— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
Easy! Get Samsung and the Oscars to sponsor you and be as funny as Ellen. Since for most of us that’s not possible, you have to be a little more creative in how you get retweets.
Clients are always asking me how to get more followers and engagement on Twitter. Unfortunately, none of my clients are named Ellen and none are sponsored by Samsung, but there are ways to get people interested in your social outlets without being famous. I’ve managed dozens of Twitter handles ranging from brand new accounts to accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers and can tell you that every account is different but the best practices apply to all of them.
1. Pay attention to the conversation. – The most important thing about managing a Twitter account is paying attention to the conversation at hand. Follow competitors, high profile people in the industry, brands that support the industry or subject matter you’re dealing with and also follow relevant hashtags. By following what’s going on you can become aware of what’s important to your audience, what culturally relevant events are important and what kind of language is used.
2. Talk to people. – You should be able to have a casual conversation on any of the subject matters that you see on your timeline. Compliment people, ask questions that show you are interested in their opinions, experiences or stories. If you’re tweeting in the footwear industry, socks, sports, and hip hop might be some things you should know about. Whereas if you’re tweeting in the pastries industry, lyrical references probably won’t have much resonance with your audience.
3. Be opinionated. – It’s good to have an opinion and express it but do it in a tasteful way. If you’re just a loudmouth for the sake of ripping into other people, you probably won’t have the account your working on much longer. No matter how funny it is to call people out, the negativity seldom translates into future customers (unless you’re Tesco from the UK).
4. Think about what you retweet. – As much as we are all different, we are all very much the same. We respond to controversy, emotions, and passions. If you can include anything that (tastefully) can raise an eyebrow, ruffle feathers, stir the pot, or whatever other analogy floats your boat, you should.
Case in point, the tweet below. On my personal account, most people follow me because of sneakers. The Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red Octobers” released the morning of February 9th and my tweet received over 1,000 retweets despite my account only having 2,600 followers. Here is why it was so successful. (1) This is one of the most buzzworthy sneakers of the past decade. (2) It’s the industry I know very well and the “Yeezus” reference is bigger than sneakers, it ties in another part of the world that many sneaker enthusiasts are passionate about. (3) It’s Kanye West’s sneakers I’m stating an opinion on. (4) Choosing between Kanye and Jesus is about as controversial as it gets.
Yeezys dropped during church? Nike just made everyone decide between Jesus and Yeezus.
— Nick Engvall (@NickEngvall) February 9, 2014
You can never truly predict the success of a tweet but if you add these four tips to your process, I can all but guarantee that you will see improvements in the engagement levels on your account.