7 Proven Tactics To Boost Your Twitter Engagement Today

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Last week, my friend Don Power, Author of “Twitter for Skeptics”, and I had the pleasure to host our session #4LoveOfTwitter at Social Media Camp, Canada’s largest social media conference.

Here is the recap many of you have asked for (Part 1 below and Part 2 that focuses on tools, over here).


We thank you for all of your kind feedback, tweets, re-tweets, and Twitter love that made our hashtag trend during the event!

Twitter is quite a powerful tool, but you really have to know how to navigate it

When I asked the audience by a show of hands how many used Twitter on a regular basis, then how many actually felt overwhelmed on Twitter, the majority raised their hands twice.

twitter river

One of the things we talked about was the importance of setting up a strategy for your social media and Twitter in particular.

While your social media platforms will share the same “blueprint”, they each have a different audience and content style, so adapt your strategy accordingly. Also, it’s important to not treat “social media” as a separate piece, but rather integrate it into all aspects of your marketing plan to maximize your investment and results!  


For instance, if you are attending an event, don’t be afraid to talk about it! A great example is how Magnolia Hotel was socializing with its guests during the conference. 

magnolia hotel


People Want To Connect With People. Humanize Your Brand With A Consistent Voice And Values. 

One of the first steps to defining your “social media blueprint” is to define who you are as a brand. Think about your voice, and values as guiding principles. Then, lead your community by example. For example, show appreciation, show that you care, and respect others’ opinions!


How You Build Relationships Online Is Really No Different From IRL (aka “In Real Life”)

Twitter interactions may be different but the principles are the same. By focusing on increasing your interactions with the right people, you’ll develop genuine conversations around common topics and values that you and your audience care about. And, ultimately form authentic lasting relationships that will add value to you and to your business. Don’t focus on selling first, focus on building relationships! 

relationship cycle 2


Engagement Tactic #1: Be Nice & Mean It To Get Someone’s Attention 

It may sound easy yet it’s actually harder to do online especially when people don’t see you. Plus, getting someone’s attention is almost impossible with all the different bits of information coming our way every day.

Here’s a tip that you can readily apply: take a look at their latest tweets, then comment nicely on something they recently did, or shared, to spark a conversation. You have to show that you care, and be ready to engage; i.e. not leave Twitter right away. Here’s an example with Facebook Marketing Expert, Mari Smith — I sparked a conversation after noticing her “new look”.

mari eg 2

Engagement Tactic #2: Jump On Trends To Create Buzz

Whether it’s the Olympics or the Vancouver Canucks, trends and events connect us as people. Companies spend millions of dollars to advertise during these events, but you don’t have to! All you have to do is follow the event #hashtag then think about a relevant and interesting piece of content; e.g. quote, image, or video that you can post during the event to bring attention to your brand. Below is a simple example we did for our client I Can! Kids during the #SuperBowl. What we did here is use Russell’s quote and bring it back to the values and mission of I Can! Kids; i.e. dreaming big and believing in yourself. Content is an art, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Make your content non promotional/add value
  • Be relevant, both to your brand/values, and to the event itself


Engagement Tactic #3: Interact With Experts In Your Field To Build Thought Leadership

An excellent way to build thought leadership is to interact with other experts in your field both on and offline. And what better way to do that than just to ask them a relevant question? You can cc a number of experts in your tweets/questions, but make sure your question is relevant and catchy enough so that they’ll be more likely to respond. Here we are engaging Melonie Dodaro, Canada’s leading LinkedIn expert, into an interesting LinkedIn topic. 


Engagement Tactic #4: Create Twitter Lists To Make New Friends!

Lists are a very powerful Twitter tool — so in addition to using them for your “own” bookmarking purposes, you can also use Twitter lists to get noticed by a targeted group of people. So let’s say you took part in a Twitter chat, webinar or other event of some sort, create a list for the participants, then let them know. This will make you so much more memorable!


Engagement Tactic #5: Got Listed On Twitter? Say Thank You and Spark A Conversation!

You may notice on Twitter a notification saying that you got listed, and simply move on. But that’s a golden opportunity for you to connect with the other person on a topic of common interest. And, clearly they already know who you are! All you have to do is thank the person for adding you to the list and then spark a conversation. Here’s an example of us connecting with our friend @CynthiaKSeymour, after she added us to her #GooglePlusChat list. By subscribing to the list, you can stay in touch with a targeted group of tweeps and make new connections (HINT: Set-up the list as a stream in your social media dashboard; e.g. HootSuite)

cynthia list 2

 Engagement Tactic #6: Someone important followed you? Send them a warm personalized welcome!

We all want to feel welcomed and special, so why not send someone that warm welcome when they follow you? To get their attention, you may also want to check out their bio, then engage them with a relevant question. And that’s exactly what Ryan McKenzie did when we followed him.

Ryan didn’t just say “@MediaTouchCa Thanks for the follow”. He acknowledged we are both from Vancouver then asked us a very relevant question. We get a lot of mentions daily and this definitely caught our attention. After interacting with Ryan we ended up convincing him to join us at Social Media Camp. So out of this one welcoming tweet, came out a really good outcome for all of us. Avoid automated welcomes that group a number of people/handles. It’s like sending an e-blast to your friends. 


Engagement Tactic #7: Be As Grateful Online As In IRL 

Whether someone is using your product/service, or sharing your content, it’s important to acknowledge them using a personal touch.

This is an example for our client AutoStitch, a top rated photography app that allows you to create beautiful panoramas.

We noticed (through “social listening”) that one of the the AutoStitch users was sharing a photo. So, we thanked him, and engaged him using a question. This made Vince feel welcomed and special, and since then he became a great contributor to the #AutoStitch community. 

autostitch app

This is another example of me thanking someone for sharing my article, and then sparking a conversation.

sharing my article

Where Do You Go From Here? The Sky Is The Limit! #4LoveOfTwitter 

Photo 2014-05-02, 1 44 24 PM

There is so much that can be said and done to leverage Twitter as a powerful channel for creating conversations and building relationships. Who knows whom you might meet? It could be your next business partner, a new media outlet to promote your business, or even better, a new client who needs your services!

We have seen it all. But you can’t just wait for things to “just happen” on Twitter. You will get lost. You need to think and act strategically based on your goals; e.g. Are you looking to build a large online community? Reach out to bloggers so they can talk about your product? Enhance your customer service and loyalty? Generate new client leads? Land a job opportunity?

These tricks may seem simple enough and you may well probably be using them “intuitively” already, but the key is to keep doing them over and over again to reach your goals. Because let’s face it, Twitter like everything else, is all about consistency.

Now it’s your turn. Do you use any of these engagement tactics? What has been your approach to building relationships on Twitter? Share in the comments below.

Now, here are 5 amazing tools from Don Power to help you better navigate the Twitterverse!

(PS: If you are on Google +, you can also join the #4LoveOfTwitter Google+ conversation and community )




Wahiba Chair

Principal at MediaTouch.ca
Wahiba Chair, BSc., MBA
Wahiba Chair is a skilled digital technologist who helps companies build and improve their online presence using social media. Her company, Media Touch, offers community management, digital marketing, promotion and content strategies for businesses needing to increase their online presence, engagement and their internal digital knowledge.

Wahiba built her digital skills as the founder of Carrotlines, Canada’s top mobile food marketing platform that connects consumers and brands.

Connect with Wahiba on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
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