s Twitter account. This makes it all the more surprising when they find themselves retweeting your question and sharing their own answers.
Mentioning Members of the Community
Wouldn’t you feel more inclined to pay attention to someone if they were actively paying attention to you? By taking a moment to scan your followers’ accounts for witty or useful information, you may find something worth sharing or drawing attention to.
Did one of your followers tell a funny joke? Share it and make sure to call attention to that follower. You may even benefit from regularly featuring customers and/or followers and encouraging your audience to follow them.
Twitter is also a great platform for thanking people for taking the time to check out what you have to offer and/or making mention of it to their own audience. By replying to them directly, only the individual and anyone following both of you will see it, unless someone views your page directly. This helps you avoid flooding people’s streams while still maintaining that extra personalization that could make a world of difference for your follower.
Useful Tips and Information
If you’re tweeting to a mostly local audience, take a moment to find some interesting local events and share the news with your community. The more useful your account is, the more likely your followers are to recommend it (and your business) to their own community.
Useful tips are also extremely sharable. That means you stand a better chance of having your brand shared with a greater number of people if what you’re tweeting has value. Keep it pithy and keep it useful. People will appreciate it and respond accordingly.
Let’s be honest – Twitter is, at its heart, a very promotional tool. At best it’s an abbreviated form of mass communication. While you really shouldn’t self-promote all the time, it’s expected and understood that people follow you because they want to know what’s going on with you and your startup.
Try to keep self-promotion down to about 20% of your total non-reply tweets. Just because someone gives you a follow doesn’t mean they necessarily want to hear just about you and your brand every time you tweet. Remember, just having your Twitter handle pop up in their stream at all promotes you. The contents of your tweets should be relevant to the needs of your target audience.
Perhaps the most important tip in this list is that Twitter is best utilized when it’s personal. If you’re tweeting on behalf of a brand, that’s fine. But try to break down that fourth wall and let your personality shine through.
While people may have a difficult time connecting with your startup, they may feel a bit more inclined to relate with the actual people at your your business – especially if they know that these people are directly behind the Twitter account.
This doesn’t mean you should tweet about these people – or anyone else at your startup – should tweet about lunch every day. But it could make an impact on your potential customers by by emphasizing the emotional impact of whatever it is you’re interested in. Ask followers what they think about something. Take a moment to interact with a few of them directly.
The problem most startups, corporations, and even individuals have with Twitter is that they miss the mark on keeping a two-way line of communication open. It’s easy to fall into that trap of throwing out one-way promotional material.
The real trick to maintaining the attention of your audience is to surprise them by letting them know just how much you appreciate that attention. Personalization, relevance, and value makes all the difference.
If you’re a startup reading this, what types of tweets do you think work best? Be sure to let us know in the comments!