Last week, we discussed the importance of measuring the right metrics i.e. those that actually have some bearing on your bottom-line. In this concluding part, we’ll discuss the principles that will help drive more social media engagement on Twitter.
By now, I expect that you’ve started tracking the right metrics or are you still worrying about how many people are unfollowing you? If you are still looking at that, please stop. At this stage, trying to get new followers is pointless; if you can’t improve your engagement, you’ll lose them just as quickly.
5 ways to engage your Twitter followers
In this post, we’ll discuss 5 ways to engage with the followers you have and make them ambassadors of your brand. Start by optimizing your existing strategy:
- Listen – If you spend time tracking only follower count, you’ll be left with a big number that doesn’t mean much. Yes, you know 23 people unfollowed you today and you gained 40, but +17 followers doesn’t do anything for your bottom line.
You should be trying to figure out why the others left. How did the new followers find out about you? Trying to do this manually is impossible, but the Twitter dashboard does a good job of presenting the data in a clear manner. If you want an off-site tool, Hootsuite and Mention allow you to monitor a wider variety of metrics.
On social media, customers and prospects will talk about you, and its not always to you. To understand the context, you have to ‘keep an ear out’ using your company/brand name as a key phrase. Monitoring like this also helps you to spot potential followers who have never engaged with your brand. By connecting with them, you can get feedback and new content ideas.
- The Right Content – By tracking audience engagement with the existing content, you should be able to tell what type of content gets shared the most. When properly analysed, this data can help you determine when certain types of content are more likely to drive engagement.
Knowing what they like is one thing; what if you don’t have the resources to create the content? This is where curation can help your business; you can find and share great stories/tips with your target community.
‘Listening’ helps you come up with the kind of content they actually care about. You should also make it a point of duty to reply any queries and direct messages ASAP. You get to be the customer’s hero and their query gives you more content ideas.
- Timing Matters – What’s better than giving your followers the exact content they want? Giving it to them when they are actually online! Using your analytics dashboard, you should be able to see where your audience is located and when they are most active online.
The data can be further segmented by which content types perform better on different days. You can also test engagement at different times of day. This level of segmenting will help you pinpoint the very best time to deliver your content.
To make this easier, tools like the free Tweriod tracks your followers and lets you know the best time to send those tweets. TakeOff can help you schedule tweets and also suggests the best times to post them.
- Mind your Manners – Depending on the image of your brand image, your style of communication can vary from goofy to stoic. But one thing you should always do, regardless of how ‘un-cool’ it may seem is to be polite. Even the largest multinationals keep it civil; while they may use occasionally use text speak and slang, they still use Hello and Thank you’s.
A simple hello goes much further than you may imagine; and don’t forget to thank people that engage with you. Whether they add you on a Twitter list, retweet or follow you; a simple thank you does wonders. People notice those that respond to them, and such a ‘small’ gesture can prompt them to do more for you.
- Reward Followers – You can also increase engagement by rewarding your active followers. Use your analytics tools or a third-party tool like SocialRank to help identify your most important followers i.e. those that engage with you, share your content etc. SocialRank also allows you further segment followers into Most Valuable and even by demography.
A simple gift card or a month’s subscription to a tool of their choice can help go a long way to attract even more followers.
If all this seems like a lot to do, this is where automation comes in handy. Using automation at this stage is much different from stocking up on tools from day 1. At this stage, you know the metrics that matter and can use tools to make processes faster. Some of our favourite free tools include:
- To find followers based on their location, Nearby Tweets is an awesome free tool.
- InboxQ helps you find Twitter conversations in real time based on keywords.
- Tweetdrip can be used to send direct messages to your followers.
What do you think about our engagement tips? I’m sure if you apply these to your next campaign, you’ll see a much higher ROI. We’d love to hear from you; whether it’s your opinion on this post or you need some help with your marketing, contact us today!