Are you customizing your tweets for maximum attention?
About 500 million tweets are sent every day. That's roughly 5,800 tweets posted each second. Competing with that is a challenge.
In this article you'll discover six ways to improve your tweets and get noticed.
#1: Personalize Retweets
Many people like to tweet out blog posts they've read. The path of least resistance is to click the Tweet This! button on the post. Those widgets are usually pre-populated with the title of the article, the link and the handle of the website or author. You don't have to do anything but hit the button!
Unfortunately, most people rely on the pre-populated text and move on. You can set yourself apart by adding your own opinion, question or other commentary to the tweet to give followers context.
Tell people if you agree or disagree with an article and why. If your reasons take more than the characters you have, cut it short: “I love this article!”
Questions are always a good draw because you can use them to intrigue your followers (“Have you tried this crazy tactic?”) or you can ask followers for their opinion (“Have pictures worked best for you too?”). Either way, people are more likely to click through, retweet or at least tweet you back.
Every blog post has a quotable sentence. If you're not sure what to add to the tweet, find the sentence that really stands out and use it instead of the article's title.
Crafting an interesting tweet takes more effort than letting the widget do the work for you (especially if the pre-populated tweet didn't leave you too many characters to work with). But your followers appreciate the effort. I'm more likely to click a link if I know what to expect, aren't you?
Taking the time to add the extra information is even more important when you're sharing your own blog post.
#2: Share Articles More Than Once
Tweets don't have long shelf lives. With this in mind, you need to tweet multiple times to stand out and maintain momentum.
A mistake most people make is tweeting the same headline and link over and over again. That's not the best way to go about it. People may see your extra tweets, but if you don't change it up, you look like a spammer (not the image you want, right?).
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It's easy to avoid tweeting out the same thing over and over—just use the tactics outlined in #1 above.
#3: Be Yourself
I think the worst thing you can do on Twitter is to be like everyone else. Show your personality! It may sound simple, but many people don't do it—maybe they think it's not professional. But you can integrate personality and still be professional (and your followers will enjoy meeting the real you).
I recently wrote about a study on Facebook and tweeted about it. When I scrolled through my Twitter stream, one tweet stood out from the rest. It was from Track Maven‘s Twitter account. The tweet was so good it caught my attention instantly and made me respond to it.
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#4: Include Trending Topics
Hashjacking or trendjacking is a method of using popular hashtags to get extra exposure for your tweet.
You can find trending topics on the left side of your profile. These are the hottest topics and discussions on Twitter at the moment.
Take note of them and see how you can use them in your own tweets. You can tailor the trending topics and your tweets based on a certain location or people you follow so you can find even more topics relevant to you and your followers.
Many people (companies included) make the mistake of just jumping on the bandwagon. That could end up as a PR nightmare, or at the very least, an embarrassing faux pas.
Before you start tweeting away using trending hashtags, do your research. Know what the hashtags are about and where they started. If the hashtag is a fit, use it! But keep your tweets relevant, fun and not too promotional.
#5: Use Visual Content
Humans rely heavily on visual content. Approximately 65% of the people are visual learners. According to 3M Corporation, the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
And yet if you go to your Twitter stream, you'll see that most people's tweets are text only. Take advantage of that opportunity to stand out. Add images to your tweets, whether they're from the company account or your own.
According to Track Maven's retweet report, tweets without a visual received 0.1333 retweets on average, while tweets with visuals received on average of 0.404 retweets instead.
Visual content is a good way to convey your thoughts and opinions and your tweet instantly pops out from the rest of the stream.
#6: Talk to People
The simplest, most effective way to get noticed on Twitter is to engage with people.
But don't wait around for someone to tweet you before you reach out. Spend some time looking at your own stream and start a conversation around a topic someone else is tweeting about.
Listen to what people are saying in general. While everyone else is busy shouting his or her own message, you'll be the one listening so you can make a better connection.
Is your Twitter stream too noisy to find people to talk to? Create Twitter lists so you can easily find and focus on important and relevant people in your industry.
Of course, while it's always good to talk to influencers, don't forget to engage with new people as well. Your goal should be to make meaningful connections with a wider group.
Twitter has a lot of clutter to sift through. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not so good. Take the time to customize your tweets and really talk with others. Use images, share your thoughts and be yourself.
Every time you share interesting content that stands out, you're building a larger audience with stronger ties. It won't happen in a day or even a month, but the reward is worth the continued effort.
What do you think? How do you stand out on Twitter? Have you used any of these tips? Leave your comments below.
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